So many people have contributed bits and pieces of their own lives to help mold me, to help make me who I am today. By others examples I have seen what I want to be, and what I do not want to be. I have been introduced to some of my greatest passions by different people who took the time to show them to me.
The greatest contributors to my life would of course be my parents. There are so many things they taught me, and there is no way to list them all. There are however several life lessons that stick out at the top of my head. The most important of them all would, without question, be the fact that they introduced me to God, and surrounded me with teaching about Him. No person could ever offer anything greater to my life.
From my dad I learnt to not take short cuts if it meant that your quality of work would suffer if even only slightly. How frustrating that was when delivering mail with him and I couldn’t cut across some ones lawn!! I always had to go back to the sidewalk, then walk back up the next drive way.
From my mom I learnt the importance and power of a positive attitude and leaving everything in the Lord’s hands. I learnt to make do with what you have, and to be satisfied with it.
It is hard to chronically record the people that have influenced my life, so the following may be slightly out of order.
I don’t remember much of my “formal” years of education, otherwise known as school. I do remember one incident with my second grade teacher very well. The grade two students were always paired with a Kindergarten student to assist them with reading, or to read to them. I was paired with the sloppiest and slowest kindergarten student. I was so upset as all the other little kids were so cute and sweet, and I had the ugly duckling. My teacher took me aside, not knowing about how I felt, and told me I had been paired with that little girl because she knew I would be patient with her and kind to her. What a difference it made, knowing I had been paired with her because my teacher thought I was the best one for the job!! A silly little thing? Perhaps. But it has been a reminder to me over the years. When I am in a situation that I don’t like, when my peers are in “better” situations, I think back to my teacher. She knew I could handle that little girl. She knew what she was doing. And how much greater is God, who has put me in the new situation that I don’t like or I don’t think I could handle. He knows I can handle it. He knows I am the best one for the job.
Camp was always a huge deal to me each summer, and two people stick out in my mind that have influenced me in positive ways. One was an elderly lady that lived on the camp grounds. She kept tabs on which girls received mail and which did not. That week I was one of the girls who did not get any mail during the first half of the week, so she wrote me a letter, just so I could have something to open at rest hour. That was such a sweet thing for her to have done, and really spoke to me about looking out for the needs of others. The other influence from camp was one of the Bible teachers. During one of her lessons she mentioned that when she was driving and would find herself tapping the steering wheel out of frustration from the slow traffic, bad weather, etc. she would change her thoughts to positive ones and make herself list ten things she was grateful for. A variation of the “Glad Game” if you would. It struck me as being such a great idea, and when I catch myself getting frustrated in the car, I start to list the blessings I have in my life.
Markham Bible Chapel is, I believe, where the majority of the people who have helped mold my life came from. They say you don’t know how good you had it till it’s gone, and that is so true. My church family was just that, family. I grew up with the people there. Laughed and cried with them. And the people there had such a huge part in making me who I am. How do I even start to list the way my life has been impacted as a result of attending MBC and knowing the people there?
I will just list some of the ways I have been effected, for like with my parents, there have been so many years invested in me that there is no way to recall or mention them all.
-I was taught leadership by the great examples I had with the elders, Sunday School teachers, Awana and youth group leaders, and then by the opportunities they provided me by putting me in places of leadership. I saw that leading was serving.
-An interest in missions was developed and encouraged, both by the endless amount of missionaries they brought in to speak about their work and by providing opportunities and the means for mission trips, locally and overseas.
-I learnt by example the power of encouragement, and how important it is to encourage others.
-I saw the creativity and the enthusiasm of countless women at the chapel who by example (whether to a large group or one on one) gave me a deeper love and appreciation of our Savior.
Being married has changed me and helped to further develop who I am. It has made me see much more clearly (or for the first time!) my vast faults and weaknesses and selfishness.
My husband is a constant source of encouragement for me to continue in my walk with the Lord. He has encouraged old interests and hobbies, and has introduced new ones to me.
God has richly blessed my life with incredible people throughout the years that have pulled or pushed or walked along side with me. I am very blessed to have had all these people in my life.