Saturday, April 27, 2013

10 People Who Have Influenced Me

OK, eleven

My husband, Richard
He is one of the most amazing people I have ever known.  He knows how to love and reach out to every type of person. He has a Christ-like love for all of our Heavenly Father's children. Loving those  deemed by others as unlovable or "difficult".   He is miles ahead of me in spiritual knowledge and I have been trying to play catch-up to him through all of our relationship. The sound of his voice is the most perfect sound in the world to me.
My daughters
I never imagined when I became a mother that my daughters would inspire me so much. I truly have been blessed with wonderful girls who inspire me in how they stand as witnesses of God wherever they are. 
My parents
My parents are of the highest caliber of parents and in-laws.  People are drawn to them.  They are fun to be around.  They have a special gift of making everyone of their acquaintances, friends, and family secretly feel like they are the "favorites" And we all kind of want to be their favorite because they are such great special people. 
"I Susan, having been born of goodly parents"
My younger brother by about 16 months. We have always been close. Close as in  we can finish each others sentences. He has this keen sense wisdom, maturity, mixed with a great sense of humor. When we see each other, even though it has been years, we pick up as if we haven't missed a day, talk about anything and everything, and love to laugh about it all... 
I love him, and just wished we didn't live 5 states apart. 
As a teenager and now even 30 years + later she is a true friend.  She is the kind of friend who will tell you the truth, when no one else will.  That meant more to me than anything else growing up. She always had my best interest at heart, even if the truth hurt at times, she would be honest and tell me in a kind caring way.  She is a beautiful artist.  In high school she drew a picture that was so astounding they hung it in the counselors office. She has had a lot of obstacles to overcome, and she has always inspired me.
The Carpenters, Barry Manilow, and John Denver
Whenever any of the above come on the radio, everyone has to be quiet so I can sing along!  I grew up loving the Carpenters and John Denver because I was the youngest in a house of teenage boys. That is what they had on the radio, and by the time I was in kindergarten, I had the songs in my head.  The music is timeless and beautiful, and I am just sad that these artists are not with us anymore to keep singing!
I love Barry Manilow as well although very few of my age get that.  Good music inspires me!
Liliana Lopez
A missionary companion of mine...We were a dynamic duo. She is from Uruguay and the night before we were transferred I had a dream and all I could see all night was the face of my future companion who I had never before seen or met.  We were put together the next day, and we were able to do amazing things together as missionary companions. I miss her, and have no idea how to find her as names change and are so much the same in South America.
Boyd K. Packer
One of my favorite Apostles of all time.  I have read every book he has ever written and love his style and the way he views life.  He inspired me during the early years of our marriage when our kids were small.  I took his example and have tried to raise my family after the pattern that he taught. 
Russell M. Nelson
He was the one who came out to Arkansas and set apart my dad when he was called into the Stake Presidency while I was on my mission. He raised 9 girls and one boy.  Can I tell you how many times while we were having our daughters, one after the other, that people commented on how Elder Nelson "had 9 girls before they got their boy"!
Elder Nelson came to a Stake Conference we had many years ago when I was pregnant with # 6, and receiving flack from those around us at "having so many children" I remember going to this conference with all of my pregnancy emotions and feeling overwhelmed. Life was very busy for us with our busy family of small children. Finances were tight, and my husband was as busy as ever, this time serving as the Scoutmaster in our ward. As Elder Nelson was giving his talk on family, and was talking about his family and his wife. He mentioned how they had 5 children before they could afford it, and while he served as the Scoutmaster in their ward.(the similarities were attention-catching) He then paused for a moment, and then spoke as if DIRECTLY to me and said, "the day will come when you will get down on your knees and thank the Lord God for the children you have!" 
 I knew he was inspired to say that for me.
Sheri Dew
Sheri Dew inspired me like no other woman leader of the Church had done up to that point. When she spoke, I felt as if the Savior was speaking directly to me through her.  She spoke in a style that resonated with my soul. No fluff, no sweetsy talk. She said it direct, and with power and the spirit. Just the way I like it! 
I wrote her a letter of thanks way back then, and surprisingly she wrote me back within the same week.  I still have those letters. They mean the world to me. 
 (I know we are not supposed to write to the leaders. So don't try this at home)
Julie B. Beck
Again, a powerful leader, every bit as great as Sheri Dew.  I don't have to tell you how Julie Beck inspired me, you know! I named this blog after one of her talks!  I just hope to be a small part of who they are.

Why am I talking about this? It is all part of my hopes and dreams list. See my original post {here}