It's such a pleasure to interview this special lady! She is a blessing to all of us, beyond measure.
Josie, can you start by telling us where are you originally from?
That's a good question. I'm not quite sure. You see, I never grew up in one place. I've literally moved all of my childhood. So I can give you the places we lived. I was born in Dayton, and moved to FL before I was 1 year old. We bounced around between Florida, Louisiana, and North Carolina during my childhood, never more than 4 years at a time. (Let's just say, I know how to pack well lol.) I spent 5 years in TN going to college. After that bounced some more. I guess you can say my home is heaven, and I'm just traveling through.
Tell us a bit about your family...
We may not be the traditional, but we are ones that are trying to make beauty from ashes...this is something that God has truly helped us with. I pray we can be an encouragement for others going through something similar. I have a 12 year old son, Hunter Benjamin Keating, who amazes me every day. He's so very smart and caring. He makes my heart soar with pride. He has a passion and interest for history and the armed services. He is an avid reader and a huge gamer. Oh, and he's very funny! I can truly say he's my angel, and has been my saving grace in more ways than I can count. We are blessed to be around my Mom and Dad here in Florida, who are just absolutely the best. We love them dearly. I have one sister, Amy, who lives in New Orleans. And one living grandparent living in Covington, LA. We have family spread throughout the US. And of course extended adopted family here in Florida, including Celebration church!
When did you say "yes" to Jesus and how did that come about?
The first time I remember accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior and committing my life to serve him was at youth camp in Louisiana. I must have been about 9 or 10 years old. I'll never forget it, because I was forgiven and saved by Jesus, had an encounter with God the father, and an indwelling of the Holy Spirit. It has stayed with me through every step of my life, every place I've been, and has never left me.
Why did you come back after you visited Celebration Church for the first time?
When we visited Celebration people were so friendly, introduced themselves, and talked with us like they genuinely cared. The worship was anointed, and the message was spot on with the season we were at in our life. The biggest reason was acceptance...we felt the love and friendship of those who greeted us and talked to us, as well as you and Pastor Larry. Oh, and that "little room off to the side" where we met after service wasn't that scary after all! Having the pastors actually take the time to talk to us meant a lot.
What things are you involved in at Celebration?
Well my passion is music, and I am so very blessed to be able to serve on the worship team here. I also love love love to be able to share with others about God, so I'm also a sponsor of one of the Girls Ministries Clubs here, the 3rd-5th grade STARS Club. I love to engage with them about God...they challenge and keep me on my toes! And, I also serve on the Alpha women's leadership team at Celebration.
What do you like doing outside of church?
As I mentioned before, music touches me like nothing else. It moves my soul...so I practice during the week in preparation for Sunday, but also spend time listening to other artists. I love most genres. I am a huge movie buff of many types, so we not only watch at home, we love going to the theater. As annual passholders to Walt Disney World, we can be seen frequenting the parks usually a couple times a month (wish we could go more). I literally giggle and skip like a kid when I hit the gates to the park. I. Am. So. Serious. It's. Embarrassing. (I secretly want to live and work there when i grow up. Ha!)
What's your favorite color?
What's your favorite food?
Italian (most anything with pasta) and seafood
What's your favorite worship song?
I don't have just one favorite. I may have a favorite of this day or this moment or this month. I have had some in various seasons of my life/walk. There are too many. Too many to try and list, and I'd leave out some that I forget if I try. Some popping in my head that would be on a favorite list are As the Deer, Give Thanks, Lord You Are, I Love You Lord, My Tribute, I Must Tell Jesus, How He Loves Us, Set a Fire, hymns, a lot of songs from Brooklyn Tab, Hillsong, Kim Walker, Jesus Culture, and Chris Tomlin would be on there.
What was your favorite Christmas gift this year?
I really liked the headset my son gave me. But honestly, being able to give to and bless my family is what I loved the most and gave me the most joy.