September 2021—Get Used to Different: The Beauty of Discovering the Uniqueness of Yourself and Others

September Recommended Resources (link here) are curated to support you in having the critical conversations with your children, spouse, CG group, and community about the God given design of being “different”. These resources aim to deepen your understanding of this topic and ability to offer greater dignity, love, and compassion to those who are different from us…which is everyone. 

Resources to READ this month:

The Dignity Revolution (by Daniel Darling) illuminates the worth of humans and shares what it means to bear God’s image. A valued and insightful read.

When Charley Met Emma (by Amy Webb) shares Charley’s encounter at the playground meeting Emma, a girl with limb differences who uses a wheelchair. Charley is uncertain of how to interact with Emma. After talking to Emma, he learns that different isn’t bad, sad, or strange–different is just different, and different is great!

Different-A Great Thing to Be (by Heather Avis) is an open conversation and dialogue about God’s different and beautiful design for each of us. For preschool to late elementary school aged students, this book aids in deepening the emotional connection for valuing different.

 

Best of All (by Max Lucado) shares a powerful lesson for each of us—reminding us how we are designed with great intention and purpose by our Maker. Being different is a beautiful thing, and this tale from Wemmicksville will help remind us all of how special we each are in our Heavenly Father’s eyes.

The Power of Sisterly Love | Courageous Girls (mycourageousgirls.com)

Our children can be powerful and beautiful teachers. Two Courageous Girls and sisters, Tessa (9 yo) and Merin (10 yo), exemplify honoring their differences and understanding each other’s giftings. In doing so, they love and serve one another in some pretty incredible ways. This blog is for the whole family!

Loving Our Differences 

CG Leadership Coach, Steph West, shares in the blog Loving “Different” how growing up with her sister Christina who was born with distinction-an extra chromosome on her 21st chromosomal pair (aka Down Syndrome), was instrumental in cultivating a lens of compassion, love, and justice for God’s creations that many in our society feel uncomfortable connecting to or deem “less than.” 

May Christina’s story inspire you to celebrate the “different” in each of our stories and keep your eyes and heart open to Jesus’s great love for each of us.

Suffer Strong (by Katherine & Jay Wolf) is an autobiography. After surviving a devastating stroke at age 26, Katherine and her family had to adjust to a new normal—but that isn’t the end of the story. Embracing suffering as a privilege instead of a punishment, the Wolfs offer practical strategies for trusting God with an unknown future. Discover how to redefine loss, beauty, limitations, commitment, and more.

Emmanuel’s Dream:The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah (by Laurie Ann Thompson and Sean Qualls)  

Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah was born in Ghana, West Africa, with one leg that was deformed. He was invisible to most people, but his mom saw his potential. As a boy, Emmanuel hopped to school more than two miles each way, learned to play soccer, left home at age thirteen to provide for his family, and, eventually, became a cyclist. He rode an astonishing four hundred miles across Ghana in 2001, spreading his powerful message: disability is not inability. Be sure to check out this inspiring true story!

Resources to WATCH this month: 

Emmanuel’s Gift is a documentary film that shares the incredible calling on Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah’s to transform perceptions of his fellow countrymen in Ghana to see someone’s “ability” instead of their “inability.” A powerful film to share with your family! 

Season 3 of The Chosen is coming out soon, so now is a great time to watch (or rewatch) Season 1 & 2. Follow along with Jesus and the disciplines in this docu-drama. 

I’ll Push You shares the journey of two lifelong friends as they embark on a 35 day, 500-mile-long journey to hike Spain’s famed El Camino de Santiago. Together they encounter mountains, deserts, hills, and valleys with Justin enduring the journey in a wheelchair. A beautiful partnership of friends leaning into each other’s strengths.

Resources to LISTEN to this month:

The Living Wholehearted Podcast Episode 86 with Heather Avis

The Lucky Few Podcast with Heather Avis

The Living Wholehearted Podcast Episodes 2-5 “Living From Who You Are-The Core Values Index”

CG mini-podcast: Steph interviews Meagan, Merin (10) & Tess (9): CG sisters Tessa and Merin Brown have the unique opportunity to be in the same CG group and share about the boundless love they share with each other. CG Mama Meagan shares vulnerably about how she has seen God’s abundant love poured out in the beautiful way God has brought her family together. Find a cozy spot to sit with your Courageous Girl, grab a cup of tea, tissues, and listen in to this powerful podcast.

Be Loved, Love Well