As I sat at the Corbin desk at 4am this morning I was so stirred by the spirit of God. I love that when we honor people it draws His presence. Through tears I listened to the end of that message and started thinking of people in my life that have inspired me. People who are every-day heroes, doing the small things consistently. People that have chosen to put others before themselves and change the world through love and obedience to Jesus.
The first several people that popped into my head were the women who have invested in my life. I felt prompted by the Holy Spirit to take the new few blog entries to honor those who have discipled, sharpened, challenged and changed my life. I am forever thankful for their influence in my life and each one has marked me in a different way. Today I want to start with Jennifer Shively, my mentor and leader in high school who to this day is one of my dearest friends.
Jen has modeled how to submit to her husband and honor him through every circumstance. Not only that, but I've also gotten to see her honor her parents, friends and co-leaders. Watching her honor rather than criticize has changed my life. What a privilege it has been to see the fruit of honoring others in her life! She chooses to go low in order to lift others up. She makes a way for others rather than trying to make a name for herself. By choosing to put others above herself she empowers and supports those around her. I want to be like that!
Additionally, the way Jen loves her kids and lays her life down for people astounds me. She contends for her children's destinies and callings daily through prayer and life-on-life investment. On a practical level, this means she stops taking phone calls at 3pm when her kids get home so she can be fully present and enjoy time with them. But she doesn't stop with her family. She truly loves the person in front of her like Jesus does! She gives generously and loves extravagantly. Rather than dismissing another person's need, she helps meet them, even when it means calling on the community to help. This woman knows how to love. And I am forever challenged by this!
Jen, you are my hero. I love you and value you and am so thankful for your investment in my life. You deserve to be honored.
|Jen and I my senior year of high school (2009).|