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Here’s your song for Spark! Challenge Day 4!
Not part of Spark! 21 Day Challenge to ignite your possibility? Join here. (Or Spark! 7 Day Challenge for Teens & Kids. Join here.)

This song inspires me and I hope today it inspires you! Stay alive. Stay on fire. And stay aware that The Spark! of Celebrating Others not only ignites them, but you, too!


Please share one person who has profoundly impacted your life and why in the comments below. Thanks in advance for sharing a snapshot of such a meaningful relationship (and don’t forget to a link to the person you are honoring so he can read it!).

0 replies on “Day 4 – Spark Celebrating Others”

John your story has truly changed my life. I am a Dave Ramsey fan, and that’s where I was introduced to you. I am so very thankful to you. My son just had a kidney transplant and was on dialysis for 8 months. So hearing your story was inspiring. So very thankful to be a part of the 21 day challenge. The best is yet to come……

Thanks for sharing, Toni, and for ALL you do. We are sending love and prayers to you and your son. Enjoy the Spark! Challenge and remember: the best is yet to come. J

I am so inspired by seeing you on stage at Manna Fest 2015 this past weekend. I am on the 21 day challenge and each day gets better and better.i can’t wait for the next day. You are the best thing to come into my life to really inspire me . Thanks so much. Billy

Your words mean more than you know. Thanks for them and for all you do. Enjoy your Spark! Challenge – the best is yet to come! J

i need to thank Dr. Joe Harris for introducing me to to John O’Leary and Spark. I lost track of all I have to be thankful for. I am coming back to the positive, happy person I used to be. I was missing me. Thank God for all of my friends that listen and help make me who I am.

Thank YOU for taking the challenge – and for ALL you do, Pamela. It’s gonna be a great day. The best is yet to come. J

There are so many people…. but most recently, the person who has profoundly impacted my life, is John O’Leary! During a time when I was asking “what’s my purpose”, John spoke at my children’s school. His words made such an impact. Thank you, John for sharing your gift and inspiring people to rediscover their passion.

Maria — your words mean more than you know. So glad we were able to connect. Life is a gift, friend. Thx for living it fully! J

I want to thank the women in my life that have impacted me most starting with the love of my life, my wife, Diane Williams. She inspires me to be all God would have me to be for her. My Mom, Tammy Williams and my two daughters Hanna Krestel and Jessica Williams and my grandma’s Helen Webber and Nancy Williams, who have all inspired me and touched my life deeply! Thanks Godly Ladies!

Chuck — thank you for sharing and for taking the Spark! Challenge — let us know how it goes writing a letter to these special women to let them know how much they mean to you 🙂 Can’t wait to hear. The best is yet to come, brother. J

I have been blessed with some very awesome friends who have helped me through some rough times and my brother David. He has shown me how to choose integrity through trials and his faith never wavered.

The person I want to thank is someone I haven’t seen or heard from in 51 years. His name is Kaye Linn. He may be dead by now. But I will send a note to the hospital where he worked as a physical therapist–Parkview Hospital in Pueblo, Colorado, to let them know my undying gratitude.

Like John O’Leary, I was a young person who was in the hospital due to severe burns–mostly on my upper arms. Kaye was the hospital’s only physical therapist. He showed up to wheel me down to the physical therapy room for my “treatment of torture” twice a day, 7 days a week, without fail.
He put up with my screaming, crying, protesting and generally rotten, self-pitying attitude. AND he wouldn’t let up on the “torture treatment”, until I could move my arms again.

When I got back to school, my upper arm strength was better than any of my 8th grade classmates!
But more importantly, thanks to Kaye, I have enjoyed full use of my arms every day since.

My mentor, friend, colleague & confidante…..Harry who has since passed away was my “teacher”. In my mid 20’s he encouraged me in my business in healthy ways. Reading, seminars, workshops and at the time audio tapes! To be motivated, inspired & spiritual. He was there through the ups & downs, rejection & most of all the loss of my Mother. He was my rock, my support when my family was in mourning themselves. He shared his wisdom, support, compassion, understanding and his beautiful family with myself and my family.
During the course of his life before his passing I was fortunate to share my gratitude and love for this wonderful man and his family many times, every time I saw him/them.
I am so Blessed & lucky that I had Harry–a once in a lifetime human being that touched my life and the lives of many.
Love you Har in Heaven!!!

I think the person who has impacted my life the most other than my husband is my best friend Cindy. We have been friends for 33 years. We have been there for each and have gone through everything together. We were pregnant together, raised our kids together, have helped each other out by being there to talk about anything and everything. She lost her husband a while back and I took her under my wing and have been her support and guiding light, until she got stronger and I knew she could stand on her own too feet. We go and do everything together. When we don’t see or speak with each other for a time it’s like we are missing apart of ourselves. We both know that no matter what we will always be there for each other.

I celebrate my sister. She bears up under crazy illnesses, complications from those illnesses are not a doctor visit, but a hospital stay. Yet, she is always the one to give ME the perspective about the crazy stuff that happens. She is always smiling, always GIVING, always sharing good news. Amazing, amazing woman – I only hope I can suffer in silence some day as she has.

I think of my Grandmother! I don’t know where I woul be in my life if it wasn’t for her. I spent every summer with her from 6-13. I remember these summers fondly! She taught me how to cook and we would often bake and cook for others who were shut ins . She took me camping and fishing. She always believed in me and loved me unconditionally! You see those summers where the only time of the year when I wasn’t being abused. I suffered horrendous abuse at home. My Grandmas home was my safe haven. She lived several states away and was on a very limited income. She would pay for me to see her every summer. Because of the love and devotion she showed me I knew I was special despite what I was told at home . Her selfless giving to others inspired me to always help others and have a giving heart. She showed me what a real Mother was supposed to be like. I now am grown and she has been gone for several years. Because of her influence 8 became a foster mother and serviced over 250 kids in six years. I finished foster care and adopted 3 kids and took on another who had aged out of the system! I am a proud mother of nine! I teach my kids the same selfless love my grandmother did! Thank you for making me see my worth ! Love you forever Grandma!!

My Super Star director is one of the most wonderfully genuine people I have ever met. She ALWAYS inspiring, true, honest and such a blessing in my life. My life is so much more blessed having known her.

The person who has inspired me the most came to my life thru tragedy. Her son and my husband were in the army together and became best friends. Sadly, he was killed in Iraq in 2006. We were all so devastated. His mother became all of our mother. She stood tall and still does today. She travels the US once or twice a year to visit “her kids”. She told me one day that she knows that although she would love to have her baby back that she is thankful he left her with all of us to keep her moving forward. I admire her heart and her strength. She keeps his name alive by hosting a golf scramble every summer so she can make Christmas happen for our deployed soldiers. I am a better person for knowing her.

I am so sorry for your loss and so humbled by your blessing in his mother. What an awesome woman and light in the world! She is a beautiful soul, thank you for sharing her story with us and for ALL that you do. J

The person that comes to my mind that inspires me, lifts me up and ignites the fire is Tara. She shares herself with the world with her scriptures and devotions shared on FB, her random texts of appreciation, encouragement and love, her AMAZING HUGS, and her beautiful smile. How blessed I am to be her Christian sister and friend! Thank you, Tara! Thank you, Jesus!

I wanted to thank you, John, for putting things into perspective for me. The life cross that I have been given is so extremely heavy that at times it seems too much to bear. Seeing that your spirit rose you up out of the ashes shows me I can do it too. God must have something, some purpose for this trial. I struggled to list 30 blessings in my life… listing things as simple as “food for the day”. I hope I will look back on this time and see how it made me stronger and not as the time I was irreparably damaged.
Thank you, John, for the spark you have ignited in my heart!

One of the people that come to mind is my mother in law. Right from the very first day that she met me, she took me in as one of her own. As I got to know her better, I was always amazed at her energy and her commitment to her husband and her seven children. She always had excellent meals ready . As her children left the house one by one she helped with grandchildren and as well I was amazed at the way she would take time for her parents as they aged. Shortly after I found out that her childhood was less the ideal and in our modern day society would have been considered abusive. Despite this she showed grace everyday in the way she made meals for her mother and visited her father in nursing home. She chose by the grace of God to forgive and reap the blessings from the scriptures “Honor your Father and Mother that your days may be long in the land that The Lord your God gives you”. I am so thankful for her and her example. I am sure that she has earned many beautiful jewels in her heavenly crown.

Eva, what a beautiful example your mother-in-law is for you and for ALL of us. Thank you for sharing her sweet legacy of love and for ALL that you do. Keep challenging yourself – keep that spark alive and share it with others! J

My mother (my mentor, my friend). I am the person I am today because my mother instilled in me compassion, love and understanding. To appreciate the little things in life, and be grateful for what you have. To never take things for granted. I am very blessed today with my grandchild, children, husband, and family.

Thinking about answering this I can see several people who have impacted my life, and then I saw the person who has absolutely had the most profound impact on my life. He passed away 41 years ago. But he’s with me almost everyday. He’s my father, Cecil E. Wood. He was the one person I felt unconditional love from, who held my hand, and dried my tears. He gave me comfort when I needed comforting. I’d never heard him complain; even when I’d wake him up in the middle of the night on too many occasions to come rescue me from an abusive marriage I was struggling to escape from. He made me feel safe, and smart and beautiful. He loved my kids; they adored him. He(and my mother) taught them to camp and fish. He helped me purchase my first house. He worked on my car. He gave my son and my daughter a positive male role model. He told my kids to call him “Buddy” not Grandpa, because he was too young to be a grandfather. He was there for me in every possible way that I needed him to be; my best friend, my mentor, my stabilizer, my rock. The most profound impact he has had on my life was actually when he died suddenly – the result of a freak car accident. My world turned upside-down after that. I literally realized at that moment that bad things do happen to good people, and my life would never be the same. I don’t think I’ve ever quite recovered from that trauma. It never has been quite the same with him gone, of course, but life goes on, right? But the impact of his unconditional love for me and my kids, who are now grown and have kids of their own, still grows within our hearts. Thank you, Buddy. I miss and love you big much forever!

For starters there was the entire wonderful Cadorette extended family who loved, bolstered and encouraged me to do my best and keep trying when things did not work out well at first. There have been many others in my adult life, but I can only list one here. Love them all and remember those who are gone.

My “Walk to Emmaus” reunion partner Peter. Peter came into my life shortly after our family business was destroyed by an arsonist. He helped guide me through the integrity challenging process of taking legal action against an insurance company. He encouraged me to pursue my dream to become a flight instructor and then picked up the pieces of that shattered dream when engine failure of an airplane I was flying led to the loss of my family and an 82 day hospitalization. When the insurance company decided it was time for me to go home…he and his wife took me into their. home until I could take care of myself.
Peter has been able to provide counsel, accountability, encouragement and a non judgemental ear when I asked the why questions that have no answer. His guidance and encouragement have gone beyond what I should have reasonably expected from even my father. But maybe that is the real reason he has had such an impact on my life. Because he CHOSE to be there for me…to do the unexpected.

My friend Donna, who only knew me almost peripherally as a teaching colleague, saw me in distress and invited me to stay at her home when I had to leave my husband and felt I had nowhere to go. She knew I was afraid of his violent temper and what he might work himself up to doing when I left, but it was as if she didn’t even hear me when I warned her about that possibility. Without a word of qualification, she offered her help and her home — and I will never forget her kindness. That first night, when I slept on her couch before she could arrange a room for me, was the beginning of an entirely new life of freedom. My world is astoundingly better because of her Christianity in action and just her kind ol’ self (don’t mean that literally, Donna). 😉

My wife saved me from myself. Though I wanted to run away and be selfish, not caring who I hurt, she was a steady rock of love. And when I returned, and everyday since, she has been a constant source of strength and love and tenderness. I am now willing and able to love her with a selflessness that I never thought I possessed. And that has made me whole.

In order to share one, I must share two; my Aunt DeeAnn & Uncle Dave. As child, I was the third wheel hen it came to my parents. My father was a workaholic, my mother had barely a maternal instinct within her entire being. My aunt and uncle took me in as their own and raised me like a daughter. They raised me to know The Lord, to be humble and grateful for the blessings in my life. The taught me unconditional love and the value of a strong family….the village that would raise a child. For as much as they loved me, despite their acceptance , I longed for more. They were not enough for me, I wanted the love and acceptance of my parents. It was a love and acceptance that I would never get, not the way a child needs from her mother and father to be healthy and whole. After my parents divorced when I was seven, my mother re-married the man she left my father for. A mean, cruel, sadistic, immoral man who despised me. Years later, my father re-married an emotionally bankrupt, self serving woman who resented me and would’ve preferred my father have no part of me. Desperate for a relationship with my,other, at thirteen I moved out of my aunt and uncle’s home and in with my mother and step-father and by sixteen I was contemplating suicide. By the time my mother passed away when I was19, we had developed a close friendship. I never knew as the mother I longed her to be and my father never had time to be much more than the occasional visitor in my life. So I did the logical thing….run away from home. I couldn’t handle life near my family; I was so broke and damaged and by that time, I lived less than moral life, fueled by alcohol and self destruction. I had all but turned my back on my aunt and uncle and the rest of my family and now I couldn’t let them see what I had become, so I moved away. Throughout the years more self destruction followed; how I abused myself with the decisions I was making for myself. Every once and a while, I would show my face back home; usually a holiday or when I needed something, but never for long. I took them for granted and I never truly appreciated what they did for me and how much they loved me. They loved me unconditionally and I turned my back on them in search of an unattainable love from someone who didn’t want me and someone else who wasn’t allowed to want me. They wanted me, with all of their hearts, for no other reason than just to love me. I was such a selfish fool for all of those years; so focused on my own self pity that I couldn’t see the abounding love that was right in front of my face. Years later, a plethora of mistakes and bad decisions and several face plants on rock bottoms, I finally got my poop in a group. When I emerged from the wreckage of my life and as the smoke cleared, who do you suppose was standing there on the other side waiting for ? Aunt DeeAnn & Uncle Dave. Arms stretched open as they always had been; they never left, they were always there…waiting. In recent years, I have worked to repair what I damaged. They have never resented me for rejecting them; I always had their forgiveness. How I wish that I could have those years back. How would I have turned out? Who would I have become? If there is anything that I’ve learned over the years, it’s that you never put a question mark where God has already put a period. Aunt DeeAnn and Uncle Dave provided me the love and acceptance that I so desperately needed to survive the years that would follow my leaving them. I walked a broken road of my own design, paved with my own self destruction. They were there waiting for me when I was ready to come home….the prodigal child has returned to a loving mother and father.

My husband has taught me how to laugh and have fun. He has taught me to love myself when I feel unlovable. He has encouraged me to be who I am and be authentic and honest about that in a kind a loving way.

My husband Ken-over the past 26 years he has encouraged me to follow my dreams; supporting me physically and emotionally as I went back to college and eventually obtained three degrees while he helped take care of the kids, keep the house running and encourage me along the way-all while running our company! He encouraged me to be a stay at home mom even though i didnt know if i had what it took to do this particular career choice well. He continued to let me explore my dreams while we became an emergency foster care family taking in kids, volunteer for a no kill animal shelter, coaching our daughter’s soccer team and now volunteering as a puppy raiser for a service dog organization to help others achieve more independence in their own lives! These wouldn’t necessarily be things he had a desire to do, but he knew they were important to me and so he let me explore my passions, contributed his own time and energy, and stood patiently in the wings to encourage me-for that I celebrate him today!

Holly, you married an awesome man! What an amazing partner to have by your side as your explored your passions over the years! Thank YOU too for all the good you have done – you have given to so many! Thanks for sharing. J

I wanted to thank Shawn Copeland for always being that friend for the past 12 years who has never given up on me. He is the kind of person who I met as my Financial Planner but I doubt he has made more than $100 on me. It did not matter. We became close friends and that friendship was far more important to him than any plan Northwestern Mutual had to offer me. The best plan was his desire to be my friend, to check in on me through illness, divorce and dark days. How do you truly thank some one for all those things? Simply by saying and telling all who will read, I love you Brother!

I wanted to thank my sister Cindy. She has always believed in me and encouraged and inspired me. Plain and simple, next to my Lord and savior, Jesus, she has always loved me unconditionally!

Brian Buffini changed my life forever. He has taken me on a 13 year adventure in all areas of my life:personal, business, spiritual, financial and business. He pushes me to be a better person daily and to help impact and positively change the lives of those close to me.

I am sending my message to heaven. I would like to thank my parents for creating me and leading me to be the person I am today. Without thier guidenance I would have lost my way. I love my parents for teaching me how to love.

Many years ago, John White helped me to gain the courage and confidence to invest in income producing real estate. He has been there for me over the years to lend support and advice when I needed it the most. Without John’s help I would not be were I am today, close to financial independence.

Kay Renaud urged me to take my first leadership position at work. She modeled grace under pressure and led me to aspire to achieve that in my own life.
I haven’t perfected it yet, but it is a worthy daily goal and I’m thankful to her for providing that example.

My high school soccer coach. Reg Hahn. He told me I could make little changes in my life and health that would make a big difference towards my future success.
He was right.
I continue to this day to make little changes that stick, and all those little changes have added up to some much bigger changes collectively!

Jeff, awesome. I wonder if he realizes, all these years later the impact he’s had? Reach out and tell him if you can! Thanks for all you do, Jeff! Keep on making those little health changes that add up to big results. J

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