One of my favorite parts of birthdays are the cards.  Cards have always been a big deal in my family. As a kid my Dad would write me a birthday letter every year.  That was the best part.  In it, he would recap some of the highlights of the last year and tell me why he was proud of who I was growing into. I read those letters over and over again.  I still have some of them today, in a box in my parents house.

This birthday I got over 20 cards.  Even from friends I usually exchange gifts with all I really wanted this year was cards. I asked them to write me some sort of note I could keep and hang on to this year.  And they did.

If you know me in real life you likely know how much value I place on words. I love to read and I love to write.  I’m the queen of the handwritten notes and even though I recently took a reprieve from blogging I’ve still been writing.  So words are a big deal to me.

This year the card that meant more to me than any other was one from my Mom.

Both of my parents are excellent card writers but this years card said two things I didn’t know I really needed to hear.  She wrote, ‘Tampa really does seem like your home now and for all the right reasons’. Home. The one thing I spent my entire childhood missing. So many moves. So many towns and the thing I wanted most was one singular place to call home. I have that now. I have that here.

My first couple years in Tampa every time I’d call Tampa home or say I was going home after being in Indy my mom would correct me. But this year more than any before it they get exactly what I’m in love with about this place and exactly why Tampa is home.

The second thing she wrote I didn’t realize how much I needed to hear was about how proud she is of the decisions I’ve made on my own and how I’ve allowed The Lord to guide me. And she shared this amazingly perfect verse: ‘and you shall remember how The Lord your God lead you all there way’ (Deut. 8:2).

What at a sweet way to start a new year, a year that promises to be the biggest and best yet. How precious my time here has been and how sweet this season is. I am gratefully every day for my relationship with The Lord and for the amazing, godly family He gave me.




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