Saturday, May 11, 2019

The Walk of a Lifetime

Happy Mother's Day, dear mamas! I hope you have had a wonderful day celebrating with your families. Today we honor ALL women, of all ages, and we especially want to thank our moms and grandmas for giving us life and for loving us unconditionally. The love, wisdom, kindness, discipline, guidance and lifelong nurture of a mom deserves our never ending gratitude and respect. Moms, we can never thank you enough!

2 years ago today, on Mother's Day, I started writing this blog to share the stories of our family and God's faithfulness to us during each step and every season of our lives. Thank you for your kindness, support and encouragement as you have followed our journey. Today, I simply want to honor my entire family, especially the women of my family...moms and yet-to-be moms.
First of all, thank you Danny, Jason, David, Chris, and Heidi for allowing me the incredible privilege of being your mom! The way you honor God, love extravagantly, and chase hard after your dreams makes me so proud. 
Isn't this amazing?! Our fun-loving and growing family.
Thank you, Cortnie and Brittanica, for being the best daughters-in-law a mom could ever want! The way you love my sons is perfect. The way you love your families makes my heart so happy.
Jason, Cortnie, Olivia, Evan and Felix

David, Brittanica, Johnny, Jovi, Jack (and unborn daughter)
Thank you, Tim, for being a wonderful son-in-law! The way you love and care for Heidi makes me feel incredibly at peace. (Besides, I really wanted one more son! Ha!)
Chivalry is not dead!
And thank you Olivia, Evan, Felix, Johnny, Jovi, Jack, (and granddaughter coming this fall!) for being the most amazing grandchildren I could ever desire! You are the most beautiful, smart, talented, and incredibly funny little humans on the planet, and you bring this grandmama so much joy! You are Children of Hope, and you are going to change this world in indescribable ways!
Olivia, Evan and Felix
Johnny, Jovi and Jack

And a very special thank you to my mom for being the best mom a girl could want! My mom loved my brother and me with her whole heart and made incredible sacrifices to raise us as a single mom. She is 96 years old and continues to love all of us - her children, grandchildren, and now great-grandchildren - deeply. We are blessed to still have her in our lives. Isn't she adorable?
3 generations! Grandma, Mom, and Daughter with new son-in-law, Tim
She even made the 1,200 mile/18 hour trip from Las Cruces, NM to St. Louis, MO to attend Heidi's wedding! That's a lot of love for this great-grandma!
Life's journey - our walk through life - can be tricky. It's difficult for everyone, but today my focus is on women. Young or old. Married or single. Rich or poor. Moms or not moms.
As many of you know, 3 weeks ago I walked a marathon in celebration of my 60th birthday. It was hard, but not as hard as I thought. Although I planned, and trained, and rested, and did all I knew to do, God was still the One who helped me. I prayed for a beautiful, warm day, but it was cold and windy, and I walked the last 3 hours in the rain. Isn't that just like life? We want warm, sunny, stress-free days, but storms come and winters can be long, hard and lonely. But we press on. Just like my symbolic "Walk of a Lifetime" done on April 13, 2019. By the grace of God, I did it. I just kept putting one foot in front of the other.
"This is What 60 Looks Like" (This t-shirt is better than a medal!)
I plan to write much more about this in the coming weeks and months, but for now I'll just say once again that this walk was symbolic. We all start out in life tiny and pure, with excitement and hope for our future, ready to run our race...wearing our spotless, white tennis shoes. But as we go through life, seasons change and the winds come and threaten to slow us down and discourage us. Our "shoes" become old, gray and worn. But what do we do? We keep walking
And so, on Mother's Day, 2019, I want to encourage all women, but today I start by saying to my daughter and my daughters-in-law (and every young married woman reading this)... 
 and my teenage granddaughter (and every teenage girl reading this)...
 and my baby granddaughter (and every other baby girl)...
and for my granddaughters yet to be born (and every other unborn baby girl) ...
Through every season of life, before you have children and after they are born, hold on tightly to the hand of Jesus. Trust Him, and just keep walking. From birth to death. No matter what comes your way.
When the sun is shining, keep walking. He is your joy.
When the storms come, keep walking. He is your peace.
When you're surrounded by family and friends, keep walking. He is your brother.
When you're all alone, keep walking. He is your best friend.
When He's answered your prayers, keep walking. He is your provider.
When doubts and questions come, keep walking. He is your counselor.
If your home is full of children, keep walking. He will be their Heavenly Father.
If your home is empty, keep walking. He will be your comforter.
If you are a married mama, keep walking. He is love.
If you are a single mama, keep walking. He is your source and will help you.
Once again, dear friends, Happy Mother's Day! I honor you today for the heroic work you do, day in and day out, month after month, year after year. Although your labor may seem invisible, God sees you and will reward you openly. He will answer the desires of your heart, and your children will rise up and call you blessed. Be Women of Class. You are beautiful. You are a treasure.
With all my love and a heart full of gratitude,

May The Lord bless you and protect you.
May The Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.
May The Lord show you His favor and give you His peace. 

Each step in life is making beautiful pearls.

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