Photography by Christina Clark Photography
Meet Kristen. She is Beauty Revived.
Four times a year, Beauty Revived hosts a campaign with a specific focus. In this edition, the focus is on mothers who are beautiful, as beauty should be defined. Not as pop culture would define it but as a beacon of hope and inspiration that is real to us all.
This is Kristen. And she is beauty revived.
Upon sitting down with Kristen, I could tell she was incredibly humble. It was her husband, Leonardo, who had written in to nominate her. Although I received many incredible applications, the mother that stood out the most was Kristen.
While she was very grateful for the opportunity, she expressed her love for other strong women in the community who have gone through struggles and strive to make a difference.
What makes Kristen special is who she is today despite the understated hardships of the past. As a child, Kristen was molested repeatedly. That is a horror in itself that no child should endure.As a young adult, Kristen was abducted by three men at gunpoint and assaulted. Yet when you meet her, you would never know she experienced these horrific events. Not only does she have the heart of a warrior, but her faith remained strong through many of her struggles. Even in the scariest of moments, she found strength in God. Kristen’s faith is such an important role in her life. While we had only known each other a few minutes, Kristen asked if we could pray together before our dinner. She gives all the credit and glory to God, for saving her.
When Kristen told me she had gotten down on her knees and asked God to change her life just two days before the horrific kidnapping and assault occurred, I was almost in tears. The fact that she survived that incident and was able to keep her faith through it all made me admire her so much. Kristen prayed for the three attackers after her assault, and often wondered what could have happened to each of them in life for them to make such violent choices. Instead of hating them, she prayed for them. She felt sad for them. While Kristen has moved forward in her life, she still knows her story is important. It does not define her, but if telling her story can lead to healing for someone else, she is not afraid to share.
Today, Kristen is a devoted mother, wife and a children’s librarian. For her, the most important role is being a present, loving, and encouraging mother to Mackenzy. I asked Kristen what values she hoped to instill in Mackenzie and she answered kindness and strength. First, to be kind to everyone she encounters, and second to have the strength to be who she is and stick up for herself and others. It’s easy to see she and her daughter share a special bond. Kristen’s face lit up when she spoke of Mackenzy. She is so proud of her daughter’s strength, beauty and talent.
She adores her husband, who is an author. Lenny and Mackenzy are clearly her world. They love to be with one another and together, started studying martial arts at the American Karate Academy over ten years ago! Later this year, Kristen will be testing for her black belt in American Karate. We know from her warrior spirit she will make it.
She spoke passionately about what a wonderful father Lenny is, and how watching him with their daughter has helped heal some of the hurt in her heart from her childhood. As a children’s librarian and educator, Kristen spoke with so much love and passion about her career. Even though college was where she felt the most lost because of her experiences, she still knew she wanted to be an educator. She spoke about her love for books and children many times. She considers her day a success when she gets a child excited about a book. It is truly a part of her.
As a warrior, Kristen is full of heart and strength. Life has not been easy for her, but she made the choice to keep her head up and continue fighting. She chose not to waste her life in sorrow.
Kristen chose not to let her story define her, instead she has written a new story. It is a story of hope. It is an inspiration to us all that no matter what cards life deals you, the choices you make moving forward define you. No matter your struggles, do not give up.
This is Kristen Ramirez. And she is beauty revived.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.” -Proverbs 3:5-6