You Never Know…

Without realizing it, we fill
important places in each others’ lives.
It’s that way with the guy at the corner grocery,

the mechanic at the local garage,
the family doctor, teachers, neighbors, coworkers.

Good people who are always “there,”
who can be relied upon in small,
important ways. People who teach us,
bless us, encourage us, support us,
uplift us in the dailiness of life.

We never tell them.
I don’t know why, but we don’t.

And, of course, we fill that role ourselves.
There are those who depend on us, watch us,
learn from us, take from us. And we never know.

You may never have proof of your importance,
but you are more important than you think.
There are always those who couldn’t do without you.
The rub is that you don’t always know who.
~Robert Fulghum from All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

If there is one thing the pandemic taught me, it’s noticing the people in my life who may have not been as obvious to me before. I hadn’t realized how many folks truly are front-line serving others. It is not only the health care workers, grocery store clerks and school teachers but suddenly the list of “essential workers” has grown large, including law enforcement, plumbers and electricians, child care workers, water, sanitation and sewer maintenance, postal clerks, technicians who fix our cars and appliances and the farmers who tend the crops and livestock we need to live.

I realized how oblivious I had been before not taking the time to acknowledge the daily services I receive from so many varied people. In fact, it became even more urgent for me to tell my family members and friends – some thousands of miles away from me – how much they mean to me.

I’ve tried to remedy this: I try to tell others as simply and clearly as I can, whenever possible, that I appreciate what they have done and what they continue to do under difficult circumstances, how important they are to me and others and make life better for us all. I also need to continue to nurture those relationships with family and friends crucial to my well-being. I need them all.

It is so important for them to know.

Well over a thousand of you receive these daily Barnstorming emails and posts yet I only hear from a few of you – I treasure those messages, thank you! Let me know if I can do better at reaching out to each of you in a meaningful way – either by commenting on posts or emailing me privately at – we all need encouragement that we can make a difference in others’ lives.

This new book from Barnstorming is available to order here:

16 thoughts on “You Never Know…

  1. Thank you for your wonderful pictures, poetry and the deep sharing of yourself. I look forward to your posts everyday because they seem to always touch whatever is going on in one’s life on some level plus your posts give encouragement for one’s life journey. Thank you, thank you.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Emily, we take your timely, meaningful posts for granted but we DO treasure them daily and look forward to receiving them. I love the poetry and photos and try to ponder along with your heartfelt comments.Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Emily, I read your post everyday, and always look forward to your authenticity & wisdom… and the citing of such wonderful quotes that just fit. And, oh yes, the photos too! I appreciate you and thank-you most sincerely… from just north of the border. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Emily, regretfully I’ve never commented all the way from Australia to say thank you! But I do wake up to your posts everyday and am thankful for the way you notice, point to, wonder, reflect deeply, challenge, such that daily I’m left with a little gem of an idea to consider for myself and to bring before the throne. I’m very thankful for you. God bless you

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Emily, your life itself astonishes me! How you fit everything into each day is amazing–the horses, meaning feeding, watering, grooming, cleaning stalls, that manure pile (!)–all those bales of hay! Then the beautiful garden, and preserving the bounty from it–your ministry at Wiser Chapel–children and grandchildren–and for all these years until just lately, giving yourself to the students whose physical needs you ministered to! Whew! And STILL you committed so much of yourself to each of US–every single day–for how many years?! I can’t imagine how you have kept up, or how much energy you’ve expended–just because you CARE!! You won’t even be able to count all those stars in your crown when the rewards are handed out! And the most amazing thing of all..?! Your humility! You apparently don’t see yourself as Wonder Woman, but I do.
    Blessings beyond measure to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Emily, thank you for the timely reminder of today’s post! I appreciate you and your thoughts! God bless you! Retha (Rodenberger) McAfee

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Indeed, we need to let others know they are appreciated.
    Last week, I encouraged people here to come together for an evening of telling about our hobbies.
    Some came to show and tell.
    Some came to listen. Twenty-five people came.
    They interacted, applauded each other, showed interest,
    This week we will come together to make and write thank you notes to the Team Members here.
    I’ve been visiting and calling friends and I am drained by all of the pain being experienced.
    Financial, medical, emotional, relational needs abound among my friends.
    I feel drained tonight, because of all the pain I listened to today.
    Why Lord?
    How Lord, can I help them?
    What Lord, do YOU want me to do?
    When will things settle down?
    When will people be civil, caring, and kind again?
    When will we slow down and wait upon YOU, Lord?
    I don’t know, but I am weary this evening and feel like I need to talk to someone.
    Are there others out there who feel overwhelmed by the needs of others surrounding them?
    I read your Post and decided to Post a comment.
    It’s a way to vent.

    You said…
    We all need encouragement that we can make a difference in others’ lives.

    Rest assured you do that, Emily.
    I’m sitting here and asking myself…
    How can I make a difference and bring solutions to all the problems I heard expressed today.
    One bright spot. I met a former student who now lives on a 50,000 acre ranch in Wyoming.
    WOW! It was exciting to listen to her talk about life there.
    She was a rural Pennsylvania girl.
    But in the midst of all of her talk, I heard about draught, fires, digging numerous 1,000 foot wells for water,
    husband with a fused back. Oh my.
    Masks, shutdowns, crisis at the border, virus break throughs, questions about schools reopening…
    there’s no end to this COVID interruption to our lives.
    And more and more people in their 70s are in the obits.
    I’m 73 for two more months.
    My father lived to be 98. Mentally sharp to the end.
    He enjoyed life. He loved his job. He loved people.
    My parents were very kind and gentle people.
    Why don’t we promote and talk about the gentle and kind people in our world?
    Just seems like the world wants to focus on the negative and is turning into a chaotic mess.
    I need to sit with my Lord and Savior and regroup looking into his word and receive his gift of peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dear Jeannie Down Under, thank you for your kind and thoughtful words for me this morning- I hope I can keep reaching you so many hours and miles away! blessings, Emily


  9. Dear Jo, I’m always in your debt for your insightful comments and faithful reading- I am slowing down these days, but sharing words and pictures are still my first priority. Thank you for continually blessing me! Emily


  10. Linda, what a great thing to bring people together for Show and Tell! You learn so much about what lights their energy and passions. Keep reaching others as you are doing- it is a profound gift-giving! Blessings, Emily


  11. I left a reply a few minutes ago but the site said I had to change my password ,,, so anyway I will try again …. This is Peggy Rodgers and I wanted to tell you I find such joy in getting to read the posts and see the pictures . It is a minute of Grace for me to be able to share in this special time on line with Emily and her family and farm critters …

    Liked by 1 person

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