A recent morning devotion sitting under a Colorado sky with a cool breeze ( not wind OKLA friends), and a cup of coffee made me pause. It talked about leading by example and asked who, in (My) life had led me by example. Example is different than teaching me something or impacting my life. Example is the person who lived what they taught me.
I thought immediately of the colleagues who shaped me as a teacher. I can rattle off their names in a second. My former classroom reeked of their influence and even now, subbing and instructional coaching, I still draw from them. I even called one of them last night for reassurance about a recommendation I was making to my current boss.
I thought of my childhood mentors, most of them waiting for me in Heaven. Versal Denton, who knew the scriptures inside out, who we would see praying before class and would look to the heavens before answering our adolescent questions. Who modeled what she taught even if I ran into her at the grocery store. She, who years later would hold me in prayer as I buried my first grandchild. She battled cancer and a host of other health issues before going to Heaven, but her example never wavered. And most of you have never heard of her.
As a young wife, mother and lay person, I encountered many women who led by example. Brenda Holder, the quintessential pastors wife who taught me that pastor’s wives are just people too.
Jean Cobb, who would teach me about prayer and resources. She knew so much scripture but led by example to seek counsel.
Estes Eubanks and Rosie Yandell who taught this Lay Person that she had a valuable ministry despite not being “in the ministry”. Their example ( and trust in me) inspired me to press on to my best.
Dee McNeil, Loretta Wideman, Tina Morrow, women who led me to see the beauty in sacrifice. Tina, 15 years my junior, would show me how grace and mercy can save relationships.
Steve Green sang a song in the 90’s, “May all who come behind us find us faithful, may the light of our devotion light their way, and the footprints that we leave, lead them to believe and the life we live inspire them to obey…”
Thinkin’ about MY example today.