Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Founding Famothers

This post goes out to the people who made me who I am...this is my top 5 most influential people thus far.

1.  The God-man
Jesus Christ.  He's my creator, best friend, and reason for living.  He's gotten me through some incredibly tough times, and never turned away.  Things I've learned from Him:
-I am lovable!  And loved!  Beloved even...
-How to live a righteous life
-What real relationship looks like
-That there is grace and forgiveness for mess ups and sin (yep, I used that word in 2010)
-That life is good (but eternal life is better!)
-That there is NOTHING better than knowing and walking with Him

2. The birth-er
My mother that is.  She's the best.  One of the sweetest women ever.  I hope how much I adore my mother has come through loud and clear in these blogs.  Otherwise I might want to consider a different vehicle for communication...
Things I've learned from her:
-Follow your heart and your life's passion
-People do change/grow/learn/develop
-I am loved
-How to take care of others (she's a pro)
-The value of counseling
-If at first you don't succeed...keep trying!
-Enjoy the simple pleasures of life...she taught me to LOVE nature!

3. The matriarch
My Grandma.  I love my grandma.  She is the sh*t.  (sorry Grandma, I had to).  She is hands down one of the coolest people I have ever known.  She loved her husband faithfully her whole life.  She raised 3 strong willed boys.  She was valedictorian of her college class (right?).  She's hilarious.  She's my hero (all of these people are), and my namesake.
Things I've learned from her:
-I am loved
-You can have your cake and eat it too...it is possible to live an incredibly good life...and have a lot of fun doing it!
-You can be married to one person for more than 50 years...that's crazy!
-Always do the right thing
-Go to church every Sunday
-Dwell on the good things in life
-Be wise with your money...you're going to need it to retire!
-Keep up with what is going on in the world
-Play golf (Gramma, did you know that I played this last Tuesday?  It was SO FUN!)
-Be a good cook
-Be loyal
-Take one for the team
I don't know if we've ever had a conversation about any of those things...but she has taught me them through her example.  If I can be half as good of a person as she is, I will live a good life.

4. The Sheriff
This is our affectionate name for Aaron Schafer, my Organizational Leader, Associate Sales Leader, District Manager, and friend with The Southwestern company.  I moved to the tundra of Michigan in January to help him recruit MSU students to sell books door to door...and it is one of the best decisions I have ever made.  When people ask me what the best thing I got out of my time as a recruiter, one of the first things I say is the chance to work with Aaron.  He is also a lifetime hero.
What I learned from him:
-I am loved
-I am capable than far more than I give myself credit for
-I am a dynamic, cool, girl
-People like me for more than 20 minutes
-If you treat people right, it is amazing what you can do and help them do
-How to be a good friend
-How to be a good spouse
-How to be a good dad (and not just to his babies...to about 25+ college kids!)
-How to have a good attitude even when I really, really, really don't feel like it
-It's better to give people the benefit of the doubt and cut them slack then to alienate them
-Always have others' best at heart

The Outlier:
Nate Wiebracht.  I'm sure it will come as a complete shock to everyone, Nate especially that he is in this list.  But if I think about the best decision I ever made that got me to where I am today, it would be to sell books.  And Nate was one of the biggest influencers in that decision (unbenounced to him, I thought he was completely amazing when I first met him, and figured if this crazy summer job could make me more like THAT, then I was in).  More than that, however he taught me how to be successful selling books.
-Work hard
-Study hard
-Be coachable
-Don't whine
-Live what you believe without making excuses
Unlike everyone else on that list, Nate and I don't keep up.  Due to personality differences, we never got along.  But at the end of the day, his character, leadership and example changed the course of my life in a way that only Christ himself could have had a hand in.  Thanks Nate.

But most of all, thank you Lord for these and so many other people you have put into my life whose decisions and love for You have influenced me permanently.

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