The Blessing of Community

And, no, I’m not talking about the TV show though I am excited for it’s season premier this week.

Thinking back on my childhood/teen years there are several adults that had a major influence on my life choices and on who I am today. My parents, of course. But there were a couple teachers and my youth pastor and my school principal and two of my mom’s best friends – all who had an impact on my life either by intentionally investing in me or by simply being a visible example.

I truly believe that parents have the largest impact on their children – and my parents were always supportive, always encouraging. Still, as a teen, there’s a little voice that says “they’re your parents, they have to say that.” But when another adult, who isn’t obligated by genetics, gives you a compliment or praise or encouragement or love it validates who you are or what you’re doing that much more.

For this reason, I’m incredibly thankful for the community of brilliant, talented, loving adults that surround my child. I’m thankful for the many ways that my friends are different from me – because they can be an example of strength/right where I am weak/wrong. I’m thankful for the many ways that my friends are similar to me so that one day my child will know I’m not crazy – or at least not the only one who’s crazy.

I’m thankful that there will be other adults in her life to fill in the gaps where I fall short – to be a role model and example to her just by being visible in her life. I’m thankful for those that will intentionally seek her out and invest their time and wisdom and love in her life. I’m thankful there are godly men and women that we do life with who will one day encourage and validate my child in ways that I as her mother cannot. We are truly blessed to be a part of this community.

Question: Was there someone other than your parents who had a lasting impact on your life? Was it because they were around and you observed them or because they intentionally invested in you?

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One response to “The Blessing of Community

  1. Donna M Godfrey (@dgodfrey5) September 24, 2011 at 10:49 PM

    Thanks for your precious post. Not because you mentioned gratitude towards your parents, and that I am one of your parents, but because you speak truth with compassion, conviction, and grace.
    As a young person a Jr High teacher, Mrs. Gail Pedigo, stepped out of her math teaching responsibility and saw that I could draw and paint. She not only encouraged me to do more art, she paid for evening classes for me to learn and improve a gift that she believed I had. Who would have ever known that many years later I would paint flowers on my grand daughter’s bedroom wall.
    A second person was a High School French teacher, Mrs. Judy Shope. Her influence is still touching me today. She wasn’t just a good teacher. She had passion for her students.
    A third teacher was a Sunday School teacher, Mrs. Ruby Pettit. She instilled the love of scripture in my heart at an early age. She encouraged my to teach the scripture and gave me opportunity to teach many many times. She turned 80 years old earlier this year. I wrote her a letter, handed it to her in person, gave her a hug, and told her how much of an impact she had on my spiritual life.
    As an adult I’ve been blessed to have precious girl friends and a loving husband who continues to encourage and strengthen me.
    As a parent, 3 John 1:4, says how I feel at this moment. “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”

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