Good morning and welcome to Coffee and Conversation #139!
Do you ever wonder if your life makes a difference to anyone?
Bloggers think about that all the time. Well, at least many of us do.
But in the past few years I’ve been at this, there have been a handful of people I’ve met in the blogosphere who have impacted my life in a big way. Some I’ve “interacted with” via their YouTube channels, a few I’ve “met” on a Facebook live or Periscope session, some I’ve actually spent time with at a convention last fall, but with only one have I had face-to-face meaningful interactions in real life.
One of my blogging friends was Mandy Kelly. I don’t even remember how I first met her, but I do know she was one of the first bloggers I ever got to know past trading emails. She wrote a wonderful guest post for us on marriage two years ago, and since then I have been privileged to get to know her personally and work with her professionally. She was a woman of faith, through and through, loving God first, and her family second. Her words were penned with the kingdom in mind, pointing us all to the cross and the glorious message of the Resurrection; encouraging us to be Christ-honoring wives, moms, homemakers, daughters, and friends…
Early last Tuesday morning, she and her husband, along with their two youngest children, went to be with Jesus. The terrible house fire that took their lives spared the lives of their two older children and her mother-in-law. I know that the Lord has this all in His hands; I know that He will take this tragedy and use it for good; I know that He has a plan for all this, and He is still sovereign, on the throne, and a good Father – even though
we I will never understand why this happened.
“Gut-wrenching”, “horrific”, “dreadful”, and “heartbreaking” are some of the words that initially came to my mind.
But, inspired by and knowing that my friend Mandy wouldn’t stay there, neither will I. And neither will many of her friends.
“A few” of those who knew her decided to band together today and pay a tribute today. And, in blogging fashion, we’re doing this in a way that Mandy would have loved. The theme of today’s blog will be replicated across the platforms of over 40 other blogs.
Mandy was unstoppable in the way she shared her faith and her love. We hope to be doing the same today…
So, as my contribution, this morning I’m sharing with you
The Biggest Thing I Learned from the Life of Mandy Kelly
“We bloggers” were tasked with sharing one thing we learned from Mandy’s life, but I don’t really know how to cut it back to just. one. thing.
What I learned from Mandy was a generosity of spirit that was both inspiring and humbling. When I first met her, she had a kindness and openness that I was accustomed to experiencing only from friends I’d known for a fair amount of time. She was generous with her interest in Candy and I and our new (at the time) venture and generous with sharing her experiences and the knowledge she’d picked up along the way. That encouragement was like a drink of cool water to me. She wrote a guest post for us – a small start-up blog – at a time when most other more experienced bloggers would not, especially since it would be contradicting “best practices”. But she didn’t care what was right by the world’s standards, and she taught me that “Yes, Virginia, there are kind, helpful, and sincere people in cyberspace!” I also had the privilege recently to do some VA training with her and another sweet blogging friend. She never hesitated to share her expertise and freely shared her wisdom.
But what spoke most to my heart in recent months was her joy. Joy is my Word of the Year this year, and so my antennae are naturally “up” for that quality. Mandy radiated joy! Her smile…her words…both exuded it, giving her a magnetic personality. Listening to her present a Bible study, well, just seeing her joy from being in the Word encouraged us all to dig ever deeper ourselves!
I knew her all too briefly, and there are others who knew her “irl” (in real life) who would have so much more to add. I hope you get to meet her a bit through their words, too…
Each of the following bloggers will be sharing their own thoughts regarding the impact Mandy Kelly has had on them. Please take a moment when you can and visit a few:
And if you feel led to share financially to help the family
Mandy’s church, Trinity Baptist Church – Cayce, has set up a fund to help the two surviving children. Just go to their website, click on the big green “Give” button on the top right, and choose “Kelly Fund” from the drop-down menu. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Before you read on, go hug your hubby and kids… Go ahead: I’ll wait here.
Now, on to our
I hope you’ll humor me as I feature the very last post that Mandy wrote. Although she regularly shared her words here, that very last week before her death, for whatever reason, she did not make it to the party. But reading these words on that sad afternoon…
Well, I just felt in my heart that they will touch your hearts, too.
Do you have a moment when you saw Jesus for who He is? A moment that was defining for you? The moment your faith became more than your parents’ faith, more than Bible stories you had been taught as a child, more than a religion that you had heard of – do you remember the moment that you saw Jesus for who He is – that He is Lord?
When we see Christ for who he truly is – we can’t help but see ourselves for who we truly are.
Thank you so much for your inspiration and timely words, Mandy. I know today and forever you are seeing Christ for who He truly is!
And thank you all for being here…
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