Surround Yourself with People Who Believe in YouMari Hernandez-Tuten
My life has overflowed with sweet friends and family members who have believed in me and celebrate in my successes. Roommates who listened to my silly ideas and a boyfriend (now my husband) who stayed up countless nights dreaming with me (though some nights he was literally dreaming as he dozed off).
I’ve had sweet teachers who went out of their way to spur me on to pursue my dreams, even when they seemed out of reach. All of these people that have filled my life with encouragement, presently and in the past, have made all the difference. God has paved the way, and these lovely friends and family members have cheered me on.
I’m a pretty determined person, so I probably would have pursued my dreams even if I did not find a single soul to encourage me, but it sure is nice to have them in my life. I must add in light of all the successful people in this world, I don’t compare. I haven’t won the Nobel Peace prize, nor am I a successful wealthy entrepreneur, but I am happy for all the little things I have accomplished in life, including being a mom to three handsome young men.
Unfortunately, I’ve also had people in my life who were the complete opposite of these friends, as their desire was to tear me down. If you find yourself surrounded by those types of “friends,” shed yourself of them.
I want to teach my kids to be the people that can be happy for their friends. I want to encourage them to surround themselves with friends who appreciate and encourage them, not tear them down.
And then God gave me my husband, Ben Tuten. He has gone above and beyond to support me in my dreams and adventures as I have tried to do the same for him.
He’s not a man of many words, but he is a man of action.
For every small and big event I have dreamed up and every idea that the Lord has made a reality, he has stood behind me, walked alongside me, and stayed up late cleaning up with me.
Here’s an example of his loving and servant heart: I had walked through the door of the house with my heels in hand, tired, exhausted, and overwhelmed with joy. I had just pulled off, along with some other amazing women, the first ever Latina Scholarship Pageant in South Carolina for low socio-economic status young Hispanic girls. Thanks to God it was a success!
We had media coverage, a celebrity speaker, proud parents, and most importantly, young Hispanic women who truly believed that they could also reach for the stars. At home, he had my favorite flowers and a hot tub with candle lights waiting. As I said, he’s not a man of many words, and the note simply read “Proud of you.” But his actions said I love you so much and I am here for you.
I know you’re thinking, “Dang, girl you got a good one.”
Yes, I did!
Now enough about me. Who’s that person in your life?
Before I end, let me go off on a little tangent. If you’re reading this and you’re single, I would like to leave you with this final thought: When you think about the man of your dreams, make sure you have written down a man of character. Character traits like dependability, responsibility, loyalty, servant’s heart, and commitment are things a nice car or body cannot replace. Add to your list: 1. Someone who believes in me even if he can’t see the details of how it’s all going to work out. 2. A man who will walk alongside of me and not be intimidated by my successes. 3. Someone who doesn’t mind getting dirty with me.
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