Friday, September 20, 2013
The reasons vary, but there is a constant theme. The "inspirational" women mention challenge, love and, well, find a way to influence people, in a variety of ways.
It made me think about the inspirational women in my life. I've been very blessed to have a plethora of women encourage me, challenge me, and support me during the last few (um, we'll skip the number) years.
Women like Katie Struckhoff, who has been my "forever friend" since 1988, when I was a geeky high schooler at church camp. Katie inspires me by her dedication to her faith, and to her first-grade students. She also inspires me because of the positive attitude she continues to have, despite life's challenging moments.
Or someone like Jan Duncan, who was there for me when I needed someone most—again, those awkward, rough, middle and high school years. Jan listened, cared and offered encouragement. (Let's face it, I was probably one of those "extra-grace required" teens.
I'm also inspired by women like my new sister-paper editor, Janet Barber. She inspires me by her outlook on life, how she faces things with grace, and also helps keep my feet to the ground. She's not afraid to "tell me like it is" or to say "have you thought about it this way." I'm blessed to call her a friend and colleague.
My friend Denni Palmer inspires me. She's a mom raising five kidlets who call me "Auntie K" (yes, the picture is on my desk). She was balancing life with her two girls and a full-time ministry position, when life, well changed. Their family expanded, unexpectedly—and amazingly—with three additional children through a family adoption. She inspires me as she follows God's call to pastor a small church, raise five amazing kids and walk alongside her husband, who is also a pastor.
Locally, I'm inspired by the gumption Sharon Lebow has shown me in the last few weeks. Sharon is taking a computer class at the NEO-Grove campus, in order to learn a new skill. She inspires me to never quit learning and to continue to find ways to improve myself. Kudos to my new friend. FYI I know you can do this!
I'd probably be remiss if I didn't mention my mom. Mom inspires me, by her attitude for life, and also by how she strives to be a great Oma for my nephew. (OK, where was this laid-back spirit when she was raising me???!) My mom has faced a lot of challenges in life, and is now embracing retirement. I hear joy in her voice as she talks about new experiences with her church and volunteer opportunities.
So what women inspire you? If you have a local inspirational woman, I would challenge you to nominate her for the 2013 Grand Lake's Most Inspirational Woman contest.
To nominate someone for the contest (the deadline is Sept. 30), visit www.grandlakenews.com/women and complete the form. We ask that you submit contact information for both yourself and the nominee, along with a photo of nominee. We also ask that you write up to 250 words, explaining why you find this woman to be inspirational.
Speaking of inspirational things, two quick notes.... I was inspired to sit through a Mass at St. Elizabeth's Catholic Church last Sunday, as the congregation honored first responders from Grove. I know I often say "it's nice to live in a community that...." (trust me, the community aspect wasn't there necessarily in Little Rock); but it was nice to sit in a congregation that wanted to take a few moments to encourage and bless people who often help us in our worst moments in life.
The other note... I've been "inspired" by my Aunt Janice, to say "Have you tried JJ's Wing'n'it in Grove?" Apparently my aunt, and JJ's grandmother, are cohorts in the retired-teacher circle in Kansas City. Apparently, the "small world" aspect in life, and the fact that both have significant others in Grove became a topic of a gathering last week. So JJ, please tell you grandmother that I have tried your food (love the boneless wings), and here's your mention in my column.
So happy Friday. Enjoy REC Day and more this weekend. Hopefully I'll see you around town!
Kaylea M. Hutson is the managing editor of The Grove Sun. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 918-786-2228. This column originally appeared in the Sept. 20, 2013 issue of The Grove Sun.