huge NieNie fan. Who isn't though, really? I found out about her blog the same week that their plane crashed and have followed diligently ever since. Along with thousands of others, I was praying for her recovery, my heart aching for their family. I rejoiced when she came out of her coma and was so excited to see her blogging again. What a gift for us. Her words and stories have made me laugh, made me cry, and mostly have inspired me to try harder to be a better wife and mother, despite any challenges I may be going through. I love her positive attitude, sense of humor, testimony, and her willingness to share it. What a great example to us all.
Just a few days ago, she posted on her blog about an event she would be speaking at in Loomis. I bought tickets immediately. Because, it wasn't heavily advertised, there was a very small group of people. It was a nice intimate fajita dinner on a beautiful ranch.
Her speech was awesome, and here are a few things that really hit me. She was asked if she could go back to that day before the accident, would she still get in the airplane? She said she would. She said, "I am grateful for this trial. There are lessons I would have never learned otherwise, things I can teach my children." She said, "Do not let your trials define you... It's what we do with these hardships that matter."
She talked about how she felt knowing that she was probably going to die. She thought she lived a good life and tried really hard. That also stuck with me. I could be called home at any time. No one knows for sure when their mortal sojourn will end. I don't want to have regrets. I want a clear conscience. I want to know that I've tried really hard. I want the people in my life to know how much I love them. I have some work to do. :)
Overall, I learned that life can change in a second. I'm grateful for what I have now. And, I'm so grateful I got to meet Stephanie Nielson. She radiates goodness. Ohh, and did I mention she has the cutest little baby bump ever? And, that she hugged me twice? I told her I was going to bring a sign that said, "NieNie's #1 fan!" She and Christian laughed, and she said she wishes I would have, but since I didn't, she'll put it in her memory that I did. haha. Darn it, I should have.
I'm sure most of you read her blog, but if not, you are missing out! I have especially enjoyed reading her pre-accident archives. I hope I can be as strong a woman as her, so that when the winds of life come, I will not fall.
Thanks for coming to California, NieNie! xoxo
P.S. Don't you love how our outfits totally coordinate?