Thursday, March 29, 2012

9 of 30: 10 People

If you haven't been following along from the beginning, start here.

9. List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how. (In no particular order.)

1. Stephenie Meyer - I read Twilight while I was pregnant with my first baby. It opened my eyes to how a very old legend can be made fresh, modern and different. It gave me the courage to continue with my novel which had been moldering in my computer.

2. There are several writers who made me want to become a writer. The first one that sent me on that path was Diana Wynne Jones. I loved her books when I was a child, and I still love her books now. It was on my bucket list to meet her someday, but I recently found out that she died last year on March 26th. I think I'll go cry by myself for a while.

3. My husband has been a huge influence in my life. He has made me want to be better, stronger and smarter. He is the greatest advocate for me and always encourages me to be confident in myself. He laughs at/with me when I'm being ridiculous and always "gets" my jokes. Recently, he has also been a sounding board for my writing. I love getting his feedback because he is answering from a reader's standpoint. I know if I can get him interested, I can feel good about writing something that will interest others.

4. Okay, I'll give the "church-y" response. Nephi, son of Lehi, is an inspiration for me. His writing speaks to me. He is a faithful man who, while tender and spiritual, could still be a strong leader. He had to reprimand his elder brothers several times and I'm sure that was not easy. We want to look up to our older brothers and sisters as our examples and it is a great disappointment when they fall far short of what they know to be right. 

5. My sister, Jen, has been influential in my life. She is a good and loving parent, a faithful woman and a strong person overall. She decided over a year ago that she was going to go through POST training and become a police officer. She graduates this Spring and has a conditional job offer with a department. I admire her because I know that what she wants to do is not an easy job and is often thankless. I am amazed at her strength and enthusiasm and that she is taking control of her life and doing what she really wants.

6. Ben and I are friends with another couple and their family. Brent and Amber have spent the last 5 months with their 7-year-old son at St. Jude's, and other hospitals, trying to cure the cancer raging through his body. Ben and I, though we cannot be with them in person to support them through this time, have followed their progress and prayed for them. I try to put myself in their place to understand what they must be going through and I find that I can't. The strength and faith that have kept them going through all of this is amazing to me. Watching them has made me want to be a better parent because our children are a gift.

7. My choir director, Gordon, is amazing. He has made music a huge part of his life and he obviously loves it. He has made my church choir a truly wonderful experience. I haven't been able to go for several weeks for various reasons and I know I love going because I miss it when I can't. I love singing and he always has something challenging for us to work on. I want to be a better singer because his musical selections demand it.

8. My friend Sarah is a great example to me. It seems from the moment she moved into our area and started coming to church, she has been actively involved in everything. She started a parent/child wiggle time for the winter months. She had lived in California prior to coming to Utah and could take her boys outside nearly every day. When she moved here, she found that the weather restricted outside time. Rather than suffer through the winter, she took the initiative and did something about it. She also started up a girl's night once a month for our area. I think more than anything else, I admire her ability to take a problem and actively pursue a solution. I want to do better with that in my own life.

9. My mother has always been an example to me. She is the voice of reason, wisdom, kindness and spiritual strength. I don't think I have ever met anyone with greater faith. She has said that others have called her "pious" in the attempt to hurt her, but I have never thought of her in that way. She humbly and quietly seeks out God and tries to emulate Him.

10. I'm going to throw a curve ball in here and, without naming any names at all, mention all those people who have been far from exemplary in my life. Those people who have hurt me or those I love, the ones who selfishly continue to do so, have influenced me too.  Their choices have made me want to run in the other direction, metaphorically speaking and even a little literally. Though I don't hate them, I want to have as little to do with them as possible. I want to learn from their mistakes and behavior so that I can be a better person. I also save a little hope that one day they will realize what damage they have done and make changes for the better.
On the flip side, there are also all those unnamed people; strangers, friends and family who have been a force for good in my life. Those people give me hope and strength as well.

Next Time: Describe your most embarrassing moment.


Jen said...

Awwww! Thanks Em!

Katscratchme said...

By golly! You DO read my blog! ;)


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