November 26, 2015

Each year, America dedicates a whole day to being grateful and celebrating Thanksgiving.  Though, it mostly feels like we have started to skip this day and move straight to Christmas!  I have always appreciated Thanksgiving more so than Christmas because there’s much less fanfare, less distraction and the simplicity of it makes it easy to remember its purpose.  Giving Thanks.

This month in my daily devotional, the theme has been focusing on being grateful, even in the midst of a storm.  Having this thankful heart, opens your heart to bigger possibilities and opportunities for beautiful things to happen.  Going through a difficult circumstance SHOULD make you appreciate life in all it’s fragility.  We all know life can literally change in a moment.  That reality has gripped us for four years.

I have wayyyy too long a list for me to share with you everything I am grateful for.  And I do my very best to thank God each day for all the blessings.  I don’t know that my heart could ever THANK God for what we all have endured for Elena, but I for sure am able to THANK Him for the innumerable amount of wonderful things that have happened as a result.  Our home in a wonderful community.  Elena’s school.  Our church.  Our new friends.  Our changed hearts.  Our scars that have strengthened us.   Our beautiful girl who is alive!

This Thanksgiving Day, I want to encourage you all to, despite your present circumstances, take a second to absorb the beauty that is your life and be thankful.  My devotion this morning said “In our broken world, blessings and sorrows intermingle freely”.  How true this is.  Today, don’t let our sorrows and difficulties render us bitter.  Let’s open our heart and be thankful.

When I was in my darkest place of grief after Elena’s injury, when everything was dark and impossible, I always remember there being the tiniest prick of light.  I held onto that for dear life.  Now I know that was the hope God had promised to never leave me and to get me through that impossible storm.  The light surrounds our family now, no longer just a prick.  It’s our shining light, and it comes through Elena.  Our family photographer took this picture of Elena about a month ago.  It is perfection.  The light that day, only shown on Elena and only for a brief moment.

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This is Elena. Our Light. You can see all the goodness and joy that shines from those deep blue eyes. She loves sneezes, yawns, industrial toilet flushes, automatic paper towel dispensers and The Star Spangled Banner. Music is her everything, specifically Moana, Frozen (really all Disney), Queen & Taylor Swift. Nothing makes her squeal quite like swimming, fast boat rides and her two brothers in trouble. In addition to her megawatt smile, Elena reminds us to cherish the smallest of victories, to live in the present, and to daily dwell in a posture of gratitude for every breath and every blessing.  

More About Our Story

I’m Emmalee, an ordinary gal born and raised in the Heartland. Wife to Chad, and Mom to Elena, Calvin & Turner, I spend most my days ridin’ dirty (literally so much trash) in my minivan carting kids to and fro. When I’m not being a Momager, I excel at self-care, cooking gourmet meals my kids won’t eat and deep-diving all the feelings. Most days, my attitude is gratitude, just taking life one step at a time.

Emmalee & Elena

Meet The Gals