Who are your friends? Take a look around. Why do you love them? Why do you hang out with them? Are they friends who make you feel encouraged and energized when you are with them? Or do you feel drained and discouraged?
I can honestly say my friends inspire me. Not just one, but several. That is why I chose to hang out with them. This is why I love them.
It is impossible for me to stay the same when I leave them.
- My friend Jeanie just told me yesterday about how she has completely changed her entire family’s diet by eliminating the dreaded effects of wheat. She has inspired me to take a hard look at what my family is eating and how I can work to improve our diets.
- My friend Kristy just graduated nursing school, as a single mom with four kids she is homeschooling. That is inspiring.
- My friend Rachelle, has suffered tremendous loss in her life and spends her days pouring out to other hurting mommies while loving and homeschooling her five amazing children. Inspiring.
- My friend Shannon has an extraordinary gift for photography, and her home is decorated to perfection. Being near her and watching her create is inspiring.
- My friend Johnnie is on her final year to her Doctorate from Liberty University. I have watched her go through this painstaking process, while raising a very large family, loving and serving her pastor husband, and running a business. She inspires me.
- My friend Christi has a pantry and freezer loaded with healthy, organic, and wholes foods. It inspires me.
- My friend Kim started weight training a year ago and looks fantastic! Inspiring indeed.
- My friend Suzanne just won first place in a marathon. Along with adopting two beautiful girls from a Liberian orphanage, she has inspired EVERYONE.
- My friend Terri is raising ten beautiful, loving, and servant-minded children and manages daily a family meal time together with a lovely table setting. Inspiring!
- My friend Joyce just lost her home to a house fire from lightening, her grace and dignity in the aftermath has been inspiring.
- My daughter Bethany studies classic literature for pleasure reading, loves the opera, and translates the New Testament from the Greek. Her life inspires me.
Reading hard literature and digging deep into the Great Books has become a passion for many of my friends as they meet monthly in a Great Books reading group. Though I haven’t attended the class, it’s on my bucket list to do one day. I watch them from afar and I am inspired.
These women and many others I call friends, don’t complain about their lives. They don’t gripe about their husbands, aren’t current on the latest gossip from the View or The Talk. I suspect most of them do not know what is happening on Desperate Housewives. They are strong, healthy, vibrant women. Though they each have hardships and challenges to face, they serve others and love deeply those around them; without complaining and without grumbling.
By God’s grace, for this season, He has allowed me the opportunity to run with Champions. These women and many more I haven’t listed are leading themselves and in turn, modeling for others. I want to be around them because they inspire me. Whether I am inspired to pick up fresh produce from the farmers market, or a piece of challenging literature, or a ten-pound dumbbell, watching their lives, and how they live…inspires mine.
About ten years ago, my husband and I were first introduced to John Maxwell at a live leadership event in Dallas, Texas. We can honestly say that his simple teaching with his clear, easy going approach was revolutionary to our thinking. The course of our lives changed for the better as we learned that you can’t lead others, until we first lead ourselves. After reading more from the Maxwell Leadership Bible and 21 Irrefutable laws of leadership, we knew that it was imperative that we surrounded ourselves with like-minded families who wanted to grow personally, professionally, academically, and spiritually.
My friends challenge me and don’t even know it.
Who are you inspiring? Ask the Lord to show you an area in your life that you can improve on and be an inspiration to others.