The Interview: Q&A with Kelly Preston

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This month, The Paper publishes its interview with Kelly Preston.

Briefly describe yourself and what you do/did.

DID: I studied nursing at Samford University and earned my Master of Science in Nursing, focusing on congregational health & parish nursing; started the Congregational Health Program with Baptist Health System where we partnered with churches in Alabama to develop health ministries…and the program continues today!

DO: I am a stay-at-home mom to 4 amazing children (ages 16, 14, 12, and 9 1/2) and direct RACE for the Orphans, a non-profit ministry for Raising Awareness, Compassion, and Education about the needs of orphans around the world.  We host an annual 5K to raise funds for adopting families, and we also host an annual retreat for adoptive and foster moms.

Best piece of business advice you’ve received.

PRAY and collaborate/partner with people that share similar values and passions but bring different skills/talents/ideas to the table.

You are going on an extended solo trip. What three albums and three books would you take?

Albums: Chris Tomlin’s “Burning Lights,” Phil Collins’ “Seriously Hits LIVE!” (that was the first CD I bought before going to college and I still listen to it and love it!), and Third Day Greatest Hits.

Books: the Bible, The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers, and Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis (or any book by him!)

Tell us one thing about yourself that few people know.

I am a published writer.  In my “former life” I was a contributing writer for various LifeWay publications and wrote health-related articles.

You are hosting a dinner party for six. What five people, living or dead, would you invite and why?

Jesus–my Lord and the One I want to bring glory to in this life and I’d love to have the opportunity to say “THANK YOU!”

My husband Jason–my love of 21+ years and I’d want to share this special dinner with him.

Billy Graham–his leadership in the world and witness for Christ and the legacy he leaves behind is so inspiring

Ann Voskamp–she is an amazing writer and Jesus lover and adoptive mom…I met her at a book signing and we chatted about adoption from China for a few minutes, but I would love the opportunity to talk more in depth about matters of the heart and faith.

George W. Bush–I respect him so much as a leader, a family man, a man of faith, and a man who overcame addiction to alcohol

Name an as yet unfulfilled dream.

I would love to take our daughter, Jenna, back to China on a heritage trip because she was 2 1/2 when we adopted her and she doesn’t remember her time in China, so I’d love to further help embrace her heritage and show her where she is from.

If you weren’t doing what you are, you would be …

Either a writer or a health teacher and cross country & swim coach.  (I was an avid swimmer from the age of 6 to 18)

Your go-to food.

Cereal…hands down!

Favorite movies(s).

Soul Surfer (I love true stories), When a Man Loves a Woman (Meg Ryan/Andy Garcia because I love psychological and love stories) and Top Gun…no explanation needed, it’s just so good!  And when were were in San Diego two years ago, we stayed right by the house where Charlie lived in the movie…I have a picture by it! 🙂

Dogs or cats?

Definitely dogs

Your favorite quote and why?

Too many!  I do love what Pastor Andy Stanley says, “Do for one what you with you could do for everyone” (one of the reasons why we do RACE for the Orphans).  And I also LOVE what Corrie ten Boom said, “There is no pit so deep, that God’s love is not deeper still” (because life can be downright hard and yet God’s love is always present and fiercer than any struggle we face).

Name something that you are extremely glad you did or accomplished.

Adopting our daughter and starting RACE for the Orphans…I vividly remember sitting in our backyard watching our three biological children playing (before Jenna was home from China), brainstorming about a 5K fundraiser and the acronym RACE came to my mind (Raising Awareness, Compassion, Education) and the rest is history!  God is faithful!

What advice would you give your younger self just starting out on their own?

I can be pretty hard on myself, so I would give grace and compassion to myself the way I so freely give it to others.

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