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Podcast & Blog: Made to SHINE: The Value of Your Child's Unique Identity

Did you know that one of the most loving things you can do for your child is be excited about DISCOVERING who they are?

What makes Emma, Emma? What makes Abby special, important, unique, a one-of-a-kind combination of strengths and quirks and ideas? What is Josh’s God-given purpose? How is the world impacted by the creation of Nathan? By his presence in the world? How has God designed Becca to impact the world around her, the people she will meet? What unique message has God placed on Tori's heart that the world needs to hear?

You see, when we don’t know our identity, it's hard to know our purpose and without purpose, we can easily lose our motivation to grow, to impact others, or for living life to the fullest. Identity or self-perception is a very big deal.

Last week we talked about the question “Am I worth knowing?” as one of the six questions of our child’s heart and we're continuing this topic for a second week. "Am I worth KNOWING?" is partly a question about EFFORT. Our child's heart is asking, "Mom, are you willing to make the effort to pursue knowing me deeply, knowing the real me - my inner complex self?" And, this question, "Am I worth KNOWING?" is also a longing within our child to KNOW themselves. It's a CONTENT question, as the child's heart is seeking confirmation that they have value, or, "Mom, if you make the effort to discover the real me, will it be worth it? Is there anything special about me to discover?"

The following is a list of some of the questions your child's heart it asking, related to "Am I worth Knowing?"

What’s the point of me?

Why am I here?

Do I bring value to the world?

What difference do I make?

Am I a burden or a blessing?

Am I intentionally designed or an accident?

Does anyone find joy in my presence or am I a bother?

Do I have important thoughts or am I unintelligent?

If you really knew me, would you still love me? Are you willing to put forth enough effort and time to discover the real me?

Intentional mom, we want to answer the question, “Am I worth knowing?” with the answer, “I am honored and excited to spend my lifetime discovering God’s unique, masterful design of you, my precious child. And I want to know you – not the surface you, but the deep in your heart you. I can handle knowing your fears, your struggles, what makes you angry, and what makes you want to hide from the world. That is the privilege of discerning your heart and I will maintain that privilege. I will be honoring of your heart."

Let me boil all of that down to the question and the answer in short form:

Your child’s heart is asking, “Am I worth knowing?” and you want to answer that question, “I am excited to DISCOVER your amazing God-given design."
On podcast episode 64, I give a list of questions to help intentional moms DISCERN what's going on in your child's heart and some other questions to help identify aspects of their unique design. In addition to asking the right questions, I also talked about some resources.
Your child has been uniquely designed by God and it will take a lifetime to discover all the special qualities that your child brings to the world. If you make it a point to become a student of your child, this will aid you in parenting, and it will be a source of strength to your child IF you let them know what you're discovering along the way.
Here are some resources that I shared on the podcast to help you discover your child and discern their heart more easily.
List of Resources Mentioned on the podcast for this episode (episode 64).

💜StrengthsFinder2.0 (use this to help prep students for interviews & applications)

Intentional parents, I pray that these few thoughts and resources today will motivate and encourage you in your pursuit of discovering your child’s unique design and helping them to allow God to hone those strengths.

Our strengths and our weaknesses are usually the same thing, it’s just whether or not those apparent weaknesses have been shaped into effective strengths, or instead, are they being misused as ineffective weaknesses.

You see, left to our own devices, or to our own vices, we humans too often use our strengths in less than healthy ways. That’s how we end up with bully bosses, or kind but weak people who allow themselves to be trampled by others, or people who desire to please everyone so much that they over-promise and under-deliver so frequently that they wind up pleasing no one ever.

All of those are examples of people who have strengths that have been un-honed and used ineffectively (thus appearing as weaknesses). Sometimes it is because of selfishness; Sometimes it is a lack of self-awareness, but always it is a missed opportunity for the world to be positively affected by their magnificent, unique design.

So, intentional parents, let’s always be in the process of discovering our child's unique design and helping them to know their fantastic identity but then let’s also inspire them to hone those abilities and allow God to shape them into His masterful, one-of-a-kind purpose for their lives.

Meet Val Harrison, The Practically Speaking MOM

Mother of seven, Val Harrison, knows how you feel as a dedicated yet overwhelmed mom! Speaking at conventions, moms' groups, and in parenting classes for many years, Val encourages and equips parents with practical solutions in all stages of parenthood...


I went to college by Chicago, received a degree in Communications, married my high school sweetheart, Rich, and we have been married over 28 years. It hasn’t been perfect, but it has been redeemed! We have four girls and three boys. The oldest three are married and we have two grandsons. Of course I can’t leave out our family dogs Copper and Cali. I haven’t always parented my children as well as I should have, but I have always been committed to learning from my mistakes, asking for forgiveness, and allowing God to transform our wounds into His beautiful story of redemption. I continually remain in awe of His ability to turn what I saw as my failures into His ministry. I am humbled and grateful.

My books include:

  • Wearing All Your Hats without Wearing Out: Finding Focus for Your Family to be the Masterpiece God Intended it to be

  • Clash in Your Home: A Game Plan for Cleaning Up the Conflict

  • Gaining Momentum: Preparing Your Student for a Career with or without College

  • When Littles Are Loud: Maximizing the Moments without Drowning in Chaos

Intentional Moms, I want you to know that even with your family's unique personalities, imperfections, and scars – your family is God’s masterpiece in the making! And, God has appointed YOU as mom to your masterpiece family! Let's be intentional together!



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