It’s The Love Dare, people. Welcome! The moment I read Lydia Lee’s blog, Out of the Ordinary, I was reminded of Katie Davis from Uganda. Lydia’s heart bleeds for the people of Haiti. She is one of the most gifted young writers I have ever met. I’m so honored to welcome her here to my site today to talk about how she’s daring to love herself as an 11-year-old girl.

Weeks ago, I saw Rend Collective in concert. I was standing in the front row, listening as one of the musicians spoke about God having a “huge, cosmic sewing machine” in the heavens. Those words soaked straight into my heart, because it reminded me that we are all handmade by God, just the way He wanted us to be.

Rend Collective was one of the opening acts for Tenth Avenue North’s “Struggle Tour.”

And I have had my own “struggle tour,” even though I am only an 11-year-old girl.

I have struggled with thinking that I need to do everything just right. I know these things aren’t true, but I have thought at times that I wasn’t pretty enough, I wasn’t athletic enough, I wasn’t… well, perfect enough. I’d look in the mirror and think: “Who would like me, a tiny girl with brown hair, freckles, and eyes of an undetermined color?” I would look at my straight A’s and think: “Why did I get an A on that test when I could’ve gotten an A-plus?” These thoughts whizzed through my mind at school, home, soccer games, and basically anywhere I went.

You may face or have faced insecurities like these, as well. But remind yourself this: You were created in God’s image. I’ve told myself that when I have struggled in the past. I remind myself that God made ME!

I’m a girl with chocolate brown hair, cute freckles, and beautiful, color-changing eyes, who was introduced to the world three weeks earlier then expected. God made me the way He wants me to be. And God made you the way He wants you to be. Do not forget that. Ever.

When I get down, my mom tells me that we don’t need to be perfect, always ace-ing our tests, having great-hair-days, wearing the most fashionable clothes. We are human. We make mistakes. We are imperfect. But God loves us anyway. We do not need to be perfect because Jesus was perfect when he came to Earth. We are forgiven and free.

Like Tenth Avenue North sings: “Hallelujah; we are free to struggle; we’re not struggling to be free.”

I love these verses, from Psalms 136:

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother’s womb…
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!…
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,…
The days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day.

I still am somewhat of a perfectionist, but God reminds me that it’s OK to make mistakes.
In fact, I’m going to sing my own little remix of a popular song: “I’m imperfect and I know it!!

(And it’s perfectly fine to show it!!)”

My name is Lydia Lee. I am an 11-year-old girl living in northwest Iowa who has a dream to make a difference in the world. I don’t want to live an average life. An “average life” is a life where you believe in God, but you don’t do what He commands you to do. He commands us to love others as ourselves. When we love and help others, we can really live Out of the Ordinary. We can live a not-so-average life. That’s why my blog is called Out of the Ordinary. I am the oldest of two girls in my family. My dad is a farmer, and my mom is a writer. Some of my hobbies are, scrapbooking, writing, playing soccer, reading, playing piano, painting and eating sushi (you might think sushi is gross, but have you ever tried it? It’s the food of the not-so-average! )

Every Monday we’re Daring to Love Ourselves, leading up to the release of my (Emily’s) new book, Mom in the Mirror: Body Image, Beauty and Life After PregnancyJoin us by linking up your own posts below, on how YOU are daring to love yourself, in spite of your imperfections. Let’s create a beautiful revolution, friends!

**Please, if you link up, could you add the Love Dare Button to your blog post? See the beautiful button my brother Keith made for us, in the right-hand column of the blog. Thank you!

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Pre-order my new book, Mom in the Mirror, at 45% off, here.

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