While I know myself as a creation of God, I am also obligated to realize and remember that everyone else and everything else are also God's creation.
- Maya Angelou
From September 19 through 22, I was fortunate to attend the annual meeting of the Guideposts Foundation National Cabinet, an advisory group of individuals and families committed to the mission of Guideposts and its outreach ministries.
Cabinet members give generously of their time, talents and resources to further our mission in communities near and far. They’re fun, faith-filled, inspirational, creative, giving people. I feel blessed by the time shared with them.
This year the Cabinet meeting took place in Dana Point, California, one of the prettiest spots on the West Coast. The weather was perfect—bright sun, blue skies and lovely sea breezes. The heavenly setting lent a sense of openness and peace, just right for hearing from people who have been touched, profoundly, by Guideposts, its outreach ministries, or Grandma and Grandpa Peale.
I was brought to tears listening to their stories. There was Gail Sare, who spoke of how she, despite multiple health issues, shares Guideposts publications with her community to help those struggling with loss, grief, stress, loneliness or helplessness.
Then came Jim and Lindy Wilson, whose story is featured in the October issue of Guideposts. They talked about how their faith was deepened and their strength renewed through Jim’s healing from a near-fatal motorcycle accident.
We also heard from Lieutenant Colonel David Deppmeier, an Army chaplain, who spoke about the history of the chaplaincy in the military. This was highly educational for me and intensely moving as we learned about the impact chaplains of all faiths have, and have had, on American soldiers’ lives in battle and back home.
Guideposts distributes inspirational materials—more than 1 million booklets, magazines, books, calendars and greeting cards each year—free to the military and their families. Chaplain Deppmeier shared with us the deep gratitude the military has for Guideposts’ help in providing spiritual sustenance to our servicemen and women and their families.
But more importantly, we were able to learn, through specific anecdotes, how soldiers have been lifted and comforted at the most painful, frightening and uncertain times of their lives. How could I not be overwhelmingly moved by that?
Leaving the National Cabinet meeting was not easy—and not just because Southern California is such a lovely place. It was hard to leave because being surrounded by people who have such faith in and devotion to the mission of Guideposts was incredibly inspiring. I will carry their stories and inspiration with me as I lead my life back on the East Coast. And I will remain open to opportunities to help further the mission Grandma and Grandpa Peale started long ago and that so many work so hard to carry forward today.
Katheryn (Katie) Allen Berlandi is the seventh of Guideposts cofounders Dr. Norman Vincent Peale and Ruth Stafford Peale’s eight grandchildren. She is a clinical social worker with a private practice focusing on children, adolescents and families, and a consultant for Guideposts and the Guideposts Foundation. Katie lives in a small town in Connecticut with her husband, two daughters and son.