30 Days of Me Photo Challenge: Day Sixteen

Day Sixteen: Post a photo of someone who inspires you. Why does this person specifically inspire you? Can you tell me a story about this person?

my cousin, Kelly

We all have those people in our lives that, when we watch them, you think, "when I grow up I want to be like him/her!"  For me, one of those people was Kelly.

You know how someones mood and demeanor can affect a whole room?  To me, Kelly was always like a ray of sunshine walking through the door. 

I am quite a sensitive person, and was a very sensitive child.  To me it always seemed everything said to me was negative.  It made me very introverted and withdrawn.  Then I would go to school and be picked on for thinking I thought myself better than others, because I wouldn't talk.  I would begin to think, honestly, that there can't possible be a God.  The world was so cruel.  Everywhere I turned to I would be slapped with a label.  Stupid.  Ugly.  It.  Dork.  And so on.

Just when it would seem I couldn't take one more cruel word, Kelly would show up.  Seriously.  One day I was curled up in a ball on my couch, I think everyone else was in town.  I was there on the couch hating my life.  Hating the world.  Feeling like I didn't have a friend in the world (it was around 5th grade so pre-Angie).  Then the back door opened, and in walked Kelly.  She sat down and she asked me how I was doing, said she was glad to see me.  And the biggest difference from everyone that had ever asked me that question?  She sat and looked me in the eye and waited.  She was sincere.  From that day on I decided I wanted to be like Kelly.  I wanted to be a sincere and caring person.  Not just to adults, but to children.  I wanted to grow up and look kids in the eye and show them they are valuable too.

It's more than that I want to learn from her.  She is also patient.  She had to have been patient, because I don't know for the life of me why she sat there, that first day, for so long waiting for a response.  lol.  I was terrified.  I was so afraid she wouldn't like me because I was wearing dorky clothes.  I was so afraid to speak because I was afraid to say the wrong thing, and afraid to see disgust in her eyes if she saw my teeth.  (they were quite crooked).  And there she sat.  It all seems funny to me now, how I behaved that day, knowing now how caring and accepting she is.  haha.

She is faithful.  She is courageous.

I remember one time, being at our Grandma's house, and her young daughter misbehaved.  Rather than berate her child in front of everyone she excused herself to a different room, got on her knees and talked softly to her daughter.  Then she said a prayer with her.  That was the day I decided I wanted to be faithful like Kelly.  I wanted to talk to God with my kids, and I wanted to speak softly to them, even when I was angry.  I'm still working on all that.

Kelly is the least selfish person I know.  I decided I also wanted to be like Kelly and adopt children.  Then I learned, as of right now, I am too selfish.  I enjoy what free time I get, and I don't want to give any of it up.  Yet, anyway.  Selfish, I know.

She has to be courageous.  To have 3 beautiful daughters, then welcome 6 more into their life, through adoption over the years, for a grand total of 9 children.  That takes courage.  Courage and a whole lot of love.

The story of her courage that sticks out most to me though.... when we all were gathered around Grandpa as he took his last breaths.  Most people are afraid of death and shy away.  I don't know about the others gathered that day, but for me I, in addition to being afraid of him dying, was afraid to approach him and say things I wanted to say.  I was afraid.  Afraid to wear my heart on my sleeve.  Afraid to cry in front of everyone.  Afraid of how I might look or sound.  Kelly wasn't.  She climbed right up beside Grandpa and gave him her full attention, and wore her heart right on her sleeve.  After he took his last breath she prayed.  Then she sang.  All by herself she sang.  Not afraid of looking silly, or sounding silly.  Not afraid to stand out.  Not afraid to do what she felt she should do.  Not deterred when no one else was brave enough to join in.

She inspires me to step back and take a look at myself.  Am I being the best I can be?  Am I following where God is trying to lead me?

Thank you Kelly, for all you have inspired me to be.

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  1. I don't think I've met her, but she sounds amazing! What an awesome role model!


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