My Grandmother Emily Nix, from Copperhill, Tennessee used to send me birthday cards with a five dollar bill every year. But, my Mother always taught me to write her a thank you letter. This task was something I enjoyed, and I learned a sense of respecting someone else's needs from the fact that my Mother said that it was important.
When I was 14-15, I had a pen-pal before computers and internet. I never met her face-to-face, so Avie Stafford was a friend who never knew me outside my handwritten letters. But, her responses to my letters made me realize I could communicate with people on paper. Growing up in a small town, I am grateful for the experience I gained in being friends with a person in Paint Lick, Kentucky. This was much like corresponding with someone in Japan now. It opened my world to include more neighbors than my physical vicinity provided. It enriched and expanded my world. I lost contact with Avie a lifetime ago.
Luckily, there are people in my life now that I can give thanks for entering into the world of thinking with me via print. This is more important to me than ever, now that I don't leave the house as much. The following people were chosen because of the degree of impact they have on me by responding to my posts, blogs, etc. online. They are mostly not shy people, as you can see by the verbal and written comments they give to my writing.
My thanks giving tonight goes to:
1)Russell Snyder -Thanks for the times you have mentioned my blogs in sermons you have preached. When you read my blog aloud in church, you made me feel my words were valued. I appreciate the fact that you not only listen, but you speak back to me.
2)Angela Dillard - Thanks for thinking about and taking my words to heart. You have always been my top commentator, even when we were children.
3)Cindy Benefield- You inspire me not only with your comments, but with the example you give me of worship. Thanks for showing me what worship looks like.
4)Mary Huffman Weaver- You are the only one on this list that I've never met in person, but you always have something positive to say. Thanks for being a "cloud friend."
5)Robert Tippin- Man, you are so intelligent! Do you know your every comment makes me feel special to have been noticed by someone I admire? Thanks for interacting with my thoughts and words.
6)Jaime Kennedy- Thanks for being so friendly and for having an encouraging heart Jaime. I like the way you tell me you like my comments, even just the little things on Facebook.
7)Virginia Hunt Byers- Wow, Virginia. You show me with all of the many, many interactions on facebook, that you are really paying attention to me. I know what you meant when you mentioned not knowing if some people are listening. But, you are engaged with what your friends have to say. I am sure each of your friends feel the same way. Thanks for including me as one of them.
8)Jan Peppers - You are a good friend to have Jan. I can see that we share many of the same interests. Thanks for all your comments.
9)Melissa Booth Witsell- Not only do you keep up with me online, but you have called me on the phone, and met up with me in town to communicate. I like that about you. I like knowing that you respond to my posts. Thanks for being there Melissa.
10)Donzell Snyder- It just fills me with joy when you comment on something I have written. Thanks for paying attention. I think it is odd that I look up to you, when you are several years younger. But, I always have. I have always liked smart people. :)
Just like John, I feel blessed because "... I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you." John 15:15 And, like true friends, you have responded. Many, many thanks friends! Tomorrow night look for ten of the people who have inspired me.