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Coffee and Conversation #139 – Tribute to Mandy Kelly

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

Photo credit: Mandy Kelly and Rosilind Jukic

“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!

Mandy Kelly and family

Before you read on, go hug your hubby and kids… Go ahead: I’ll wait here.


Now, on to our features feature

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.

 

Mandy Kelly - Seeing Jesus for Who He Is

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.

When we see Christ for who He truly is – we can’t help but see ourselves for who we truly are. -… Click To Tweet

 

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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Pat is a Yankee city-girl who has been adopted by the sleepy, sunny south. Married for 30 years and the mother of 5, she woke up one day recently to discover she reached the stage of life where she is the “older woman” described in Titus 2:3-5. A coffee lover, the purchase of a coffee shop a few years ago was her personal foray into the small, family-owned business arena.Today, PatAndCandy.com is her outlet for packaging up and sharing the nuggets of wisdom God and life experiences have taught her.
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23 Responses to Coffee and Conversation #139 – Tribute to Mandy Kelly

  1. Rhonda Kelly April 8, 2017 at 9:02 am #

    Thank you for this beautiful tribute to our beautiful girl and her family. My name is Rhonda Kelly and I am Mandy’s mom. I am slowly reading through the beautiful tributes.

    • Pat April 9, 2017 at 3:09 pm #

      Oh, Mrs Kelly, I am so very, very sorry for your loss. I’m praying that you’ll find comfort in the words you’ve read and will be reading. Mandy was an outstanding woman and a wonderful blogger. She truly inspired me to write for the Kingdom.
      Confident that, just as God’s word never returns void, Mandy’s life will have eternal ripples…

  2. Sue Donaldson April 2, 2017 at 2:58 pm #

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful tribute. Whenever a tragedy is reported on the news, I need to remember that they left a huge personal hole and gap in so many others’ lives. I attended a memorial on Wed for a 30 year old only child of our friends. the room was packed. God’s name was lifted up. And the parents hearts are tender and mourning and missing their beautiful son, now with Jesus. Blessings on one and all. x.
    Sue Donaldson recently posted…Feast on Friday: Homemade Caesar SaladMy Profile

    • Pat April 9, 2017 at 8:24 pm #

      And there are certainly enough tragedies on the news, aren’t there?! So sad about your friends’ loss, Sue, but how comforting to know they’ll all see each other again someday!
      Thanks for your prayers and compassion!

  3. Sapana V March 30, 2017 at 12:13 pm #

    Really, a great tribute. I agree every person has something special that we can learn to improve ourselves.
    Sapana V recently posted…21 Beautiful Baby Girls Names Inspired by Greek MythologyMy Profile

  4. Marilyn Lesniak March 29, 2017 at 8:44 pm #

    Thank you for hosting. Have a great week!

  5. KT March 29, 2017 at 3:29 pm #

    Such a beautiful tribute. Thank you, sincerely, for sharing.
    KT recently posted…Bunny and Nature Books for the Easter BasketMy Profile

  6. Theresa Boedeker March 29, 2017 at 3:09 pm #

    No we can’t understand now, but like you said, God has this. Praying for the family and friends.
    Theresa Boedeker recently posted…Life as it Comes Podcast #34 | Chinese Fire DrillMy Profile

  7. Jennie March 29, 2017 at 11:53 am #

    I’m so sorry about the loss of Mandy and her family. I didn’t know her but have read several posts this week about her and her family, and my heart is broken for them. What an amazing person as her witness is living on. I’ll be praying for the family; thank you so much for sharing.
    Jennie recently posted…How to Make a Simple Flower BarretteMy Profile

  8. Sherry March 29, 2017 at 9:53 am #

    I am sorry to hear about Mandy and her family. May the Lord bless the remaining children and may he bless you and keep you.
    Thanks for hosting!
    Sherry recently posted…God is Our Refuge and Our StrengthMy Profile

  9. Shelly March 29, 2017 at 8:25 am #

    What a lovely tribute to this amazing woman of God. My heart goes out to their children, and I will keep them in my prayers. I was in shock when I heard what happened. I didn’t know her personally but did run into her on the blogosphere quite often. It really did make me stop and smell the roses, because you just don’t know when your time will come.

    • Pat March 29, 2017 at 8:38 am #

      Shelly, it really is true that “you just don’t know…”. Not trying to sound morbid, but a friend of mine once said she always tries to live her life as if today were the last day she has.

      I get it now.
      Pat recently posted…5 Things Never to Apologize for to Your TeenMy Profile

  10. Brittney March 29, 2017 at 8:22 am #

    I am so sorry for the loss of your friend. The blogging community has found beautiful way to remember her. It sounds like she was a wonderful person. I will have her family and friends in my prayers.

    • Pat March 29, 2017 at 8:41 am #

      She was a wonderful person…and there are so many other wonderful bloggers – all real people – out there! Thank you for lifting the family up in prayer. I’m trusting that God has something big in store for them in the future…
      Pat recently posted…Hearing God – Lessons from the tubMy Profile

  11. Michele Morin March 29, 2017 at 8:18 am #

    What a sweet tribute to this godly wife and mum. Thanks for curating it in this space!

    • Pat March 29, 2017 at 8:51 am #

      Thanks, Michelle… As I was writing it, so many other friends – online and in real life – came to mind. Considering many of the comments from the other bloggers in that list, it made me wonder how much of these things Mandy really knew. I
      think we should be telling our friends this stuff while they’re still with us; I know I’m guilty of being far too silent about it…

      So much to think about!
      Pat recently posted…Coffee and Conversation #139 – Tribute to Mandy KellyMy Profile

  12. Mother of 3 March 29, 2017 at 7:40 am #

    Oh that is so sad…. she sounds like a wonderful woman.

  13. Shannon March 29, 2017 at 7:29 am #

    Beautiful tribute, Pat!
    My heart aches for her surviving children and I’m praying for them. I’m so glad that you and the others are telling her story so that the rest of us can be challenged to live as meaningfully as she did!

  14. Helen Reynolds March 29, 2017 at 2:02 am #

    I am so sorry about the loss of your friend and such a large part of her family. My heart goes out to those left behind. We similarly saw tragedy strike a family dear to us this past week. It is always amazing to watch God’s love on action as it comes from others reaching out to give help and comfort. Everyone in this life will experience pain, death and trials. The way we deal with these things is part of the test of this life. Thank you for sharing your sweet thoughts and words of comfort.

    • Pat March 29, 2017 at 6:03 am #

      Oh Helen, I’m so sorry about your friends, too! Tragedy is inevitable, true, but nevertheless, heartbreaking… I am glad to hear you found some comfort in my words, and pray that you, too, will be a comfort to those around you during this time of pain and healing.
      Sending {{hugs}} and prayers your way, friend <3
      Pat recently posted…Coffee and Conversation #139 – Tribute to Mandy KellyMy Profile

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