Thursday, October 15, 2009

What inspires you?


What a great thing.  To be inspired.  I was told recently that I was inspiring.  It was such a wonderful compliment.  I started to ponder who and what inspires me.

As I sat under a sky blanketed in a thick white mass of clouds that appeared seamless like a snowfall in the sky, I thought about this.  God.  

God inspires me.  Just looking at all that He created inspires me to appreciate the beauty around me.  I have looked at people differently the past couple years.  Learning to appreciate their differences in appearance and in personality, nature has inspired me to grow.  I am also inspired by many people. 

My Grandmother inspired me as a child.  She was a devout God fearing Christian.  I witnessed her faithful prayer life.  She was a tiny woman.  Barely 5 feet tall and under 90 pounds.  I would watch her gracefully get on her knees, kneeling beside her perfectly made bed and pray every day.  Her dedication to the Lord was unshakeable and her faithfulness was like a rock.  It was always there, never wavering for a moment.  Her ability to quote scripture, her daily rituals of bible reading and singing praises to the Lord inspired me to also be a Christ follower.  She took me to church each Sunday dressed in my "Sunday Best",  hair neatly curled looking neat as a pin.  She was dedicated in raising me to know the Lord.  Whether it was raining, or snowing out, windy or hot, we would make it to Church - no matter what.

My friend and former small group leader Amy has been an inspiration to me for many years.  She is strong, energetic, intense, intelligent, wise, funny, beautiful and has an innate ability to love people.  I have seen her handle situations with a cool head, a diplomatic compass and deep sense of fairness.  She has poured love onto people who are not so lovable.  She has been a fearless leader in both women's small groups and kids small groups.  She inspires me.  She has a way of taking you out of your comfort zone and pushing you to be more.  She is an inspiration to many and I am not sure that she knows this. She has blessed me and for her friendship I am thankful.

Last year a little girl named Alyssa Clark inspired me.  She made my heart swell.  She was in a Kids Small Group at church and she was instrumental in a fundraising effort to help our family.  We were so touched and blessed by this little girl and her pure heart.  The innocence of a child, the purest of motives to help someone in need spoke to my soul.  I can't tell you how much I took away from the meeting with these kids that night.  They were all 8-9 years of age and were asking me deep questions that adults had not even asked of me.  One girl asked me "How has this experience tested your faith in God?"  One asked, "Were you mad at God, just a little when you had to leave your home?"  she then went on to say "If you were, that is okay.  He understands.  We are not perfect.  He made us this way."  Inspiring.  Truly inspiring.  

I was so touched by these kids that I was moved to become a Kids Small Group Leader this year.  I did not do this for what I can offer them, but rather what I can take away from their innocent and pure hearts.  I only hope that I can inspire them to get to know Christ and desire a personal relationship with Him.

I am inspired by another little girl named Haley and her family.  I met Haley when I owned a Boutique in Foothill Ranch.  Her family came in and it was like a fresh spring breeze followed them.  They were funny, energetic, delightful and fresh.  There was something different about them.  They were all so happy.  So lively.  They made you want to be with them, near them.  Haley is a talented young artist.  Her smile lights up a room.  Her eyes hold a magical gleam - that of sunshine.  With the help of her mom Aimee she started a Tee Shirt Line called Haley Bop Tees.  A portion of the proceeds she donates to an organization called "Art With A Heart".  She reminded me so much of me at that age.  She has her own sense of style.  She is poised and so intelligent, yet a little girl at the same time.  I know Haley will do great things.  I am blessed to be able to watch her as she grows.  Her mom and dad are the most positive individuals I have ever met.  Her dad is witty and amazing - his ability to view life with lenses that will not become clouded with negativity is admirable.   Her mom is soft, beautiful and chic, kind and energetic.  I only hope that I can encourage my boys the way that Aimee and Eric do Haley and Gage.  I wish they lived closer by...but we will make it to see them one day in beautiful South Carolina!  Inspiring.  I will move there one day.  It is my dream.  They inspire me to follow my dreams.

My mom has always been an inspiration to me as well.  My mom is very organized.  She is sharp, stylish, loving, compassionate and kind.  My mom taught me at an early age that you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar.  She taught me the fine art of arguing one's point in a composed and dignified manner.  She taught me to operate with a cool head and not to get "fired up" from the heart.  I have learned an insurmountable amount of skills from her and she continues to inspire me.  I strive to be as organized as she is, but know that I will never achieve her level of expertise!  I am just wired differently!  I know what I want things to look like - I just have a hard time getting them there!  I lack the ability to INSPIRE those who live with me to keep things in their little bins with the cute labels on them!

I am inspired by a lot of people and things as I am sure you are too.  It does your heart good to take a moment to reflect on who and what gives you inspiration each day.  I encourage you to take a moment out of your busy life and reflect on this.  It is nice.  It helps you to feel motivated and for me cleared my vision a bit.  Like wiping the smudges off of my glasses.  It helps you to strive to be an inspiration to those around you.  I think that being inspirational is a wonderful gift, one that you can give as well as receive. 

Does someone inspire you?  Do they know?  Take a minute to tell them!
Now go and be an inspiration to someone - who knows you may already be and not know it!
Smile and the world smiles back!