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06 January 2010

Three Beautiful, Blessed Years

On January 5, 2007, I was in a hospital room in Heidelberg, Germany, trying with varying degrees of success to help be a labor coach. Isn't it strange how things change? It was no laboring mother in that hospital bed, it was my baby (actually my oldest), and I was just praying for strength for both of us to get through this! Some 15+ hours later, January 6, 2007, Samantha Mackenzie was born, and our lives have not quite been the same since.

I'd always heard the stories, but I guess there is truth in the saying that there is nothing quite like a grandchild. From the moment I first held that tiny little angel, she grasped my heart. I have been blessed to spend a lot of time with Sami over the past three years, thanks to the Army. When the Army tells Nik to go, she buckles down and does what so many other military parents do--gives over the care and safekeeping of the most precious thing in her life to the two people she knows will cherish that charge: her mom (me) and her Honey (my mom). The joy of spending time with my only grandchild is dampened by the sadness of having to watch my daughter depart once more.

Today is Sami's third birthday, and like her first, she will be spending it with her mommy. This year there will be more family than mommy, because Nik and Sami are stationed at Fort Drum. Grandpa Jon, Grandma Becca, and Aunt Nannelle will be able to celebrate Sami's day with her. Sami has celebrated each of her birthdays in a different location: her first was in Germany with mommy and friends; her second in Alabama with Neicy, Honey, Rob, Aunt Nannelle and Uncle Creighton; and now her third in New York.

As we go through life, most of us celebrate the day of our birth in some way or another. Even though we have a special day to celebrate our moms, I think that this year I'm going to thank my mom on my birthday. After all, if it weren't for her and my daddy, I wouldn't be here! I won't be able to thank daddy in person, but he will know. Later on this afternoon, I will call to say "Happy Birthday" to my little angel, but I am also going to thank Nikki for giving me one of the best gifts ever!!

Thinking about birthdays and gift-giving brings me back to the holiday season we just recently celebrated. Although we do not know the exact date of Jesus' birth, we celebrate his birth on December 25. It's not about Santa and spending money, it is about the gift of eternal life. Take a minute to thank GOD for giving us the best present of all: his son.

For those of you who have already celebrated your 2010 birthday, happy belated birthday! For those of you, like myself, whose day of celebration is yet to come: take a moment in the midst of all the well-wishes to give thanks. Give thanks to your parents for having you! Most of all, give thanks to God for the gift of life ... and the gift of eternal life.

God, among the many blessings that you have so generously bestowed upon me are four bright lights: my three beautiful children, and my precious granddaughter. Make me worthy of such riches!! Happy Birthday, Samantha Mackenzie Magoun! You have brought untold blessings to your neicy! God, I ask that you continue to guide this "neicy's" footsteps so that I can be as much a blessing to my granddaughter as my grandparents were to me.

"From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another." ~John 1:16 NIV

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