She Noticed Me

I was 15.  shy.  insecure.  timid.  nervous.  scared.

Standing over to the side of her busy ice cream shop, I waited patiently for an opportunity to inquire about a job.  I’m quite certain that I nearly bolted out a few times, but I needed to do this.  I wanted to work here.  I needed a job to earn money for college and I was going to stretch myself to branch out.

But she “noticed” me. This kind, outgoing, sweet woman “noticed” me.

That was 18 years ago, but I still credit Bonnie with being one of the most influential people in my life (outside of my family).  At a very critical season in my life, Bonnie “noticed” me.  She saw my potential and she drew it out of me.  Bonnie helped me believe that I could do big things.  She challenged me both personally and professionally.  She gave me responsibility beyond my years or experience.  She dreamed dreams for me that I would have never imagined.

Me & Bonnie

18 years later I still call her friend.  Even though years will pass between opportunities to see each other, we pick right back up and laugh over old memories, inside jokes and dramatic staffing debacles.

My years working with Bonnie were critical in developing my gifts as a leader.  I really believe that those summers in the ice cream shop were the place where my leadership gift was cultivated and developed.  And for that I’m truly grateful.

I’m not sure that I can ever repay Bonnie for the investment she made in my life, but I hope that I learned well from her example and am able to “notice” someone in my life the way she noticed me.

Thank you, Bonnie, for your love, faith, belief and support of me!  You are a treasure and my life has been so enriched by you!

I wish I could say that I just naturally took the initiative to “notice” Bonnie for her investment in my life.  Truth be told, The Noticer Project is responsible for triggering this post.  Based upon Andy Andrews book “The Noticer”, The Noticer Project challenges you “to notice the five most influential people in your life.”  Bonnie is the first of my five that I wanted to share with you… more to come!

So how about you?  Who “noticed” you and what will you do to notice them?

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  • jan owen June 2, 2009  

    I had a friend who asked me to lead worship for a Bible Study and her words had a profound effect on me. She said “I think you have an intuitive gift for leading worship.” This is funny to me because I had always sang bgvs, never leading in our worship times. So she saw a gift and noticed it and encouraged it, as you say.

    The other person was my FCA sponsor back in HS. He took me all over Marshall County, Alabama lugging my very simple sound system making me share my testimony and talk and sing in front of people. When I’d see him as an adult the first thing he’d say is “Are you still singing?”. That was profound for me. He passed away at the age of 43 and I would have loved for him to see me now. Yes, Coach Taber, I am still singing!

  • lindseyreadenobles June 2, 2009  

    I love this. Can’t wait to read about the other 4. Keep ’em coming.

  • holly June 2, 2009  

    Hey – you’ll have to give me the name of the ice cream shop and i’ll stop by on my way up north this summer – sometime in July. Is it in Antigo? I’ll introduce Bonnie to your “surrogate” children. 🙂

  • tam June 2, 2009  

    brian harris.

    i had just found my way back to so. ca from TN after my first husband took his life. i wasnt a believer, yet. i landed a job where brian worked. he invested in me and pushed me to more from the very beginning. he invited me to church and never held back, in the most respectful way. he was also responsible for introducing me to brent.

  • Linnae Hoppe June 2, 2009  

    that’s so amazing!

  • Dad June 2, 2009  

    Very special Jenni. I am so proud that you recognized the infulence those early years working with Bonnie had on your life.

  • Chris June 2, 2009  

    That is such a great story!! My first boss was really important to me too. He was even a groomsman in our wedding! It’s so important to have those people in our lives. Hope I can be that someday for someone, too.:)

  • Jessica June 2, 2009  

    i dont know what we would have done without her!!!!!

  • Jenni Catron June 2, 2009  

    @Holly – it’s the Elcho Ice Cream Shop on Hwy 45. If you stop by you’ll know you’re in the right place. She has pictures of all of her staff displayed. I would love for you to meet her!

  • Heidi June 3, 2009  

    I’m working on this project. It’s awesome!!

    I love to hear this story. It’s incredible to see our sources of “growth”. I can’t even imagine you being timid and insecure.

    YaY Bonnie!!

  • lisapbjcreations June 8, 2009  

    Love that you worked at an Ice Cream shop !

  • susan June 15, 2009  

    I’m sure that there are more people than this, but the first person that came to mind is Mrs. Fenili, my third grade teacher. I absolutely loved her as a teacher, but this past winter, I was able to meet up with her for lunch, and it was one of the best lunches I’ve ever had. It was absolutely amazing, fun, and encouraging. She is the kind of person to see someone’s potential and keep encouraging them until they rise up and achieve something that is greater than the potential itself. 🙂

  • lisapbjcreations June 19, 2009  

    By the way thank you for noticing me 😉