Friday, November 12, 2010

Thirty in Thirty: Ten

Don't aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally ~David Frost

I think all too many times people equate success with financial gain or with achieving what everyone else has: the big house, the cute, smart husband, the perfect children. I think it is important to have someone in your life that reminds you that success in not measured by that, but rather, by doing what you love.

I am overly blessed to have that person in my life. I have known her about fourteen years and she was my high school music teacher. We were close in high school, when my grandmother died I went and spent the day in her classroom, we went on trips to Dallas to pick up props for musicals, ran all over town trying to track down FedEx to pick up backdrops, you know the typical high school stuff.

At the end of my senior year, however, I started going to her church (the large Methodist church in my hometown) with my best friend. She was the youth choir director and the best friend dragged me along. Please don’t be fooled, just because I said she was my high school music teacher does not mean that I sang, I was in Stage Crafts and ran the sound for our show choir. I do not sing. Well I do, but not well, so me joining a youth choir was nuts. I would have never done it if it wasn’t for this teacher and that best friend. It ended up being a lot of fun, and I don’t know if she loved me enough to put up with my singing or I don’t sing as bad as I thought, but I stuck with it through graduation.

I had been going to the youth group for awhile, but never actually went to “church” as in Sunday mornings, or we would go to the Baptist church for Sunday morning and the Methodist church for youth on Sunday nights. Because of youth choir and us singing in church some Sunday mornings I had the opportunity to experience the Methodist church. I grew up “Baptist.” I put the quotation marks because that was the church I was most likely to go to on the very rare occasion that I went to church growing up. VBS was always at the Baptist church and I think I remember going to one Sunday church in my entire childhood, maybe a few others if the VBS kids were singing or something.

Well I loved the Methodist church. I started going there all the time and a few months in joined the church and was baptized. That summer I offered to help with VBS. The girl I was babysitting also went to that church and went to VBS every summer, so instead of sleeping in and picking her up after VBS I just went with her and helped my teacher, who was quickly becoming an adult friend, with the craft area. I did this for the next few years.

The summer after my sophomore year she was asked to be the dean of Joy Camp. Now this was my kind of camp. It was for third through fifth graders and it wasn’t camp like you would think of camp. It was church camp, but rather than hiking and canoeing and all that icky outdoorsy stuff we learned about God through the arts, in air conditioning. I, along with some other of her friends from church, including her brother and some other former students, got recruited into being the “counselors” for the camp,

I cannot express how much fun this was. We did the camp for six years and I’m really not sure who had more fun: the adults or the kids. Those are some of my favorite summer memories. I won’t go into some of the inside jokes on here, but if you went to camp you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Through my adult life she has been a constant. She is one person I can spill everything too and she always lets me know that it will be okay. Not in the sense of “oh, there there everything will be fine,” but a lot of times it is more like, I’ve been there and I made it through, you are strong, so will you. When all my friends were getting married around me and I wasn’t she was the one that told me the story of her and her husband and the timing of it. When my engagement was broken, it wasn’t until I talked it out with her that I had the strength to take off my wedding ring. Now that I am wanting to take this crazy leap of faith into starting a non profit she is there reminding me that what I want to do is something that is needed and that regardless of how much money I don’t make from it that the rewards that I will get will be better than any paycheck. She is also the one that reminds me that you don’t have to have a man in order to have a baby (and reminds me that I’m not getting any younger!).

I know that not matter what I choose to do with my life she will be there to support me in every way and for that I am very grateful.

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