Sunday, October 18, 2009

Due Influence

We hear about what happens when people exercise undue influence over others all the time right? This influence is usually negative in nature. It's the sort of thing you see when someone uses undue pressure to gain a desired result. Bosses can do it when they pressure an employee to perform outside their job description, family can do it when they are trying to get an elderly parent to write a will that benefits them, and abusive men are the MASTER of this negative behavior. They have it down to an art form.

What about though, DUE influence conversely must be the opposite then right?!?!? This morning, as I start the "getting ready for church" process, I found myself reflecting on something I heard earlier this week. Let me explain a little.

Children of the LDS persuasion once 8, begin attending bi-weekly activities at Church. Scouts for boys, Activity or Achievement Days for girls. Last week at this event, I had a conversation with a valiant spirit. I was whining (yes even grown ups whine sometimes too) about how exhausting it is to now be the mom of the kids everyone wants to hang out with. I went on to explain how knock out drag out fights have been started over who these kids do and don't play with and how it's uncommon anymore these days for me not to have 1-5 extra kids or more on any given day in the week. Mr. Valiant said a lot of amazing stuff but namely he counseled me to never underestimate the DUE influence I can have in the lives of these children.

Today, I became aware of just how important such an influence is. I have GREAT kids. I'm biased a little I know, but I also know that I have been lucky to be blessed with such amazing spirits. Their school principal says any educator would be honored to have them in their building, cashiers at Wally World, our second home, comment on how well behaved they are, their friends' parents ask me how I do it, and the list goes on and on of the positive feedback I get regarding them.

So, these good kids have befriended a special set of children. Eleven year old fraternal twins, and their four year old little sister. These three kids spend more time at my house than they do theirs I think. Last night, the twins wanted spent the night so they could come to church with us. This means I've had extra kids overnight for more days in a row than I can remember. This morning though, we woke to find paramedics at the twins' apartment. Their mom isn't doing so well and is going to the hospital so please pray for her. Her children and fiance really need her!

Without a question, I volunteered to take the 4 year old to church with us today so that the fiance can just focus on taking care of Mom. As I sat in my office checking in on Facebook and email and ease dropping on the kids' conversations, I again became reminded of Mr. Valiant's statement about influence.

Though I haven't always had "due influence" on my children, I certainly do now. This influence is proving to have long reaching effects. They then, exercise due influence with their friends and now my place is the coolest place on the block. We have had the Elders over to meet these kids' parents and they've been taught a few discussions. For some reason though, it is often more difficult for adults to accept the truth than it is children and we can't get the parents to church. Today though, I am using my DUE INFLUENCE to take three more precious spirits to church and I am thankful to have the opportunity to do it.

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