I don’t usually write family related posts on my blog, so it is very rare that they come two posts, right after one another. But I think you will enjoy or at least appreciate today’s post.
Today, it is my amazing and wonderful wife Allison‘s birthday. In the spirit and theme of this blog, here is a quick look at how I see Allison as a leader, exhibitor of neighbor love, and a leader in ministry and the church.
Allison is as genuine and authentic as they come. This was one of the reasons I fell in love with her originally and continue to fall in love with her every day. She can’t hide who she is or how she is feeling. I love this about her. She doesn’t have much of a poker face, and she doesn’t keep many secrets. She means what she says, and because of this she is an authentic person and leader.
I could have easily put “Leader” here, but I figured that would be cheating. Allison is a great listener. She loves hearing people’s stories- the good, bad, and ugly. She loves talking about vocation and helping others see the vocations they are serving. She loves story telling and sharing these stories, which can only happen first through listening.
Allison has a genuine thirst for learning and remaining engaged and wrestling with some of life’s big questions (especially about identity). This is a big part I think why she is really thriving with her work with Discourse. Part of what gives her joy in learning is in helping other people reflect and learn a little bit more about themselves, about what they believe and why they believe it, and then helping equip people to share their stories and understandings in positive and communal expressions.
Not only is Allison present, she is generally involved. She is present and active in what she is doing and what her larger team is doing. She is active and involved in other people’s lives because that is important to her. She is an includer and is always concerned about bringing others into conversation and community together. This is great leadership, ministry, and neighbor love.
Those that know Allison, can’t argue with this. She loves to talk with others. She is engaged with them in many different means, and needs to be because the world is a big place full of amazing stories and possibilities. The connections between people and stories bring some of her great joy. Speaking up about challenges, problems, and injustices (especially for women) is also one of her great strengths.
Allison finds new ways of doing things. Discourse is one example. Another, is that she is certainly making her own path creating and discerning her role in ministry (a role that is certainly an innovation). Allison is “unique” in all of the best ways possible. The ways that she sees connections and possibilities is uncanny, and the way that she works to help others see these connections and possibilities is awe-inspiring. When she sees potential new ways of doing things, she is not afraid to give them a try and share them.
I thought about Allison as a non-conformist here. But, I have decided to go with notable. I know how blessed I am to be her life partner. I also know that any one who calls Allison a friend (or has called her one) can’t forget her. She leaves a mark and impression because of her passion, love and joy for all she meets and does.
These are just a few quick examples of how Allison is a leader, neighbor lover, church leader and ministry doer. If you know Allison, what would you include? (Especially if using the letters of her name to describe her.) If you did this exercise for yourself or another, what might this look like?
I can’t conclude this post though without the admission and proclamation: Happy Birthday darling, I love you!