Grateful for freedom because it was purchased at a price and it continues to cost families every day. Many people chose to thank the military/veterans yesterday since it was a day set aside to do so. Though I think that it is FANTASTIC, I challenge us all to take it beyond that one day. Keep them in your hearts and prayers EVERY day instead of just one. It's VERY easy to forget about the sacrifices that those in the military make, and especially those of their families. Unless we've walked in their shoes, I don't think any of us can truly understand it. I'm extremely thankful that Andy is not deployed during this pregnancy and will get to experience all of Samantha's pregnancy and the early days of Lauryn's life. Missing out on so much of Izabella's life (the majority of the pregnancy and her first 10 months) had to leave such a significant hole in both Andy and Samantha's lives. These young families give up so much to allow us to continue on with the freedoms we so often take for granted. Many times, they don't even understand the depth of their own sacrifices.
Day 12: Thankful for memories. Memories are one of the most beautiful blessings God has given us. For those that are now living in His presence, it serves as a direct connection that keeps them so close to our hearts. It was 7 years ago today, that Kevin's mother joined Him in heaven and the memories for all of us keep her as close as possible. She NEVER once fit the typical "mother-in-law" reputation. I don't have a single negative memory. She was truly one of a kind! I see SO much of her in Kevin and I know that is why I love him so much. Mothers like her...just live on and I'm so grateful to see so many of her traits in Kevin! I know that having just lost his sister in recent days makes this day even harder on Kevin's dad. Memories and faith in a LIVING God will get him through.
Memories are also blessings when they remind of us of those that are STILL with us. I love how random memories pop in my head and either make me me laugh or warms my heart. Isn't it such a joy to think of a random person, a childhood memory, or even be reminded of something that just happened last week?
Even those not so wonderful memories----the painful ones---CAN be a blessing. They serve to remind us of mistakes we don't want to make again. They can draw us closer to God when our hearts still need healing. They can draw us closer to God when we still need to repent or when we still have unforgiveness in our hearts. Bad memories don't have to define us or break us down. They can remind us of where we have been and where we never want to go again, causing us to focus on the beautiful things God has waiting for us.