Have you ever thought about who inspires you?
The other day Taylor & I were talking and out of the blue, I asked him - who inspires you?
I don't really know why it was on my mind or what prompted the question, but I loved that we talked about it.
And so, Taylor & I chatted about those people that inspire us. The ones that make us want to be better, live better and love better.
Today I thought it'd be fun to share with you who inspires us and maybe, just maybe they'll go on to inspire you too.
Sit back, relax & enjoy!
First and foremost, my parents. I was incredibly blessed when it comes to my mama & daddy - growing up, my mom was always home when we were. She was at every school function, she helped with homework, she taught me to pray, she loved me BIG - She was everything you could wish for in a Mom and more. All of our life people would ask what we wanted to be when we grew up . . . I wanted to be a singer, an actress, astronaut, meteorologist, fashion designer and wedding planner, but there was nothing more that I wanted to be than a stay at home mom, just like my mom. Still to this day my greatest desire is to be a mom - a stay at home mom and I can thank my mom for igniting that spark in me and showing me the value and beauty of motherhood.
My dad. My dad is by far the hardest working man I know - He worked every day, but never missed an event of ours whether it was a tennis match, choir concert, football game, 6th grade play - he was there for it all. Something that I won't soon forget. Family always came first for him.
No matter how exhausted he was from work, he always put my mom and us ahead of himself. Talk about a selfless and humble man - he would do the laundry, the dishes, help with our homework, be at parent teacher conferences, play in the snow with us and was always there for us.
My dad never had the opportunity to go to college - he worked as a Fedex Courier for most of his career, but a few years back he had the desire to earn his college degree and so while working full time, raising 4 kids and maintaining a marriage, he decided to go back to school . . . This past June he graduated from the New England College of Business with his Bachelors Degree.
My dad was just a few years shy of retirement at this point, he didn't need a degree, but he wanted one - I remember he once told me that somebody can take everything away from you, but the one thing that they can never take is your education.
To watch my dad cross that stage and receive his diploma at over 50 years old was by far one of the most inspiring moments of my life - you can give me all the inspiration books, quotes, cd's and talks you want but nothing will ever top that moment.
As I sit here writing this all I feel is grateful - grateful that God blessed me with these two people who showed me how to seek out the meaning and beauty in this crazy life.
Whew! Alright . . . if you know me than you know that I love to follow bloggers - I love following their lives and I'm constantly inspired by how others live their life. One of my favorite bloggers is . . . Mix & Match Mama.
I love Mrs. Shay Shull and her darling family!
Meet the Shull's!
One of the first things I do in the morning is read my blogs - it's like reading the newspaper for me and I love it. This is one of the blogs that I read every morning. With all of the negativity in the world, Shay is like a breath of fresh air. I have come to adore her blog - she invites you into her life and you can't help but to just fall in love with her precious family.
Aside from her having a darling family, fun ideas, cute clothes, yummy recipes & fun giveaways - there is so much more that draws me to her blog & her life. Funny as it may sound, she is one person that I am undoubtably inspired by.
She has a profound and true love for God and she isn't afraid to share it. It seems to me that these days God is simply just pushed out of our lives - he isn't talked about and as disheartening as it is, it feels as though Christianity has become something to be frowned upon these days . . . especially in the eyes of celebrities, the media or simply anyone that has some sort of platform and voice.
Shay's love for God shines through her and her family and that is really inspiring to me. Every morning when I read her blog, I leave feeling inspired, whether it be about God, fashion, a new recipe, fun ideas and just hoping that I win her next Nordstrom Gift Card Giveaway - fingers crossed ;)
I love Mix & Match Mama for so many reasons - check out her blog and I'll be that you'll leave feeling inspired.
Mix & Match Mama Blog
Mix & Match Mama Instagram
Mix & Match Mama Facebook
Alright . . . I know that this isn't going to surprise any of y'all and that's okay - Chip & Joanna Gaines. I am constantly inspired by these two . . . like many people I am inspired by Joanna's talent, her eye for detail, Chips laid back attitude and their goofy, loving relationship. Those things are something to be desired - but more so than that I am inspired by their hearts, their values, their fierce love and commitment to each other, their commitment and love for their kids, their humility & gracious hearts and their strong desire to serve God and share his love and message with the world.
I have always been wildly inspired by people who completely let go of their life and leave it in the hands of God - these two did just that and they are the living, breathing example of what happens when you put God in the driver seat. God's plans for us our so much greater than our wildest, craziest and biggest dreams . . . think about that - Joanna wanted to have a home decor store and she did - The Little Shop on Bosque. After a couple years, she heard God tell her that is was time to close the shop and raise her babies - and although it felt as though she was shutting down her dream, she did it anyways, because she knew that this was God's plan for her - God has something bigger and better in store for her, something that neither her or Chip could have ever dreamt about.
Most of you know where this story goes - That Little Shop of Bosque turned into the Magnolia Silos, a place that 30,000 people come to visit EVERY WEEK.
- Let God lead the way & watch what happens -
I also want to talk about Chips book real quick, because if you're looking for inspiration this is it. This is by far one of the best books I've ever read and I would highly recommend it - Chips words cut straight to the heart and you finish the book with a new outlook on life. Chip sees the world in a way that is so special and it's truly something to strive for.
I was deeply inspired by his book - his outlook on life, his love for his wife and kids, his faith in God, his desire to keep going when times get tough and his fearless, optimistic outlook on life are all together inspiring.
You can read my thoughts on his book here and you can order the book here!
. . .
I also wanted to post Joanna's testimony here, because out of all the things that these two have done - this is one that I have been the most inspired by and I hope that you are as well.
Taylor. My sweet husband. There are so many things that I love about him – but one thing that has always stood out to me is his ability to see the good in everything, whether it be people, a situation or life in general. I notice him doing it daily and it’s a quality that I strive for and am inspired by time & time again.
I feel like I am always so quick to judge and make assumptions, while Taylor doesn’t – he thinks bigger than that and even in the messiest situation or scariest person, Taylor seeks out the good. He reminds me daily of how we are seen in God’s eyes – we aren’t perfect, but God chooses to see the good in us. How amazing is that? I pray everyday that God continues to work in my heart and that one day I, like my husband, choose to seek out what is good.
On another note – Taylor is passionate and just seeing him talk about his goals, his job, & career, leadership, friends, family, us and our future is completely awe inspiring. When he drives to & from work, instead of listening to music he is listening to podcasts and being inspired, challenged and driven to reach for his goals. He takes up leadership roles at school and work, because he loves being a leader and he is good at it. People look up to him in so many aspects of his life, including me – He loves his friends, family and me fiercely. He values relationships and he is give 120% in whatever it is that he does. He tells me daily how inspired he is by these people that he follows and that he hopes to be like that one day . . . what he doesn’t realize is that he is already doing that – it may not be in the form of a podcast, blog or at a conference with 10,000 people, but he is doing it in the lives of those closest to him.
I find inspiration everyday through my husband and my goodness, what a blessing that is.
That’s it friends – all of these people inspire me daily. I read a lot of blogs, follow a lot of people on social media and am surrounded by friends & family – I am inspired by so many people and I wanted to compile a short list of others that I am inspired by, because my hope is that you’ll be inspired by some of these people just as I have been.
- Carrie Zimmer –
Carrie is a photographer in Arizona and her Instagram page is by far my favorite to follow. To start, her family is absolutely precious, her photography is beautiful and dreamy, but her words are what bring me back time and time again. She often posts a picture and will have a lengthy caption to go with it, She is mama to 3 girls and a wife to her husband – marriage & motherhood are bound to bring you trials and triumphs and Carrie loves to share about both of those things - I don’t even know her personally and I can tell you that she has a heart of gold. It shines through her and her family and it really is something to beautiful to witness.
Mrs. Carrie Zimmer inspired my marriage blog with her #marriagemonday posts.
Go & give her a follow here!
- Jefferson & Alyssa Bethke –
Okay this is sort of a recent thing, but in the past couple of months I have totally come to adore these two and their family. Jefferson & Alyssa are the sweetest couple that has created a marriage course to help others succeed at marriage. The joy that comes from these two will just make your heart burst – without even intentionally doing so; they show me daily what little things I can do to make a difference in my marriage. Simple things like the way that they interact and treat each other is inspiring to me – I think to myself, what can I do to make Taylor even more happy and joyful? What things can I do to make him feel loved, honored, appreciated, cherished and adored?
They have a new book out called Love That Lasts – I haven’t read it yet, but I’m hoping to soon and while I can’t give a review, I’ve heard so many good things about it so go & buy it now!
Follow Jefferson here & Alyssa here!
- Kirk Cameron –
Speaking of marriage . . . Kirk Cameron has been a pretty regular form on inspiration in both Taylor’s life & mine recently. For those who don’t know, Taylor & I recently completed a six-week marriage course (which you can purchase here) by Kirk Cameron and his wife, Chelsea. The class really changed our life and I am just beyond grateful for that – I won’t go into a lot of detail here, but you can read any of my 7 marriage course posts below:
Lesson 6 & Reflection
- Our Families –
And finally – I couldn’t finish off this post without talking a little bit about our families, because in all honesty, they are some of the ones that inspire us most. Both mine and Taylor’s siblings are amazing – each one of them have worked so hard to get where they are today. It doesn’t get more inspiring than that – I think I can speak for both Taylor & I when we say that we couldn’t be more proud of what they’ve all accomplished and how they they’ve created these beautiful lives.
And of course our parents – our parents are the ones who built us up and helped form us into the person that we were meant to be – they’re the ones who inspired us growing up and taught us things like the value of hard work, loving your family first, how to play baseball and how to love your siblings, because one day they will be our best friends.
I am so grateful to my parents, and Taylor’s parents, for being such extraordinary examples of inspiration and teaching us how to live this life full of love and gratitude.
- XO -
I'm Emilee. Twenty-something. Homebody. Believer in a simple + intentional life. Daughter of the King. Living in Austin with my hubs.
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