Thursday, August 5, 2010

An extroversion of gratitude.

Today my mom dolefully informed me that it was too late to have a graduation party for me. Dodged that bullet! I think my mom is perplexed with my lack of desire for any sort of pomp and circumstance. In assurance of my introversion, I don't like public attention, or making a big deal out of things. Mrs. Shorey points out that graduation goings-on are not about the student but an affirmation of all that was invested in the students by their teachers and mentors. And that makes sense. The people at my church, the moms from co-op, the tutors at GCT, my parents and the adults that have rebuked and encouraged me through high school and my college search -- they deserve to be thanked and recognized.

But the idea of being attached to something so sentimental sounds emotionally draining. I laughed to myself that the thought of giving a senior speech made me sick to my stomach. So much for NCFCA taking away my fear of taking the platform! The magnitude of my gratitude and feelings in this area makes me petrified of any public recognition. It feels too personal. Cos I'm such a hopeless romantic. [Dan.]

Oh well.

Thanks Mrs. Rotondi, for counseling me to apply where I did, for reformatting my resume into a gorgeously organized and less wordy beast, for passing on scholarship information, and for telling me I looked like a lady when I felt most unladylike.

Thanks Mrs. Schlindwein, for writing those letters of recommendation, for guiding me through my most confusing and fear-filled questions, for being patient through my anger and pride, for checking in on me each week, for caring about my soul and pouring in spiritual wisdom and encouragement, and for your hugs and smiles and hospitality.

Thanks Michael, for calling that one time and asking me not to leave Ignite, for showing me what leadership looks like and for being that faithful example of endurance in this race, for reminding me what Jesus can do, and for always making me feel included. Thanks for introducing me to all those phat beats, too.

Thanks Mrs. Tracy, for teaching me basically all the math I know, for suffering through my tearful blocked-headed moments of not understanding, and for shedding the light of encouragement and experience on the career path uncertainty.

Thanks Mrs. Shorey, for starting Good Company Tutorials, for writing recommendation letters, for grading my papers and tests, and for telling me off when I behaved foolishly. Thank you for helping change my mind about drugs. Thank you for challenging me and inspiring me and exhorting me, for being one of my best and most faithful teachers.

Thanks Mrs. Cloutier, for your inspiring hard work and gentle mentorship, for those co-op classes and letters of recommendation, for your rebukes and forgiveness and constant encouragement, for being faithful and such a testament to the goodness and power of our God.

Thanks Mr. Bob, for teaching me how to paint, and Mrs. Ford, for opening your home to me so many times, for letting me interview you, for sharing with me your spiritual insights, for speaking into my life, and for giving me hope for the future in God's power.

Thanks Mrs. Bankston, for tolerating my over-achieving and my hopeless slacking, for encouraging my love for good books, for being a tireless and enthusiastic teacher, for writing that recommendation letter, for being so understanding and for laughing along with me, and at me, too.

Thanks Laurie, for showing me that kind of person I want to be, for giving me a love for questions and community, for being a servant leader, for babysitting me and teaching me piano, for all the times you've taken me out for coffee, for letting me interview you, and for having me hang out with your amazing dog.

Thanks Mrs. Mullaney, for your emails and comments of encouragement, for even reading my blog, for your easy laugh and wonderful family, and for your fresh perspective on what it means to live and to live wisely.

Thanks Mrs. Rock, for your endless words of encouragement, for your exhortation that always comes at just the right moment, for your bountiful hospitality and wonderful family, for reminding me to smile, and to let go and receive peace.

Thanks Mr. Charini, for saying hi to me every single Sunday, for caring about people, all people, and for showing me what faithfulness looks like. For asking me how I am, and for listening with such encouragement and a ready smile.

Thanks Mr. Herb, for our conversations about God and politics and life, for treating my sisters and I like your kids, for teaching us everything you know, for being a skilled coach, for helping me find a car, and for putting up with my endless excuses and absences. [You'd make a good "Christian".]

Thanks Mrs. Morrison, Mr. Silva, Mrs. Visser, Mrs. Wolfe, Mrs. Hunt, Donel, Lynne, Rhonda, Rick, the Masons, Pastor Dave, Mr. Gould, Emily. Thanks to Auntie Becky, Memere and Pappy, and Grandpa. Thanks to the Starks and the Weiners and the Fasts and the Arsenaults and the Morans and the Fords and the Bettises and the Wrights and the Rileys and the Moscarellis and the Palombos and the Essers. Thanks for the card, Mr. and Mrs. Cabral, that was some good advice.

It freaks me out when I think of all the people who have invested me, even perhaps unwittingly, and isn't that even the most mind-boggling of all, that these people are so faithful to Jesus that they are an example even when they didn't know I was watching. I feel very overwhelmed by the responsibility of it all, "to whom much is given, much will be required." But mostly I am very grateful, with the kind of gratitude that makes me blush and bite my lip as I write this, that you cared. Thank you. Thank you, thank you.


I love my mom and dad. I'll always think they're the best.


Art said...


Anonymous said...

Hayley girl,

The very fact that you would take the time to consider those who have somehow touched, inspired or challenged you and express your gratitude is evidence of your sensitivity and awareness of the presence of God in your life. May you always exist in that blessed state of expectancy and may you remain a conduit for the grace of God which so richly dwells in you.

I seldom venture into cyberspace and when I do I don't make too many stops in blog sphere. Yours is one of the very few blogs that I enjoy reading . . . for lack of a better term I will default to the proverbial "breath of fresh air". I appreciate your authenticity and admire your courage as you work through the big questions of life and living.

I look forward to the unfolding of a beautiful story as God accomplishes His eternal purposes in you and through you.

Freely you have received and freely you are to give. There is no greater privilege in this world than to be an instrument of His grace. Thankfully, we can be that regardless of where He may have us at any given moment.

A fellow pilgrim on the way to the celestial city,

Mrs. Rock