I have had a lot of folks who have influenced me through the years and set examples for me. I have been so blessed by being surrounded all of my life by warm, loving and supportive people. If I have gotten anywhere in this life it is due to all of those folks who have nurtured and loved me for who I am and who I am still becoming.
Recently I had the pleasure of spending a couple of hours with some folks in North Carolina who have helped shape my life in a lot of ways. They were all there when I accepted a job as a church secretary /administrative assistant after we sold the family business and still really needed me to work. They accepted me from day one and loved me as I moved from that job to another staff position that ended up being my best and favorite job of all time.
They stood by me and supported me when Chris moved to Iowa ahead of me and I was left to sell the house. They embraced me and made me feel like I was one of their own family and that is something that I will never forget.
Together these folks made me feel like I was loved. They are encouragers, people of great faith, lovers of life who possess the biggest hearts of anyone I know. They continually reach out to others and always, always put the needs of others ahead of themselves. Two of them have a shut in ministry and share a love of Goo Goo clusters. I can never see one of those without thinking of Mary and Betty. One is battling ovarian cancer and has turned her CaringBridge website into a journey in faith for many. Jimmy is now missing from this group and I have so many wonderful memories of him sitting in my office as one of the “Monday Men” who did odd jobs around the church telling me jokes and laughing with me. One of them just had her 70th reunion of her high school class. Two of them I trained to be Stephen Ministers. All of them have worked at Epworth Hot Dog Ministry and yes—it is indeed a ministry. All have led and continue to lead lives of service to others.
I think that there is something to be said for that. If we choose to focus outward and not inward I truly believe that life offers us a better perspective. In my own life if I think about what I can do for someone else rather than thinking about “poor little ole me” I have a much better day.
These folks figured that out a long time ago and are perfect examples of how to live successfully Are they rich in the worldly sense? Probably not but even if they were I doubt that I would know it because that is just who they are. Humble and always willing to go the extra mile. So today I tip my hat to these wonderful folks who have a special place in my heart and to those I was unable to visit with this past trip. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being who you are and for loving me!!! I love you all!
Do you have any folks like this in your life? Do you need to tell them thanks? Don’t wait.