"For skillful and godly Wisdom is better than rubies or pearls,
and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared with it." Proverbs 8:11 Amplified

Monday, April 5, 2010

Life Lesson from an Ordinary Woman

Author Kathy Eberly has published a book titled Extraordinary Life Lessons from Ordinary Christian Women. I have not read the book, but the idea of honoring those women who had impacted her life got me thinking about women in my life.


Fresh out of High School I began job searching. I needed something close to home, without a car I had to be able to walk there. The small town I lived in had a limited selection.

I applied at several places looking for office work to put my typing and bookkeeping classes to use but no one would hire me without experience. That always stumped me, how can you get experience without someone taking a chance on you. I finally resorted to applying to a small department store. They hired me, as a sales clerk. Happy for a job I threw myself into it totally.

A male manager and two women ran the business office of the store. Both of these women where older and one was having health issues so retirement looked good to her. Elvira Smith, went to the store manager and told him she wanted me to have the office position. She then talked with me. I hesitated because I had only been there three months; surely someone else working there longer would want the position. She assured me I was the one she wanted working with her. The manager did not have her confidence. He agreed to give me a trial period to see how I would do, not guaranteeing me the job. My mentor knew the quickest way for him to see I could do the job, and for me to prove to myself I could do it, was to take a vacation. After two weeks of training Miss Smith took off for a week, I ran the office on my own. Her excellent training helped me pass my trial by fire.

Because of her faith in me I went on to computer night school and left the store to take a position with opportunity and a much higher salary. Because they couldn’t find anyone right away to replace me I worked at the store on Saturdays so Miss Smith wouldn’t be working six days a week. They also gave me a big raise for a one day work week. Miss Smith shook her head and told the manager, “Maybe if you paid her well when she worked full time she would have stayed.” She always rooted for me.

Forty Five years ago I needed someone in my life who believed in me, especially since I didn’t believe in myself. I know my future success grew from one woman who said, “I know you can do it.” I have tried to follow the example she gave me by encouraging women wherever God has taken me.

Is there someone in your life you would like to thank for believing you had what it takes?

5 comments:

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

I'm thankful for certain friends (to protect their privacy I won't name names) who believe in me.

Janna Qualman said...

What a beautiful story, Diane! Thanks for sharing that.

I think there have been a number of women through the years. A teacher or two, co-workers, aunts. And my mom. She's pretty awesome when it comes to support and belief in my success.

Diane Marie Shaw said...

Kristen, so glad you have friends who believe in you and encourage you. I bet they usually know when you need it the most even when you are not asking.
Janna, like you I have many people who have been there for me over the years. It warms my heart to think on them and have gratitude for them.

Not enough hours! said...

What a wonderful story.
Over the years, there have been a number of people who have touched my life, and disappeared. The last few years, I have been discovering many of them, and to each of them, the first thing I say is "Thank You".

Diane Marie Shaw said...

Not Enough Hours, How wonderful that you are reconnecting with those who have touched your life. Being able to say thank you to them must touch their hearts too.