Looking up …

Filed under: bardenisms,family,friends,powerkidz,RAY,word of God — admin at 9:30 pm on Thursday, October 2, 2008

As most of you know – Jared and I work with the PowerKidz on Wednesday nights at church. PM works with the youth group, RAY. Last night her message was on mentors. I heard a few of the kids coming up to compliment her after the message and when we grabbed ice cream at McD’s I asked her about it. She said that she told the kids about the importance of mentors and had expressed her gratitude to her mentors, past and present. I didn’t even hear the message and I’ve been thinking about it.

I have a mentor. I’ll bet you can guess who she is. My dear Aunt L. My mom always used to joke that I must have been Aunt Lori’s kid and not hers. I credit a lot of my self confidence to Aunt L. I was a goofy kid – looks – personality – you name it – I was goofy. Aunt L always helped me to be proud of who I was. One of the most important things I remember her telling me was – Danielle – you can have a boyfriend any day of the week – all you have to do is lower your standards. I used to get bummed out about all my friends dating these cute guys that I wanted to date. L would always tell me that little snippet. She helped me have the self-confidence that is very rare at that age.

L used to be our youth group leader at church – when I was in 8th grade we signed True Love Waits cards. I remember that moment like it was yesterday – L talked about what signing those cards really mean – about the promise you are making to yourself, your future spouse, and to God. I wish I still had that card – but I had that reminder written on my heart. L took time to talk about the tough stuff with us – the things that might make you uncomfortable to talk about.

L is one of the biggest supporters of me and my journey to being a photographer. She has a God given gift with words. She wrote all the blurbs on my webpage – she even “helped” me write my editor-in-chief spot when I was in high school – and by “helped” I mean wrote. She researches for me – encourages me – pushes me – promotes me – supports me.

She started the TMJ Relief Fund – she sent out prayers and prayers for me. She wrote me encouraging notes – she believed with me that God would heal me.

She is a strong woman of God and a woman I can turn to when times are tough. She prays. She is outspoken. She is bold. She is a mother. A new grandmother. A wife. A daughter. A sister. An aunt. A friend. A teacher. She asks for help. She cries out to God.

She is one of the reasons that I am who I am today.

I encourage you to take a minute to think about your mentor – thank them – and remember that your mentor is preparing you for that day when someone turns to you and looks for advice – encouragement – love.

Thank you Aunt L.

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