I am totally one who doesn’t take a lot of compliments. Not because I’m rude, but because I’m generally a fairly humble person. I don’t want these compliments to get to my head in any way. I want to be reminded of my shortcomings, even though it is nice to hear someone praise you sometimes too. So, when I was recently approached by Elayna Fernandez-Bare – The Positive Mom – and told by her that I was inspiring, it was hard to agree. Me? Little, young, immature, and imperfect me? A simple, down-to-earth girl who hasn’t gone through anything too crazy in her life, seen as inspiring? It made me ask myself, What makes a mom inspiring? What makes a mom an inspiration? And in particular, what would qualify me, Katelyn Fagan, as one?
So, I took it to my Facebook friends, realizing that asking such a question was very selfish, so I promised I would send a personal message to everyone who left me a comment with something I found inspiring about them. Here are some of the things people said about me:
- I have a passion for being a mom.
- I support my family with my blog, and have been able to turn my passion into a business. Not many people can say they actually make money blogging.
- I homeschool. That’s no small task!
- I am happy as a wife and mother.
- I have an always cheerful spirit. I never (appear) to be in a bad mood.
- I am an amazing mother (okay, that felt weird to write). I have so much wisdom for being so young.
- I have an infectious smile. (Even strangers have told me this!)
- I follow the teachings I have been taught (at church) and put them into practice.
- I am honest. I let people see the good and the bad and am honest about challenges and let others know it is okay to be human.
- I am encouraging and helpful to new bloggers, supporting them in their journey.
- I have confidence. I am self-assured without being haughty, which is a fine line to walk, and I do it with grace. (such a nice compliment from my SIL)
- I am always striving to be better as a wife, mom, and person.
- I am a mom who has a pretty good hold on this “mom thing.”
- I supported my husband in graduate school and now in doctorate school.
- I have been through a lot in just 6 years of marriage, including having twins with little support.
- I am up for crazy adventures, and like to plan stuff. I also do a lot, and know a lot about the stuff I do.
- I am a good mom.
- I express myself well. I am organized in my writing.
- I have an amazing ability for gratitude.
- I have a positive attiude and an upbeat personality.
- I am raising three great kids, take care of our home, bills, income, and do it with an infectious laugh, wonderful smile, and love formy husband (comment made from my husband)
- I discuss topics in a way that helps people understand, and I use the blog to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is courageous and inspiring.
- I am funny! And I am just plain cool.
- I am a great teacher to my kids, spiritually, and school-wise. (Nice compliment from my sister)
- I am energetic and full of happiness!
Receiving such an awesome list from people who know me currently, in the past, from my youth, or throughout my entire life, was so cool. I kind of think everyone should do this once in a while (and also reciprocate back, cause that’s also pretty cool). Looking at this list, and thinking about my life, it helped me see myself better from an outsider’s perspective. While I’m sure some people probably have a good list of things they find annoying about me (sometimes you don’t stop talking, or don’t think before you speak and can make some rather mean comments at times) and uninspiring, I’m grateful that I can be more aware of my true self. But, that was still part of the problem.
Weren’t most of these “inspiring qualities” just a reflection of my natural personality? My natural identity? How is my personality inspiring? Everyone is blessed with their own unique, wonderful, complex personality, and just because mine is more outgoing doesn’t mean an introvert, quite person, with a small smile or quiet laugh, can’t be inspiring, right?
So what is it that truly makes a mom inspiring? A woman an inspiration?
In my experience, someone who is an inspiration has handled a difficult circumstance with grace, pose, faith, optimism, and courage. An inspiring person works hard to help others: they are humanitarians, motivational speakers, non-profit organizers, or crusaders for a cause. They think less about themselves and more about others. They live their lives with integrity at all times. They don’t settle for good enough. Inspiring moms are those who have overcome heartache, abuse, loss, pain, suffering, and turmoil, and turned it into purpose.
And that is why I am so humbled to a part of the Inspiring Mom Bloggers Summit. Some of the women who will be presenting with me truly have gone through some crazy, horrendous experiences, and some are still battling their wars. They are truly inspiring.
Inspiring Mom Bloggers Free Virtual Summit
I really want to encourage you, my loyal readers, to sign up for this FREE Inspiring Mom Bloggers Virtual Summit. Elayna (The Positive Mom) will be engage in dialogues and discussions with 21 of the most inspiring moms in the blogosphere revealing faith-based tips, tools, and techniques on prayerfully selected areas you can use to positively transform your life, overcome the issues that are holding you back, unlock your divine potential, and more!
Topics in the summit will cover Autism, balance, finances, health and weight, marriage and relationships, grief, single motherhood, postpartum depression, unexpected life changes, handling a miscarriage (my assigned topic), finding joy in physical pain, overcoming obstacles and abuse, and much more! The focus of the summit is to turn your pain into your purpose. Every day from January 5, 2015 to January 30, 2015, there will be a new interview and inspiring message to lift and bless your life. So go sign up! And you’ll be in the know about each day’s new inspiring message.
My Inspiring Message
When thinking about the pain in my life, I had to think back to the rather bleak moment in my life when, in the middle of so many great things happening in our lives, my husband was in a major car accident, our one car was totaled, our finances were a mess, my husband was injured, we were all sick for months, and I had three back to back miscarriages, with the last one being the hardest, as we hoped it was the one shining light in the midst of the wreckage, and I was more than 4 or 5 weeks along. If you want to know how I turned that mess of pain and difficulty into something purposeful, I suggest signing up for the summit.
But, tell me, what make a mom an inspiration to you? Who inspires you?