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Grateful • Community Minded • Joyful

Her Story

Reverend Nancy Wilson

Minister Keene and Hiawatha United Churches - Volunteer - Junior Curling, Keene Pumpkinfest, Northshore Public School Council

Nancy's Story :

My mom could write awesome thank you cards for any and every occasion.  I inherited only half of her gift as I love to express my gratitude in writing but often have difficulty getting it to the recipient in a timely fashion.

And yet the thread of thankfulness has been woven throughout my life.  I am thankful for the home in which I was raised – a place of rural living where it was safe to play outside ‘til all hours of the night.  A home where we shared in the responsibility of household chores, the recreation of team sports and our family meals that always included discussions of world issues, life and faith.  My childhood years were filled with opportunities to identify my gifts and passions and to develop skills in leadership, team work and collaboration.

As I have grown, I have been blessed with the opportunity to travel abroad and also to live in different provinces in this country (B.C., PEI, Manitoba and Ontario).  All the while I have, with curiosity, listened to the stories of other cultures, learned the traditions of other people and explored the uniqueness of other places.

Don’t get me wrong, when the tragedy of having a house fire and the heartache of the death of many beloved family members has struck my life, my natural default has not been to practice gratitude.   It is at these times, I have felt the most powerless, vulnerable and uncertain.  But the determination of that redheaded child who threw ‘the best’ temper tantrums, the competitive nature of the athlete whose team played for gold in high school soccer; the faith of the pastor whose congregation holds her in prayer, carries me through the challenges of life, and I return again and again and again to a place of gratitude.

It is a choice to look at the world through eyes of gratitude.  A choice that has changed my thinking from expecting things as something I “deserve” to being deeply appreciative when generosity is extended. It has inspired me to give my time and share my gifts and energy with others in my community and to work for the betterment of the earth.  In gratitude for the gift of creation, my spouse Claudio and I have written a thank you card of a different kind – by the simple acts of planting a seed, providing food and habitat for birds and bees and other animals, and making the daily commitment to live with as little environmental impact as possible.   These are small steps practiced over time in the hopes of making a difference that lasts.  And along the way, we learn from many people whose examples of generosity, faith, resiliency and hope inspire us.