“Today is the best day of my life, because I decided it would be!” ~Mamie McCullough
As a young girl, I was so blessed to hear Mamie speak. Her words and my exposure to her were a fork in the road. Allow me to share……and I will go ahead and tell you the purpose of this post…………EXPOSING YOURSELF AND YOUR CHILDREN TO POSITIVE PEOPLE CAN INFLUENCE THEM MORE THAN YOU KNOW. IT MAY BE YEARS LATER BEFORE YOU SEE THE RESULTS. I am one of those kids.
It has been many years ago, probably 35 or more, that my Dad and his brothers (his business partners) invited Mamie McCullough to be the guest speaker at their annual company Christmas party. Mamie was one of the most vivacious speakers I had ever heard. She was funny, loud and most of all had a contagious outlook on life. Her strong faith was evident and her words still resonate with me to this day. She is most famous for writing the book, “I Can. You Can Too!”. Trust me, she thought she could and she did.
Her life goal is to encourage others to think the same way. I can honestly say I am a product of her life mission! I will never forget her sharing the story of the “BEE!” Mamie started off that night sharing the following story. “Scientists have proven that it is aerodynamically impossible for the bumblebee to fly. Its body is too heavy, and its wings are too light. You’ve probably read about this phenomenon before. However, the bumblebee doesn’t read—–it just flies!” Her point is this, don’t allow circumstances to dictate your life. Allow God to manifest Himself in you to be all that HE created you to be! Mamie’s life verse is Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Mamie was one of nine children (my dad and his brothers loved this because there were 9 children in their family). Her father died when she was 4 and her mother had only a second grade education. Mamie’s mother made a decision to face life and its unfair hardships with a strong faith in God and a decision to “be there.” Mamie continued to share of the extreme poverty they were in and that it would have been understandable for her mom to just give up, but instead, she chose the “I can” attitude. Mamie’s mother’s decision profoundly affected Mamie’s life and the lives of her siblings. Mamie not only lived through those tough times but she thrived because of her mother’s……………decisions, faith, hope, attitude, and example. Mamie’s mother lived “out loud” which in turn motivated the nine children to be more and do more.
I cannot begin to tell you how her personal story affected me as a young, impressionable girl. I had dreams. I had faith. I just needed someone to tell me that I could and Mamie did. Many times as I put in the time to chase my dreams and live the life God has given me I have thought of Mamie!! In fact, in the last year I have reread her book that she signed for me on that night all those years ago. I realized as I was reading the book again that in just a few short weeks I will be traveling and promoting a book that God inspired me to write with the purpose of encouraging others.
Funny how I have struggled with the idea of “signing a book”–very awkward thought for me–but as I pulled Mamie’s book off the shelf where I keep special books and opened it to the page she signed for me, it gave me the encouragement I have needed to work through the awkward feelings I have. That is another “God Wink” in my life………. You see, I didn’t remember her signing the book. As I read her book, and had just sent mine to the press, I thumbed through the pages, just reading the forward and endorsements, only to stumble upon her personal signature to me! God is faithful. He uses people all the time to accomplish His will. He used Mamie in a most significant way. I am a seed that she fertilized long ago, and just weeks ago God used her signature in her book to encourage me once again.
I am so thankful for Mamie’s mom who “lived out loud” for Mamie and influenced her which ultimately influenced me!!! Never underestimate what God can do in your life and through your life, if you decide to “BE THERE” as Mamie’s mom did, and decide “I CAN” as Mamie did. They both are the result of living and believing Philippians 4:13 and encouraged me to do the same. Let it encourage you!