February 28, 2011

Thoughts On Building Others Up: Audrey Carlson


Another month has come and gone.  And with the end of February comes the hope of warmer days in March – a nod toward the possibility of Spring around the corner.

This is my sister-in-law Audrey.  She loves warmer weather!  She lives just down the road from me which makes me one lucky gal.  For the past sixteen years she has been one of my closest and most trusted friends.

Audrey has been a major influence behind my idea to focus on building other women up.  She often does this very thing without knowing it.  She is an integral part of my personal support network.  I don’t know how I would do what I do without her.

For the past year Audrey has been the driving force behind a group of women who are trying very hard to improve their lives through healthier living. A handful of the women who participate in Audrey’s Healthy Wife Happy Life challenge are close friends of hers.  But the majority of the group {which I believe is over thirty members now} were strangers or very distant acqaintences initially and are now dear to Audrey’s heart.

On any given day Audrey spends her time encouraging these women in their efforts.  She studies out ways to help them overcome weaknesses as they face the ups and downs of exercising, eating healthy and changing the way they view their worth in relationship to their bodies.  She teaches them and motivates them to continue on what is, for many, a difficult journey.  And she does all this while asking for absolutely nothing in return.  All she wants to do is help other women feel great about themselves.

I asked Audrey what it means to her to build up other women.  This is what she said:

Even the most confident of women need to be told they are great. I’ve often wondered what someone would say about me if they were trying to introduce me to someone who didn’t know me. Many times I have conversations in which I’m told how great someone else is, but I cannot think of when that person thought I was great at something. I’ve spent enough time thinking that this – being built up by others – was what I needed, and I couldn’t be the only one. I needed to tell those around me how great I think they are. I’ve tried harder to let people know that I think they are talented and exceptional in some way instead of only sharing my thoughts with someone else. I’ve also learned to say THANK YOU when someone says something nice to me instead of being self-deprecating.

When I started Healthy Wife Happy Life, I didn’t think of it as a place to build up women, but that is what it’s turned into in many respects. We cheer each other on, applaud successes, understand weaknesses and share in the fact that we are not alone in many of our struggles. Most of all we don’t let each other dwell on failures or missteps. We acknowledge them and remind one another of our strengths and encourage each other to move forward with a positive attitude.

I applaud Audrey for doing what I find difficult to do myself: she spends some time EVERY DAY trying to build other women up.  She is a huge inspiration to me.

For the month of March, would you like to join me in doing ONE THING EACH DAY to build another woman up?  Make a phone call, send a note, compliment a complete stranger in line at Target, help a busy mother with tiny children, call an aunt or cousin, mend a fence, drop off some flowers, send an email, go the extra mile. Let’s leave behind the cold shoulder of February and open the windows of opportunity it March.  I promise, it will warm your heart and make another woman’s day!

You can check out my sis Audrey here. {or at any of the links above}


christy said...

I love it. Count me in.

AllisonK said...

It's nice to meet you Audrey. How fortunate to learn I have another amazing cousin. I look forward to looking at your blog, I certainly need to be more healthy.

Apis Melliflora said...

Audrey does a fantastic job inspiring, motivating and building others up. It's been so rewarding to be a part of the Healthy Wife journey this past year.

Although none of the featured builders asks for anything in return, clearly the rewards of supporting and encouraging others are immeasurable.

Tobi said...

I heart Audrey.

I would love to be a fellow builder.
I can't wait to see all the ways in which you dear cousin build up other women.

Missy said...

I love Audrey dearly!! She's an inpiration to MANY people - including me!

brendag said...

Audrey is amazing, I would love to meet her someday. Count me in. Tomorrow evening is our RS birthday dinner I will be a builder through out the night.

Audrey Carlson said...

Thank you for your kind words. Right back at ya with a big hug!
I'm looking forward to your challenge for March. There are many things I'm looking forward to doing.

The Queen Vee said...

Our beautiful Audrey is an amazing woman. It was a blessed day for our family when she consented to marry my son Chris. She's fun, enthusiastic, a glass half full person and truly and encourager and builder upper of others and did I mention, she's drop dead gorgeous.

Oh, and has the best laugh too!