Monday, August 21, 2006

Influence

I have come to realize that we influence others more than we know. How many of you have a book on your bookshelf that someone else recommended? How many of those reads actually ended up changing your outlook and affecting you? What about your favorite recipes? Are they all ones that you found on your own? You probably cook some of the things that your mom or grandmother cooked, or you may have a new favorite or two that was passed on from a friend. A Christian friend might make a comment about something that they have chosen to avoid (a certain TV show or movie or music), and that gets you thinking, "Perhaps I should also avoid that." How many times have you run out to Target to stock up on the latest sale item touted by a friend?

Last Fall I was talking with a young girl at church who had finished high school and was taking the first semester off. She didn't like high school at all. Her father wanted her to go to college. In the course of our chat, I mentioned that there were many two year programs that were specifically designed to train you for a specific career, which would allow her to begin supporting herself, and to take courses related to her end goal. I think she might have equated college with four years of boring classes. I mentioned things that I knew existed, such as dental hygienist school, an education degree at a four year college if she thought she might like to teach (because she loves children), and we talked a lot about nursing. Because my sister-in-law is a nurse, I know a little bit more about it. I know that nurses are in demand, and whether you have a two year RN degree or a four year BSRN, you can make pretty decent money. The other thing I love about nursing for a woman is that one could actually continue working after having children, on weekends or in the evenings, contribute to the family income, and mostly stay home as well, if that is a goal.

My young friend had mentioned that she was going to be registering for her classes. The next time I saw her, I asked her if she had chosen her classes, and if she was just taking the general first year stuff. "No, I'm doing the nursing thing," she answered casually.

Well, I'm glad I didn't tell her to jump off a cliff. But seriously, I am humbled and honored that she listened to me. I don't really see myself as the answer-giver to her. I think that her heavenly Father, who knows what she will enjoy, excel in and be able to achieve, used me to help her find a comfortable option for her. I hope she will do well. I hope that I will be able to continue to be an encouragement to her.

11 comments:

Katrina said...

So true, Jennifer. We have so much influence...and we are influenced by so many. I'm so glad you were able to give that young lady some advice and options...and encouragement. Sounds like it was just what she needed!

Laurel Wreath said...

Jennifer,

Infuluence is something I believe the Lord gave to us. I really can be used to bring him glory, or it can be used towards sin.

How many times as wives do we "infuluence" our husbands in the way we think he should act or the way we believe things should be (whether right or wrong). Influence.

Also the Lord placed you in a conversation with this young woman at the right time to give her needed information that can help her. Positive Influence.

Influence is a powerful thing, that as women we need to be aware of.

Great post!!

Magnanimity said...

Somtimes in serving, I realize have far too FEW meaningful conversations.

Would you consider seeing if you could change your settings for RSS? I'd like to read your whole articles through bloglines. I promise to click in to comment, but it's just easier for me to read if you list the whole article.

Dianne said...

Good post about influence. I think we are most influential when we don't intend to be. When we're not looking over our shoulder, so to speak, but rather focused on serving God, and someone comes along and our lives are a link between where they are and the life they can have in Christ. You had no idea your words were going to influence that young girl, but the Lord used your words and I'm sure, your life. How neat.

Lindsey @ Enjoythejourney said...

Jennifer!!! I just started ladies Bible study at church and we're doing Beth Moore's LIving Beyond Yourself...today's lesson was all about influence.

Timely for me to hear this today.

We hold so much influence as women...for our families, our husbands, our children. The hand that rocks the cradle is surely a powerful thing, indeed.

Heather said...

It's fun - and scary - to hear others mention ideas you have shared, like avoiding stores that have sweatshop labor factories or taking partially hydrogenated oils out of their diet or adopting a philosophy you introduced.

Tasra Dawson said...

Way to go! It is so important that we remember the power of our words...for good and evil...especially at home when it's easiest to get comfortable and forget the power we hold. Thanks for sharing your story.

Thanks for stopping by my site!

e-Mom said...

I love this sort of story! Sometimes the Lord is gracious and allows us to see a small part of the "fruit" from good seed we have sown. Well done.

Robin said...

OH, my word, Jennifer. Have I not visited you in a while? Your blog looks GREAT! LOVE the changes :).

I came over here to see if you've done the "book meme" yet, and so far I haven't seen that you have (I'm still catching up with Snapshots). BUT, I HAD to tell you I've written about this...TWICE! This link covers the second post; in its content, it links to the first time I wrote about it.
Power of Persuasion

:) I'm going to keep reading a bit, but had to tell you about that. I tried to make a link, but the above is what copied :/. Oh, well, same difference;)

Robin said...

btw, I'm a HAPPY CHICK :D! It DID make a link (even though it's not what I saw...)

Kailani said...

The power of suggestion. It happens a lot more than we realize.