Keith’s Fingerprint

Siblings leave fingerprints that stay with us forever. But sometimes we don’t realize it until they’re gone.

Four days ago my brother passed away after a four-month, painful battle with cancer. He was only 50 years old and left behind his wife, four children (the youngest is 12) and many family and friends who loved him. Even though many of us thought he worked too hard, he did manage to find time to go rv’ing, camping, fishing, hunting, or snowmobiling with friends and family.

As Keith lay in the hospital, one of his greatest regrets was that he wouldn’t be able to take his two young daughters on a special vacation he and his wife had planned for them this summer. He had made many plans for his home and his family this year, but will never be able to follow through with them.

As I read through the many, many emails, cards, and Facebook messages I’ve received, I can’t help but wonder how many of us knew how much of a fingerprint Keith was leaving on our lives. And I wonder what I need to do or say today, rather than wait for the “perfect” time that may not come.

Who in your family do you need to get in touch with? Or who do you need to thank for the mark they are leaving on your life? Tell us about it, if you like.

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It’s official

It’s official. Our book, A Mentor’s Fingerprint, has been released and we’re already hearing from people who’ve read it. Here’s a FaceBook message that one person sent us.

“I curled up with a great book today…yours….wow, I knew I wanted to wait until I could fully enjoy it and give it the attention it deserved and it was soooo worth it. You are such a gifted writer, a talented woman who shares her wisdom (and Donna’s) with others…This book was worth every moment and I can’t wait to go through it with my group of friends…” Denise Ramsay, House of James Bookstore

You can now read a quick overview and purchase your own copy online at www.fingerprintministries.com/books/amentorsfingerprint or at your local Christian bookstore.

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Birthdays, Butterflies, & Hope

At this time of year, there are a flurry of birthdays in my family – all being celebrated in different ways, including cyber greetings on FaceBook. As each one’s birthday comes and goes, I think about how he or she is a unique evolving butterfly that brings a special flavor or color to our blended family.

Family gives us the freedom to laugh at ourselves, to cry together, and to share a love that holds us close when times are tough. Family celebrates together. Hurts together. And hopes together.

Each birthday also makes me think about what kind of butterfly will emerge as each individual grows older. I wonder what difference I am making in their life – what kind of fingerprint I am leaving. Am I being the kind of mom, mom-in-law, sister, sister-in-law, grandma, and aunt that is leaving a solid, godly fingerprint?

Intentionally or unintentionally, we all leave fingerprints on the lives of others. The question is, what kind of fingerprint are we leaving?

Our houses may crumble, our possessions may disappear, and our bodies may fade away but what we leave in the hearts and minds of people will leave an impresson on more lives than we will ever know. And we have no idea what beautiful butterflies may emerge, for generations to come.

How would you describe the kind of fingerprint you are leaving for your family?

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Our friend, Eileen Neufeld

This first post of our web site is dedicated to our friend, Eileen Neufeld, who unexpectedly passed away on March 26th, after having a masive stroke at work.

Full of life and energy, and only 56 years old, there was no indication that Eileen’s life with us would end so abruptly. The night before her stroke, a group of us were together to celebrate the new release of Donna’s and my book, A Mentor’s Fingerprint. Eileen was her usual witty self – cracking jokes, laughing, affirming us and our book, and taking pictures. She was one of our greatest supporters as we wrote the book and launched Fingerprint Ministries.

At the party, Eileen announced that she was going home to read the book and, if she had to, she would stay up all night to finish it. She was so excited to finally hold a copy in her hands. That was the last time we spoke with Eileen. Her husband later told us that she did finish the book that night and her daughter found it the next day on her night table.

Eileen, Donna, and I have laughed together, and prayed together. We’ve been on a mission’s trip together, worked on projects together, served on the Women’s Leadership Team at our church together, and shared with our husbands in the same small group at church.

Our friend loved photography and had an eye for beauty, which she creatively captured with her camera. She had a wonderful sense of humor, quick wit, and was the master of any kitchen she stepped into. Whether she cooked for a camp or for a banquet, or organized food for thousands (yes – I said thousands) or for a couple hundred, she did it with grace and calm. To her, hospitality was an art and a gift to be given away. For all that she did for others, Eileen was first and foremost a dedicated wife, attentive mom of four daughters, and a doting grandma to eight children.

I’m telling you this story because Eileen is a great example of someone who left her fingerprint on the lives of her family and her friends. You couldn’t be with her without hearing about her children and grandchildren, yet she always had time to send a card or get together with her friends. Yes, she had struggles and frustrations and felt defeat and anger and fear – just like the rest of us. But she believed that God in heaven walked with her all the time and that He loved her unconditionally.

She also believed that her life legacy was to serve and that how she lived and served, no matter what she was going through at the time, would somehow make a difference. She believed that God would take what she did today and make it count for eternity. She was very aware that she was leaving a fingerprint on the lives of her daughters, her sons-in-law, her grandchildren, her friends, and anyone else who crossed her path.

Eileen may have stopped being mentored when she took that curve in the road and passed into the presence of God but her mentoring legacy will live on and on…

What kind of legacy fingerprint are you leaving?

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