Heart Choices: Who Do You Influence? -->

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Who Do You Influence?

Influence is defined as "the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself" according to dictionary.com.

Influence happens to be the one-word writing prompt for Five Minute Friday. Since it's now Sunday, I'm late to the party. But that word is one that I take very seriously.


As I think back over my life, I've been influenced by many people and circumstances. Some are good and others not so good. During my childhood, my mom was always there for me. She was my biggest cheerleader. She taught me good manners, how to be a good guest, how to listen and not just talk, and she shared her sense of style with me. She's been gone now for almost 18 years, and yet I still momentarily forget and long to call her on the phone for one of our chats. She knew my strengths, but she also knew my weaknesses. And yet she loved me.

As an aunt, I longed to influence my nieces. Although we lived across the country from each other, frequent phone calls and travels bought us valuable time together. Trips to Washington DC, New York City, San Diego, San Francisco provided us many opportunities to share our lives with one another. I learned from Kristin and Katie, and I hope they learned from me.

As a nurse, I hope that I influenced the patients I cared for positively. I tried to model healthy habits as I taught them how to prevent future heart problems.

As a preschool teacher, I also hope to influence my students positively. After all, they spend many hours with me in our classroom five days a week. Besides teaching them academics, I hope to influence their character. I want them to be kind, to listen and not be so quick to speak 'me, me, me'. Of course, that's a challenge at the age of three.

Who do you influence? People observe you every day. What do they see? Are you stressed out? Are you impatient? Or do they see someone who cares and listens?


Blessings and love,

Debbie Petras
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  1. I love this. My mom was a great influence on me as well. I miss her dearly. I do hope that people see in me the clam that I have, even it gets stressful.

    1. I know you miss your mom, Iris. I think you do come across as calm.

  2. I love reading about beautiful things handed down - like who influenced you - and you have a lovely list. What wonderful heart things you got from your mom - and her sense of style. I did not get my mothers sense of style LOL! My grandmother taught me strength - if I could stand up to her, I could stand up to anybody - and I learned that when I did that, she loved me even more. I needed that kind of strength to live out the dreams God placed in me! It's so good to visit with you again, Debbie! I always feel like I have stopped for a refreshing moment when I come by!

    1. Thank you for taking the time to stop and leave your comment. I appreciate your kind words. How cool that your grandma taught you strength.


I love to read your comments! I know you have something to share so join in the conversation. And thank you for taking the time.

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