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Monday, October 13, 2014

The Two Hundredth Blog Article: Deeply Inspired By Mom

Lessons Learned

The Two Hundredth Blog Article: Deeply Inspired By Mom

I remember hearing “no, it’s just not a great idea” probably only once when I was growing up, and that was in response to my request for a horse. I had even saved about $125 and had spoken with the neighbors down the road about renting a stall in their small barn.  I was going to help clean their barn in exchange for a portion of the rent and teach very expensive guitar lessons to my sister for the remaining rental fees. It was a perfect plan in my twelve year old mind and I felt a pinch stymied by the resistance I encountered when I laid out the details for my parents.  They encouraged instead riding lessons, saving the money, and playing guitar with my sister just for fun.  The direction of the plan shifted quickly and easily to acquiring suitable attire for riding lessons and for fun at the stable and then involved engaging my sister in riding adventures while putting on hold the guitar.
“Yes, you can!” was the response most familiar to my ears through the growing up years and as I result, I believed I could. Affirmation brings sunshine and nourishing water to a child’s growing confidence, and it was never in short supply in our home. Affirmation such as this leads to confidence which leads to a willingness to take a risk or to try something new or attempt something requiring more courage than perhaps you would ordinarily believe you possessed.  My parents modeled confidence because they had grown up affirmed.  We saw them regularly step out in faith and tackle very challenging tasks in life and, by watching them, we learned the power of affirmation, encouragement, and support.  We learned to pray and to trust and to step out boldly, laying bravely aside the fears that could paralyze and swallow up all daring efforts.  To try is not the absence of fear, but rather it is the presence of trust and a willingness to believe.  “Yes, you can.” Get up. Go on. Reach out. Speak up. Yes you can. Only your doubt can limit your possibilities. Stand up. Plunge in. Raise your hand. Keep at it. Yes you can.  I have lived this way. I have raised my children this way. I have instructed my students this way.

So two weeks ago, at 84 years of age, Mom stood before a large, lovely gathering of women and spoke on the topic of footprints we follow and footprints we leave. She spoke on the power of affirmation and the call on each of our lives to pour into those around us of the great gifts we have each been given. With an antique basin and pitcher which had belonged to her grandmother  as her props, she encouraged the women to pour into others as her dear grandmother had lavishly and continually poured into her life the priceless, powerful  gifts of patience, kindness, generosity, gentleness, selflessness, and love. All of these gifts affirm and bless and help us feel confident to reach beyond ourselves and jump a little higher. Yes you can. You can be a guest speaker at 84. You can be an affirmer, a pourer, and one who speaks encouraging words that mean yes you can into the hearts of those around you. You can. Yes you can.