Thursday, August 28, 2008

Nie Nie Day

As I mentioned yesterday, today is "Nie Nie Day," with auctions held (literally) worldwide to benefit the Nielson family. If you haven't already checked out Design Mom's site, stop on by, and don't miss the auctions over at Flowerchain!

I'm not hosting an auction here (I'm not very crafty and I didn't think anyone would really go for a free resume-editing package, although maybe they would), but I did want to take a minute to talk about Stephanie Nielson and the enormous impact she's had on my life through the blogging world. This may not be particularly well-worded or developed, but I really wanted to say a few words about someone who has touched me and influenced me so deeply.

Last week my dear friend Rachel wrote a post that really struck me. She said, "My heart has ached for this family--for all the families involved--this week. It's amazing the things you can feel for people you've never met. And in the process I've realized that what many criticize as the impersonal nature of communication in the electronic age is not always so impersonal. In fact, blogging has transformed what could have been just another 30 second news story into a tragedy the weight of which I feel in my very flesh."

I loved that idea--that while we talk about how disconnected everyone's becoming in the electronic age, the aftermath of the Nielsons' crash has shown how many thousands of women Stephanie has touched. Many have written posts or comments about how she inspired them to spend more time playing with their children, to unabashedly show their devotion to their husband, and to appreciate life in the moment.

I'd have to add my own voice to these thousands of other women. I've been reading Stephanie's blog for several years, so the way she mothers has influenced my own parenting style quite a bit. Because of her, I make homemade tortillas. Because of her, I run and do yoga. Because of her, there are crayon scribbles on my floor and I don't mind. Because of her, I try to actively voice my affection for my husband. Because of her, I've been inspired to try so many new things that seemed intimidating to me before. I have loved reading her blog and seeing how she greets each day with so much optimism and hope and faith. I once read a post on Martha Stewart Living's blog where they described her as "perpetually sunny," and I think that's a wonderfully apt phrase. I pray that her zest for living and her faith in the Lord will help to carry her through this ordeal.

Some of my favorite Nie Nie posts. Take a minute to check them out, please.

and last but not least, a post she wrote just a few days before her accident about a family party she threw for her two girls before they started school. For some reason, this one touched me so much. I love how she made this such a special event for her daughters.

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