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You know what totally lifts my spirit and gives me the strength to keep on keeping on? Notes of appreciation, tokens of gratitude, and the like. Especially thoughtfully written, specific, and meaningful appreciation and gifts. And I also really like knowing — and being reminded of — what exactly makes a difference in people’s lives. For me, the question “How can I best help people?” often is informed by how I have best helped people. So I keep notes and cards, like the one I received below from another pastor, to encourage me and remind me of what it is that I’m supposed to be doing:

Dearest Kelly,

Thank you so very much for all that you are and all that you’ve done for me and FMA. Words can not express how much our little Field Ministry Academy family has meant to me and my husband. Most of all I want to thank you for being YOU as you shared in devotions and as you talked to me as a friend. Thank you for your vulnerability and for being brave enough to go deep so I could feel comfortable and safe enough to go deep as well — past the facade of casual conversations and reaching deeper into the freedom and openness of true friendship. Thank you for that precious gift — the gift of you!