Friday, October 2, 2009

Mrs. Elliott inspired me

This evening was one of those time for the memory books.  We went back through memory lane.  And we made memories.

Meet Tricia Speas Elliott Stafford.  Mrs. Elliott was my 3rd grade teacher for two years.  Yes, I said two years.  What memories I have of those 2 incredible school years, and there are several things that I can share with you.  The biggest being that God sent an angel into my life when I was in need to being shaped.  That was third grade a long time ago.

I was a shy, under achieving and even lazy kid with very little motivation to do well in school.  Never did I know when I started at the new Christian school, Eastwood in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that God and Mrs. Elliott had some things for me.  Over the next year and a half Mrs. Elliott poured her life into me.  She pushed me, challenged me, called me down and more.  Little did I know until recent that my mom and her were in this together.

What I have to say to each of us is this: influence those around you for God's best!  Use the time your have.  Your resources are people and nothing else.  Pour your life into someone else.  God will use your faithfulness and influence in greater ways that you will ever know.

Psalm 112:9 (NLT) --- They share freely and give generously to those in need. Their good deeds will be remembered forever. They will have influence and honor.

What is so special about this lady?  Let me first say that I believe God puts people in our lives for us to work with and for us to influence.  Nothing is an accident.  Make the most of everything God gives.

She only taught for three years.  Some may say that I, and others, drove her to quit teaching.  But it was really the birth of her first child.  In the time she was my teacher I remember Mrs. Elliott taking time to get to know the kids she taught and to see where they were in life and learning.  Her gift was in challenging us to be better and to learn.  That challenge was given in such a way that we wanted to achieve.

I went from not liking school to not wanting to miss school.  From where I sit today and from where I serve, I can see the mark that Trisha Elliott has left on my life and is still leaving to this day.  Because she saw potential in me, I see potential in others.  Because she took time to work with me, I take time to work with others.  Because she pushed me to greater heights, I push others to do the same.

Mrs. Elliott inspired me, and now I pray that she will inspire you.  God made us to be influencers!

Tricia (and it is hard for me to call you that), thank you for making a difference in my life!

Hebrews 10:24 (NLT) --- Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.

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