Sunday, August 5, 2007

Kelly's Quiet Sacrifice

The first time I met her was while standing in line at a teacher career fair as we competed for the same job in a coveted district. I liked her instantly (well, as much as you can like a person who is drop-dead gorgeous, funny, smart, sold out to the Lord, and competing for the job you REALLY want!).

In the end, the principal could not choose between us and instead created another position and hired us both. If I would have known at that moment what a blessing this really was, I might have gotten fired on the spot for kissing that principal.

And so, the friendship with Kelly began.

We survived our first year of teaching high school English together, but not without late night hours of teamwork, many tears on each other’s shoulders, and so many memories that we were bonded for a lifetime. We became so inseparable that we often wondered if the other teachers could tell us apart and honestly, even our students barely knew the difference. We worried that the district might start paying us one salary and having us split it. (And truth be told, considering how many staff meetings we spent swapping funny notes and comparing baby names, maybe they should have!)

We had similar teaching styles and philosophy’s, but what has kept us friends long after we “retired” from teaching and entered our stay at home mom careers is our deep understanding of one another. In some ways, we are as different as night and day, yet she is one of those friends who can truly embrace who I am and love me just for being me.

She doesn’t judge me for barely being able to turn on a stove, despite the fact she is practically a gourmet chef that even cooks BREAKFAST for her hubby. It is ok with her that I had natural childbirth at a birthing center even though she wanted an epidural BEFORE the contractions got there. She invites me to crafty parties and culturally enhancing experiences, yet knows I won’t come and is totally ok with that. She goes out of her way to make my life better, even though she wouldn’t ask for help for herself in a million years.

And that brings me to my point.

Kelly defines selfless. She is one of the strongest, most generous people I know. She is not one to complain and she is quick to point out the silver lining in any cloud that hangs over her. She has a precious gift for sharing her faith in a manner that is subtle, yet effective. She won’t tell you how to live your life, yet she shows you by the way she lives hers.

Later this month, Kelly’s husband is leaving for Iraq to serve our country. He is an officer in the Reserves, currently training at a military base hundreds of miles from their house. This falls on the heels of Kelly giving birth to their second child.

Raising a newborn and a 2 year old on her own for the next 18 months, Kelly is facing this challenge with the same grace and determination she faces everything in her life with. Although I have always been thankful for our troops and their families, watching Kelly’s sacrifice has made it more personal for me.

Kel- your life is an inspiration and I’m honored that all of CHS some people think we are the same person! I thank God for loving me enough to give me a friend like you.

I am officially asking anyone reading this blog for prayers on your behalf. And since you can't refuse prayers, it looks like this is the one time you will have to allow others to give back to you.

15 comments:

Steff(http://okierivermama.livejournal.com/ said...

Prayers and thanks to your friend and her hubby. And tell her to stay strong, I do the single married parent thing 90% of the time DH is a trucker. It is hard but rewarding.

Dellie said...

Praying for Kelly, for strength, for love, for support, for grace, for PEACE, for wisdom, for plenty of naps (just incase that doesn't come under the peace bracket), for health, for a calm baby and toddler, for good friends like Brittani, for protection for her husband, for her needs to be met.... God, I know, will be your rock and your strength, give each day to him, many blessings to you all xxx

TCC said...

I will be praying regularly for Kelly and her family. My grandfather left for 2 years during WWII; my grandmother had seven children - the youngest a newborn. She was also one who wouldn't ask for help but could definitely use support. She is blessed to have you as a friend.

I'm also a "retired" HS teacher and taught with my best friend for awhile - my sister! She was Chemistry and I Biology.

Janelle said...

What a wonderful post! I would be honored to pray for Kelly and her family. I know she will appreciate your friendship in the days/months that lie ahead for her.

Embracing my cup said...

I often pray for the troops - though right now I don't know anyone personally who serving in the middle east. Now I have a specific family to think of and pray for!

Aunt Boo said...

Speaking of selfless. That was a great post. It must warm her heart to know that someone feels that way about her. You are a great friend and it sounds like you were blessed with an equally great friend.

My prayers are with your family and Kelly's family and I wish her husband a safe return.

Amanda

Autumn said...

I've never met Kelly but I think of her often. Of course I will pray for her. I can't wait to meet her someday. And, thanks ;) for her address...you can go ahead and send it to me now.

FunkyMonkeyJunk said...

I have a dear friend whose husband is serving in Iraq for another 9 months. Like Kelly, he was deployed only months after their first miracle baby was born. And through her experience I've realized what a sacrifice a WHOLE FAMILY makes to defend our good country. The soldiers are a huge inspiration to me, but the "single mommas" left behind are the ones that really touch my heart. And often, they are the unrecognized ones.

Blessings and prayers to Kelly and her family.

Andi

Christy said...

praying-she sounds like a wonderful person and friend.

Sun said...

WOW please telly Kelly my family will be praying and we are SO incredibly thankful for this HUGE sacrifice from her, her children and her husband. She sounds amazing. Everyone should have a "Kelly" in their life and someone who is such an incredible friend back - thank you for this blog - you are a great writer...funny and intriguing! Have a great day - Sunshine

CPT Mom said...

Thank you for recognizing her sacrifice.

You coveting prayers on her behalf is a beautiful blessing. She will feel them through the months to come.

carrie said...

Brittani,

What a beautiful tribute to a dear friend!

I also taught English--but at the MS level.

Shelly said...

That's precious...

And I'm cracking up at your reference to her inability to refuse these prayers!

What a heart she has...

BG said...

Friends are a gift from God. God was so good to give you and Kelly to each other. That Divine Appointment, standing in line waiting to interview for the same job, was the start of a life long friendship that many never have the privilege to enjoy. Kelly and her precious children and husband will be in my prayers daily. I will especially pray that the Lord will redeem their lost time together when her Husband returns from Iraq. I will also pray that the Lord will use both of their lives for His Glory while they are apart.

You are a loving friend to care so deeply.

Ann said...

And you, Britanni, are an answer to prayer for many of us who have been praying for K's entire family. Thank you for your blog about Kelly....she's deserving of every word you wrote and more!
I am so thrilled that your readers will be lifting up Lee and Kelly in the month's to come. Why am I always surprised at the coolest things God does???
Ann...the president of K's fan club