Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Lucado's You Changed My Life Review & A Story of 1 Who Changed Mine
Kay Booth was my senior English teacher. As a beautiful, young woman in her early thirties at the time, I remember some of the guys in my senior class that were swearing that Van Halen’s “Hot for Teacher” was made for her.
There was a mind behind that beautiful exterior. As I finished my junior year barely passing English, eyes went up in the administration almost immediately wondering why I ever would consider taking college English. I wasn’t the only one. My best friend, Kevin, got an opportunity early in his senior year to explain why both of us were in her class: “You know, she just cares about me.”
It’s easy to say that she was a teacher who cared, but for me, it was so much more than that. After failing to survive the competition of teacher pets and attitude of Journalism I my sophomore year, I began to doubt that I could write at all, much less well. Being in her class brought back confidence in my writing ability. We began talking about going to college and I wasn’t sure if I’d have the money, even with financial aid. My mom was working a job as a laundry person for the hospital, a job she’d had for 17 years at that point.
Mrs. Booth met my mom at a teacher-parent meeting and asked mom where dad was. He’d been living in Alaska since 1972. When they divorced, the state wasn’t recognizing judge decrees from other states. However, that had changed by 1986 and Mrs. Booth encouraged my mom to go to the Department of Human Services, not only to find my dad, but to get him to help get me through college.
Thanks to that encouragement, mom did go to the office of a case worker. She found my dad in North Pole, Alaska. The social worker didn’t just get the $100 per month that he owed until I was 18, which would have amounted to about six months. She got the courts to have dad pay back amounts. My dad did not argue about it. He paid until the day I graduated college. Without knowing him or the money, I would never have made it through school.
I will always remember my graduation day at Bridgeport High. After the ceremony, she came by and shared encouragement and gave me a good luck hug. Without her help, this nerdy kid would never be sitting here tonight writing about someone who changed his life to open my comments on Max Lucado’s book You Changed My Life.
As I kept reading through the book, Max’s stories of love, kindness, commitment, compassion, hope, courage, wisdom and friendship, I kept thinking of her and several others who were able to touch my life and change it so that I could be here today.
That’s what this gift book is for. This book shares these type stories for the person in your life who has helped change you. All of these stories are classics from other Lucado offerings and warm your heart. I laughed as I thought about four or five are stories that I have previously seen or heard in emails and pastors’ sermons.
My personal favorite from the book is a story that I shared with my daughter Megan tonight. She is five and in kindergarten. The story is called A Friend Indeed. It is the story of a kindergarten class and a little girl that had a spirit to hum. Even though it was sweet, she got in trouble and had her pin moved from one color to another. The little girl cried and cried until her friend hummed until his pin joined hers, showing us that friends stick with us, even in trouble, even at an early age.
If you are looking for a gift book for a special person in your life, this is an excellent source of stories and encouragement.
I love you guys!