My son just turned nine, and we had a party for him last week. A Super Mario Brothers Galaxy 2 party, to be exact.  So we made up invitations and sent them out to 10 of Charlie’s best buddies.

And in the list of those receiving the coveted invite, were two little girls: JoJo and Olivia. As Charlie was naming all his friends, he wanted to make sure we invited his two favorite gals who LOVE to play video games with him.

“Mom,” he said to me, “Olivia LOVES video games. She HATES girl stuff like princesses and pink things.”

And he was right. Olivia showed up ready to rock with all the boys. She played with the glow up swords. She acted out the video game with all the guys. She stayed FAR away from the plethora of pink to be found at the Kerr house.

And I found myself inspired by Miss Olivia. She just likes what she likes. She didn’t try and pretend to like feathers and diamonds. She didn’t berate herself for being different from other girls. She simply was who she was. No problem.

It made me think of how often I compare myself to those around me. Cave into the pressure to like what’s “cool” or “current” or “new” instead of just being OK to like what I like.

Oh my, are we good at playing this little game here in suburban America.  The SAME minivans pull up to the SAME Target and out jump the women in the SAME flowing sweaters and the guys in the SAME scrolly shirts and we all go in and order the SAME skinny mocha frappachino that we ordered yesterday.

It makes me wonder – do we all just happen to like all the same things? Are we simply following trends and style? Or have we just decided it’s too hard to try and figure ourselves out and be different from everyone else? Is it just easier to be the same?

We are all created SO uniquely. WONDERFULLY unique. A million different ways to see the world. An unending variety of tastes, styles, and personalities. What would happen if we were all ok with that? Free to be who we are, and free to let others be who they are as well.

The world needs you to be YOU. Not what you think you SHOULD be.  Not what everyone else thinks you SHOULD be.  Just you. The way you think. The way you express yourself. The way you color your world.

I was at the Mall Of America the other day, and I couldn’t help looking around at all the people. The vast variety of cultural difference and style. The amazing scope of shape and size and features — all so unique  — and yet all so beautiful in their own way. The true reflection of a truly creative Creator.

Oh, how it must grieve His heart when we try and hide the very traits He purposefully and lovingly selected to gift us with. The very framework of our personality and perspective that He gave us in order to fulfill the plan He has for us.

So, for today, would you take a moment to figure out what makes you — YOU? Would you let yourself be different?  Will you be ok with who you are — even if you face a snide look or a condescending sigh? Today, you just be you.

It’s really OK if you hate pink.