Friday, August 10, 2012
9 in 30
Welcome to the 30 in 30 challenge! Each day this month I'll be posting a response to a prompt. You can find all the questions here. I stole the questions from here.
This is probably the most difficult question to date...It is interesting because the statement is worded such that the influence could be positive or negative. Without getting too specific, I'm going to answer the prompt to the best of my ability...
List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how.
1. My youth minister and the church where I grew up. I was able to serve in leadership, fail, test boundaries, and serve in many ways. I learned things the hard way and the easy way, but I learned a lot because I was given the opportunity to do things teenagers normally don't.
2. Families in my church and town growing up. They took me in when I needed family. When my family didn't eat meals together, I could with chosen family. They looked after me, loved me, and set boundaries for me. They served as a great example of family. I think it is because of a few select families' examples that I'm able to have a healthy family today.
3. My parents. I am a confident, independent, and self-sufficient woman who values education because of my parents. Both for good and bad. I stand up for myself, am stubborn, and like routine because of my parents.
4. My sister. My sister has taught me how to be more forgiving, compassionate, and understanding. As a child, she taught me how to be bossy, dominant, and persuasive, but I'm glad as adults our relationship has survived my tyrant days.
5. The staff at my first real church job. They taught me to take the high road, how to be a great leader, and what the church should look like. I learned so many valuable lessons during those first 3 years in full-time ministry that I still rely on today. I had the most difficult and challenging experiences, cried a lot, but ultimately am a stronger person because of that time. And I made lifelong friends who provide me with the best example in all areas of my life.
6. My chosen family. I have very special families who have taken me in, allowed me to share meals, move in, sleep over, share holidays, and love their kids. They have supported me in the most difficult moments of my life, encouraged me to do better, and loved me even when I didn't really deserve it. They have shared their family with me and my family. I am who I am because of these wonderful people. If I am half the minister, mom, wife, and friend that these folks are, I'll consider my life a success. If you're wondering if I'm talking about you, I probably am. :-)
7. My 3-day sisters. These women are in other categories in my life as well, but needed their own special number. I am who I am because of the first weekend in November each year. They encourage me and are part of something so much bigger than we are. Walking for the first time completely and radically changed my life and I'm so thankful.
8. My husband. Jarrod taught me that love is supposed to be easy, but take a lot of work. It's a choice and life can be more beautiful than my dreams. He challenges me, encourages me, and makes me who I am.
9. My little man. Wesley made me a mama and filled parts of my heart I didn't know existed. I am more whole because of his place in my life. Our family is more complete because of him. He brings an incredible joy to my life and I'm so thankful for his influence in my life.
10. John Wesley, Jesus, God, and early Methodist women. I bleed Wesleyanism. I am who I am because God loves me, Jesus saves me daily, John Wesley saw a way to present grace to all, and Methodist women fought for all women.
Hopefully that's honest and transparent enough. This was a really hard one!