Monday, October 3, 2011

The Influencers

My uncle passed away recently & the funeral was this weekend. I feel compelled to tell everyone what a great influence he & my aunt were in my life. The fact is: I wouldn't be who I am without them. A few years ago I had an "ah-ha" moment during a lunch discussion with some other women at a conference, where I came to realize that my aunt & uncle were the people I was striving to be. During my younger days that gave me hope & something to work towards. Now it provides an example of the type of person I hope I can someday be for someone else--and how important it is to take time to mentor others. You never know how the little things you do are making an impact on someone else.

I grew up with a single mom. My aunt & uncle went above the call of duty to do what they could for me & be an example of Christ in my life. At 15 I had a job about a mile from my house. My uncle owned his own business on the other side of town, but if it was raining, he would drive across town & take me to work. I'm sure he was busy, but he never complained & he was happy to do it. It was one way he could be there for me. They took me shopping for school clothes every year. They took me to the lake on weekends and taught me how to ski. Also, they tried to get me involved in the "right" crowd by bringing me to their church groups every week. I never felt like I fit in & I definitely had a bit of a rebellious streak. Often when I did do things I shouldn't, I would think, "what would Phyllis & Don think if they knew". It mattered to me that I not disappoint them. They knew some of what I did, but they never gave up on me. My whole life they were planting little seeds along the way. I grew up knowing Christ & wrong from right. I haven't experienced that single moment like some where I suddenly gave my life to the Lord. He was there all the time & gradually I let Him in a little more & more. If you fully immerse yourself in it, the love of God will change you. There's nothing like it. It's awesome! I'm so thankful I've had people like Don & Phyllis in my life to plant the little seeds along the way & I hope He uses me to do for others what they did for me.

Also: Phyllis was an awesome cook! She made EVERYTHING from scratch & she was not satisfied until you stuffed your face at her house. If I wasn't striving to be more like her I may have never tried to do more than boil pasta. But here I am, cooking from scratch & blogging about it!

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