9/30 List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how.
(In no specific order)
1. My husband- Chris has been my rock. He is always supportive and loving but that's not what has influenced me the most (although they are great things). He is calm. He is patient; I am not. He can take a step back and look at the big picture, no matter the circumstance. I don't. I am in the fight to win it, I get so caught up in the moment. I am getting better but he has a huge affect on me. He is silently teaching me to be still. To listen-to be calm. I love that about him.
2. Natalie- Although I cannot say we are close friends she has made me stop and think about life and motherhood in a way I didn't know existed. I met her out in Hawaii through mutual friends. Since then I have listened to her words and they have made a huge impact in my life. She is truly inspiring. She speaks truth and she isn't afraid to be honest. To me, that is huge. She has no fear of it. I think the majority of people are afraid to be honest because of the response they may get. Natalie doesn't. She is always trying to live life to the fullest. Her baby boy went to Heaven early and she chose to be happy and spread love. She has shown me that you can graciously endure trials. She makes me want to be better and not look at trials like the end but more like a mountain to climb. I also believe that she is not perfect, just because I probably made it sound like she is. :) Check out her blog here.
3. Amanda- My little sister and I are close-not just in age. It definitely hasn't always been this way, in fact, we used to fight ALL of the time. Mom used to tie our wrists together when we did so our fighting soon ended. But then we grew up and realized that we liked each other. Amanda has never cared a whole lot what other people think of her or what she's doing. Wow, I admire that. I have always loved that about her. She has had an impact on me in that way. A lot of my self esteem comes from what other's think of me. Stupid I know. I'm working on it and Susan is helping.
4. Jill- My mother in law. Now, let's be honest having another family join yours isn't always easy. But Chris' family welcomed me with open arms. I am not saying they are perfect, but they are very loving and sincere. Since I met Jill, I've noticed a very strong testimony in her. It shows through her actions and her words. She always thinks to say a prayer first, I just curse. She thinks to give the temple a name, I just cry. I have never met a woman with more faith.
5. Owen- My one year old has opened my eyes to see the world in a way I never thought possible. He see's the kindness, the honesty, the trust and the love in others. He makes me want to be better, to be great, to be fantastic. He is not always my favorite and sometimes my my absolute favorite. He gives me a whole lot of strength. Even though he is so little, I feel this inspiration from him. I feel like I could conquer the world because he believes in me. Just the way he looks at me and runs to me. I am beyond blessed to have this crazy, sweet boy in my life.
6. Stephen Waite- Growing up I hated to read; like.. cry when I had to for homework. It wasn't because I wasn't good. I just thought there was so much more I could be doing than staring at a dumb book. Every test I took based off of a book was only passed thanks to SparkNotes. I swear to you I did not read a book until my Junior year of high school. That's where Mr. Waite comes in.. He was my English Lit. teacher and a great one at that. He helped me think about reading in a whole new light. I truly am grateful for his influence in my life. I can't say I love to read, but I like to.
7. Chris Garner- my Seminary teacher. I had Bro Garner all four years of high school and this man helped me strengthen my testimony. (I don't think he know's this). He knew his stuff. He was fun. He made learning the gospel an action, not just a lecture you would normally get in Sunday School. I remember thinking that he made me want to know more about the gospel and share it with others. (I think just that sentence is pretty outstanding for a teenager). ha I always thought being a missionary would be so boring.. remember I'm just being honest.? :) I did. Who would want to talk about baptism and fasting all the time? Yuck. Bro Garner made it so much more than that. He helped me change my perspective. It was more than just talking about fasting and baptism. Missionary work and this gospel is a life changing experience. It can quite literally turn someone's life around in the right direction. That is where my testimony begins. And he sparked it.
8. My ancestors- I don't have one particular person in mind but I know of their stories. My grandma has worked her whole life to figure out who these people were. Every time we go to her house, we are told of the great things my ancestors have accomplished. At first I was so bored and could care less. But growing up helps you realize you actually aren't the smartest person in the room. Since then I have asked for stories and names. And I've got to admit, I've got some pretty BA people in my family. :) Some of them crossed the United States during winter without their husbands, some sailed from India while their children died, one was Abraham Lincoln's brother. (That's pretty BA right?) This is where I came from. I came from strong, brave and righteous men and women. Just knowing where I came from influences me. I somehow feel like I can't let them down. I need to be just as strong and righteous, if not more.
9. My parents- I finally am beginning to understand what they have been talking about the last ten years of my life. The "you'll understand someday" and "just wait til you have a kid". I honestly have so much respect for them now. (I can't believe they didn't try to sell me) They have influenced my every move; doesn't always mean I've made the best ones. They taught me right from wrong, common sense principals and all about the gospel. I think this could turn into a whole other blog post.. so I will just say they have influenced me more in my life than anyone else.
10.This may sound funny, but Ellen. Not because she's gay or because she is wealthy. But because she can make people laugh. She is constantly giving money, laughter and love. Of course I don't know her personally but I do watch her show and every time, without a doubt, she makes someone laugh. During postpartum I would always try to catch her show just because she made me laugh. It sincerely made my day. This simple and silly influence reminds me that life is short. There are people that need uplifting and love. "Be kind to one another".