Be the best pieces of those who went before you.
My Grandpa Ray adored farm magazines. The ones with the photos of baby calves and rolling landscapes, filled with the stories and awful knee-slapper jokes of farmers just like him. He was humble and kind, yet stern and outspoken when it was something he was passionate about. He believed in humanity and keeping perspective on life. We could sit for hours at his kitchen table with a pot of coffee solving all the world’s problems, one conversation at a time.
My Grandma Annie was a maker and an avid cloud-watcher. She was perfect example of a survivor of the Great Depression. She could scrap together something amazing out of nothing. Cookies that tasted entirely different each time because they were always a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Entire queen size quilts made from scraps of worn out clothing that others wouldn’t think twice about throwing out. Her resourcefulness was always awe inspiring to me.
My sister Angie loved people. She had this uncanny ability to make an authentic connections with complete strangers. She listened with warmth and grace and spoke with a wittiness that left you speechless. Her genuine conversation and huge heart never ceased to amaze me.
And as I sit here in this space, grieving these three people and others that meant so much to me, I know I cannot dwell in the space of deep grief. That space is not where I will choose to live. Instead, I must move forward, carrying their memory with me, continuing their legacy and do my part to become the best pieces of those who have gone before me.
It doesn't matter if your house is spotless.
It doesn't matter if you are a top earner at your workplace.
It doesn't matter what your title is.
It doesn't matter how many hours you volunteer.
It doesn't matter if you are the ideal weight.
It doesn't matter how much money you stick in the offering plate.
It doesn't matter what brands you wear.
It doesn't matter what car you drive.
It doesn't matter many tattoos you have.
It doesn't matter what school you graduated from.
It doesn't matter what game you won.
Your worth is not tied up in any of that. None of that matters.
The way you smile back at people, that matters.
The way you send a silent prayer up when you stumble across those in need, that matters.
The way you show grace when someone slips up, that matters.
The way you stop drama instead of spreading it further, that matters.
The way you are willing to extend a hand even when you feel overextended yourself, that matters.
The way you hold a safe space for those around you, that matters.
The way you allow others to lean into you when they are struggling, that matters.
The way you fill others up with encouragement, that matters.
Quit giving weight to the things that do not matter. Start seeing your worth in the value you are adding to others' lives.
Hi! I'm Jessy, one of the co-owners of The Norway Center Store and co-authors of the book Faith Over Fear: Walking Angie Home. My husband Kyle and I live in an old general store, converted to residence, with our three kids, Ally, Charley and Rad and our German Shephard dog. You will usually find me with paint on my clothes creating my next repurposed piece.