May the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. – Romans 15:13

Today is one month since my Mother-in-Love made her transition into Heaven. It seems like it was yesterday. Her Celebration of Life was so beautiful! I think it was everything she would have wanted. A time filled with memories of her life, funny and true. She was quite a remarkable lady. Thank you all for sharing your stories and memories with her with us.

I think of her all the time and I miss her dearly. Doing life here feels weird without her, but I know where she is and that brings me comfort. I imagine her up there still meeting dear friends and family that have passed before her and checking out her real home. I imagine her body, healed and restored, and no need to be concerned with any of the heartaches or dramas or pain we experience here. I imagine her making plans to serve her friends, doing some cooking, attending some sporting event and cheering loudly, or most likely being outside tending to something more beautiful than I can imagine. I am reminded of her in ways I didn't expect. Certain songs, seeing the comments she left on my Facebook memories or the pages she liked, and seeing big red trucks to name a few. In honor of her, on this Thanksgiving, which we were supposed to spend with her, I wanted to list 1 thing I am thankful for for each year of her precious life...64 things.

  1. Our Heavenly Father - I could make a whole other list on why I am specifically thankful for Him. The way He orchestrates life leaves me in constant amazement.
  2. Jesus - His sacrifice for me.
  3. Prayer - The prayers by all of you were and are felt. They sustained us when we needed it most, and I will forever be thankful for the power of prayers.
  4. Chris - he embodies all that God created a human husband to be.
  5. Christian - his confidence and passion invigorate me.
  6. Kaden - his tender strength and bravery inspire me.
  7. Kaylyn - her caring nature and fun-loving personality make my soul happy.
  8. My parents - the best, supportive, selfless role models a girl could have.
  9. My sister - her servant heart and giving spirit lift me up daily.
  10. My grandmothers - the wise women of my life.
  11. My friends - my wise counsel on a variety of topics.
  12. That we had 1 year to spend with Mrs. Barbara after her diagnosis. We don't always have that much time.
  13. That Mrs. Barbara allowed me to serve her. My soul has been blessed and enriched by the love she shared with me during her journey with cancer.
  14. My Bible - the answers are always in there.
  15. Bottled water - without it, I would be severely dehydrated.
  16. Minivans - they really are the best way to travel with young kids.
  17. Power sliding van doors.
  18. Crockpot - has helped me feed my family MANY nights. A tool Mrs. Barbara always encouraged me to use more.
  19. Keyless entry
  20. Dawn dish soap - It has many uses, but the best has been to get the vaseline out of my daughter's hair...twice.
  21. Aluminum foil - has saved me countless hours of washing cookie sheets
  22. Coconut oil - eat it, cook with it, lip gloss, skin care, wounds, etc etc. I use it for everything!
  23. Electric lawn mower - one of my favorite gifts from Mrs. Barbara!
  24. My church - a wonderful place that extends outside of the walls of a building
  25. My church family - filled with the gifts of the Holy Spirit
  26. Offer Group - our church small group that is like our second family
  27. Step Stools - not all short people are climbers
  28. Clouds
  29. Airplanes - It really fascinates me how they can get off the ground!
  30. Sunrises and Sunsets - They are like my "good morning" and "good night" from God.
  31. Rolling computer bags
  32. Luggage on wheels
  33. Football - instrumental in teaching my boys about math and many other life lessons.
  34. The hard times I've experienced - they make the good times even sweeter and I've ALWAYS taken something wonderful from it.
  35. Music - it uplifts me, helps me exercise, makes me act a fool in front of my kids (which I think they need to see)
  36. Alone time - it helps me miss those that I sometimes don't have a chance to miss.
  37. Essential oils - I truly believe they work...and if they don't, at least they smell really good.
  38. Being a mother - THE most challenging career I've ever had with the biggest opportunity to change the world.
  39. Writing - like the kind with a pencil.
  40. Whole 30 - whole food healing nutrition...the way God intended.
  41. Dishwasher - me, the sink, and floaties don't get along
  42. The ability to stay home with my kids - though challenging and not at all what I expected, I would not trade the time with them for anything.
  43. Beaches
  44. Christmas ornaments - they make my heart happy
  45. Santa - I still believe in the magic of Christmas
  46. Crafts - a creative outlet
  47. Brownie batter - a lifelong comfort indulgence
  48. Fresh herbs - they taste so much better
  49. Teachers - I love how they love my kids
  50. Our armed forces - that there are people out there willing to lose their life for our country's freedom
  51. Police officers - that there are people willing to protect me and my family in our community every day
  52. Firefighters - that there are people willing to go into places everyone else is running out of
  53. Garbage man - that there are people out there willing to do jobs that most of us think are gross.
  54. Fireplaces - the color, the warmth, the crackle.
  55. Mugs filled with hot chocolate, tea, or coffee.
  56. Rainbows - the Lord's creativity is majestic!
  57. Fleece - blankets, lined tights, soft and warm.
  58. Inflatables - instant yard decoration and Mrs. Barbara loved them.
  59. Cajun food - there's nothing else like it.
  60. Socks - my feet are always cold.
  61. Belly laughs - they hurt so good.
  62. Photographs - they keep the memories alive.
  63. Memories - they keep the ones I miss alive.
  64. My life - it's a beautiful mess.

No matter the circumstances, I hope everyone has a very blessed and thankful Thanksgiving.

Heavenly Father, thank You for all the wonderful blessings in my life, mentioned above, and many more. Thank you for Your continued presence. I pray for those who are hurting tomorrow, those who are missing someone no longer sitting at the table. May Your comfort surround them. In Jesus Name I Pray, Amen.