Tuesday, August 19, 2008

THE MILE HIGH WEEKEND--Part One: Setting the Stage

I had to break the telling of this down into two parts because it was so long! That keeps it exciting and fresh, though, right? And really, once you read everything, you'll know that such a Mile High Weekend was deserving of two posts! :) The “mile high” part will actually be up tomorrow. Today I am setting the stage, doing the background work--laying the foundation. And pictures, you ask? I know how Julie loves to see pictures. Well, MY CAMERA BATTERY DIED right before I took the actual “Oh Mile High One’s” picture! (I know you don't know what I'm talking about yet! That is part of the fun!) It was just a leee-tle bit embarrassing! :) But we used Danya’s camera phone. So pictures will be up tomorrow, too!

OK, are y'all ready for storytime?

In 2004, our church's fledgling teen worship band, "Without Shoes" (for which my then 12 yo Danya played keys), opened for up-n-coming Christian pop singer Jessie Daniels. Jessie was 16 years old at the time, and she had just come off a tour opening for Sheryl Crow. Although "Without Shoes" had never heard of Jessie Daniels, the teens were thrilled that they were opening for someone who had opened for Sheryl Crow!

When Jessie arrived and began to sing, we were all absolutely taken. This girl could sing, and baby, she DID sing! There were less than 20 people in the auditorium that night (a real shame), and yet, she performed as though it was packed out! She gave us everything she had! Of course, she was truly giving it to God, and throughout the concert, she shared a sweet Christian testimony that was inspiring to both the kids and adults in attendance. She also shared concerns for her unsaved friends back home in New York, and some personal concerns, as well, including her need for God's direction and mercy as she stepped out on faith to follow her dreams. After the show, she stayed and talked to the kids, signing headshots and copies of her indie CD, and continuing to make a lasting impression. We all felt like we had made a new friend that night. (Now that's connecting with your audience!) To this day, Danya still has the picture Jessie signed hanging prominently on her wall.

Fast forward two years: 2006. Danya and I were in the car with the radio on, and she said, "Hey Mom, listen!" I listened, looking at her questioningly.
"Who does that sound like?" Danya asked me. I don't have her ear for music, but I admitted the voice sounded familiar.
"You know what?" she said, turning up the volume. "I think it's Jessie Daniels!" We waited breathlessly for the end of the song, hoping the deejay would say who the artist was. "That was Jessie Daniels..." he announced, and then the celebrating began!
"She made it!" Danya cried joyfully. "She made it!" We were so thrilled!

Fast forward to last year: 2007. When Danya got her music myspace, she immediately went to Jessie's myspace to request a friend add. Jessie added her, and so Danya decided to message her through myspace. In her message, Danya told Jessie that she had met her when "Without Shoes" opened for her, and that now, she was trying to make her own way as a Christian artist. Jessie took time to write Danya back and encourage her. Once again, she showed herself to be a sincere, gracious, and generous young woman. Danya has often prayed that she would get to meet up with Jessie again sometime, in person.

That's the effect of a role model in your life. I had one in author Anne Ortlund. Although I never met her personally, I sure felt like I knew her from her books. Years ago, when I was trying to gather endorsements for the self-published edition of Baby Boot Camp, I sent Mrs. Ortlund a copy of the book with a letter detailing my request. I was so thrilled when she wrote me back—a handwritten note! I will never forget holding the envelope in my hands and savoring the moment, relishing the fact that she had taken the time to write me back.

I am often reminded of the personal mentors who helped shape my parenting, my faith, and my life in general. Kathy, who taught me so much about parenting. Vicki, who embodied hospitality and Christlike friendship. My dear Ginger who walks the writer's journey with me. There have been just a handful of these women over the years, and I have cherished their blessings on my life. They came along at just the right time, and God used them in powerful ways to impact not only my life, but every life He gives me the chance to influence. That’s the “trickle down” effect, right?

So how about you? Let’s talk about role models and mentors today!
Who set the stage for you?
Who did God use to lay a foundation in your life?
Celebrate those special people here today! (And please stay tuned: More about the Mile High Weekend tomorrow!)


Chatty Kelly said...

I have always longed for an "older Titus woman" in my life. (my mother is an alcoholic/mental ill). But what God has always provided is godly friends to come along beside me and mentor me.

Sonya (@Truth4theJourney) is the person I credit for sharing with me with true salvation message and helping take my faith to the next level.

I have then tried to mentor others in return, and have some very sweet notes in my desk drawer from folks who have been helped by my encouragement.

Now that I am trying writing, I have a few folks that are offering me wonderful encouragement, including you. Thank you. :-)

Julie Gillies said...

Hi Rebecca,

God has brought various mentors into my life at different times. Many times I simply absorb what I can from people I admire without them ever knowing.

I find blogging to be a form of mentorship, though not as personal. I zone in on certain blogs and glean what I can.

That's one of the reasons I read your blog!

Rebecca Ingram Powell said...

Hey girls,

Thanks for your comments! I feel privileged to share the writer's journey with you both!

Stay tuned for more writer stuff! I'm planning upcoming blogs about how to promote the books you write!

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