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Since it’s the season of gift-giving, it’s only natural that my mind has turned not only to my Christmas shopping list, but also to those more intangible gifts I seem to treasure more and more as the years go by. The gifts of Faith, family, and even storytelling have literally transformed who I am…and that’s why I’m paying it forward once again.

As a child, my Christmas list and focus was on the immediate and the tangible. That special toy in the Sears’ catalog. The next installment in my favorite series of books. A bedroom where I could escape the teasing torment of my brothers. Please, God, no liver or onions on the dinner menu. And blue jeans that weren’t too “high-water” too soon in the school year before shorts-weather rolled around again.

Then I grew up and realized that the true gifts were the immeasurably valuable words wisdom and encouragement from my parents, pastors, teachers, and mentors. Sometimes those gifts came wrapped in the mundane or felt like a mountain of work, but I wouldn’t be where I am without them.

Yes, I’m still on the receiving end of mentorship and strive to be a lifelong learner. However, I’ve also discovered the joy of teaching others and pointing them toward a better future. Of course, as a mother, I’m constantly modeling a faith-filled practical life for my kids…and sometimes sound a little too much like my own mother in the process. But paying it forward sometimes means being that mentor for someone outside my house.

Last week, I blogged about fueling my dream for the long haul and focusing on the road ahead. But I’m also very aware of those on the journey behind me. In the past year, I found extreme joy in being able to come alongside budding middle school writers and push their storytelling craft to new heights. In coaching adult authors as they queried editors, entered contests, and even created websites or newsletter lists for the very first time. In sharing with a group of high school students what the path toward being a published writer looks like and how to get down that path without tripping or skinning their knees too badly. And even in drafting editorial emails for contracted authors and showing them how to take their existing stories to new creative heights that will impact readers.

Instead of being mentored, I’m now the mentor. I’m still being coached, but also becoming a coach. I’m being taught, and am a teacher.

I’ve received priceless gifts…and am now privileged to be paying them forward in the best possible ways.

What about you? What gifts have you been given that you can pass along to others? Do you ever sound like your mother? Do you ever stop learning? When is it too soon to teach someone else?

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One thought on “Paying It Forward Once Again

  • December 10, 2018 at 6:08 am
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    Thank you Candee for paying it forward! But for you sharing your gifts, I wouldn’t have a website! Your gift of teaching comes with a priceless gift of patience. God bless you.

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