Thankful and In Love

My first Valentine’s Day with Gene was in 1970.  I was fifteen and he was eighteen.  This Valentine’s marks forty-eight times we have celebrated as each other’s one and only.  Who knew?  God knew!  So today, I can say I am still thankful and still in love, and I type this with a smile.  I’m also thankful for and in love with others.

I’m thankful God blessed us with two beautiful daughters, Jamie and Janet.  I’m thankful for and in love with our four gorgeous grandchildren.  I praise God for Janet and her husband, Jeremy, who pastor Timber Creek Church (formerly Lufkin First Assembly) and the tremendous work they are doing for the Lord in our community.  We get to enjoy their children, Sage and Graham, on a regular basis and love it.

I’m thankful for our oldest daughter, Jamie, and the 36 years she blessed our lives as she fulfilled God’s purpose for her life in her generation before He took her to heaven (Acts 13:36).  I’m thankful for and in love with her children, Caleb and Karen Vi (Viola).  Even though Danny has blocked any and all communication with our grandchildren, we love them, pray for them, and our hearts yearn for them and always will.  If you have read the biography of Jamie’s life and death, “Mom, God’s Got This,” you know the story.  I’m thankful for good friends who email pictures of Caleb and Karen Vi (Viola) they see on Facebook to me on a regular basis.  Those children are growing so fast!  And, yes, we pray for Danny and Faith every day.  We love them and desire a relationship with them.

I am thankful for PaperClips digital magazine in which “Mom, God’s Got This” is their cover story for February, due out next week.  I’m thankful that I get the privilege to speak to groups and in churches about Jamie’s life and legacy, God’s faithfulness, grace, and love.  I’m thankful for and in love with Jesus Christ, my Savior and Lord, who has healed this mother’s heart and opened doors to share His love and the truth of His Word with others.

I’m thankful for a new publisher who is working diligently to republish “Mom, God’s Got This” as well as “Connections Second Edition” because my former publisher went out of business.  It happens.  I’m thankful I still have copies in my home office that I’m selling through PayPal connected to my website at

I remember the words Jamie spoke to me as she lay dying.  She was comforting me as I watched her suffer excruciating physical and emotional pain beyond human endurance and comprehension—except for the grace of God.  She lay on the sofa as I knelt on the floor beside her crying.  She gently patted my arm and looked me in the eyes.  “Mom, God’s Got This.”  And He still does.

After forty-eight Valentine’s Day celebrations with my honey and lives filled with God’s goodness and blessings every day, I can say without reservation, “I am thankful and in love.”