Wednesday with Wanda

Hello, ladies.

I apologize for being late with my Wednesday with Wanda post today, but both my computer and laptop were not working last night or this morning.

I called my internet provider, and we finally got things figured out!  :)  Whew!

Today I wanted to share with you a post I wrote about my mom on another blog in January.  I was trying to win a ticket to the Blissdom conference and many of you stopped by that blog to vote for me.  Thank you!

It was a HUGE blessing in my life.

But I feel there are many of you who didn’t have the chance to read it, so I wanted to share it with you too.  :)

Here it is…

Count Your Blessings

Sometimes we think that our greatest influence on others will come in the way we live our lives. But for me, the greatest influence I have ever had on my life was in the way that someone died.

That someone was my mom.

In August of 2009, my mom was diagnosed with Stage IV gastric cancer. It was the most difficult situation I had ever faced in my life. I wanted to be angry with God. How could He do this to my mom and my family?

Mom told me that she didn’t understand why God was allowing this cancer into her life, but she trusted Him. She said that despite our circumstances, we needed to be looking for the blessings God had in store for us.

So that’s what we did.

For the seven short weeks that Mom lived after her diagnosis, we counted our blessings every day.

I remember a time when Mom was lying in her bed. Her legs were swollen 3 times their normal size. She was unable to sit up or stand on her own. She had lost over 20 pounds and could barely eat. The cancer was winning the battle. She looked at me and said, “I feel so blessed.” I said, “Mom, you are lying there with cancer throughout your whole body, how can you say that?” Her response? “Well, I could be writhing in pain, and I’m not. Some people with cancer are in a lot more pain. So I am thankful that I’m not.”

I couldn’t believe my ears. She felt blessed? Mom continually found blessings through the most difficult days of her life.

(Dad’s birthday, Sept. 4th, 18 days before Mom passed away.)

If the sun was shining on the way to a doctor’s appointment, Mom would look at us with a smile and say, “Blessings!”

If someone brought us food to eat that evening, Mom would smile and say, “Blessings!”

When money was given to help with medical bills, Mom would say, “Blessings!”

If she could taste her food better that day or maybe eat more than usual, she would say, “Blessings!”

There wasn’t an hour of the day that went by that I didn’t hear my mom say, “Blessings!”

Do you know what it feels like to be covered in God’s blessings all day long? I do.

The fact is…we are all covered in God’s blessings everyday of our lives.  Oftentimes, we simply do not take the time to recognize them.

It took Mom’s illness for me to realize it.

She told me one day in the kitchen that she had lived her whole life trying to teach us kids how to live for Christ, and now it was her time to teach us how to die for Christ.

Mom’s example in dying changed my life forever!

Now I try to live each day to the fullest by counting the simple blessings that God has given me.


When I am standing in a long line at the grocery store….

I thank God for the legs on which I have to stand.

When I am overwhelmed by loads of laundry….

I thank God for a house full of loved ones who wear those clothes.

When I am frustrated when I don’t get what I want…

I thank God that I have all that I need.

And when the overwhelming pain of missing my mother wells up inside of me…

I thank God for the promise that I will see her again.

What a blessing!

God bless you all!


Linking to Encouraging Words Wednesdays at Walking in His Grace.


  1. And what a BLESSING this post was! Thank you, Traci :-) I often like to think about what my mom is doing in heaven. It truly is a blessing to know we will be with them again one day. Love to you!

  2. Thanks for re-posting this, it's a blessing to have read it again. It's a reminder to count our blessings at all times. I wanted to say thanks for being my first follower.
    I'm sorry to see you aren't following my blog any more, but I'll continue to follow yours as I've been blessed by your Christian life coming through your posts and great decorating ideas. Blessings!

  3. If only we all had our vision and minds corrected with a heart of thanks to God appreciating the many little and big blessings he gives us each day! Lovely post!

  4. Traci, I so enjoyed reading this again! It's a beautiful tribute to your mom. . .and a beautiful testimony to the goodness of God. She showed forth the love of Christ in everything!

  5. What a wonderful gift your Mother left you with, a legacy of a beautiful spirit. What a wonderful gift you gave your readers, sharing this beautiful story. Truly inspirational,and how we should all aspire to live our life…counting our blessings, both large and small.

  6. What an amazing legacy! She is continuing to touch people through your words about her life. What a blessing. Thank you for sharing part of her with us.

  7. Reading about your mom brought tears to my eyes. I sometimes wonder what I would be like when I was about to face death. I pray that I show my family the same courage & strength as your mom. What a beautiful promise we are given from Jesus. We get to see our loved ones in heaven.
    Thanks for sharing.

  8. Traci, what a good reminder…see, she's still speaking – only it's through you. I just did a post on my MIL who passed away Tuesday. Come visit my blog if you can. We will be traveling to Bardstown, Kentucky on Friday for the graveside on Saturday. I know you are a Kentucky girl! Linda

  9. Traci,
    I have written this before, but I'll write this again…thank you for sharing your Mom's testimony. Her life has been a wonderful example of how I should carry myself during this grief. It has reminded me to not walk around like I have been defeated (although my flesh wants to), because the battle has already been won.

    This quote, "She told me one day in the kitchen that she had lived her whole life trying to teach us kids how to live for Christ, and now it was her time to teach us how to die for Christ," reminded me to have a eternal mindset set , instead of an earthly one. I have been so blessed by these posts. I pray that I live my life as an example for my children as your Mom did for you.

    Blessings, Karen

  10. This post was such a blessing- but now I'm in tears. What a beautiful person your mom was and, as someone else said, now she's speaking through you. I've never met your mom but I've certainly learned from her- through you- on Wednesdays. Thank you.

  11. Traci. I'm always so moved by your Wednesdays with Wanda post. I always leave your blog feeling like I know her a little better. You're Mom was obviously an amazing woman who raised amazing children and now your children will be the blessed recipient of that same love. Thank you for reminding me of the blessings that surround us.

    Also thanks for your sweet comments on the apron I made. What you said made me feel so special. You're comments are always a blessing in my life.

    Hugs….Tracy :)

  12. Thanks for re-sharing that post. Your projects often come up on my google image searches and they are so beautiful.
    So, here I am looking for ideas for a project and I was able to be spiritually INSPIRED :) You're mom reminds me a lot of my own, so I cried through the hole reading. Such a sweet post. Thanks for your thoughts. I try to be grateful, but I sometimes still need to be reminded that even when life's not perfect it's still wonderful and I wouldn't trade one bit of it. Thanks & Have a great weekend.

  13. Thank you, Traci, for the beautiful reminder to look for God's love and many blessings in even the smallest parts of my day. May you continue to find peace in His love and promise.

  14. Traci,
    I came across your blog by accident and have spent a couple days reading thru your posts about your mother. So many times I hear you say the same things that I said, and your mother say the same things my own mom said. My mom was diagnosed with lung cancer in april of 2009. On Christmas eve of 2009 my dad passed away and on Jan 4th 2011 my mom lost her battle with cancer. It has been such a long road. I too have found comfort in the scripture and the promise that Our Lord stands with us in our tragedies. Thank you for all of the beautifull words and thoughts that you are so freely sharing! May God Bless and Keep you and yours

  15. I linked to your blog tonight through Pinterest while I was searching for solutions and ideas for pantry’s with wire shelving. Love the fiberboard idea!
    Just as I was about to close out of your blog I noticed the dedication bar at the bottom of your page. My heart was sincerely touched by it and I read a couple of your ‘Wed w/ Wanda’ posts. Thank you for speaking to my heart in an unexpected way this evening. May your journey of healing be filled with many gifts. Blessings on your head.

  16. I just discovered your website. I have read most of the posts regarding your sweet Momma. What an amazing gift and blessing she is on your life.
    I have lost both my parents, too long ago now 10+ years. I worked 14 years with Cancer Patients in Radiation Oncology. I maybe have a glimmer of what you have been through. But I have seen many families thru the hard time. I have always counter those times to be a blessing.
    The greatest thing that I ever learned was a reminder to prioritize THE REALLY BIG THINGS, not the things that don’t matter come next week or next month.
    As bittersweet as is it your Mother has never left you. She is just as faithful today and a piece of her has taken up residence in you, in your writing, and your great Love. Thank you. Blessings!

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