Your greatest contribution to the kingdom of God may not be something you do, but someone you raise.
A few years back, I met Shelda Balcer for perhaps the first time (at least formally) in my own family room. You see, the high school kids were headed to the prom at Guerin Catholic and they decided to use our home, which is very near the school, as their “photo op” location. Shelda’s incredibly intelligent and absolutely stunning daughter, Olivia, was headed to the dance that year with my son, Drew. Shelda is pictured above (far left) with her truly gorgeous family.
Before I knew it, Shelda had ordered the rearranging of the furniture and was very definitely commanding the room full of teenagers as to where they should stand, sit, and so on. I thought to myself…well…looks like I have met my match today! Haha! Shelda was sporting a rather impressive camera on her hip, however, so I yielded. I was thrilled a few days later to receive an email with some really lovely pictures of the kids. She’s talented with that camera!
Shelda is the mother of four, two girls and two boys. Her daughters happen to be the same ages as my sons, Nick and Drew, and they ran in the same kid groups while they were Golden Eagles. Emma and Olivia are both incredibly intelligent and kind young ladies who have impeccable manners. I don’t know her sons as well just yet, but it’s hard to miss the very tall and handsome, Dylan, who is a year ahead of Zach at GC. I spot him fairly often serving mass at OLMC. I don’t think I’ve had the pleasure yet of meeting her husband or her youngest son, Adam.
However, I’ve gathered enough evidence to be convicted of a few things about Shelda and I’d like to share them with you today. First of all, she’s a faith-filled, articulate woman with an incredibly beautiful smile. She’s friendly, confident, and positive in her interactions with others. I truly believe there are few things more important or powerful for the next generation than mothers who are prayerful and faithful to the Lord. Shelda is most certainly both of those, and it shows in the integrity of her children. Motherhood is a million little moments. That’s what I know, and I can see that Shelda understands too the words of St. (Mother) Teresa. “Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.”
I see you, Shelda, being the face of Jesus to that beautiful family of yours and the rest of us around you too. You are a woman of character. I chose the quote above as I attempt to honor you today on your 50th birthday, because I think it powerfully applies to you. Thank you for your witness of faith and the grace-filled example of motherhood you provide to those around you. It matters. Those little things are how I think you make your positive difference in this crazy world. I’m grateful for your warmth and your smile as well, because the world needs every single grin! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SHELDA! I hope it’s been a terrific one! My rosary today was for you and your intentions. May our good and gracious God bless you on this special day!