by D'Ann Mateer“You’re the inspiration.”
How many times have you said those words? And singing Chicago’s lyrics doesn’t count!
As Lisa reminded at the beginning of the week, inspiration moves beyond admiration. Inspiration compels us to take action, to move forward, to surge ahead. And as Debra brought to light yesterday, often this is someone whose life intersects with ours.
One of the most inspirational people in my life isn’t a well-known personality. She isn’t a missionary or an actress or an athlete. She is an incredible musician, but relatively few have heard her sing and play.
She balances her roles as mother and wife and teacher and friend with amazing acuity. And in doing so, she inspires me. She makes me want to deepen my relationship with the Lord, my husband, my children. Her example urges me to excellence in all that I do, but demonstrates a desire for integrity and holiness and the glorification of God over and above everything else.
For almost 18 years, she has been my friend, sticking around even when I wasn’t the most likeable woman in the world. And because of that, I am able to revel in others’ friendship, to love them in spite of their flaws.
Her journey has now taken her to a rural life, one she has embraced with amazing willingness for a city girl! And even in that I am inspired. I want to do as she has done and seek the joy and blessing in unexpected turns in the road, to create new dreams instead of mourning the old ones.
So as we close our week of “Inkspirations,” I want to know: has anyone ever said you inspire them? If so, why did they say that? Was because of something you consciously did or said or something you didn't realize you did or said? How did hearing that from someone else impact your life? And if you can't think of anything else to say, you can tell us your favorite Chicago song, instead!
I'm not sure anyone has used the exact word "inspired" but I have at times been told they can relate to what I shared. That means a lot because I want my blog writing to mean something to others because it is from my heart. It's a risk to put myself out there at times but gratifying to discover I'm not alone in my feelings or experiences.ReplyDelete
I know exactly what you mean. Hitting the POST button is always be bit daunting, but nice to find out when you've encouraged someone.
D'Ann, thanks for sharing your friend with us. I have to be honest and say that sometimes it's hard to be 'in the shadow' of such a friend. They don't put us there, but our own insecurities do. Obviously not the case with you but I've seen it happen. Our enemy would have us feel that way, right?
I actually went looking at a discography of Chicago. Trying to pick a favorite was too hard. The songs were such of part of my teen years, they each bring back amazing memories. Maybe 25 or 6 to 4? Who knew brass could rock like that! For the 'sigh' factor, I'd say "If you leave me now".
Sending hugs out today to all our friends and my fellow Inkies. you Make Me Smile!
Yes, Cindy, that kind of feedback keeps us going when it isn't easy, doesn't it! What a gracious God to give us tiny glimpses into how He is using us.ReplyDelete
And yes, Debra, when I met my friend I had major insecurities--but I love that the Lord has worked in my heart over the years so that now I love her for who she is and I know that I am who God made me to be, too! I no longer compare the specifics of our lives, but her character inspires me to press on toward the high calling of Christ!
A number of people have told me that my commitment to writing and the fact that I've actually finished a book inspires them. I've also had people mention that my dancing and choreography inspire them. What I treasure most, though, is those few times when people have told me that my level of love for and intimacy with Christ inspires them.ReplyDelete
This subject has had me thinking a lot about inspirational people in my life. One of them is a woman named Charlotte Hathaway. She taught my Sunday school class for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade. Every week we would study a Bible story, make up a skit about it, and perform it for church. I know that time had a great influence on my life and my love for the arts.
Lovely post, D'Ann. Inspiration is a funny thing, isn't it? I've had a couple people tell me I inspire them because I'm always cheerful and upbeat. Of course, the first thing I think is "You should see me when no one else is around!" Because I have some deep-seeded insecurities that love to come out and poke me at inopportune moments.ReplyDelete
One of my oldest (we met in high school) and closest friends has physical challenges. People are always telling her what an inspiration she is, which she hates. "I'm just living my life. How is that inspiring?"
I bring that up not to discourage looking up to people, but to point out that we never know what about our own lives might inspire someone else. We're all little Gospel lights, (hopefully) shining God's love on everyone who sees us :+}
I think Jen and Dina both make excellent points which come back to the same thing: most inspiring people are simply those living their lives. They don't see anything particularly special about themselves. And I think that is part of what inspires others to persevere or try something new or press in to Jesus. Inspiring people don't call attention to themselves on purpose. They simply walk in a manner worthy of the high calling of Christ!ReplyDelete
Oh, Chicago. My first real date in Pittsburgh, Pa. with a guy that was so sweet. Memories . . . okay, I'm back.ReplyDelete
Inspiration. Hmm. I dont' like to think of myself in those terms for some reason. Probably because I have difficulty thinking someone would really find ME inspiring. Guess I have trouble accepting compliments. But another word for inspiration is encouragment and I do think of myself as an Encourager.
I encourage in my counseling, writing, and family life. I encourage others who've coped with the mental illness of a family member and I've been encouraged by them as well.
My favorite song by Chicago would have to be, "Feelin' Stronger Every Day."
Thanks D'Ann. I like your thoughts and hearing others on this subject.