9/30 Things: People

{To know what I’m talking about, and to see past 30 Things posts, start here…}

9. List 10 {I actually did 11} people who have influenced you and describe how.


John William
It’s amazing how true love can heal you in ways you didn’t even know you needed healing.  John has made my heart whole and keeps it beating strong with his tender belief in me.  He has helped me remember how incredible I am simply because of my Divine Nature and keeps my feeling deserving of his love.
Baby James
I have new eyes because of this baby boy.  He has helped me feel more beautiful than I have ever felt, and more sacred and worthy than ever before.  He has changed my life more than anyone else.
Matt and Jackie: My Parents
Sheesh–where do I begin!  Because of these two I love God, I love people, I love the arts, I love forgiveness, I love parenting, I love serving, I love fun, I love health….it goes on and on.
Erin and John: My In-Laws
These two have influenced me in ways they have no idea about.  They are so strong and so faithful, in spite of the unthinkable trials they have endured through the loss of their son, James.  They have helped me resolve to be stronger in the face of hardships, and to never stop loving and serving people no matter how much I am hurting.  Additionally, Erin has influenced my style and taste more than anyone else.  She has a way of making EVERYTHING beautiful.
Lauren changed the course of my adolescence and teen years and literally pointed me in the direction of true happiness.  She took me under her wing when I had no friends and gave me more joy at that time than I had ever experienced before.  She taught me what it means to be a True friend.  She has also taught me that it is possible to graciously and courageously endure trials.
Mark Daniels
Mark saw something in me in high school that I never would have been able to bring out on my own, with all my insecurities.  He was my high school drama teacher and gave me every opportunity he could to nurture my talents.  He was always real with me and always encouraged me to be better.  To this day I consider him one of my greatest mentors and friends.
Jennifer Cummings
With her compassionate and capable teaching style, Jen lit a fire inside of me for loving others.  She was my mentor professor during college as I studied interpersonal communication and helped me see the value in communicating effectively and tenderly.  I would also consider her one of my greatest friends and view her as a pure hearted, elect lady of God who I would love to be like one day.
Grandpa George
There is no one in the world like Grandpa George.  His humor, his compassion, his testimony, his insight, the way he makes you feel like the most important person in his world… He has inspired me to love others, nurture my talents, teach the Gospel, and to not take life too seriously.  There’s always time to laugh!
Eric Lundquist
Eric helped me remember that I was special after experiencing a trial that stripped my soul of all confidence and hope.  He was placed in my life at a very specific time for a very specific purpose, and helped prepare me to be spiritually healthy enough to date and marry my sweetheart John.  Eric helped me so much.
President Chapman
There is no one like a sister missionary’s mission president.  President Chapman saved me from myself on my mission.  He helped me find faith and courage to remain strong during extremely difficult times.  He has a way of saying exactly what you need to hear without saying too many words.  Some people are called to a mission, I was called to President Chapman.  And to Joanne:
My sweet Baby Jo.  She was my mission miracle.  She taught me of humility, teachability, faith, curiosity, innocence, courage, endurance, and forgiveness.  I think we knew each other before this life and promised to find one another here on earth.  Things are a little different now, but I love her all the same, and always will.  
Sister T, Baby Jo, me: March 2007
Tune in tomorrow: Describe your most embarrassing moment.


  1. John says:

    What a post! These are some special people indeed. So grateful to all of them for being a part of your life and making you so wonderful! Love you, babe! 🙂

  2. Unknown says:

    Jessi – I’m speechless (shocking, I know)! That is an amazing list and I’m honored and humbled and giddy to be a part of it. Thank you for what you said. I look back on our first meeting with gratitude, knowing it was no coincidence. You stood out immediately, not just because you sat front and center (so symbolic of your ambition and emotional centeredness, by the way), nor just because of your gorgeous blonde hair and shockingly beautiful eyes (I mean, come on), BUT, because of two qualities that really distinguish you — you are genuine and earnest. There is nothing phony about you and your openness and realness is inspiring and magnetic. You strike an amazing balance of thinking and feeling deeply about things that matter most, and having fun with all the rest. You proved you have a brilliant mind, but you continue to amaze me with your brilliant spirit. Thanks again soul sista!
    Love you tons! Jen
    PS – I have a Christmas card/thank you note with your name on it and my goal is to get it to you by St. Patty’s.
    PPS – Turned out I wasn’t speechless after all (another shocker!) ;P

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