36 years of living and I’m just getting started.

I don’t recall much from the day I was born (read: absolutely nothing. I recall nothing.), but it’s said to have been a very joyous occasion. Seems fitting that my sweet Granny Annie was the first one to hold me, given that she’s basically the reason I’m here! She’s the one who suggested to my mom and dad that they have one more child, and they took her at her word ?

God gets credit, of course (#Creator #MasterKnitter), as do my mom and dad, but Granny’s da real MVP here, and I so cherish that it was her loving arms that welcomed me into this world.

She lived 93 years on this side of Heaven – through the first and second world wars, contracting and surviving polio, and going from 4 kids to 8 overnight when her sister- and brother-in-law were tragically killed in a car crash. To say she’s an overcomer is a vast understatement.

She lived with patience, grace, and laughter, and was constantly seeing the beauty in this world and in people – even the really gnarly ones. She has a place for you at her table, always a kind word for you, and a spunky glimmer in her eye that told you she was sweet, but loved mischief, too.

She loved God and exemplified that to each of her kids, neighbors, and strangers, and she loved her Roger dearly! She was always one to dance when there was music, and could regularly be found soaking in God’s word.

It is one of my greatest honors in life to have gotten to live with her, experience her love so deeply, and have such a special relationship with her.

As I’m sitting here today reflecting on my precious Granny Annie (the one who basically called me into existence), I’m struck with such a deep sense of appreciation for seeing life lived so well to the end, through everything. She experienced me starting life here on earth, and I experienced her starting life in Heaven!

To know her was to get a glimpse of the Father’s love. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

I got to have Granny with me for 25 years of my life and it is my hope that I’ve absorbed and can live out the legacy she left. And while I’d so cherish having HER back, I am humbled and beyond blessed to have received her Bible and her wedding ring when she passed away. Two things I hold dear, and representing two things I want to live out well in my own life.

My heart is so full to have witnessed her extraordinary life and to get to keep those valuables as sweet reminders of what’s possible when you lean into God and trust Him with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.

Cheers to you, dear Granny! May my next 36 years and beyond be a tangible witness to His goodness, learned through your example, and may lives and eternities be impacted because of it!

Happy BIRTHDAY to me ? People have been asking me what I’d like for my birthday this year, and honestly, while there are so many “things” that could take up physical space, it would bring great joy to me if you would send me a birthday prayer and/or share some of our favorite memories together and pop those recordings/pictures/etc. into this folder for me: https://www.dropbox.com/request/kg5rf2y4zpOxW0Ua7Qye Thank you!

P.S. though… if one of you knows who my husband is, an introduction would be a pretty epic gift, too! #WhatIReallyWant

Photo credit: @d_a_shirley