Just last week I started something new….Make it Matter Monday where I share about someone who has made a difference in my life. Then, I encourage you to go out and do the same. When you make your post, remember to use the hashtage #makeitmattermonday.
However, because I am turning 40 this month, I decided to do a series of “40’s posts” and this is my last one. In this post, I share 40 people who have impacted my life. I wish I had time to tell every story represented within this page, but maybe someday I will.
For now, I am giving a shout out to these 40 people for the impact they have made in my life. This is by no means a comprehensive list (I could go on and on for days), but is a good start.
It originally started with this video I recorded about Mr. Oliver.
I had such a great response to this video on Facebook and knew I wanted to encourage other people to share their own stories. Then, I saw one of my friends, Faydra Koenig, doing a “Shout Out Saturday” and mentioned I was inspired to do something similar. Faydra encouraged me to do it and “Make it Matter Monday” was born.
Here is my “Make it Matter Monday” list for today in no particular order:
- Mr. Oliver – I shared the impact my 5th grade teacher, Mr. Oliver had in my life in the video above.
- CJ – After 16 years of marriage, CJ knows me better than anyone. But, even though he knows all my faults and quirks, he is the one person in my life that shows me the most love. He shows it through his actions, his words, and his time. Things haven’t always been great in our marriage, but I’m thankful we persevered through the rough times. So worth it!
- My mom – If you know my mom, you know the impact she has had on many people’s lives. I am so blessed to be her daughter and she has inspired me and helped me to grow in more ways than I can count. I love you, Mom!
- My dad – I lived in the same town as my parents for the first 12 years of my marriage. It was during that time that some healing happened in my relationship with my dad. We started meeting every Wednesday night one-on-one to share and pray together. It was a powerful and impactful time in my life.
- Bur Shilling – Bur was the director of the singing group, Children of the Light, which had a big impact on me. I recommitted my life to Christ at one of their performances my Junior year in high school and was part of the group my senior year. It was definitely a life changing time in my life.
- Corrie ten Boom – Although she was already passed away in 1983, her books have had an incredible impact on my life. Her story is told in “The Hiding Place” but one of my favorite books is “Tramp for the Lord.”
- Beth Moore – Beth’s bible studies have made a huge impact on my life. I remember how powerful her study “Breaking Free” was for me in the healing process from the pain of my past.
- Kim Bookmyer – I felt God prompting me to contact Kim, but was hesitant to reach out to her since at that time, her husband was the COO of Blanchard Valley Hospital where I was working as a Physical Therapist at the time. However, I obeyed and a beautiful friendship followed. Kim and I were prayer partners for a season when I lived in Findlay, Ohio.
- Angie Leatherman – Angie was one of my best friends in high school, but played an instrumental part in my life when I needed her most.
- Heather Hart – God brought Heather into my life in 2009 as a volunteer on my website FindYourTrueBeauty.com. We then co-authored our first book together (of many) and Heather started working for me. If it wasn’t for Heather, I may have given up on my first website for authors and would not be an author coach today. I’m so thankful.
- Donors to Tri-S – In college, we had a program called Tri-S (study, serve, share). Because of the generous donations of alumni, I was able to go on multiple trips for a fraction of the cost. I remember my 2 week trip to Mexico costing a total of $50. I also went to Ecuador, Uganda, and France/Italy. These trips changed my life and I doubt I could have afforded them without the donors who gave to this program.
- Homer & Marilyn Lentz – I get tears in my eyes when I think of Homer & Marilyn Lentz. They were dear friends of ours from Stonebridge Church of God in Findlay, Ohio. CJ and I lived in Belize for two years and later we found out that Homer and Marilyn prayed for us every single night we were there. I could tell you stories of things that happened (or didn’t happen) and to this day I wonder how much their prayer protected us from during our time in Belize. Not only that, they also printed off EVERY email update we sent and kept them in a binder. Such amazing people!
- Stacy Christian – When we moved to Findlay, Ohio in the middle of my Junior year of high school, Stacy Christian befriended me. Not only that, but she introduced to me to the first true Christian teenagers I had ever known. This group of friends ended up having a huge impact on my life through Youth for Christ and Children of the Light. And they were so much FUN to hang out with!
- Judy Withrow – She was my 11th grade English teacher when I moved to Findlay. I had no idea how to write a paper and received my first C in her class. However, she worked hard with me and taught me the foundations of writing….which I still use today (AND get paid for!). Thank you Mrs. Withrow for being an amazing teacher. Your teaching lives on through my books today.
- Jill Cassassa – Jill was the best friend I always wanted, but never had. We were roommates our sophmore year of college and are still friends today.
- Rhonda Mathias – Rhonda was also a close friend of mine in college and had a lasting impact on my life. I will always remember the example she shared of her family memorizing scripture. Her dad would sit at the kitchen table with her and review scriptures and she brought her box of scripture cards with her to college. Such an amazing family in so many ways!
- Stacey Reeder – She is my sister but also my best friend. Enough said. Love you sister!! So thankful for you too Brent.
- Lauren Reeder – Lauren is my oldest niece and I will never forget the joy she brought during my dad’s coma. Lauren was only three years old at the time and didn’t fully understand the trauma we were all walking through at the time. Her smile and the fun games we played helped bring so much JOY into a very dark time in our lives. Thankfully, my dad DID wake up from his coma and we have much to celebrate today.
- Allie Reeder – Allie is a ray of sunshine and loves to have FUN. I haven’t been able to have children of my own and it’s almost as if she and Lauren instinctively know when I need some lovin’ from them. Allie has a special place in her heart for “Aunt Shelley” and often talks about how she wants me to move to her neighborhood. She said it would be so awesome!
- Marlene Rodriguez – Marlene is the head of the counseling program at our church and was instrumental in helping me have a major breakthrough after we first moved to Colorado. I was having a hard time and God used Marlene to encourage me and help me get through it and to the other side.
- Lisa Johnson – Lisa and I met in a bible study at my church and she was my first friend in Colorado Springs. It was a very lonely time in my life and God used Lisa in a powerful way…through her gift of friendship.
- MawMaw – MawMaw is a quiet but generous person. She is always giving and would often give to me when I most needed it.
- PawPaw – He passed away a few years ago and I still miss his humor and love for adventure and life. His faith and legacy that lives on through his family today.
- Grandma Sandstrom – Although she died when I was 8 years old, I knew my grandma loved me. She was always giving of herself for others and I grieve the fact that I didn’t get to know her better.
- Christa and Adam – My cousins that died in accidents way too early in their youth. Through their deaths, it made me realize how fragile life is and to appreciate every moment, every day.
- Mike and Donna Toombs and Bruce and Robyn Barnett – My aunts and uncles who walked through amazing loss but showed amazing strength through the loss of their children.
- Karen Hayes – Karen took some teen girls on a trip to Ocean City and I was one of them. That trip made an impact on my life and I appreciate Karen for all the sacrifices she took to make it happen.
- KP Yohannon – Through his books and his ministry helped me to see the importance of “stamping eternity on my eyelids”.
- Rachael Brenamen – Rachael reached out to me to invite me into an accountability and prayer group at a time that I REALLY needed it.
- Nate and Alison Buck – Nate was the pastor of Catalyst Church and was instrumental in helping me through a very difficult time. I’m so thankful for both Nate and Alison and all God is doing through them.
- Marcene Wallace – Marcene grew up as a PK (pastor’s kid) and so had a soft spot in her heart for Stacey and me. She always made up feel special on any holiday with presents, cards, and her time.
- Marc Clarke – Marc was the director of the music group, One Hope, at AU. I was in this group for one year where I learned a lot and grew a lot under Marc’s leadership.
- Mr. Smith – He was my show choir director and dedicated himself above and beyond the call of duty. We spent many hours in practice and traveling to competitions and Mr. Smith made an impact that lasts today.
- Auburn Sheaffer Sandstrom – Was an amazing inspiration with all the time and energy she gave to help my dad after brain injury. Thank you Auburn!
- Jean Weaver – Jean was my first “real” boss after college. Not only was she a great mentor for me, but she was a great example of shining the light of Christ through her actions every day.
- Ami Sandstrom Shroyer – I always remember looking up to my cousin Ami growing up. She was a role model for me and a great example (and still is).
- Phillip Telfer – Phillip was the first person to introduce me to print on demand publishing and inspired me to write my first book.
- Ken Evoy – I first found out about online marketing from Ken Evoy and his company Sitesell in 2004. I learned so much from him and have been earning money online in some way ever since. I’m so thankful I stumbled upon his free eBook one day over a decade ago. It has changed my life!
- My clients – Seeing my clients take action, publish books, and reach their goals inspires me almost every day!
- And all of YOU!
I am so thankful for each one of you that took the time to read this post. Now it’s time for you to share your “Make it Matter Monday” post on social media or your blog. It can be as simple as a few sentence shout out on Facebook or a recorded video you share. Whatever you do, I encourage you to let the people who have made a difference in your life know about it.
Go spread some impact with your #makeitmattermonday posts!