The Wisdom and Wealth Podcast

Kristen Porter: Intangible Balance Sheet Episode 51

October 14, 2023 Joshua Klooz
The Wisdom and Wealth Podcast
Kristen Porter: Intangible Balance Sheet Episode 51
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Welcome to this week's Intangible Balance Sheet Conversation with Kristen Porter. You will no doubt be encouraged and blessed as Kristen shares stories of her father's adoption, and the courage, determination, and resiliance which come before her. Finally listen in as Kristen shares how this heritage inspires her today to build and pass on her own legacy and family heritage. 

Please check out and subscribe to my Youtube Channel and Newsletter!

JOSH KLOOZ, CFP®, MBA
WEALTH ADVISOR

Phone 281.719.0036
Text 281.699.8691
Fax 281.719.0156
jklooz@carsonwealth.com

1780 Hughes Landing | Suite 570
The Woodlands, TX 77380

Music by bensound.com




Josh Klooz:

Hello and welcome in again to another of the Intangible Balance Sheet episodes for the Wisdom Wealth Podcast. I'm Josh Klooz. As always, Today I'm joined by Kristen Porter. She's going to share a little bit more about her Intangible Balance Sheet and a little bit more about her life story. Kristen, welcome to the podcast. Thank you so much for joining us.

Kristen Porter:

Thank you, very excited.

Josh Klooz:

We are as well, and so, kristen, if there are newer listeners. The reason we call this the Intangible Balance Sheet, if you're wondering, is, I believe that there are things more valuable to us than money, in that we're financially irrational about them. Given any amount of money, we wouldn't trade them right, whether it's experiences, whether it's principles. But more often than not, I believe that our life's principles, our first principles, are bound up in stories sometimes, and so this podcast is an opportunity to share some of those stories, whether they're from your parents, grandparents or your personal life, and then also give our guests an opportunity to share what's on their heart that they hope gets passed on to, whether it's their family or those that come after them in the next coming generation. So thank you again for sharing with our audience. I find that it's easiest, probably, if one you give us just a brief background on yourself real quick, and then we'll dive into more formal questions. Okay.

Kristen Porter:

Well, I grew up in a small town called Dover, ohio. It's got about 13,000 people now. It had about 12,000 people when I graduated high school 20 years ago, so it's still small and it's a sweet little town. I spent Fridays at Grandma's house after school with my cousins. I spent weekends and summers at the YMCA and at Outwood Lake swimming with my family, and we had church on Sundays until I was old enough to protest. And then I grew up with my mom taking me to dance classes Sunday through Sunday, every day of the week. She bought as many dance classes as she could in that little town and just working, helping my dad pull the weeds or clean my bike with a Brillo pad one time because I asked for a new one, and that was his response. Let's make this one pretty, and yeah.

Josh Klooz:

That sounds like it was so much fun. One of the things that I found that I wasn't quite expecting when I first started this endeavor is the idea of how our grandparents shape some of how we think and our perception, and there are a ton of neat stories that I've run across in the time being. Are there any stories that jump out at you that we're shaping about your grandparents?

Kristen Porter:

My poppy was a coal miner when he was 14 years old, If I have the story correct. I probably should have checked this out with my aunt first, but I think he was 14.

Josh Klooz:

The legend is better than the myth.

Kristen Porter:

Yes, let's just go with it. So he was 14 and he would crawl into the mines with a big bag and fill it up with coal these are the hills of Ohio and then crawl back out. I don't know if you've ever heard of the fourth turning. It's this theory that and I have some notes here that hard times create strong men, Strong men create good times, Good times create weak men and weak men create hard times. It's kind of this cycle. Well, I think of my poppy as someone that had some hard times, because shortly after that he grew up and then he went to World War II. A pivotal moment for our family is when he and my grandma Blakely adopted my dad and then another young man became my uncle. They adopted two boys after they had raised their own two daughters to be grown women. So apparently the story is that my poppy was a little bit rowdy and the priest told him at the time yes, he can adopt, but you need to kind of settle down a little bit. And so he did. But he was just a really sweet soul and there's a lot of stories about my grandma Blakely, who is a force, was a force. She just died at a hundred years old recently. One story is that she taught the first women's swimming class at the YMCA, the local YMCA in Dover.

Josh Klooz:

What year?

Kristen Porter:

was this Approximately Wow, probably, I would guess, in the 60s. That's a total guess based on how old my parents are. But yeah, she taught the first women's class there at the YMCA and eventually taught, you know, like aerobics and yoga and all this stuff. But she also entered so many Pillsbury bake-offs that she was not allowed to enter anymore. So she would enter into her family under her family's names for kids and grandkids names and then when those recipes won she would have to take them to the bake-off and have them bake the recipe that she turned in under their name.

Josh Klooz:

Sounds a little personal, the exclusion rather.

Kristen Porter:

She was amazing and so, yeah, to me she seems kind of like the original feminist who just you know. But she didn't complain about anything or her place in the world. She just went and accomplished things without talking about it. Now she would be the first one to tell you what she accomplished. Of course she was very proud, but she wouldn't make a big, you know example of why she was not able to do something in a man's world. She just went and made her own magic. So I really like that about her.

Josh Klooz:

Now tell us a little bit more about your parents, and maybe even I'm finding too like mentors within your community. Are there any stories that had a shaping effect on you for either of those two instances that you're willing to share with our audience?

Kristen Porter:

My parents met at Muskegon College and I grew up hearing how much fun they had with their sorority and their fraternity. So I did my best to live up to the challenge when I went to Ohio State to have as much or more fun than they did. My mom worked and somehow she still had time to sew all of my costumes, made me breakfast every morning, dinner every night at the table with my parents, prayers before bedtime when we were younger, and my favorite memory of my mom growing up is hearing her Bible pages turning in bed. She would let me sleep with her if my dad was out of town for work.

Josh Klooz:

And.

Kristen Porter:

I'll just never forget that sound. It's just so calming and I hope my daughter gets to hear that today too. And my dad was in sales. He one time had me have an entire sales pitch door to door for the Girl Scout Cookie sale and we had a very big goal sales goal that we had put on ourselves, and we had an entire garage for the Girl Scout Cookies to deliver. That year we went to several neighborhoods selling Girl Scout Cookies door to door. So he took me to all my dance competitions on the East Coast from Michigan to Florida, gave me so much probably more confidence than I deserved. I thought I was really amazing. So we spent a lot of miles on the road together doing that. Some mentors that really influenced me now are my aunts and my uncle Joe. That would be my dad's sister. Aunt Sue is Grandma Blakely's daughter and she and Joe they are the best listeners I could cry to talking about them. They show up in person for everything that they can show up for and they help the underdogs every time. If there's a teenager in need, they're there to help out. They can move in with them for weeks if they need to to get straightened out and get some advice and help. They call me to sing Happy Birthday every year. I pick up the phone. I already know they're going to start singing the full Happy Birthday song. And then my friend Lonnie. My friend Lonnie is when I first moved to Texas, 17 years ago now. She started talking to me about Jesus and the Bible. I knew him from childhood but we were not super close, and so that started a really long, awesome relationship with Jesus, which is everything and, of course, to me now. Today, those are my mentors and I could talk about them for a very long time. I don't know if we have time.

Josh Klooz:

So how did you meet Lonnie?

Kristen Porter:

Lonnie was my boss. She was my first boss out of college. I went to college to be a dancer, of course, and that didn't pan out, so I became a nutrition major and then I wanted to move to Texas with my boyfriend at the time, my fiance at the time so I got a job at a bank and she was my boss at this bank and the boyfriend fell away. The job fell away, but she remained, and now I'm in energy procurement. So you just don't know what your path is going to be.

Josh Klooz:

So the reason I ask is the next question that I typically ask is the revolves around the pivotal events of our life, what we consider to be the pivotal events as you think through your life. It sounds like you mentioned one. What are some of the other events that have shaped you and guide you as you look back?

Kristen Porter:

Shortly after I met Lonnie, I met my husband. She was in an accident and she was in the hospital and he was her pastor at the time and we both happened to be visiting her in the hospital one day and we met. And then, of course, I'm having my two babies. I have an almost three year old Magnolia Jane and a four month old Lottie.

Josh Klooz:

Josephine, beautiful names. Now I want you to think for four generations from now, if you can even imagine that. I tried to do that the other day, just mathematically and it was really hard but it was really interesting to see, like the overlaps you know, if the Lord gives me that amount of time on this earth of like what kids will be doing. You know hypothetically and whatever else. But think for generations from now. You know, most likely you know we're gone. What do you think are some of the things that you want your great grandchildren's kids and or generation and community to think about? What are some of the events of your life that you think would be most instructive for them?

Kristen Porter:

if you want to pass those on, Well, I think everyone's going to know that the Sunday school answer is always Jesus. So knowing Jesus, the rest is just bonus material. But to dig a little deeper, I think, looking back through my stories of my parents and my grandparents, their work ethic and their optimism you know there's a lot of negative headlines right now and a lot of just negativity and it's really can get us down and I really thrive on on my dad's optimism and my aunt soon, uncle Joe's optimism and everyone's willingness to just just make their own way. I mean, of course we know God's in control, but he gives us gifts to use and I think that it's our responsibility to learn what those are and use them for good for people around you and to help your family grow and just yeah. So I guess I guess that's my answer.

Josh Klooz:

Did they ever share why they were optimistic or where they got their optimism from that out of curiosity, because it's always fascinated me how I know some people are just predisposed to be more sunshine and just just happier people, right Like it's. You can have a genetic predisposition for that, but I'm always curious. I don't believe that it's just that there's got to be something, something else, but any thoughts or guesses on your end.

Kristen Porter:

No other than you know the hard times that my grandparents went through the depression and grew up, you know, kind of tough, and so my only thought is that they made it through World War Two with this beautiful family and, you know, at that time everything was growing after that and a happy time. So I don't know if they just appreciated it and were able to pass on that appreciation and helping other people. There's a joy in helping other people that you don't get from just taking care of yourself, right?

Josh Klooz:

So I don't know, they just must have those genes that you were talking about yeah, and then and this is circling back a little bit, but I am curious that I've resisted the urge to ask to this point and I just I gotta ask so what is there? Is there another story behind the your dad's adoption? Like what was going on spiritually, what was going on socially that sparked that, that they've already raised two daughters, you'd said? I'm really curious behind what was going on in their life spiritually that led them to meet those needs, and how old were, about were, your dad and your uncle when they were adopted?

Kristen Porter:

I don't know for sure how old my uncle was, but my dad was 10 weeks and I know that because I asked my aunts too. When I had my first baby and I was rocking her, I thought how long until my daddy got to be rocked by his mama, and I just could not imagine waiting 10 weeks, let alone some babies that wait years, right, so I don't know. I don't know, I've wondered that and I wish I could ask them now. They've both passed away, but I think their family just had a mindset and a heart for service. They just jumped in where they could and helped where they could, and my aunts were the same way. So I think that's my. I don't know. I wish. I could find out, but it's a theme in our family. My aunts too likes to joke oh, we have so much in common. I think that's because you take after me and it's our joke, because.

Josh Klooz:

I don't take after her a bit.

Kristen Porter:

But we pretend that we do so.

Josh Klooz:

Well, you become spiritually like those you hang out with. So there you go. So you do, in ways, I'm sure. So the next question that I always ask folks has to do with our eulogy. I get this from there are some people that say you should write your eulogy and update it as often right as far as what you want to do, because it's beginning with the end in mind, so on and so forth. I got to write my mother's eulogy, and so that's the piece in my head that I just can't get out of my head of like, hey, what would she have wanted me to write? What would she have wanted me to include? What would she have not wanted me to include, or wanted me to include, but acted like she didn't want me to include it, so on and so forth. So I'm very curious to hear from you what are some of the things that and it doesn't need to be all inclusive, of course, because it's still, lord willing, being written right, but what would you want? What do you want included, if you had the ultimate hand on the or and could decide what was in your eulogy?

Kristen Porter:

Honestly, I have not written it, and this was the hardest question to think about. I recently attended a funeral and the woman was incredible and what everyone remembered about her was how much she loved Jesus and how much she helped others.

Josh Klooz:

And so wow what a legacy.

Kristen Porter:

But for me to write my own feels a bit prideful. I couldn't do it. I just was like I don't. This is weird, but our generations above us. They've got this rap sheet of accomplishments like this board and that board.

Josh Klooz:

It's interesting that you mentioned that. So I recently had a guest I'm gonna go ahead and share this real quick and he said he was a speech writer and he said I've had the ability to hear a lot of eulogies and maybe even help other people with some eulogies. And he said focus on. He said I wanna focus on not on accomplishments, because he's very accomplished, but he said I wanna focus on qualities. And it's interesting that you mentioned the qualities that you were hearing in that eulogy recently. So it stuck with me so I had to share. Sorry.

Kristen Porter:

Yeah, no, that's great. And there's another. There's an older gentleman, henry. I went to his funeral of some years back and there were not very many people there. There were like I don't know 20 people, but the reason that was shocking is I thought there would be a line off the door based on all the stories that those 20 people told about him, and it was about his. It was about him helping so many students with money for college or helping, just helping people that that probably didn't know he died or had moved on in life and accomplished something and lived somewhere else and weren't able to come. You know, it's, it's, and to me what stood out is that he wasn't known for his accomplishment so big that everyone came to his funeral. But there are souls out there that I'm sure have infinite Gratitude for the mark that he made on that world and I would like. I would like that if one part of only my husband Was at my funeral, or only my daughter, that would be totally fine with me. Yep, if God knew all the little things that I did that no one knows about. That's kind of what I prefer, but I did say that if I do die anytime soon, jake, I want everyone to be singing so loud with Celebration and worship him's at my funeral and then I want a huge party afterwards of joy. I I'm like kicking myself because I didn't stand up. I could feel the tension that people wanted to stand up and sing some hymns at that last funeral, but they were just kind of being timid and I wish I would have jumped up.

Josh Klooz:

Yeah, no, I Can definitely agree with the sentiment for sure. Um, kristen, thank you so much For your time and your willingness to share with us today. Are there any other Thoughts that you had that we didn't get to, or anything else that you'd like to share before we sign off?

Kristen Porter:

Yeah, just what I hope people remember, if I did have to pick something, was just that I was Um, loving others. Well, I've got some work to do, so thank you for the opportunity to reflect on this. It was a good exercise for me. I get so busy with the day-to-day that I Don't think about the big picture. So I want to be like Sue and Joe when I grow up and I want to be a mom to my children, like my mom was to me, just always there to support me. So I need to learn how to sew.

Josh Klooz:

Yes indeed. Thank you, Kristen, so much for your time. Um, please know that we're wishing you and your family continued truth, beauty and goodness in the road ahead.

Kristen Porter:

Thank you, guys, you.

Intangible Balance Sheet
Reflections on Life, Legacy, and Eulogies
Reflections on Life and Death