We weren’t expecting to find a package on our front porch today, but there it was!  A special box marked “priority mail.”  And best of all, it was addressed to Olivia!

Olivia rarely gets mail, but LOVES to see her name on an envelope or package, so I couldn’t wait to show her the box.

I recognized the name on the return address label as a very special friend I had met during Nick’s fight with cancer.  She even came to visit me and Nick before he passed away even though we had only met through emails before his illness.

I smiled when I saw her name, and I especially smiled when I realized that the gift had arrived on 7-11!  You can go to Nick’s site by clicking HERE to see why that number is so special to our family.

In the package was a pillow for Olivia that I am sure Sue made!  She shared in her card very powerful words of encouragement to Olivia and even recalled a blog post where I had told about Olivia guessing that she had been born at 3:23 a.m. even though we have no idea when Olivia was really born…..she even embroidered this special time right on the pillow!!! I can’t wait to get to Heaven and find out what time Olivia entered this world!  Why do I think I won’t be surprised if it really was 3:23 a.m.????

I found the whole experience today amazing, because I had taken Olivia for her sports physical just 4 hours before finding the package and during the appointment had shared with the new doctor (in front of Olivia) a little bit about Olivia’s life story. 

Olivia already knew that she had been dropped from a bridge and abandoned when she was only a few days old.  She already knew that she was found by a policeman and taken to a hospital for six weeks and then placed in an orphanage.  She knew that she had became part of our family at the age of 19 months.  But as the doctor was asking questions today, I could see a little sadness in Olivia’s eyes.  Olivia’s little life started out in a rough way.  I never want her to forget her story, because I believe her testimony will help others for years to come.

But I was sure to remind Olivia and the doctor that God must have big plans for Olivia’s life…….

so reading Sue’s unexpected card to Olivia later in the day and seeing the words, “God has special plans for you,” just blew me away!  I felt like God  had timed this gift’s arrival on a day when Olivia needed an extra reminder of His special plan for her life.july week two memories 095  Tonight, Olivia spent some time planning an upcoming meeting with some of her friends so that they can organize Fellowship of Christian Athletes before school begins.  She wants to see the club grow and become a positive part of lots of other kid’s lives! I do believe that God has big plans for Olivia, and today was just another reminder that all of the tough things she has been through are just stepping stones to strengthening her faith.

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If you feel like the road you are walking on is filled with rough places right now, I hope this post will somehow remind you that God is with you on our journey, and He promises to go ahead of you smoothing the road as He goes. 

This verse gave me hope and strength throughout Nick’s fight with cancer and even more now as I walk the road of grief-

Isaiah 42:16

I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
   along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them
   and make the rough places smooth.

I love you all!  Thank you for your prayers and kind words last week.

We’ll dive  back into Philippians tomorrow but I just had to share this Olivia story tonight!