I was glancing through this week’s issue of People magazine last night and there is a section where they asked celebrities to share the best compliment they ever received. It was quite illuminating. It made me think about compliments I have received and the ones which have meant the most to me. Honestly, the compliments which have truly touched my heart the most are the ones from students who have written or told me I have made a positive impact on their lives through the classes I teach. Like many others, this one from Cate literally brought tears to my eyes:
“Hard times fall on everyone, and they certainly clobbered me for a while, but your classes got me motivated again. You got me to re-engage my brain in a creative effort. You made me think and concentrate and do things when all I’d felt like doing was sitting in a tear-soaked lump and wallowing in self-pity. You’re such a good, sweet, engaging teacher. When you told me I could do it, I believed you. And I’m grateful I did. I’m so incredibly grateful for your presence in my life. I feel I could sit down and laugh or cry with you over a cup of tea like a member of my own family.
Thank you again for being there for me. You helped keep me afloat during a time when I wasn’t sure I could keep bobbing up like a cork. I’ve learned so much from you! Thank you for inviting people like me into your heart with the classes you teach on Craftsy. I wouldn’t have taken a real class locally. The nearest quilt shop was pretty snobby when I asked about classes, so I stayed at home and set up Mom’s machine in the corner of my bedroom and got to work on learning to quilt with your classes. I don’t think I’m anywhere near show quality yet, but everything you’ve taught me has stuck, and I can get my corners pretty darn close to perfect every time.
You are my hero, and I’m so grateful to you. I know there have to be a lot of people like me out there. You’re one fabulous teacher.”
When I read her letter, with the tears flowing, I felt so humbled — so truly grateful — I hardly knew how to respond. If she only knew what those words mean to me.
Before each class I teach — whether in person or when I’m taping a class for CRAFTSY — I say a prayer that I might be a blessing in someone’s life. That’s my simple, heartfelt motivation and goal. I simply want to be a blessing to someone. And if something I say or share or teach can have a positive impact or brighten someone’s day, then I’m oh-so happy. But here is the most incredible thing: by sharing with my students, I am the one who ends up being blessed! The Lord’s mercy and love is just incredible that way, don’t you think?
So today, I challenge you to be a blessing in someone else’s life. Extend a compliment or kind word where it isn’t expected. Say something nice to the postman who brings a package to your door. Tell the grocery check-out clerk you appreciate her efficiency in bagging your groceries. Smile when you tell the groomer your dog has never looked better. Gush a bit over your neighbor’s freshly planted flower bed. I’ll just bet you find that blessings will flow right back to you in unexpected ways!