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Mac Says Have A Great Day!

We were driving to school to drop Mac off for her day, and as we drove we were praying as Karen had started that tradition a couple of years ago with our kids. Praying with them each day as they drove to school. So we prayed. Then as we get there, she always had her ending words of encouragement of “Go be awesome” or “Make it a great day” etc. And today, Mac gets out, turns and looks back to say goodbye and I love you, she did something different, and a first. She looked back and said, “Make it a great day Dad!” Simple words, but I had never heard her tell me that, and the words struck a chord. Simple words. But so much brevity and “life” behind that event and those words coming out of a 12-year-old’s mouth, looking to boost her dad and hoping for the best for me and my day! I couldn’t help but drive off, reflect, be filled with gratitude for her maturity and thoughtfulness, and shed a few tears of joy!

You see, words create worlds. Words cut or heal, they deceive or build trust, they create hope or darkness, they create joy or anger. Words do so many things! And as this occurred, I began to also think about our journey and the strength we have gained from the words said to our family by so many caring people. And I also think about our degree of separation currently as a family and all those praying for our family on those Fridays. And every time I think about those degrees of separation and as we experience those moments and those days, I remind myself that so many have experienced those things to far greater expense than our family. I remind myself of our military personnel that goes off to war or some form of active duty, and they squeeze their spouse and children for the last time as they go off for months on end with no guarantee of coming home. I think about what must that feel like!? And I think, wow, that must be excruciatingly painful for those families. I think about Brett Middleton, a long time family friend, who has gone off to war more than once, and in particular, one time, when my wife and I were a part of their family at that time, and me serving as a stand-in father as he was gone fighting for our country and no promise he would make it home alive. I remember that journey in that time and the struggles that occur with those experiences for the family.

It is in those moments I am reminded that our separation isn’t so bad. We aren’t apart for months on end, and losing our life in those periods is highly unlikely. We also can communicate in so many ways. Be it text, email, phone calls, or hours of Facetime! While it is painful in this part of the journey, I am reminded that we have it so good! Nash is battling a war, and he is winning, and we still get to be “together” in various forms and fashions! We are truly fortunate!

And beyond those fortunes, we have a laundry list of other things to be thankful for!

1. Kids that are shining God’s bright beacon of hope in their ways that are so profound for two 12-year-olds.

2. Communication forms that allow us to be together even though we are apart.

3. Thousands of prayer warriors praying insanely often and deeply for our journey and Nash’s full recovery!. And the church’s across the country praying for Nash and listing Nash on all their prayer lists.

4. Caring people, by the thousands, asking me via text, email, phone, or face to face “How’s your boy?” So many people caring and deeply intent on following Nash and our family through our journey, and providing words to keep us moving forward.

5. Three organizations and others covering mine and Karen's professional obligations while we are giving intense focus to Nash’s full recovery. AMC, PAC, and all things “Mpire”.

6. A church and Pastor Josh who are there every step of the way and checking in routinely with Karen and me, and supply nonstop prayers.

7. A group of people helping us save time so that we can maximize our time with our kids!

8. Our tribe that is just “there”, always there, always helping in whatever manner needed!

9. Our families, the Lindberg’s and the Wieland’s, who are on the journey every day with us no matter what!!!

10. And a God that is ever so present every single second of every day that is creating miracles in Nash! Our God has wrapped us in his presence to help us face this journey every single day with a determined grit and perseverance to turn the impossible into the possible!

Even if you are broken and even if you are broken deeply, God is there and you have much to be grateful for!!! You may be hurt and in deep sorrow but I know you are able!! Give us and give him your gratitude!! Gratitudes remove brokenness!!!!!!!!! I know you are able!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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