What Everyone Ought to Know When They Feel Different

I’ll bet Ann M. Martin didn’t expect when she developed her Babysitters Club characters (30+ years ago) that a little girl from Tennessee would be drawn to big earrings from forteen to forty because of artsy Claudia.

We just never know who and how we will influence someone with our words and actions, hopefully for the good.

Growing up, I wasn’t a big reader, but I loved the Baby-Sitters Club series. My sister and I rewound and rewatched the VHS versions multiple times.

Claudia, Vice President of the Babysitter’s Club, was creative and always at art class. The fact that she embraced her artistic side, dressed in her own style (the afformentioned big earrings) and was not the best speller at school made her personality appealing to me.

Photo Source: Scholastic

Like Claudia, I wanted to be artsy, unique, and do my own thing even if it meant I wasn’t popular. Being true to my creative nature was something I valued at an early age, but I needed someone to identify with in that way.

Writers have the ability to meet the reader right where they are, connect with them, and help them not feel alone. Words travel far distances with power, stories are transformative, and characters inspire us to have the courage to be who we are meant to be.

When you live in a small town and have a talent that doesn’t check the box of athletic, life can be more difficult as a kid. Team sports come with the benefit of an automatic friend group and bond. Reading about Claudia’s life helped me to see that there was a place for artistic me in the world and maybe just maybe there were people like me out there somewhere.

I took notice when I’d see an artist in town, even though there were just a few that I knew of at the time. They have no idea that I even was encouraged by them, but I was. Even though they were adults, they were showing me with their life that dreamers really can be doers. The few classes I had with a local artist and the craft days offered at the Park and Rec made a big difference in my life.

We can think in error that what we have to give, as far as our talents go, won’t really make a difference in the big scheme of things. These stories remind me that what we have to offer the world matters.

Ann M. Martin’s writing has made ripple effects in my life even today, yet she doesn’t even know me. I still look to those local artists in admiration, because they are showing me that once a creative, always a creative, no matter how much you age.

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We don’t know who we are influencing for the good in our art, faith, writing, positive social media presence, work ethic, teaching, mothering, helping hand, or public service. The important thing is that we are faithful to share what we’ve got in a world that seems to try to snuff our our lights at every turn.

You may be the only public Christian influence someone sees fleshed out. You may be the only life long learner who is so passionate about teaching that you change a child’s life forever. You may be the only one who shows unconditional love in the life of another. You may feel different, but by being true to who God created you so eclectically to be, you may just be reaching others that need to see themselves in you.

Be that person that someone, even a child, can look to today to know that they can be a life giving, faith filled, loving, and creative individual, too.

We bring hope to the world when we live that way.


I have a practice of starting my day in God’s eternal, infallible, word. It’s full of promises and encouragement for me. It grounds me, gives me vision for the day, and helps me gain perspective that life is more than what meets the eye. Seeking God first keeps me focused and creating.

When I keep my biblical lenses on, I can stay positive in the face of negative, remain steadfast in prayer in the face of hopelessness, and be inspired to keep on keeping on day by day as I do the next thing He leads me to do.

This week’s Action Steps:

  1. I challenge you this week to think about a book character that you identified with as a child or people in your life who you looked up to in that way. I’d love to hear about it!
  2. I also encourage you to read one Psalm per day. They are life giving and a contrast to what you’ll see on the news. See how your perspective changes. Also sign up to receive my Canva tutorial and create an encouraging scripture image to send to a friend or your social media followers.
  3. Once you think on these things, reach back in your memory bank and remember one hands on activity you used to enjoy as a kid, or even as an adult but haven’t done in a while. Purchase the supplies and try it again. I worked on a painting this week for the fun of it. It’s not perfect, but it was fun, relaxing, and it makes me happy as it hangs over my desk.

    Have a great week!
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