Today I simply want to briefly honor three magnificent role models in my life.
#1. Rusty (Rose Marie) Spring. Rusty was my mentor professor when I was student on Westmont's Urban Program in San Francisco in the early 80's. Rusty read my journals and answered with quotes from poets and coffee dates at curious little bookshops in the city. Rusty asked poignant questions and listened well. She modeled a deep spirituality and a willingness to engage the tough questions in life. Rusty just turned 80. I haven't seen in her over 25 years but I love her dearly all the same.
#2. Wanda Moore. Wanda was my teammate in Kenya as we worked among the Maasai in the early 90's. Her "children" were already in college and beyond, except for the twins, who were 11. Wanda was a wealth of wisdom and a constant encouragement to this young mom. She could make an extra mattress on the floor into a luxurious guest bed with her pile of lovely quilts. She helped me see the strengths behind challenging traits in my kids and modeled the most extraordinary faith, even in terrible pain, when her husband, James, died tragically in a motorcycle accident 21 years ago. Wanda is getting married this week and I'm delighted!
#3. Ruth Craig. Ruth coached our leadership team during the years we worked in Europe. Ruth is smart as a whip and as charming as they come. She is poised and strong and gentle all at once. Ruth modeled for me a living hope as she overcame personal sadness and grew into a woman of tremendous authority and influence. Ruth has advised in many halls of power but loves to host noisy gatherings of blended family and piles of grandkids more than anything else. She currently pours a ton of love and care into empowering women at risk around the world. Best of all, Ruth's amazing husband, David, adores her and is her greatest fan.
I am overwhelmed with thankfulness for Rusty, Wanda and Ruth! Thank you, ladies, for always inspiring and calling up the best in me. I'll love you forever.