Thursday, May 31, 2012

Set an Example

   My little sister has a YouTube channel and is always working on a video project. This week she was making a music video with clips from the various Avenger character's movies. I asked what song she was using and she told me. I scrunched up my face as I racked my brain to recall how the song goes and she said, "I found it on your computer so I figured it must be alright". Wow. Humbling. Convicting.
   I am an Influencer, an Example. I am so aware of my own short-comings and, as a young girl, I tried to conceal every fault or mistake with privacy and secrecy, but you don't grow much that way. I chose to open up, be vulnerable, let people in. My private life has an audience now: my family. I don't lock them out of my computer, they have access to my iTunes and Facebook and Pinterest and Blog, they can see what I am reading and they know how I spend my money, I share my views on music and movies and health and relationships -- I talk to my siblings about my views even when they don't show interest because I know they're listening.
   My siblings and I are very independent individuals. When we were kids, as the oldest, I tried to boss them around but that didn't work. As the years passed I did my own thing and let them do theirs. I didn't really think that I was a role model to them until my mom told me how she saw them note my actions and choices. When I came home from Colorado in 2010 I started to notice it for myself. My brother Lane had seen how I would use my free time with the Lord and my mornings with my Bible. When I went through a dry spell, believing the lie of the Enemy that there wasn't proper nutrition for my day from the Word, it was Lane who was putting post-it's in my room with Bible verses and encouragement after being up to spend time with Jesus before school. At his school he is a major influence, people recognize him as a man after God's heart. My sister Gabi has such a vibrant personality but she has hidden it beneath her shyness and insecurity for most of her life. It wasn't until I set an example of loosening up, dancing around the house or singing loud in the car that she started to show her true colors here at home. Now she is the one encouraging me to be bold and "live". Her innocence and vivacity are beautiful! She is influencing thousand through her videos. How I communicate to and with, how I handle conflict between and how I teach or correct Gabi and my baby brother, Aidan, is the pattern they follow for communicating, settling conflict and correcting each other. Teaching all of my siblings to communicate their thoughts and feelings rather than bottling them up and keeping them hidden took me learning to communicate my thoughts and feelings to them. Lane confides in me now because I chose to confide in him years ago (and still do). Gabi seeks my opinion and praise for her art work and videos now because I took an interest in her work and related to her creativity in its earliest stages. Aidan works through issues with me now because I have invested long hours of working through issues with him in the past, he knows I won't rest until we've resolved what is troubling him.
   I have a small sphere of influence but I am an influence in it. The people in my church and at work have been watching my life. The people in Target and Down to Earth (where I go every single week) are watching my life. The tellers at the bank and the people in the post office are watching my life. Living amid this cloud of witnesses doesn't make me want to hide how far I have yet to go in bearing Christ's likeness, it is another tool for refining me and causes me to truly want to die more to myself and become a better daughter and ambassador of Christ. "Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

Source: google.com via Chelsea on Pinterest

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