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Prayer, action and balance — a formula for success

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Prayer plus action plus balance… If Brooke Abernathy Linthicum has a formula for success and happiness, that’s it. She learned the power of prayer combined with action early on.

“I must have been around four,” she said. “I was learning how to write my name. I was sitting at the table with my pencil in my hand, not doing anything. My mom came in and asked what I was doing. I told her ‘I can’t make my K’s, mom.’ She said, ‘But you’re not doing anything.’ I said, ‘Mom you told me that if I prayed to God to help me, that he would, so I’m sitting here waiting for God to help me make my K’s.’ She said, ‘Baby, that’s not enough. First, you pray, then you move your pencil.’

“From that point on, I realized that prayer is so important, but action is just as important. You have to get out there and actually do things. If you see something that needs to happen, sure, pray about it to make sure you make the right decisions and take the right direction, but then you’ve gotta move on it. You have to move your pencil.”

She’s been operating on prayerful action ever since.

“I’ve always been the person to help others,” Linthicum said. “I started a Just Say No club in our elementary school. I’ve always wanted to organize things, to coordinate things, to make an impact in people’s lives. I’ve done that throughout my life in various ways.

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“I’ve always been class president, class something. I want to make things better. I don’t like to do it alone so I like to bring people along.”

It’s made Linthicum a leader. She’s served on the boards of the United Way, the Roswell Chamber of Commerce and Hike it and Spike it. Now she’s one of the newest members of the Roswell Homeless Coalition board of directors.

“You see people on the streets,” she said. “You hear stories of people’s lives getting turned upside down. Through all that the Homeless Coalition has done, there was a lot of misunderstanding. There was a lot of misinformation. People were judging and it was wrong. There was a lack of information out there.

“I felt that because of my background, I could help. Those people live in my community. I think most people need to recognize that we’re all one tragedy away from losing everything. It doesn’t have to be that you’re lazy, or on drugs. It could be that your spouse was the breadwinner, had cancer and died.”

Linthicum sees her communication skills as a tool to help turn Roswell’s attitude toward our homeless population around.

“For me,” she said, “it’s so important to get accurate information out to the community. To help them to really see the impact that this could make for our community. Sure, there are those who don’t want the help. But there are so many that do.

“I’ve been super-impressed with the number of people we’re already helping. That’s a big piece of what I’m doing now. I’m telling those stories, getting that information out there and showing those successes. There are already so many!”

Never one to do things by halves, Linthicum will make a clear difference before turning her prayerful action to serve another cause.

“I intend to be on the board for some time,” she said. “There’s a lot of work to be done. People don’t realize the resources we have here. Working in the medical community, I see a lot of those. For us to bring all that together to one area to help will make a huge impact on their outcomes and what they can do with their lives.”

Being a mom has helped her strive for balance.

“Those two boys are my everything,” she said. “They’re seven years apart, which gives them quite dynamically different personalities. Branson is a freshman this year. It’s so much fun to watch him becoming a young man. Brodie has the biggest personality ever. We’re constantly on the go. They are the light of my life.”

Balance means making time for her sons while teaching them the power of service.

“I’ve had them at the shelter at Christmastime when we were renovating it,” Linthicum said. “It’s important for them to understand how good they have it. It’s important to give back and to help one another. The Christmas before, we adopted a family. The boys had some nice toys that they didn’t play with anymore. I could have gone and bought new toys, but for the boys to give a piece of themselves made it mean so much more for them.”

Balance also means self-care.

“I recently started painting a lot again,” Linthicum said. “That’s the time I forget everything else that’s going on. My boys will tell you, ‘Mom doesn’t even hear me when she’s painting.’ I get so lost and into the piece that they have to come up and shake me when they need me. It’s important to have that — not thinking of anything — time in your day.”

Part of her self-care is daily meditative readings and journaling. Personal ritual means a lot to her.

“We have to constantly be praying and taking action, Linthicum said. “If you’re not doing it often through the day, then you’re missing opportunities. Even if it’s just for one minute to regroup, pray, meditate or whatever you want to call it. Life can be overwhelming. It’s important to be able to take a minute to redirect yourself and make sure that you’re going down the right path.”

Her biggest lesson in balance came from trying to please people to her own detriment.

“I’ve realized you can be a good person,” she said, “and you can be involved and love people without giving everything to everyone.”

Pray, act, maintain balance. It’s a formula for success that requires practice, like any other way of life. Linthicum is proof that it can become second nature and that it works.