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Todays post was wrote by not only a guest writer but one of my most precious mentors and friend.  Mary Kay and I met when God positioned both of our lives in a family educator position with Head Start.  From that time forward, Mary Kay has been my mentor, friend and confidant! She has taught me about life, motherhood, grief, strength, faith and unconditional love.  It is my honor and privilege to share her with you today.  Dear readers, I introduce…Mary Kay Woodyard.

In my limited vision I so frequently see things colored with my palette.   You know the one, a cookie cutter of my life.  I wish in all sincerity that others could experience my life.  You see I was blessed with a wonderful childhood.  My parents were older; my mother was almost 42 and my dad, 40.  I was the youngest of three, much younger.  In fact, my sister and brother often say I was raised by different parents than they were.  Truth is things were very different when I came along.  My dad had returned to his real passion, farming; my mother quit teaching and was home with me until I was about nine.  My adult life has been charmed in the same way with a wonderful husband, five great children, three amazing daughters-in-law and eleven phenomenal grandchildren.  A perfect life with no challenges?  Of course not, but blessed in so many ways.

The above is what has led me to make the following prayer my plea to God in the New Year, “Help me Lord, to quit judging and to see, really see.”  When I use my life as the standard I immediately quit seeing and when I quit seeing, I quit understanding.  This is when people and, yes, situations, begin to be invisible.

Invisible people are those with whom we don’t want to share.  They are the homeless, those suffering from society’s maladies which seem predictable to those of us who have been born into the right circumstances or as one of my friends says, the lucky sperm club.  I have worked with disadvantaged youth, children who definitely weren’t born into the lucky club.  They were fortunate if they even knew who their fathers were, let alone had a loving relationship with them.  It is easy when I live in my world to think I know all the answers and even worse to think I understand all the questions. 

And so, God, please help me in 2011 not to merely judge but to truly see in order that I may understand what others are feeling and through this understanding to see my role in helping invisible people become real.   After all, it was you, God, who realized the need to send a human among us to truly help us see the light. 

~Mary Kay

Mary Kay Woodyard lives in rural Kansas with her husband who fathered their five children. They have nine grandchildren who live all over the world.  Mary Kay has been a writer for years, presently working as an editorialist for the local paper. After several years as an executive director for Big Brothers Big Sisters, she resigned her post to pursue her writing goals.  To enjoy more of Mary Kay’s writing, check out her blog Mary Kay Woodyard.