Top 5 or 6 or 7 or so folks who impacted me the most in 2012

I know writing a post like this is a bit like an acceptance speech at the Grammy’s. You’re afraid you might start someone out, and that someone gets ticks off, and then everyone leaves irritated instead of lifted up. So, I’m never going to get a Grammy, and I’m sure I’ll leave someone out, and I usually tick someone off so if we’re all well and good with the inevitable I’ll proceed.

2012 was a tremendous year of personal growth for myself. I was stretched way beyond what I thought capable. And it’s really because I had  this beautiful group of witnesses surrounding me with love, acceptance, belief, wisdom, accountability, laughter, and accessibility.

5. Band of Sisters

The Band of Sisters is a beautiful group of ladies I met on Twitter. We meet on Google+ most every Monday night for prayer, bible study, and spiritual growth. This group of women have challenged and stretched me in so many ways. Somehow we have developed a online community that is vulnerable and trustworthy. We laugh to tears and cry to laughter. To identify myself with such woman who are so madly in love with God, who devour the word of God, who chase after His will for their lives with such fervor has been transforming for my heart, mind, and soul. Rindy, Faye, Mary Beth, Laura, Wendy, Sarah, Dawn, Denise, Beth, Tiffany, Janice, Lois, and Kristen moved in my life at such a critical time when I felt lost and not connected to the body of Christ in a meaningful way. I will never be the same because of them.

Rachel and Nikomas Perez

4. Rachel and Nikomas Perez 

In our new church family I have to say I felt the most immediate connection with Rachel and Nikomas. These guys have a beautiful partnership in serving the middle school students at Harvester Christian. When Robert and I met with Nikomas as we were deciding to make the commitment to Harvester we were so impressed with his heart, vision, creativity and oddly enough his organization as a youth pastor! When Emma was taken to the hospital for an accident at school Rachel was the only person to come minister to us. I had never met her but her gentle spirit meant the world to me in that brief time of crisis. They have sought out my kids’ natural talents and are beautifully teaching them how to use them for the Lord. I love leading our life group with Rachel on Wednesdays and can’t wait to see her on Sundays. Nikomas and Rachel have extended such free love and friendship to us and have been the main reason we feel such a strong connection to Harvester.

3. Casey Graham and Les McKeown

Casey Graham is a bozo. He’s an annoying younger brother whom you frequently want to kick in the shins and then drool spit on him. He has this sad obsession with Alabama football. But I love him dearly. Casey is probably the main reason I have figured out this fundraising gig. He is so generous with the resources I need for The Sparrow’s Nest but has this keen although frustrating insight of when I need to work harder for things myself. When I want to quit, he tells me to suck it up. When I need to cry, he lets me for a little bit and then tells me to stop whining. When I need to celebrate, he’s right there with me cheering me on. Casey also shared Les McKeown with me.

Casey Graham
Casey Graham
Les McKeown
Les McKeown

Les has written two beautiful books, The Synergist and Predictable Success, that breathe life into me. I am an unusually self aware somewhat self absorbed individual but Les has given me insight into the why I do things the way I do. He is incredibly generous with his wisdom and easily shared his experience with the hope of others finding success. He will be a key reason I don’t drive Sparrow into the ground before it takes off. He is so kind hearted and has an uncanny way of bringing people together with like causes and dreams. He’s becoming a dear friend with the added bonus that he is Irish and so possess a brilliant accent.

2. My dad and then my counselor Perry Dodge

Perry Dodge
Perry Dodge

My dad struggles with mental illness. My whole life has been rather complicated because of this but the past year has been particularly heart breaking. But this has only pushed me deeper into God’s word and promises of His faithfulness. These temporary moments have forced me into daily discipline of seeking out God’s word of peace, joy, and unconditional love. Because of this situation, I now see a counselor weekly. Perry is a Spirit led man who has unwrapped years of pain and has gently showed me what real Truth is. Through his guidance I have experienced greater freedom and forgiveness than I have ever imagined. Every week is hard to face reality but every week Perry leaves me a little bit closer to God.

1. My wonderful husband Robert Leroux Figgins 

My twuwuv Robert Figgins
My twuwuv Robert Figgins

Robert and I celebrated 20 years of marriage in October. With as many friends and acquaintances I have been blessed with Robert is the one person I want to end each day with and start each day with. He is a beautiful man of integrity and generosity. He provides for our family so I can pursue The Sparrow’s Nest without a salary. He waits everyday for our kids at the bus stop so he can play with them. He is is weekly communication with their teachers so he knows exactly how to help them. People, he does all of our laundry for goodness sake! He never questions how I use my time or money. He holds my hand all the time. He loves his family, coaching his kids, taking me on new adventures, and is never without a laugh and smile. Through this year of development for The Sparrow’s Nest, issues with our family, and just life in general he has been with me step by step. He is my rock of peace and love.

My life is so full of many beautiful people from so many walks of life. My life is full and challenged and wonderful because of each individual who touches it. I am freakishly blessed by so many.

I’m curious who has impacted your life this year? Let me know here.

Better yet, let them know.

It's good talking with you.

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