My wife, Jean, said, “Keith, you are in here.”
I looked up from my laptop, “In where?”
“In the ‘Acknowledgements’…of Rachel’s book!”
Just that afternoon we had received a delivery from Zondervon Books. To our delight it was our very own advance copy of Rachel Macy Stafford’s new bestseller, Hands Free Mama: A Guide to Putting Down the Phone, Burning the To-Do List, and Letting Go of Perfection to Grasp What Really Matters!
Jean got the right of “first perusal”, and found the note (page 231, in case you’re interested ). Sure enough, there I was! “…Keith Elder….” (After that, everything else sort of faded into “yada, yada, yada.” Sorry. Rachel!) Why would I be mentioned in such a wonderful new work? I just lucked out. I happened to be serving as pastor of Liberty Crossings UMC in Birmingham, Alabama, where Rachel and her beautiful family (Scott, Natalie and Avery) became very active and supportive members. I did very little. They were just “wonderful” looking for a place to happen.
Rachel had so many gifts to bring to the table—creativity, passion, attention to detail, just to name a few—and having a “people pleaser” tendency, she could easily have been swallowed up by dozens of church and community commitments. She almost was. Fortunately for us, a comment by one of her young daughters brought her to the realization that “Mama” might just be missing out on the best part—that is, her daughters’ childhood! In her effort to be all things to all people, she was missing a thousand little moments and looks and smiles and stories and hugs and conversations and adventures that truly are here today and gone tomorrow. It was a wake-up call for Rachel, and, mercy! did she ever wake up! Her “Hands Free Revolution” now touches literally millions of readers. *
Back to “the acknowledgement”. It was just a few words…among several pages of acknowledgements…in the back of a 236-page book. (Did I mention…I’m at the bottom of page 231 ) Just a few words, but they meant so much!
With just a few words—spoken or written—we acknowledge someone’s existence…their sacrifice…their gift.
“My life’s better because you are in it.”
“The way you stepped out and took a chance on your dream gave me the courage to step out and take a chance on mine.”
It’s a “thank you” to an old school teacher. It’s a “thank God for you” to that special relative or friend. It’s a sincere “You made my day” to that coworker who complimented your work or made you laugh.
Acknowledgements. They are a big deal.
By the way, whoever you are…reading this…I want you to know that you just made my day.
* Please get to know the work and words of Rachel Macy Stafford at handsfreemama.com. Such a gift.