1 a : to influence, move, or guide by divine or supernatural inspiration b : to exert an animating, enlivening, or exalting influence on
2 a archaic : to breathe or blow into or upon b archaic : to infuse (as life) by breathing
3 a : to communicate to an agent supernaturally b : to draw forth or bring out
4 : inhale 1
5 a : bring about, occasion
6 : to spread (rumor) by indirect means or through the agency of another
Look at what I highlighted in red! Look at that! Reading that made me realize how powerful it is to inspire or be inspired. Monday mornings often require inspiration for me. I weekly feel like I need someone to infuse energy and life into me. If someone could just breathe into me fresh ideas and perspective, maybe then I could start the week off with a burst of creativity and strength.
When I was single and the Lord was preparing me to be a wife, He brought the perfect person into my life to inspire me and influence me. Her name was Casey Marchman. She was from Macon, Georgia but living in Fort Worth, Texas while her husband was getting his Masters from the Seminary. She was preparing to be a Pastor's wife. I adored her. My boyfriend was also attending Seminary and his best friend was Casey's husband. At the time I thought this guy I was dating was going to be my husband and that I was also going to be a Pastor's wife. HA! God knew better than that! :) Regardless, God was preparing me to be a wife. Casey grew up in a Home where hospitality was the heartbeat of their home. Casey is the one who taught me how to make sweet tea. She taught me that having ingredients on hand for chocolate chip cookies was a must. Any time someone showed up unexpectedly, she always had sweet tea and cookies on hand. Casey is a woman of God I can look at it and know that God specifically placed in my life to inspire me. I am forever blessed because of her and so is my husband's belly. :)
There have been many beautiful ladies come into my life, at just the right time, to sweep me off my feet and breathe life into me. When Josiah was fifteen months old and I was pregnant with Ava Beth, I met another precious woman of God who became one of my best friends. As a young Mother, she was inspiring as I learned to discipline. Then there were those women who were amazing cooks and were gracious to share their recipes. What woman doesn't love to be inspired in the kitchen. When we finally find our own way of planning a menu, we also find confidence and joy as we take care of our families.
My own Mother inspired me my whole life to always look like a lady. It was important to her to make sure when we were out as a family, we looked nice. Our home life may have been falling apart but my Mom always made sure we didn't feel like it was. I recently heard someone say "When you are out and about, the way you look reflects on where you have come." I am glad I never "looked" like what I came from. Even on a day when I feel like dirt, I make sure I don't look like dirt. It's okay to want to be comfortable. I am not saying we should all wear stilettos to pick up some groceries. I am saying when we take care of ourselves and we dress our best, we act different. If I haven't put any effort into my dress, I don't usually put effort into the way I treat the day. Still to this day, my Mom inspires me to take care of myself and to look like I care about the day I am going into. That's her gift and I pray I get it!
As I think about those who inspire me in the present day, I think about how I have to desire inspiration. In order to be inspired, you have to desire! If you don't think there is anyone in this world who can help you, teach you or inspire you, you are not a candidate for inspiration. Pride often keeps us from being inspired. Jealousy keeps us from being inspired. Anger keeps us from being inspired. Depression (often a result of anger) keeps us from being inspired. And one of the most important things I have realized in my own life is that surrounding myself with those who have found success in life are the people I am inspired by. If we operate out of insecurity, we won't put ourselves with people who have succeeded. Instead we put ourselves around those who are the same. I want to be inspired as a wife, mother, homeschooler, friend. So I want to surround myself with those who seem to be getting it right. Let me explain.
Just recently I have connected with a beautiful woman named Lauren. Our daughters attend the same dance school and we have seen each other all year long but did not connect until last month. When we did finally begin chatting in the lobby while our daughters were in their dance classes, we instantly connected. Those moments are so few and far between that when it happens, I recognize instantly. Sadly, Lauren and her family are moving to Dallas. Yes, DALLAS! The place I am from and would love to go back to someday (Please God!). Since we know our time together here in Austin is short, we have crammed tons of phone talking in and this Thursday night we are going to dinner. Okay so back to my original point. :) Lauren asks lots of questions about who I am and where I have come from. She is genuinely interested in getting to know me. She is a listener. I struggle in that department at times but I am getting better. When I talk to her, I hang up the phone feeling special. I feel like I matter in this world. She is full of encouragement and is not afraid to compliment. Another thing I love about her is her mature relationships with other women. She has solid, firm relationships and the more I get to know her, the more I learn that she is a loyal and dedicated friend. She is someone I want in my life because she inspires me.
I have gushed and gushed over my friend Kim many times to many of you who read this blog. In fact if she would let me, I would gush to her about her but she wouldn't have it. I met Kim in the blogging world about five years ago and the Lord has used her in my world as a Homeschooler in the biggest way ever. She has breathed life into me, influenced me, infused creativity and knowledge and got me through some of my worst days as a Homeschool teacher. She has a way about her that is hard to explain. I hate when our conversations on the phone end because the entire time she has filled my cup and I don't want it to be over. She has a way of saying things I need to hear without it making me get puffed up. She has a force about her that makes me want to write when she speaks. And you know what? I often do! She says stuff to me all the time that I write down! She gives me hope, support and she encourages me like I have never been encouraged before by another woman. She is a few years older than me (just a few) and that instantly makes me respect her because she knows what 34 years old feels like and she knows what I feel today, I might not feel when I am 35 or 36. As women we change constantly and I love that I get to hear about how God has changed her. I want to be like her. How blessed I am that I actually have met someone I want to be like!! She is my living hero!
And that's just it! As women, do we have other women in our life we want to be like? We should! Instead of it being a scary thing or something that makes us unsatisfied with our own lives or makes us feel insecure, we should embrace it. We should be looking for women who have found victory in life! We should look for over comers! Within all of us there is a part of our DNA that longs to be used and longs to inspire others but we can't inspire unless we are inspired.
So today I have a charge for anyone reading! Who inspires you? If you have someone who inspires you, tell them! Tell them how God is using them in your life! If you don't have anyone who inspires you, look for someone! When we look for inspiration, we will find it!
Now go be inspired!
(I have already sent three texts to three different women in my life who inspire me in one way or another. I shared with them specifically how they inspire me. I encourage you to do the same! As women, we all need to feel special some times so let her know TODAY that she is special to you!)