They eased in to the house like they did in 2010, 2011, and 2012. Only a few of them knocked, and each of them looked for Joey and Wade after they entered.
Within minutes, the house alive with noise, their voices spoke to each other and to us leap-frogging each other, piggy backing on stories and filling the house with joyful life.
They filled their plates, recounted meaningful stories, teased Wade about girls, and interacted with me as if we spent every Sunday around that table eating tortellini and brownies.
These are six beautiful, talented, intelligent young women with young men who vie for their time, families who may have wanted the last two hours of Thanksgiving break, and friends who were waiting for them in Stillwater, Norman, Fayetteville and Tulsa. Yet, they were with us, and they were present with us. Their mothers have my gratitude today.
I have always been thankful that Laura, Angie, Michelle, Stephanie, Jill, and Suzanne and the girls they raised. I have been thankful that they raised girls, confident individuals, who loved Jesus and who loved Taylor. Today, as I watched the light in each pair of eyes, thankfulness filled my heart again. What independent young women these ladies created! What giving, kind-hearted, love-offering, eager-to-share interesting people they are! My daughter isn't at my house. This could have been incredibly awkward and too demanding, emotionally. These girls could have easily bailed - but they didn't.
My girls came to our home, shared themselves with my boys and me. With them came pieces of our girl that each of their hearts carry.. I treasure how easily we can talk about Taylor and laugh. Hours after they left, my friend Dana, sent me this verse.
"Rejoice in all the good that the Lord your God has given to you and to your house." Deuteronomy 26:11a
Laura... Angie.... Michelle,,, Stephanie... Jill... and Suzanne ---
your girls have made so many of my days good and I rejoice. You filled them with love, a love they willingly share. I am so blessed.
"Every good and perfect gift is from above... coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change." James 1:17