Wow, I've had to think and think.....I've had so many people influence me through the years. I believe I would have to say that my mother, Carol Alexander, was and has continued to be the most positive influence on my faith as I watch her live out hers.
She was an only child, went to Catholic school, her mother died when she was a teenager. When they were first married, my Dad was in the service and he wasn't even in the states when I was born. My Mom always told me with tears in her eyes that I seemed to recognize him (I s'pose from pictures) and went right to him when he came home! I am the second to the oldest of eight children. My Mom was a stay at home mom, as most mothers were at that time. We went to church every Sunday and as I remember how crazy it was getting my four kids all ready to go to church, I can't imagine my Mom getting all eight of us around. Back then, too, my sister's and I all had the frilly Sunday Sch dresses, white tights or socks and black patent leather shoes.
My Mom has always encouraged me and shown by example how to live a life following Jesus. We were always involved in church and youth activities at the churches we attended. When she married my Dad she changed to his families denomination of Methodist which we have been all our lives. But she wouldn't have cared if we changed as long as we were going to church somewhere. I don't remember her words from my childhood as much as I remember her and my Dad's priorities.
I think one of the most important lessons my mother taught me and has continued to reteach me is about the way God would have me relate to my husband. She has at times scolded me if I was complaining about him. Then and at other times, she would tell me about the positive she saw in him and the kind of husband and father he was which I knew but maybe at the time needed to be reminded of. She told me early in my marriage to Mike when we couldn't make it to a family get-together (and my sisters were making me feel bad cause we didn't think we could come) that my family was with him and we had to make decisions for 'our family'. She always wanted us to be there but she would understand. That always helped me and I shared that with my son and his new wife a few years ago because I felt it was so important. Even tho, there was a time my son had to remind me of it when they couldn't come to something. (Boy, am I a slow learner! Even when I'm the teacher!!)
Now I know this might not seem like a lesson we all need, if you aren't married but in a way it is...she always sees the good in people and loves no matter what. I try to do that most of the time but occassionally hear my Mom's words and know that Jesus would see things just abit different and aren't we glad He does. We need to do that for others. The cool thing is He will help us to be more like Him if we call on Him. Which I do quite often!
Dear God, I thank you right now for my Mom and the example she has shown me thru the years. Help us all to see people the way you do and to love them as you would. AMEN.