God did not bring me back from death so I could spend my days sitting on the couch zoned out in front of the TV. The past 365 days I have really LIVED. And I am deeply grateful for every moment. My family could have faced this year without me, but by the grace of God, I was able to be here for every moment.
My baby girl's Kindergarten graduation 2 weeks after the hospital- I was there.
My family reunion and Grandmother's 80th birthday. I was there.
I fell in love and got the incredible opportunity to love a boy who has gone far too many years without the love of a mother.
I got to feel the ocean breeze in my hair and the sun on my face and watch my family play.
I got to be here for many fun days at home, making cookies, and being a family.
I sent my girls off to the first day of school and told them how proud I was of them.
My girls had a Mommy to help with their homework (except for math- I'm a disgrace at math)
My kids got to have both Mom and Dad at their School's "Parents Breakfasts!"
We had FUN!
LOTS OF FUN! (Don't worry- I got it cleared with my doctor)
God opened the door for me to join this amazing group of volunteers who impact the fatherless one child at a time. I love every one of them, and I love advocating for children alongside them every single day.
As a celebration of life and our first item on the "Bucket List," we hopped in the car one afternoon and drove 9 hours to Disney World simply to enjoy my favorite desserts at Boma! Most irrational... crazy... irresponsible... and emotionally healing thing I've ever done.
...And while we spent that weekend in Disney, I got the wonderful joy of gazing at my family and appreciating this beautiful life.
I got to be the tooth fairy :-)
Would my girls have dressed up for Halloween had I not been here? I'm so glad I was here, and that they had a blast.
The kids got a year older and had birthdays- I was there.
Thanksgiving- I was there. And we gave thanks!!
I fell in love again. God placed a teenage girl in my arms who had lived without the love of a Mom and Dad for most of her life.
I woke up Christmas morning- my favorite day of the year. It was THE. MOST. AMAZING. CHRISTMAS. EVER. THE END.
The family God has blessed me with is a little bit unconventional for now. But I wouldn't trade it for the world.
My birthday came- And I was here for it.
My kids sang in church- and I was here to wave at them and clap wildly.
My daughter wanted her mom to help her with her doll hair salon- And I was there.
Easter morning- my girls told me all about how Jesus sacrificed Himself to save them and is alive again... and how they know this is true because He is alive and brought their mom back to life.
I was blown away on Easter when I was given the opportunity to rejoice with this woman who gave her life to Jesus... A woman who has the exact same name as the teenage girl who I hope will someday be my child. As I hugged her, God whispered to my spirit that someday I would be celebrating this moment again with my girl. I can't wait... these moments make life so beautiful.
After a rocky start to the school year due to post-trauma and anxiety, my daughter placed all her worries in the hands of God every night, hugged me every day, called me from the school office to say hello when she was worried, and then went on to skyrocket her grades to straight A's the second half of the year.
I prayed for my aunt for 25 years, and I was so happy to be alive to see God answer my prayer. My aunt accepted Jesus as her savior, walked from death into AMAZING new life, was baptized, and I REJOICED.
I was alive to see another answered prayer... 3 years I have prayed for this mother and daughter. I got to see God redeem and transform, renew and restore, turn winter into spring, and make all things new.
And now we are waiting for God to bring our girl back to us.
365 extra amazing days with the man of my dreams...
I am so thankful for this year that almost wasn't. For however many extra days God gives me here on earth, I intend to be FULLY ALIVE.