43 Years of Gratitude

I’ve been thinking and thinking about how to GIVE THANKS in a special way. I came up with this idea…..I’ll list one thing I’m thankful for for each year I’ve been alive. I’ve been given 43 years here so far…I should be able to come up with at least that many things to be thankful for!¬†
In chronological order to the best of my ability….
1. That God let me be born to the two most amazing parents ever
2. My little sister, Tiffany. She was my playmate and bickering partner growing up haha! — so many fun memories and lessons!
3. A childhood filled with fun memories of “getting Daddy” – we’d roll around on the floor tickling and wrestling, and he’d let us believe we had him….right up until the very end where he reminded us with his strength that he’s the Daddy and we are not ūüôā
4. That my Mom always made it a priority to have us sit around the table and eat a family dinner together…and man, can she cook!
5. Money was very tight when I was a little kiddo, but I only know that now. I always felt secure, cherished, and spoiled when I was growing up.
6. That I have sweet memories of all 4 of my grandparents. I can’t wait to meet my Dad’s mom who passed away when he was a child.
7. The hope of Heaven. I have SO much to look forward to when this life is over!
8. That we moved so much when I was little. Texas, Wisconsin, Missouri, Iowa, North Dakota, Idaho….were all home! I learned that HOME is where family is, ¬†and that I am strong, flexible, and able to be happy anywhere.
9. My little brother who was born too early. His name is Luke. Another someone special I’m looking forward to meeting some day ūüôā
10. My baby sister Megan – I remember so much about her being a baby, and now she’s a mom to her own little girls. She’s an awesome mom ūüôā
11. That my parents always made our education a priority. They expected and encouraged excellence in me, which made me believe I could do anything I set my mind to.
12. That I did not grow up with a smart device in my hand. I have such beautiful memories of exploring, reading, crafting, playing, pretending, baking, etc.
13. ¬†For my childhood optometrist, orthodontist, and dermatologist haha! ¬†It took many years and lots of money out of my parents’ pocket to straighten out this near-sighted, snaggle-toothed, blemished girl!
14.  That God saw it fit for me to live in this era of air conditioning, Keurig coffee makers, and heated car seats!
15. ¬†A single high school romance that taught me that love just might be a real thing. ¬†He and I were not meant to be, but knowing that I wasn’t making up the idea of heart-pounding love protected me from saying “yes” to the practical but non-heart-pounding man who would propose to me my freshman year of college. ¬†It was hard to say “no” because I was afraid to be alone….but I KNEW there was something better for me.
16.  The opportunity to play sports as a child.  I felt strong and powerful because of what my body could do on the court.
17. ¬†A high school internship at an engineering company….opened my eyes to some pretty cool technology and planted the seed for me to go into engineering.
18. ¬† A great and true friend my senior year of high school and first year of college….studies, friendship, boys….we were on our own for the first time TOGETHER ūüôā
19. ¬†The Dean of Engineering who declared that I would be “weeded out” after I announced that I wanted to study mechanical engineering. ¬†He might have been a jerk, or he might have seen that competitive spark in my eye. ¬†Either way….he gave me exactly what I needed to push through and finish that degree. ¬†That man would be wrong about me no. matter. what. haha!
20 ¬†Lucas Barrett Fouch — the single greatest and most precious gift of my life. ¬†When he held my hand for the first time, it felt like an electric shock ran through my body. ¬†He looked at me and said “did you feel that?!”…..we both knew we’d found home in that moment.
21. ¬†Luke’s parents who raised him to be a hard working, honest, good man. ¬†They did a good job ūüôā
22. ¬†The college engineering internship with a medical devices company. ¬†I actually got to be in the room as one of our devices was used during surgery on a woman’s knee…..that’s the first time I really GOT that I could do something for a living that might impact others in real and powerful ways. ¬†I was hooked on the idea of having a positive influence from that point on.
23.  The day my last name changed to Fouch
24. ¬†My sisters’ husbands. ¬†I love, admire, and respect them both so much for the great husbands, daddies, and hard workers they are.
25. ¬†The new-age book that made me take a good hard look at my faith….that book was filled with lies, which led me to seek TRUTH like never before.
26. ¬†Jesus, who came to live as a man, die for me, and who rose from the dead. ¬†Jesus, who lives right this second. ¬†Jesus, who is my Lord….my way, truth, and life….my everything.
27. ¬†Benjamin Lucas – who made me a mom for the first time, and who is now 6 feet tall with broad shoulders and a heart of gold. ¬†I’m so proud of that young man…. his heart for the Lord, and his ability to really SEE people.
28.  That I was able to make the choice to be a stay-at-home-mom
29. ¬†Clara Rose – who came screaming into this world as a feisty, spunky, powerhouse of a girl. ¬†She’s now as tall as I am, and is a sweet and loving caretaker and friend. ¬†I’m so proud of that young woman for her strength and passion to make all things better.
30.  The friends and family who came to my rescue when I was struggling with the demands of having a 13 month old and a newborn!
31. ¬†The excellent Bible-teaching evangelical church we went to in Idaho — I grew so much in that place!
32. ¬†Samantha Ruth – who is still my sweet, snuggly, creative girl even though she’s on the verge of being a teenager. ¬†I had a vision of her future when she was just a baby….I’m so excited to see what God has in store for her (but I think I know!). ¬†So proud of her tender heart, sense of humor, ¬†and artistic spirit.
33. ¬†That God spared Samantha’s life when she was desperately sick as a baby. ¬†Scariest time of my life!
34. ¬†Thomas Robert – my bright eyed, joyful, boundless energy boy! ¬†He’s just a little guy, but he has such big thoughts and ideas….and a heart of gold. ¬†He’s strong, fun, and honest. ¬†So proud of who he’s growing up to be.
35.  The friends who were my sanity when I had a newborn, 2 year old, 4 year old, and 5 year old.  Those were some hairy times haha!
36. ¬†The “Parenting is a Ministry” class Luke and I took when the kids were tiny — modeling our parenting after God’s parenting…..changed everything about the way we raised our kids!
37.  That my husband is a praying man of God.
38. ¬†The little Facebook post that my kids’ preschool teacher shared about her new home business. ¬†That woman and that post would change the course of my family’s future in extraordinary ways.
39. ¬†The men and women who have come along on this business journey with me — we work together to do the sacred work of changing people’s lives — I couldn’t do it without them, and it wouldn’t be any fun without them even if I could!
40. ¬†A medical scare that reminded me that I am only here for a short time — I want to make it COUNT!
41. ¬†That my husband was laid off several years ago. ¬†Four kids and no “normal job”? ¬†It took that drastic change to realize just how FREE we are. ¬†Home business is a powerful thing!
42. ¬†The green grass, trees, lakes, and friendly place we now get to call home — Wisconsin! ūüôā #GoPack
43.  That this business has changed me, provided for thousands of families, brought many people to faith in Jesus, AND is just getting started.  So blessed to have purpose, influence, and the freedom to be the wife and mom I want to be!
I can’t wait to see how many things I can add to this list in another 43 more years!!
Happy Thanksgiving, friends!  oxox Daiq