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What John learned from saying yes.

“The willingness to show up changes us. It makes us a little braver each time.” Brené Brown

I can’t say no to my mom.

That’s how I ended up at the parking lot of a retirement home in my community last week. Mom had reached out to see if I could visit a friend of hers. Gloria (whom I’d only previously met a handful of times) has Parkinson’s disease and had recently fallen, and Mom thought she might benefit from a little encouragement.

My calendar was fairly jammed up. Five speaking events. Several podcast interviews. Various meetings and deadlines. It would have been easy and honest to simply tell Mom that it wasn’t going to work; there just wasn’t time.

And yet, Mom’s entire life is about the transformational power of not making excuses, finding time, and showing up for others.  So, I said yes and made the time.

Mom and I met at the facility parking lot and walked in together. Near the entrance of the building, Mom stopped to compliment a resident seated in her wheelchair on her earrings. She gushed about how cute the receptionist’s hair was. She paused on the walk back to say hello to a gentleman eating breakfast by himself.

While I would have put my head down and walked quickly and quietly to the room, Mom was shifting a simple visit to see her friend into an opportunity to show up for others. (And maybe to make a run for mayor of the retirement center!)

Finally, we made it back to her friend’s room. Mom walked in first. The joy in Gloria’s voice when she saw her friend gave me goosebumps. Mom then told Gloria she brought a special visitor as a surprise. (There’s my cue!)

I walked in and sweet Gloria looked at me in shock, covering her face with both hands in stunned disbelief. What neither Mom nor I knew was that this beautiful lady had recently received a copy of ON FIRE from her grandson and had just finished reading the chapter on Jack Buck’s visits to me in hospital when we walked into her room.

Gloria, Mom and I visited for 30 minutes. The most moving part of the conversation was the love these two dear friends shared. The way they looked into one another’s eyes when speaking. The gentle, knowing laughs easily shared between two friends. The understanding of pain that comes from friends who have done life together for decades. And the faithful hope that informs them that in spite of the struggles of this day and the losses they both have experienced, there is reason to believe that the foundation is still firm and the best is yet to come.

Having to leave for a work meeting, I hugged Mom and Gloria goodbye and left her room, changed.

Instead of racing to my car with my head down, I noticed and was kind to the man eating by himself, thanked the receptionist for helping us find the room and told the lady still camped outside in her wheelchair that mom my was right, her earrings were beautiful.

Brené Brown reminds us that the willingness to show up changes us by making us a little braver each time. It also makes us a little more compassionate to others, a little more grateful for gifts and a little more cognizant of what matters most.

My friends, I can’t say no to my mom.

And that’s a good thing because every time I’m with her it’s obvious to me – and now to you- how our lives are so much richer when we say yes to doing a little more and loving the one in front of us.

Today is your day. Live Inspired.

18 replies on “The Importance of Showing Up”

ThanKs for sharing John. We are not only enriched by showing friendliness and compassion to others but we won’t know what an impact those acts of kindness have on people along our earthly journey, until we get home to hear the words from Jesus, “Welcome Home my good and faithful servant…” I live to hear those words, by God’s Grace. Take care. Your talks and life are an inpiration! God Bless You and your family

You are gifted in your ability to tell stories in a way that “drives home” a life skill or character trait. The stories make an impact, and I’m thankful to be inspired them.

It takes a moment to do a real check in on someone, and even less to give a compliment but these moments last much much longer. Keep showing Up!

Thanks for sharing John. Its easy to see where you get “Living Inspired” from. Mom’s are special and this is just another reminder for me to make sure I take the time to do more. We all get cought up in the craziness of life, but taking a moment to make a call or stop by to visit and say hello, compliment someone, or just smile to everyone as you interact are all little things that can make a huge difference.

Wonderful story and reminder. It brings back fond memories of the trips to the nursing home to visit my mother and talk with her roomates! Thank you!

What a heartwarming story about how showing up for others can make a difference in their lives. An important reminder for me is that it doesn’t take a lot of effort to encourage more people than you ever imagined if I simply take the opportunity to connect with people wherever life take me. I realize that I still need to be intentional about making time for others, but will also use each opportunity to spread God’s love to everyone I encounter. When I do (as I have experienced in the past) it will inevitably lift up others and me!

This really hit me today – an antidote really to change my line of thinking…Needed this inspiration…what a blessing.

Both you and your mom are doing a great job of channeling Jack Buck. As I read this story, I couldn’t help thinking about words you used to describe Mr. Buck…”What more can I do?” That spirit lives on and is available to us all!

John thank you for reinforcing “to show up, say yes and return with friends is a very valuable key to live life inspired!” This last Saturday when i was driving from Waco to Parkland Memorial Hospital Burn Luncheon I wondered how would it go today? When i got there the coordinator and I sat there wondering for 10 minutes if it was too hot in the middle of summer to have the June monthly meeting. Then the magic happened we had several old member & 2 new vibrant new members with highly interested spouses appear. We had additional, wives, parents & mothers show up. We got going so good we even ran over +1.5 hours to the meeting. After the meeting I helped the coordinator clean up and we had a great hug to commemorate the great meeting we just had. Thanks for sharing your Monday morning message to keep us motivated. Bill Alexander

Such a beautiful story. Inspirational as always. It’s so wonderful to make someone feel good, and to leave them feeling better about themselves. Another awesome story. Thank you John. 💕

Back when I worked with teenagers through Youth Ministry, I always encouraged them to say “yes” when asked to do something extra because I’ve always believed that it brings many blessings and opportunities. You have just confirmed this! Thank you, John, for your Monday morning inspirations.

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