Today as I was thinking over my long list of things to be thankful for, I started thinking about the adults who gave of themselves to mold me into the person I have been and am becoming. Does that thought seem as odd to you as it does to me? I’m 55 and I am still becoming. Not too many years ago, I wouldn’t have understood that, but now it is something for which I am thankful. Perhaps I’ll write more about that another day.
As I sat here trying to decide whether to write about Sunday school teachers, youth pastors, or school teachers, I was flooded with my fond memories of my time in Girl Scouts: winter camping (minus the freezing latrine); learning to bake and sew; cookie and calendar sales; and sweet friendships. I met the most influential person in my life through Girl Scouts. Whether I realized it or not, I was given solid examples of strong women, women in leadership. These women filled in the gap for my mother when she functioning more as supportive wife than nurturing mother. (This was an awareness we both came to over one of those really deep conversations while playing Scrabble.)
I tried to be a Girl Scout leader when we lived in Wisconsin. I had to quit. It’s hard work and I wasn’t in a place with enough support to do an adequate job. My girls were very young and needed more of me and I was attempting to pastor a struggling congregation far away from family and friends. Realizing how much time, energy, planning, and creativity it took to be a G.S. leader grew my appreciation for the women who filled those roles a hundred-fold.
So to those women, thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. And even though I won’t eat even one, I will buy my share of cookies this year in honor of you and support of all those women out there now who give so much.