Shaping the Stories of Our Lives…

Who Has Shaped Your Heart?

Mother’s Day is this week, but I want to honor all of the women that have played a part in shaping the stories of our hearts. Lately I have been thinking about some of the women that have been influential in my own life. I am remembering the advice that they have given me – the pearls of wisdom that I have held onto and cherished over the years.

One of these women recently passed away. Her name was Esther Belle. She was the pastor’s wife of one of the churches that my family attended while I was growing up. I still have the handwritten note that she gave to me when I was only 12 years old. I have kept it in my Bible, used it as a bookmark, and touched the images that she drew on it over and over again.

When I found out that my Esther Belle was gone, I was heartbroken.

As I look back at the small note that she gave me 21 years ago, I see something that has given me so much hope and strength over all this time…

“Have a wonderful week in school – study hard!!! You never know what the Lord will do with you in the future.”

She was right – you never know.

At twelve years old, I could have never imagined that I would travel to Russia at the age of seventeen, living and working in an orphanage. Having tea parties with her all those years ago, I had no idea that my life’s journey would lead me through the paths of brokenness and healing. I could have never dreamed up this crazy-wonderful life of being Momma to three beautiful boys. As much as I enjoyed writing in my journal as I was growing up, I would have never guessed that I would one day be opening up my life to you here on this blog. You never know what’s around the bend.

I remember blinking back tears the first time that I read her note.

“We love you & your family.”

Someone loved me. Me. I wasn’t lost in the bustle of my large family. Someone saw me. And that meant the world to this quiet girl.

Note from Esther Belle back

I wasn’t able to tell Esther Belle how much her note meant to me before she passed away, but I can keep her words close to my heart. I can pass on words of encouragement to those around me. Maybe many years from now someone else will look back and fondly remember me.

Thinking about my treasured note, I began to wonder about you, my friends. Have you had a role model in your own life? What inspiration, encouragement, or advice have you taken from them and held to over the years?

I wonder if you would mind doing something for me…Would you be willing to share with us the words of wisdom that someone once gave you? Just leave a comment below with those treasured pieces of advice, and I just might compile them in a future post! Who shaped the story of your heart? Let’s share it with each other!


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Written by ginger


  • Danica Geesaman says:

    My youth pastor once told me that if I was truly seeking for God’s will, I couldn’t miss living in it. My husband and I just had a huge decision to make, and we saw that youth pastor in the midst of it. He repeated that advice to us again. This was the hardest decision we have made in our marriage, but we believe that God led us to the perfect answer. It is a simple piece of advice, but it has led me places I never thought I would go.

    • ginger says:

      I am so encouraged hearing this, Danica! I love that you had such a wonderful role model and that you are still seeing the blessing from what he told you years ago!

  • Mrs. Nichols was a teacher for the gifted program in my elementary school, so I saw her once a week form second through sixth grade, and she made a huge impact on me. When I was in second grade, she taught us to always use a firm handshake, and I think that is excellent advice that I still use to this day. She passed away from cancer a few months ago, but every time I shake the hand of someone I’m first meeting, especially a big tall man, I always give him a good firm handshake, stand a little taller, and think how proud Mrs. Nichols would be of me.

    • ginger says:

      What a wonderful role model that you have! I love that she inspired you and that you still think of her as you meet new people! You never know what little thing will leave a big impression on those around us!

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I’m Ginger ~

I'm a wife to my Beloved, mom of three boys, bookworm, survivor of a broken heart, and Kansas Girl. It is my desire to encourage you. No matter what storm you're going through right now, you are not alone. I promise.

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