Monday, November 11, 2013


A month or so ago I received a note asking me if I would consider speaking at the retirement celebration for my boss. I was humbled and honored and panicked at this request. I asked for a few days to ponder and pray and then accepted. I fretted over this last month knowing what I wanted to say and wondering how to tell this man what an impact he has made on my life. And to do it without choking. Last night was the celebration and this is what I said to that man:

I first met Lari Grubbs at the Centennial celebration forLandsdowne Christian Church.  I did what I usually do meeting someone in the region, stuck out my hand and said “Hi I’m Dana Miller from Christian Temple”.  I saw him again a few weeks or months later at another function and did the same thing “hi I’m Dana Miller from Christian Temple”. He smiled with that twinkle he has and said “I know who you are”. 

Lari Grubbs knew who I was.

A few years later I applied and interviewed for the position of manager at the Christian Church Conference Center.  The most experience I had was with the church.  Lari warned me my learning curve would be steep, that he was there for me day or night, I believed him and offered me the position. 

Lari Grubbs knew who I was and what I could do.

My experience working with Lari has been easy. My husband likes to use the phrase User Friendly in the military. This has definitely been my experience. I knew several things working with Lari.  I knew he was available.  He once told me he could answer the phone in the middle of the night, attend to the matter and fall back asleep. I knew he trusted me. His confidence in my ability to care for the Conference Center and the people of the region gave me a greater desire to serve and do good things. I knew that communication was key and we had an open line.  And I knew he had my back.   I always felt like I worked with Lari rather than for him.  I always called him my boss but Lari was more my guide.  My questions, problems, comments were met with a question in return in order to form a thoughtful solution.  And a joke was always thrown in to lighten the situation.

At the celebration for Campbell Hall, Lari publicly recognized me and appreciated me.  He asked me later if I felt appreciated.  What I didn’t tell him that day was that I always felt appreciated by him.  At the end of every conversation we ever had, Lari would ask me two questions.  He would ask me “Do you know I appreciate you? Do you know I love you?”

Lari Grubbs knew who I was, knew what I could do, loved and appreciated me.

This season was a challenge.  Personally, I was not in a good place, balancing the care of my husband, care of myself, and the care of the conference center.  In June, Lari arrived as usual for YAC.  Upon seeing him, I began to talk incessantly about everything going on at the center.  He just stood there, let me ramble forever and when I finally exhausted myself, he opened his arms, held me in his embrace, and said “there, there, I’m here, it’s ok”. Like a parent to a child.  And that was exactly what I needed.

Lari Grubbs knew who I was, knew what I could do, loved and appreciated me and knew exactly what I needed

Lari Grubbs has been my boss, my minister and will continue to be my friend. So Lari Grubbs, I ask you two questions. Do you know that I appreciate you? Do you know I love you?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Because of your care of the Center and the people who came all appreciate and love you.