We had our Ladies' Retreat for church this weekend. It was a wonderful time and experience for me. I've really been needing to be "fed" lately with the Word and this was a great time for that. We had lots of good music and a wonderful speaker. The theme of the weekend was "Be Inspired." We talked about being a mentor to other women, and being mentored by other women. Shirley talked about the two qualities you should have when being a "mentor" - love and acceptance of others. And of course, the person who kept coming to my mind, who just embodied those qualities of love and acceptance, was My Miss Kay.
Of course, I call her "My Miss" Kay. She is married, so not technically a "miss" but every woman
at Baptist churches is called "miss" and she isn't "mine," but she is so dear to my heart, that I like to claim her as mine.
Miss Kay is one of the most beloved people I've ever known. The reason she is so beloved is because she loves any and everyone, and Jesus' light shines through her face so bright. She worked in my youth group as a leader and just loved each and every one of us with all of her heart. She still does. Every time I see her, I get a kiss on the cheek and a big hug, and she says, "Hey my sweet baby, I love ya." That's what she has said to me, every time I have seen her, for 20 years.
Kay is the best cook and one of my fondest memories as a youngster was eating Miss Kay's famous strawberry cake. When I got married, one of my most cherished gifts was her strawberry cake recipe. And try as I might, mine is wonderful, but never quite as delicious as when she makes it.
Miss Kay is the reason I wanted to work with youth. She loved us all so much as youth, that it inspired me to pass that some love along. Almost every memory at church as a youth involved her smiling, sweet, beautiful face and I just couldn't imagine her not being apart of those memories. As an adult, she said something to me that I will never forgot. It's funny how you can hear a phrase from many people, yet when it comes from someone that inspired you your whole life, it just really sinks in. She hugged me, and in my ear said, "I am so proud of you. You are just a wonderful mother, both to Avery, and Jordan and Sophia. You are doing a great job and I am so proud." Her compliment was one of the most meaningful ones of my entire life, and I will forever remember her telling me that.
See, when you start talking about people who have mentored and insprired you, you sometimes don't realize how much they meant to you until you become an adult, and you realize just how wonderful they are and how much they've influenced your life. This weekend really convicted me to show love. To show Jesus' love, to everyone. And all that means, very simply is just to love and accept everyone, just as Miss Kay does. Miss Kay, I love you more than you will ever know, and just like I told you this weekend, you've influenced me in more ways than you will ever know!