I remember really vividly what it was like to be a middle schooler. Maybe it’s because I’ve worked with middle schoolers since I got out of college, or maybe it’s because the memories are just that emotional that they are forever etched in my brain. I remember wondering almost every minute of the day what everyone was thinking about me. I remember wanting desperately to blend in while wanting desperately to be noticed. I hated standing at least a head above every other student and most teachers. I hated that I had to wear dorky shoes because my feet were fully grown in 5th grade. I hated my chubby knees. I hated my huge nose.
I remember really vividly what it was like to be a high schooler. Maybe it’s because I work at a high school and daily take in the sights, smells, and sounds, or maybe it’s because they were really formative years that stick in the memory bank. I remember wondering almost every minute of the day what someone was thinking about me. I remember wanting desperately to be a Christ-follower while wanting to be accepted by the popular crowd. I remember wanting to make a difference in my world, but wanting to blend into the world. I hated my thighs. I hated my bra size. I hated that my huge nose hadn’t shrunken in spite of all my dieting.
Middle and High school are tough years for everyone. I know it’s different tough for guys and gals, but I can only speak for the gals. There is so much pressure to be the right size, dress the right way, be well-rounded, be smart… and the list goes on. It’s nearly impossible for girls to not be overwhelmed with fears, doubts, insecurities, comparisons, and often lies.
Girls (and guys, I don’t mean to leave you out) need a voice of reason and truth to remind them that they are loved, that they are amazing, that they have a purpose in this big world that’s bigger than their small worlds.
Sometimes that voice comes from a parent, a youth group leader, a teacher, a mentor, a friend. On rare occasions, it comes from an awesome book.
Today, my friend Annie releases an AMAZING book called Perfectly Unique that’s geared for teenage gals. This book is a reminder about how much God loves His creation. It is funny, wise, endearing, and full of truths that young women need to know. I waffled between being in stiches and being in tears while reading this gem.
I wish I’d had this book when I was younger. I think I would have felt more ok in my skin. I wish I’d had this book when I was in youth ministry, I think I would have had better language with which to talk to my gals.
If you are a mother to girls, a youth pastor, a teacher, a coach, a youth leader, a mentor, you should really get your hands on this book.
Because I feel so strongly that you should get your hands on this book, I’m doing a book giveaway (Annie will sign and send you her book). If you comment on this blog (this could be by sharing your most embarrassing middle school moment, or simply acknowledging that you want to be entered in the drawing), you get entered once into the drawing. If you share this post on facebook, you get entered once into the drawing. If you retweet this, you get entered once into the drawing. If you do all three, yes, you get entered 3 times, increasing the likelihood of winning. You are so smart!
So here’s the deal, if you have a middle schooler or high schooler in your life, give them a hug. Listen to their chatter. Earn the right to speak truth and goodness into their lives. They love attention, make sure you give it to them! And please, do get yourself a copy of this book, who knows what life change this could spark in the amazing young women in your life!
Ps, the drawing was completed 9/5. Grand prize winner was Ms. Karen McGee!