Welcome to the blog of author Marlo Schalesky!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Wise Words from Kelli Standish

Hi Friends,

My website/newsletter/Facebook page designer and friend, Kelli Standish has been called to a new phase of life. Below is an interview with her from Bonnie Leon. God's grace and wisdom shines through Kelli, and I thought you might find her perspective helpful and inspiring. I know I did. So, here ya go...

Q: Can you share with readers why you started PulsePoint Design, and what your vision has been for the company?

A: In 2002, I was bedridden with a mystery illness. I’d been to twenty-one different specialists, been hospitalized several times, and no one could figure out what was wrong. I was literally wasting away to nothing, my organs were shutting down, and I couldn’t even keep water in my system.

Meanwhile, my heart was consumed with a longing for long-term service in Africa. And yet, there I was, confined to my bed, useless to man and beast! Being a type-A, and quite Irish, I found my helpless state 100% unacceptable. So I asked the Lord, what can I do? Who do you intend for me to serve now? How can I step up and make a difference despite my illness?

The result was PulsePoint Design. At the time, all I had was a dial-up Internet connection, a very old version of Photoshop, and a vision for the support and encouragement of Christian authors.

But if we bring our small abilities to God and dedicate them to the service of others, He will multiply them:).

Q: You and God together have accomplished much. I'm grateful to have been one of the beneficiaries of that partnership. Our walk with the Lord is never boring. Sometimes what he asks of us seems beyond our capabilities and often times it falls outside our personal plans. Recently you received shocking news that changed the course of your life in a major way. Can you tell us a little about this new direction your taking? And how do you feel about what God’s asking of you?

A: My husband is a reservist, who has been out of active duty for more than eleven years. In December, we received notice that he'd been called back into active duty. We are being transferred to a military base in the Middle East for a long-term assignment.

He’ll work in a high-security-clearance post, but we have no other details, because the military can’t disclose them until shortly before departure. All we know is that we’re being transferred to an Arab state where bandwidth is monitored, burkas are standard issue, and electricity is more expensive than Europe.

This has been a difficult time for us. Personally, professionally, emotionally, and spiritually. We're preparing to sell or store most of our belongings (we're limited to several suitcases for this deployment), rent out our home, find new families for our beloved animals, leave behind our friends and the marriage ministry we lead at church... and most difficult of all, shut down PulsePoint Design, and say goodbye to the clients I've loved like my own heart for the past decade.

In seasons of grief like this, all we can say is: God gives, God takes away. It is His call. I gave Him the right to do whatever He chooses with me when I dedicated my life to Him. Even if He chooses to allow my entire life on this earth to be riddled with heartache, I still get the better end of the deal: Eternity in a land of no tears, no pain, and the glory of finally, finally understanding Him.

Q: To understand it all--that will be glorious. I know when I ask this question you will cringe, out of humility, but I must ask. Those who know you see Kelli Standish as an exceptional human being. However, becoming extra ordinary requires a price. Can you share a bit about your background and how you became the person so many love and admire?

A: Hoot! Me? Exceptional? I've got you all fooled! I owe all credit to my good friends, the Ine's: Maybelline, Visine, and Caffeine:)

In all seriousness, though, we can't be any kind of exceptional unless we've wrestled with anguish, wrestled with our giants, wrestled with God, and come out humbled, carrying hard-won truth, and walking with a limp. If limping makes me exceptional then I'm proud to bear the title.

My background was a difficult one. My father was a white supremacist and quite abusive. He taught me to hate every race but the “Aryan” race, and told me my calling was to “take the world back for Christ by bloodshed” starting with blacks and Jews, and moving on from there.

From the time I was 11, I lived in foster homes. When I was 17, I dealt with a broken engagement, by 18 I had joined a cult. In my early 20s, I married my husband, after a man who claimed to be a prophet told me I would miss God's entire will for my life if I didn't marry the person he suggested.

Although my husband is beloved to me now, at the time, I was not in love with him at all, so you can imagine the challenges we've faced over our 13-year marriage:)

I've had my heart broken and my dreams crushed more times than I can count, I've battled the pain of betrayal and loss, friends who weren't, trust destroyed.. you know, the normal erosion you deal with in a fallen world. But this is what I've learned:

Life and loss and destructive people can only make you a victim if you allow them to do so. My fierce passion through every season is this: Lord, teach me something. Make me a safer person for others. Make me richer in spirit. Give me a glimpse of Your pain, of Your passion, of Your character. Grant me full hands, at the end of this dark tunnel, so that when I come out on the other side I have a purer heart to offer you, and more compassion and wisdom to offer others.

And He does. He does.

Q: Words of wisdom for us all to hang onto. Do you have anything more you would like to share with readers? And as you follow the leading of The Father, what are some of your specific prayer needs?

A: My prayer first and foremost is for His blessing and encouragement for the authors of the Christian writing community, particularly our clients (because they're the ones I love the most:). I pray He raises up new champions and advocates, to cheer for Christian authors, to walk beside them and lift their hearts, and to fight for their best. That is the prayer that keeps me up at night right now.

That, and a safe home for our animals, who I love more than anything. Leaving them is going to be very difficult.

As for anything else to share, my best encouragement is this: wherever you are, whoever you are, live nobly, love deeply, and find your people. Find the group--small or large--that God has handpicked for you. Find the ones you are meant to serve, encourage, protect, and champion. Find them, and let God love them through you.

Thank you, Kelli. I know many are and will continue to pray for you.

Again, you have inspired me. But I am left with a huge question -- What will I do without you? I already know your answer -- God will provide.

Much grace and peace to you.


Rel said...

Love to you both, Marlo and Kelli! You are both amazing women who have overcome much!

Hugs xo

Marlo Schalesky said...

Thanks so much, Rel!

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