Monday, June 11, 2012

When I grow up....

It has always been hard for me to say what I want to be when I grow up. When I was young I wanted to be Harriet Tubman. And a mom. Seriously. Then I just wanted to help people. I majored in education, nursing, and social work before getting my degree in Sociology. It doesn't help that I found ADD medication later in life:) I am finally realizing it wasn't lack of motivation or drive...it wasn't even my uncanny ability to get off track at the first shiney object that passes by....it is the fact that I measure success differently and always have. The people I admire, look up to, want to be like...aren't necessarily successful in a monetary way or even have careers that others hold in esteem. They are women who love Jesus and the love they have for him oozes out onto all of those around them. Why haven't I ever heard a young child say that when asked what they want to be when they grow up?!? Maybe it's just too wordy:) I have always just wanted to be at peace and love like Jesus. Is that too simple?! For many of us it is. But it works for me. Yesterday at our neighborhood pool I ran into my friend from church. She lives in the neighborhood too and she is what I want to be when I grow up. Not her exactly, like her only me. She loves like Jesus. I have watched this friend serve her family, her church family and her community. I have watched her selflessly give to others for years. I have watched her do it with joy and humility. The past year I watched her battle cancer. Face it head on with unwavering faith and grace. I watched her as she was an example for others of being in Christ in the good and the bad. I watched her fight cancer and win. She is truly one of the most beautiful women I know. Yesterday at our pool, she was with a woman and four small children. Looking at them from afar you might have thought it was her daughter and grandkids or a long lost friend. She doesn't have daughters so I wondered who this might be. She came over to visit with us. The young family with her was a lady and her children that she has invested in from our food panty that she plays a huge role in....even through the cancer.... They don't get the opportunity to swim from the trailer park neighborhood in the most affluent county in the state of Indiana so she brought them with her. Of course, she did, because she is Jesus with skin on. She bought them snacks from the concessions stand and she held onto the children as she taught them how to swim in the pool and she laughed and visited with their momma as she enjoyed watching her children swim and play. She brought her friend to the pool yesterday. Not because they have so much in common or grew up together. She brought her friend to the pool because she loves freely. She loves all. She invests in the lives of others and doesn't judge them for how or why they got to this place in their life but she loves them where they are at and she loves like Jesus. Huge and big and freely. My friend loves like Jesus. I want to be like her when I grow up. Next year I turn 40, I better figure it out quick. There are real heros around. Real everyday role models for our children to look up too. They don't always earn 6 figures or play sports or even hold a job at all. They may not make a dime. They are real everyday flawed people who try like heck to love others. Who love others when they are tired and it's not easy. They love others when they have a day to themselves and could be anywhere they want to be. They love in the good and the bad. They love like Jesus. And when we talk with our children about what they want to be when they grow up, you can bet your sweet seat that Mrs. Kim's name will come up.

3 comments:

Amy Cornwell said...

I love it!! Kim is a wonderful giving woman (as are you).

Kelly Haemmerle said...

Jen....Wonderfully written and beautifully said. Thank you. I am going to post this on my church blog at http://hinklecreekfriends.blogspot.com/

I hope that's okay. Our church has been praying for Kim, so I know they will love what you have written.

Anonymous said...

i love your blog, could you give us an update on how all your kids are doing