Change. I've learned to embrace it, ride it out til the end. Sometimes I'm kicking and screaming, other times weeping with my eyes clinched tight. Once in awhile I ride like a dog in a car, head out the window snorting what life has to offer. Mother to young adult children, a marriage of thirty years, and a desert to mountain to valley waltz with God have shaped me into someone I never imagined I'd be. Life is short and I want to live it. Tears, sighs, laughter and change. Every morsel granted to me. Scrambled, shaken or stirred.
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
This is cool. A website designed to get us thinking about the importance of others in our lives. Click on the book cover to visit the website and here to join the Facebook Noticer Group.
Here's the basic info.
"The Noticer Project is a worldwide movement to "notice" the five most influential people in your life! Noticing those five people can be as private (just a letter or email) or as public (posting to your Facebook page or joining The Noticer Project Facebook group) as you choose, but the movement is meant to encourage us to step outside our busy schedules and avoid waiting until a wedding, graduation or even a funeral to take notice of the special, influential people in our lives. By noticing those who have made a difference for you, you not only acknowledge their contribution, but you may gain a new perspective on your own journey. If you are noticed, you are encouraged to continue the movement by 'noticing' five people in your life!"
I'm not going to lie. I had a little trouble limiting myself.
So here you go:
The List...ala Kelly...I think I will call it...
Five People Who've Influenced Me. Wait. No, Let's Amend that to Five Groups of People Who've Influenced Me. But This List is Not All Inclusive. I Think It's a Good Start, Though.
My husband. My husband and I grew up together. We began crushing on each other when I was fourteen. Through massive ups and downs, doubt, failures, alcohol, infidelity, churchlessness, financial crises and sorrow, we've grown into a unit that is still imperfect but thriving. I trust his heart and I love the man he has become. I respect him for the commitment he has made to me and our marriage. We have survived so much and I respect him for being willing to climb a few mountains, brave a handful of storms and battle some beasts to protect our family and my heart. He is my number one hero.
My kids. My children have been teachers and learners. They've taught me that it's not about me. I've also learned that no matter how big the mistakes I make are, that if I will ask my children to forgive me, they will. Unconditional love pours out of my children. My kids have also shown/reminded me that the world is full of wonder and color and sights, sounds, taste and smells. Each of them has taught me something about life, and something about myself. Each has given me new experiences and splashes of color, joy and delight.
My parents. My mom and dad shaped me and gave me memories, character and boundaries. My mom and dad taught me that a mistake can be a chance to communicate and clear the air and an opportunity to start over. My friends didn't have parents who apologized when they were wrong, my parents did and that, above everything else, made me feel respected and cherished. My husband's parents have become very dear to me the more I've gotten to know them. I was so close to my own mom that I didn't give my mother-in-law the welcome that I should have. They have never pushed. They have always encouraged. Even when what they had to say didn't sit well, the wisdom of their life did. Their generosity and love overwhelms me. Now that I am a mother-in-law I understand so much more what it means to be a mother-in-law and have grown to love my own on a deeper level. My in-laws have taught me about unconditional patience and support.
My friends. I have known and cared about so many people. How can I chose one person? Stephanie, the friend I rarely talk to, who needed me in the darkest hour of her life. Sandi, the friend always ready to take in the stray or the lost, little critter with the broken wing. Christa, the friend who lives life on the edge of the cliff and embraces it as a grand stage with details spelled out in neon. Noel and Shirlee who actually think I'm wise and seek my advice. Evelyn, a woman who encourages me to keep plugging away at my dreams, and has given me an example of what that might look like since she forged through and accomplished huge things. Michelle, a woman who has become an honorary aunt to my children, who has infused my life with laughter, encouragement and generosity. How can I pick between them? Each of them has taught me something or enriched my life in a hundred different ways.
My church. Not just my local church though I have grown and changed and been challenged in my local church. But, my sisters and brothers in the worldwide body of Christ have taught me the reality of gifts and purpose. My local church tends to be like the backseat of a station wagon with skirmishes and warnings not to cross the line or else, and the endless question, "are we there yet?" This is great on a few levels because it teaches me how to get along well with others who I'm glued to whether I'm thrilled about that or not. But beyond that, and there are wonderful sweet moments in the backseat, comforting and rich, don't get me wrong, but beyond that there is a huge world full of people who think slightly differently than me.
The body of Christ has to have a few doctrinal beliefs that are rock-solid, unmoving, foundations. But the rest...oh my, there are exotic scents and strange sounds and wonderful experiences that I don't get to have in my small, conservative Iowa backyard. Some of the most amazing people I've met are friends I've met on-line. Ane, Gina, Jessica and the other Pennies have poured themselves and their knowledge into me. Not to mention shared their spotlights and opportunities. Kim, Nora, Birdie, friends I hope to meet someday, but are special friends in spite of never meeting face-to-face.
I could go on for hours about the people in my life. But I was supposed to pick five. Five measly people...yeah, right. Ha.