Photo Shoots

Choosing to Get Up, Kellie’s Moving Story

Me Ra Koh

Choosing to Get Up, Kellie’s Moving Story – Dallas Frisco Portrait Photographer – Me Ra Koh

Choosing to Get Up, Kellie's Moving Story from Victim to Warrior, FIORIA by Me Ra Koh, Sony Artisan of Imagery

Kellie’s story is almost hard to believe. But with great courage, she wants to share it to bring hope to the deepest pain. Choosing to get up when life beats you down goes much deeper for her than motivational quotes.

The love of her life and father of her two oldest kids, was murdered when the kids were 11 and 7 years old. Then the father of her youngest was also murdered while she was pregnant with him. One has to pause for a moment and just take that in. The unthinkable losses she and her kids have experienced are hard to put into words.

As a single mom, she raised three children who are now incredible young adults.

When asked what is rising from the ashes in this season of her life, Kellie says RESILIENCE. “No matter how many times I’ve been knocked down, and it’s several, I keep choosing to get up. I tell my kids, “Don’t give up. Keep getting up.”

Keep Choosing to Get Up

Kellie’s Rising Phoenix story is one of the best stories to end the year with for a handful of reasons. That short phrase “Keep Choosing to Get Up” is POWERFUL and difficult. All of us know what it’s like to feel so beat down we’re afraid to get up. Every day, waiting for the other shoe to drop. And just tired. But to keep choosing to get up despite it all is one of the most courageous acts any of us do.

Our pastor was talking last week about the angel coming to Joseph after baby Jesus was born. The angel said “Get up! It’s time to go.” Joseph and Mary had been hiding in Egypt because King Herod was killing all the baby boys under two-years-old in hopes of killing Jesus.

But the angel of the Lord woke Joseph up and said it’s time. It’s time to return to the place you were called to. The time of running and hiding is over. I’m sure the angel must have been convincing that night. Have you ever been so convinced of something, so sure, so confident? But as you start to walk it out, you become less and less sure of who you are and where you’re going?

Courage to Step into the Unknown

Joseph and Mary were just like us. They were new parents with fears and doubts just like we experience. Imagine knowing you are returning to a land where all the little boys had been murdered. Every morning, you choose to get up. To grab hold of courage and keep going forward despite all the worries and unanswered questions. They were stepping into the unknown.

Choosing to Get Up, Kellie's Moving Story from Victim to Warrior, FIORIA by Me Ra Koh, Sony Artisan of Imagery

Kellie has done this her whole life. And she taught all three of her children to do it too.

Changing a Victim Mentality

Part of choosing to get up is choosing the right mindset.

Becoming more “Self Aware” is another attribute Kellie feels rising up from the ashes. She is always looking inward, coupled with understanding. When something difficult happens, she asks herself “What can I learn from this? How did I contribute?”

“I’m choosing to change my victim mentality to a victor.”

“I’m a warrior.”

Before her Rising Phoenix Experience, she looked in the mirror every day and prayed, “Show me how You see me?”

God started showing her how she is a warrior! That she is not a victim but a daughter of the Most High! She is His friend. And most of all, God hasn’t been and isn’t punishing her. He loves her.

“If I have to repeat this every day I will. I’m relying on God’s strength every day, Him guiding me all the way. I tell my daughter to do the same. To look in the mirror multiple times a day and ask God to show her how He sees her.”

What Would It Be Like to See This Truth?

I asked Kellie what it would be like to see this truth every day. How would this impact her daily life?

“You have purpose, girl.” That’s what it would remind me every time I see it. “Don’t quit. Don’t get distracted. And if you do, just keep getting up. You just need to move, God is guiding me every step. He is with me and powerful.”

Entering Her Dreams as a Warrior

“Every morning it would set my day. And every night, when I close my eyes, I would enter my dreams as a warrior!” WOW! Don’t you just love that?

With great EXCITEMENT, Brian and I went to Kellie’s home two nights ago and delivered her true mirror! It is the true reflection of how God sees her. That she is walking into the FULLNESS of all God has for her. Lots of happy tears that night from her daughter, friends, and Kellie. What an AWE-MAZING milestone in Kellie’s life!

We don’t get to do this for everyone. But with Kellie, all that she has been through, I wanted to re-share all the beautiful words her kids and mom said about who she is. To celebrate how this woman has not only chosen to get up again and again but is RISING like a phoenix!

I love that her son’s friends were there too and celebrated with us, taking in this woman’s amazing story of resilience. What message of hope did it speak to them that night?

All Hell Broke Loose!

But you have to hear a little more backstory. It will inspire you even more! After Kellie booked her Rising Phoenix Experience, all hell broke loose!

She was already taking a step of faith that the finances would work out for her to do this. And then her and the kids all started having car issues. FOUR car engines later…

Kellie also had a specific idea of what she wanted to wear. This dress, the beautiful tulle fabric in it, represented a memory from her childhood, a memory of innocence God was redeeming in her heart. She ordered the dress but it wasn’t showing up. Finally, a week or two before her Rising Phoenix day, she told me over the phone that even if the dress didn’t come, she was still doing this. “I need this Rising Phoenix Experience badly. Badly. I want this for myself.”

Choosing to Get Up, Kellie's Moving Story from Victim to Warrior, FIORIA by Me Ra Koh, Sony Artisan of Imagery

The morning of the photo shoot, she went by her old apartment complex. Can you believe the dress was at the manager’s office?! AMAZING!

Huge Relief but Only for a Moment

Kellie walked in our front door crying. After she picked up her dress, her youngest called from the school nurse’s office. He was experiencing this crazy rash all over his back! They had no idea what was causing the rash. Terrell hadn’t eaten anything different the last 24 hrs. He was in a ton of pain.

Anyone in this moment could wonder if she just needed to cancel the whole day. Or was all this craziness confirmation that something POWERFUL was going to happen through this Rising Phoenix Experience? And all hell was breaking loose to try and stop it!

Our whole team stopped and started praying for Terrell out loud. This day would NOT be stolen from Kellie!

Within an hour, he was able to get a ride home and rest. By the end of her Rising Phoenix Experience, he was good again. CRAZY!!!

How many of you would agree that when you step out into taking ownership of who you are, grabbing hold of hope for your future, believing you have a purpose…all hell will break loose to try and rob it from you.

But like Kellie said, we keep choosing to get up! We are warriors who will rise again and again! No matter how many times we get knocked down, we will get up!

What Her Daughter Says

“My mom is very strong, loving and forgiving. Forgiving is a BIG word I would use for her. When I lost my father, she was a big inspiration to forgive the person who killed him. I see my mom do it every day, and it helps me do it for myself,” shared Jekelle.

“She always reminded us to be positive, to turn to God in dark times. We had nothing at times, living out of shelters. But she would take us to church. She would have us do family meetings and give us articles about daily troubles in the world to research, to see how God was still moving.

Choosing to Get Up, Kellie's Moving Story from Victim to Warrior, FIORIA by Me Ra Koh, Sony Artisan of Imagery

Me and my brother still talk about those articles. How much those exercises changed us.”

What Her Mom Shaped in Jekelle

“To never settle. Always apply myself, educate myself, never give up on my dreams. No matter how crazy my dreams are. She models for me to not give up.” Jekelle shared how her mom is working on a book about her life and how much this inspires her! YES!!! Kellie, keep writing! You have so much hope to share!

What She Hopes Her Rising Phoenix Portraits Remind Her Mom

“How beautiful my mom is inside and out. She can be hard on herself. But I want her every day to be reminded of how beautiful she is. She’s my best friend.”

I LOVE how her daughter kept looking at the artwork saying “I’m obsessed! I’m obsessed! I love these mom!” Happy tears!

What Jesse, Her Oldest Son, Loves about His Mom

“My mom has overcome depression and anxiety. As a single mom, she didn’t get time off. But she was always intentional about making the BEST of things. Even when we were at our lowest, homeless and living in family shelters for a year, she found a way to make Christmas special. My mom would tell us not to expect much because it was going to be a hard Christmas.”

Hard Christmases Made Special

“And yet, she replaced all the reasons to be depressed by taking us kids to do something fun. Even if it was just a drive to see the Christmas lights. We always went to the Gingerbread competitions, the Teddy Bear Suite in Seattle. She would get us donuts and hot chocolate. It was always family first not about the money.”

Jesse said he didn’t know as a kid all those Christmas activities were free. He just knew his mom made Christmas magical. She “made us feel like a family.” And even in his twenties, he still takes time every Christmas to go do those same activities they did every year as kids.

What Jesse Hopes Her Rising Phoenix Will Remind His Mom

“That she is a phoenix. My mom has walked through hardships, but now look at her! Not only has she taken care of us, but she takes care of all our friends too.”

Choosing to Get Up, Kellie's Moving Story from Victim to Warrior, FIORIA by Me Ra Koh, Sony Artisan of Imagery

“She has been able to rise with all the struggles.”

What Her 16 yr old Son Loves about His Mom

“My mom is very hardworking and always gets the job done. She is also very loving, approachable and talkative….my mom is always laughing!”

Choosing to Get Up, Kellie's Moving Story from Victim to Warrior, FIORIA by Me Ra Koh, Sony Artisan of Imagery

“She put in my head to be myself, think out of the box, not follow but lead and take pride in that.”

What Terrell Hopes Her Rising Phoenix Reminds His Mom

“My mom is undefeated, unchained and FREE!”

When I shared these words with Kellie before we started the photo shoot, there wasn’t a dry eye in the studio.

Kellie couldn’t believe all the words her kids used to describe her. To know how your kids see you, what you’ve shaped in them, is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves as parents. None of us are ever prepared to hear how much of a lasting impact we’ve made.

Dearest Kellie, not only are you a warrior, but you have raised three other amazing warriors!

Your kids are INCREDIBLE! Talking with them was such a gift! They are a gift, and they love their mama!

Your kids, mom, and friends all stand as witnesses to the Rising Phoenix within you!

Kellie’s Mom and Best Friend

Her mom said so many beautiful things about her daughter. She talked about watching Kellie choose to reach deep within herself and hold on to God’s spirit when her world was falling apart. Even with all the pain Kellie has gone through, she said “my daughter still doesn’t look for the faults but the goodness in people…she makes people laugh and smile but can also be serious.”

“Kellie, keep remembering you are strong. You are good. Take a deep breath, it’s not worth it. Focus on what is most important. Your family. Love you.”

Best Text Ever!

The next morning after Kellie’s Reveal Party and Install, she texted me;

“Literally changed me. I wake up feeling different seeing them. I am so encouraged and feel empowered! They truly remind me of God’s goodness and His love for me. They remind me of how valuable I truly am. I DO see that little girl and her innocence shine through. I DO see that fierce warrior who will overcome anything for her legacy. I am so so grateful. I am so excited for this new season!”

YES!!!! This is just the beginning, Kellie!

What is a Rising Phoenix Experience?

This is about you seeing the truth of who you are. When you see your resilience on the wall every day, it transforms you from the inside out. If you are overwhelmed with all the reasons why you shouldn’t invest time or money in yourself, I want you to pause and think of all the obstacles you have overcome in your life whether it’s a weight loss journey, depression, anxiety, cancer, seasons changing with kids leaving the nest, loss of a loved one.

Have you been promoted in your career or pivoted with resilience? The list of how we rise like a phoenix to overcome the odds goes on and on. But so many of us struggle with taking time to acknowledge it.

You Give to Everyone Around You

You’ve most likely given to everyone else. The time has come to give something transformational and lasting to you. Just read the following stories.

Losing 150lbs and celebrating it with a special Rising Phoenix Portrait Experience at FIORIA by Me Ra Koh.

Have you achieved a weight goal? Read Jamie’s inspiring story of never going back after significant weight loss.

Maybe you need a deeper healing from childhood trauma. You’ve done the counseling but still struggle to see the truth about who you are. You may relate to Tiffany’s story.

Or maybe you’re turning 40, 50, 60 or 70+ and feel the need to reflect and celebrate who you are and the possibilities of what this next season of life holds? 

The first step is to fill out our Phoenix inquiry; CLICK HERE.

Michelle Found Courage to Step Beyond Grief

Meet Michelle. She is definitely someone who has known great courage. At one time, she was an interrogator for the US military in the Middle East. This 5’4 woman knows confidence. But the loss of her mom swallowed that confidence.

There are some seasons in life when we feel unshakeable courage and other seasons that leave us feeling lost. After great loss, it takes great courage to step forward. Maybe you relate to Michelle’s story.

Meet Our Oldest Rising Phoenix

She was in her 80s and never had her makeup and hair done. I’ll never forget the giggles we had over watching Oma that day in the studio. This beautiful 4’9 woman came to the United States with Opa when she was only 23 yrs old and pregnant with her first baby. All they had was $50. Leaving behind family and all that was familiar in the Netherlands, they boarded a cargo boat and set out to make a new life.

Krista, Oma’s granddaughter, had a FIORIA family experience with us last year. When she saw us launch the Rising Phoenix Experience, she thought of her grandma. Oma is the heart of their family and lived eighty plus years as a rising phoenix.

Click Here to meet Oma, our oldest Rising Phoenix!

Crystal drove to us from Las Vegas.

A single woman who has always been known for being responsible and quiet, yet there is another side of her that wants to come out. A side that is brave and takes risks—that believes she is worthy of doing something special not just for others but for herself too. A year after her Rising Phoenix Experience, she sent us photos of her traveling solo in Europe! She told us how much her life has changed from seeing who she is every day when she looks at her Phoenix portraits!

What truth do you need to be reminded of daily to unleash your purpose and potential?

Meet Our Youngest Rising Phoenix, a Miracle Photo Shoot!

CLICK HERE to see the most miraculous Rising Phoenix portraits!

This is the first time Isabella has ever looked at the camera and smiled. This was a miracle photo shoot.

I’ll never forget my first Discovery Call with Isabella’s mom. She wasn’t sure this was a good idea because Isabella is very sensory sensitive. Photo shoots have never gone well in the past. She felt very hesitant to believe this photo shoot could be a success.

I felt her words on such a deep level. I didn’t want to set them up for disappointment either. But I just knew that there was something so special about this whole thing. I told her, “There are many doubts and fears I can struggle with, but this is something I am confident I can do.” She borrowed that confidence, and we witnessed a miracle photo shoot.

All these people have something in common, they were ready to …

Rise above the ashes of what other people have said
Rising above their fear and doubts
Embracing their Rising Phoenix within.

Through our Portrait of a Phoenix Experience, they not only did something special for themselves but also received something transformational.

I invite you to experience it too!

Your Rising Phoenix Experience includes:

  • Signature Phone Calls with You and Loved Ones (collection of words that give you life)
  • Professional Hair & Makeup
  • Wardrobe Consultation & Vision
  • Rising Phoenix Photo Shoot with Me Ra Koh (Sony Artisan, Disney Host, and Live with Kelly & Ryan Guest Expert—You’re in good hands. I will pose you, and Brian will drop shadows and light on you in the most flattering way that radiates your Rising Phoenix.)
  • Same Day Cinematic Reveal & Custom Design Session with our In-House Design Specialist
  • Beautiful Artwork of Your Rising Phoenix, Custom Designed for the Best Place where it will Speak Truth to You Every Day.

CLICK HERE to fill out the inquiry and begin your Rising Phoenix Experience!

I can’t wait to speak soon! Still we rise!
Me Ra


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