It is my hope that you leave this blog feeling inspired. Whether you spend 2 minutes reading the blog every month or check the blog on a daily basis, it is my hope that when you click away from my site you leave inspired. Inspired to try something new. Inspired to step out of your comfort zone. Inspired to embrace a new challenge. Inspired to make a difference. Inspired to dream big and chase those dreams. Inspired to live life a little bit different. Inspired to be the best you possible. This series introduces you to people and stories that inspire me and it is my hope that they will inspire you as well.
Y’all I’m back with the next installment of the Be Inspired series! I first “met” Martha Kate this summer through her blog, although for the life of me, I can’t remember what led me there. Martha Kate’s husband plays minor league baseball and since one of the things on my bucket list is to visit all of the MLB parks I was instantly connected. But as much as I enjoy baseball, that’s not what keeps me going back for more Seasons with the Strattons. Nope, what keeps me coming back is Martha Kate’s heart for Jesus. Whether it is her encouraging words in her Wednesday’s Words post or just her sweet spirit, I walk away from reading her blog and just feel lifted up…and I’d absolutely love getting to grab a cup of coffee with her (let me know if you’re ever in Southern California Martha Kate!) I hope that when you head over to her blog you’ll be as inspired as I’ve been over the last few months! You can also connect with Martha Kate on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.
What dream are you currently pursuing?
Currently, the dream I’m pursuing is a dream of my husband’s. Before you label me as “one of those wives” hear me out. My husband is a Minor League Baseball player who is pursuing his dream of making it to the Big Leagues one day. He is in the San Francisco Giants’ organization and was drafted in 2012. We spend February-September in “baseball mode”. February and March are spent in Arizona, and from there we find out our next stop the day before we leave. Our first season was spent in Georgia and this season we were in California until the end of July. My husband was then promoted to Virginia with a few hours notice. From October-January we get to live “normal” life in our hometown of Tupelo, MS. With this crazy travel schedule, a full-time job is nearly impossible. Thankfully, I am able to teach preschool during the offseason. I struggled with the label of “stay at home wife” our first season. I’ve always been an independent person and this label didn’t scream independence… Supporting my husband while he is chasing his dream has been one of the most rewarding experiences. I have put 40,000 miles on my car in a year and a half. I have driven from California to Virginia by myself. Is it a crazy and unpredictable life? Yes. But, I have experienced things and met people that I would not have gotten the chance to other wise. God has used baseball life to shape my heart and teach me so many lessons I needed.
What is your biggest dream?
Would it surprise you if I told you that my husband making it to the Big Leagues is not my biggest dream? Well it surprised me when God started tugging on my heart to learn this isn’t my biggest dream. This season I have learned that my biggest dream is God’s dream for my husband and me. I personally can’t think of anything that would be bigger than my husband making it to the Big Leagues. But if that is not the end result of his hard work, I know it just means that God has something bigger planned. My little self can’t imagine what that might be, but I find peace in the fact that the Lord does!
What accomplishment are you most proud of in your life?
I’m probably most proud of finishing my college degree. That might not seem huge to some people, but I got married with two semesters left on my degree. We got married in January, moved to Arizona in February, moved to Georgia in April, and then moved back to Mississippi in September. I was able to finish my degree online, but it took a lot of motivation and staying organized to finish while also traveling in my first Minor League season. There were lots of distractions and times that I just wanted to put off finishing. I pushed through and got my degree in December of 2013 just before our one year anniversary!
Who has been an inspiration to you and how have they inspired you?
Elen Kershaw has been one of my biggest inspirations in the baseball world. She is married to Clayton Kershaw who is a pitcher for the LA Dodgers. I know that the Giants fans will hate to hear that my biggest inspiration is a wife of the rival Dodgers, but it is what it is! Clayton and Ellen run a charity called Kershaw’s Challenge that raises money for their orphanage in Zambia and they also support other programs focused on kids. I read their book last baseball season and it was of the best books I’ve ever read. I went to Ghana, Africa my sophomore year in college for two weeks. My life was completely changed, and part of my heart is still in Africa. I love that the Kershaws use Clayton’s professional baseball career to raise awareness for African orphans and other children. Their story is a true inspiration.
How do you handle obstacles that arise as you pursue your dreams?
This is another thing that I’ve been learning a lot about this season. I am a planner and I like to be in control. The thing about Minor League Baseball is you are never in control. At any point my husband can get called up or down to a different team. Most of the time that would mean he would be on a flight the same day he found out about the move. We experienced that for the first time this season. My husband found out on a Monday night that he was moving from California to Virginia in a few hours. I was left to pack the apartment and drive across the country to meet him. I honestly did not have time to have a plan. We find out at the end of Spring Training where we will start the season the day before we leave. That gives me a day to find housing, start driving (the team flies my husband), and all the other details of moving. I’ve learned to not plan, even though it is complete against my nature. There is no way to plan around baseball.
Can you share five interesting facts about yourself?
1. I started dating my husband when I was 14.
2. I have a mildly unhealthy coffee addiction.
3. My all-time favorite TV Show is Law & Order SVU.
4. My husband and I have two rescue dogs that might as well be our real children.
5. I have always been a huge sports (football & basketball) fan, but I hated baseball until I met Chris.
Who inspires you? What is your favorite sport?
I love these posts:) they really are inspiring!
Love this! Definitely inspiring 🙂
Martha Kate Stratton
Thank you so much for posting this Julie! So glad we can be blog friends, and I hope I’m in Southern California one day for a coffee date!!
We have two baseball teams here so here’s to hoping you make it out here!
I love this post! Where about in Virginia? California and VA are two of my favorite states (and old homes!!)!
I love this inspirational series of yours, and its so wonderful that you want to inspire people in such a way!! Great post! Loved reading about Martha Kate 🙂
Glad you’re enjoying the series!
I met Martha Kate this season as well. I love her blog and how she talks about Jesus. I love your goal about seeing every MLB stadium.. that’s on our budget list as well. I’m a new follower and can’t wait to check out your blog more.
Thanks for stopping by and I love finding other people who want to see all of the MLB stadiums!