You don’t have to be a household name to be an influencer and do good deeds

Where books are, is where you’ll often find me. Doesn’t matter the genre, I love reading so much that I will literally read everything. My intense curiosity will see me through even the worse of books because I enjoy endings. Even if the beginning and all the pages in between sucks the life out of me. But not all books are finishable. This is especially true for my devotional that I have been reading for the past two years. Another book is the Bible and I can read the same scriptures over and over again and still find profound meaning in it. There is always a lesson.

This morning I awoke before 6am which is a difficult feat for me during the work week. Thankfully I don’t need to rise that early on weekdays. I can snooze until at least 6h55 before I need to hit the shower and dress to be in time for work at 7h30. I’ve never been a high maintenance woman so this is perfectly doable on mornings when I can’t want to do anything. It’s on mornings like this morning when I’m not obligated to rush to get my day started when I enjoy the solitude only dawn can bring. When I reach for my devotional and meditate while my family is still fast asleep.

For a while I’ve been reading through the Top 100 Women of the Bible and cross referencing it with scripture. Guys, I admit that don’t know my Bible all that well. But who does? What I always do when faced with anything Bible or Christianity related I go check my Bible to see if it’s indeed true. One can be fooled easily when you don’t know what the Bible says and my mama didn’t raise no fool. I need facts and truth for everything. There’s this saying that says “The truth has three versions. Yours, mine and the truth.” It’s something I live by and that’s why I would never have made it as a lawyer. And if you thought I’m about to preach or give you a Bible lesson, you are partially right. However I want to tell you about the extraordinary women of the Bible and how they relate to life today.

If I were to ask you who Mother Theresa, Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, Jacinda Arden, Malala or Shonda Rhymes is, I bet you wouldn’t have to think very hard. And if you have to think hard about Shonda then I don’t even want to know you. She’s my hero. Anyhoo, we all know these women for the remarkable things that have done and are still doing. Some of these women have qualities that I would love to have yet I don’t idolize any of them. I don’t know them and really have no idea if they are legit. I’d like to think so, but it’s so easy to project a positive persona to the world yet be a completely different person in private. A blog for another day…

If I were to ask you who Josephine Erasmus is you will come up empty. Google’s search engine won’t find her anywhere. At least not the one I’m talking about. Josephine is my grandmother and she’s too old for social media so there is no presence there. She’s also one of those typical do gooders that will go and look after a sick person and do their washing and clean their home for them to lighten their load. Just a few weeks ago she went and looked after my younger sister and did her housework. She often wants to do this for me when I’m under the weather too buy I don’t allow it. My kids are old enough and my husband has to run the home when I’m out of it. She always has an encouraging word for everyone and has touched so many lives that I just have to mention her name and a door may open for me. Don’t worry, I don’t take advantage of her good nature or deeds. She’d be mighty disappointed with me and I can’t have that. Any other feeling is workable but not disappointment.

But why talk about my gran and how does she fit into this post? It’s simple. If I didn’t tell you my gran’s name and little about her, you would never have known Josephine Erasmus existed or who she was. I could’ve just told you about her and not mention her name. You would just know that I have one living grandmother on the earth and that she’s amazing but that would’ve been the end of it. So too were many of the phenomenal women in the Bible whose names are not mentioned once. Oh we get to hear about their good deeds but we are none the wiser as to what Moses sister’s name was. How about the woman at the well, The Proverbs 31 woman or the woman who washed Jesus feet?

We live in the times where social media is about the only way to reach out and make our voices heard. Our platforms where we can reach the masses while we spread good vibes and be advocates for women’s empowerment, to name but one. Some of us use our powers for good and truly make a difference. We become influencers and become revolutionary while our following increases in numbers because everyone wants to ‘hear’ what we have to say. They want a piece of us and we are so ready to feed them our quips because it makes us feel warm and fuzzy knowing that we are wanted. Yes, I love to know that I make a difference in people’s lives even it’s just one person and even if that one person is one of my kids or husband when they listen to me deliver a powerful speech like I’m speaking to masses. Did I tell you I’m dramatic and eccentric? A lethal combination…

Hi my name is Celeste and I will be your server this evening.

Those are words I wish to never utter in my life. Not in a restuarant anyways. I can’t do the juggling act of carrying a tray. I will probably have to pay the restuarant for all the broken dishes and wasted food for every shift and leave empty handed. Guys, I don’t know what it was like all those years ago but I’m thinking that it would have been nice to be acknowledged by name if someone were to talk or even write about me. A good couple of years ago my husband’s cousin introduced her boyfriend at the time to a group of family members by name and I was the last person. When she got to me it went down like this: “Uhmmm, this is my cousins wife.” Full stop! Never mind the fact that I’ve known her for years and that we were friends at some stage, I was reduced to being her cousins wife and apparently lost my name and identity when I said “I do”. It was obviously as deliberate as my response: “Oh Hi Uhmmm, I’m Celeste, the cousins wife.” And only then did I reach out my hand to shake his. Shame I really didn’t want to put the guy on the spot but I wanted them to all know that I was aware of what transpired and that I will not be reduced to being nameless for whatever reason. My mother in law had to contain her laughter that evening and later mentioned that she never knew her niece was that cheeky. She was also mighty disappointed that her niece didn’t know that I can be rather juvenile at times and pretend I am the queen of cheeky. She should’ve known better. My mother in law’s words (followed by a giggle), not mine. I cannot remember the guys name but since that night I’ve resorted to calling him Uhmmm. I’m bad with names. Sue me.

I am a public servant and the servant bit is what I’m continuously aware of. In my job I get paid to serve. In life I am a servant too. There’s no monetary gain in that but serving is what I’m good at. Showing people what it is to love by doing. Acts of kindness. Nope I’m not about to talk about it. I just want you to know what I found my purpose to be. Sowing seeds and nurturing is another of my ‘powers’ and purpose. I didn’t realise this when I went in search of my passion and purpose. I stumbled upon it and the rest is history. Being a public servant whose name won’t be remembered most days has made me find peace with the fact that people will not always remember my name but they will remember how I made them feel and that is much more important. My wish is to touch someone in such a way that they will remember me fondly. I am naive enough to believe that I can make a difference. One word at a time.

What I found most profound about the nameless women in the Bible was that they all served. Their names may not have been mentioned but they made an impact. So much so that their deeds have been printed for decades and most people have heard of their stories. How freaking cool is that? The Proverbs 31 woman has got to be my favourite and that is a woman I aspire to be. The bible doesn’t mention the timeframe she did all these wonderful things but I’m guessing that it was during the course of her lifetime and not all at once. It would be impossible to all of that in one day or week. If Facebook and Instagram was around back then she would have made a killing. Then again I think she was more of a Josephine Erasmus, humbly doing her thing and not expecting to be applauded for her deeds. I imagine that she would not have wanted to be an influencer because it could possibly mean that she’d lose sight of what she had to do. And no influencers and wannabe influencers, this is not a jibe. If I had time to focus on being an influencer I probably wouldn’t have to work full time to pay bills. Unfortunately bills won’t magically disappear and my motto is to strive for excellence and do whatever I tackle well. I know my limitations and being an influencer is one of them.

While we are go getters trying to uplift and empower one another, becoming influencers, I want us to always remember why we do it. Does it come from a place of genuine support for one another or do we lose sight and do it for recognition? It’s easy to lose sight of who we are, what we stand for and why we started when our follower totals sky rocket. I admit it’s great having a following. But sometimes I get scared of the possibility of it growing so large that I won’t have time to respond to comments or drop a comment elsewhere. Or maybe I just take it too personally. But what I do is personal and losing sight of that is the scary bit.

Some of us don’t give our all because we want to reach out to masses and forget the one or two who we can make a real difference to. Guys we all need upliftment and empowerment. You don’t need a certain amount of followers to fill someone’s cup. One is enough. Every time a woman slides into my DM’s and makes an emotional deposit, it builds me up and motivates me to continue. No woman is an island and we all need each other from time to time. A good word here an emoticon there. Reminding each other that we are not alone. Never underestimate your power to uplift and empower.

Let’s face it, not everyone will know our names or even get to hear of our deeds. It doesn’t really matter whether we become household names or not. Not everyone needs to know of us either.

My name is Celeste Jonkers and I don’t hide behind the anonymity of No Ordinary Woman the brand. But I’m guessing you knew that already. What, with my face being plastered all over my blog. Ha ha… I believe myself to be No Ordinary Woman but the choice of name was never centred around me. I had you in mind when I started. I still do. Every time I share a bit of myself with you I want to encourage you with my experiences. Plant a seed of hope and give you a different perspective so that you too can live a more enriching life and believe that you are No Ordinary Woman. Because you are. We all are. We don’t have to be public figures, grace the covers of magazines or be bloggers. Even if we touch only one person in our daily lives then we are influencers. The authentic kind who makes a real difference to our fellow humans.

PS: Being a servant is not the same as being a slave. Serving is about excellence and giving people a piece of you, the best of you, with no expectations of a return.

PPS: This was the speech I gave my husband the other evening as I force fed a possible post down his throat. I sold him on it after the first few words. He supports me but is not too fond of reading so I give him a show and tell. A wife’s gotta do what a wife’s gotta do. 😉

Just a quick note before I go…

Right after my quiet time, my morning kind of went haywire and I had exercise control big time. I lost my temper with my family and really felt like throttling them. Not the best way to start your day with your humans after a devotion and right before you go to church. By the time we entered the church yard we were all in a good space. But had I not had my quiet time this morning I can guarantee you that our whole day have been ruined. For about an hour this morning I didn’t nurture my family. Torture would be more like it. But I am not wasting any time on guilt because any time spent on that is time wasted from moving on and growing.

What does serving and influence mean to you?

With love,

CJ

4 Comments

  1. ChevsLife

    June 2, 2019 at 6:02 pm

    Serving and influence has a many diverse meanings for me, and it all comes down to an action that impacts with positivity, upliftment, encouragement, kindness and gentleness with some of logical pushback. And then sharing, not wealth, but knowledge and wisdom.

    1. CJ

      June 2, 2019 at 6:33 pm

      Yes to everything you just said. I like how you added gentleness to the mix. You are one wise woman. Also one of the women who I learn so much from.

  2. Noleen Miller

    June 2, 2019 at 7:22 pm

    To me serving and influence means making a difference whether at work or in my community. This was instilled by my grandparents and parents from a young age. And looking back they were the biggest influencers in my life. Giving of myself to others is important to me by uplifting and making a difference non matter how small. Sharing my knowledge and ideas, assisting with problem solving and giving back to those in need. The latter we teach our young people in our church as I coordinate our outreach group. At the end of the day you don’t have to be well-known to serve and influence.

    1. CJ

      June 2, 2019 at 7:48 pm

      Absolutely! My greatest influencers are my parents and grannies too. Giving is a big deal to me and so is serving. I’m so happy your outreach group has you. Our young minds need some positive influence in their lives.

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