It’s Time To Thank The Village.

God has been good to me. So good.

My baby boy graduates in a few days. I swear he’s grown a foot in the last week. He’s walking tall and proud, with a smile that can’t be wiped off his face. In the blink of an eye, he’s gone from a little boy that needed my approval to one that’s confidently making decisions that align with his own moral compass.

I can’t be arrogant and write about how I was the perfect mother that gave Hunter the perfect childhood. I’d be delusional if I said his success is due to me. Far from it.

The only thing I did “right” was pray to a God that heard me. A God that loves my boy more than even I could. That God is solely responsible.

That God provided a village.

If you’re reading this blog or I tagged you in it, chances are you’re a part of that village. Your placement in our lives was nothing short of divine intervention. Some of you were here for only a season. Some have lasted many seasons. Others are here for a lifetime. No matter the duration, you’ve served a purpose. God has seen to that.

If I don’t mention your name, please know that your impact was no less than someone mentioned. There is absolutely no way that I can express my gratitude to everyone the way I’d love to. We’ve been blessed with the unconditional love of family.

Kenneth and Denise Sims. You believed in both my boys from the time they were toddlers. You saw something in Hunter that others had a hard time seeing. You refused to put a label on him. I’ll always credit you for being his very “first” teacher. And you’ve still loved us all these years later. God has used you in more ways than you’ll ever know, whether it was teaching Hunter how to write his name or sitting with his mama while she cried on your porch. You’re the one that God used to keep me from walking away from Him when we lost Joseph.

Catherine Sims. You fought so hard for Hunter within the public school system. Though we lost that battle, victory was ahead! Your deeds will never be forgotten.

Nicole Ellis. You were the teacher that awaited Hunter at CCA. You gave up your summer/afternoons for years to help Hunter. Hunter thrived for the first time in his life, under your sweet, kind, and humble spirit.

CCA Administration. You truly put scripture to work and held true to your promise of helping Hunter be who he was created to be in Christ’s own image. You took a square boy with chewed off corners that would not fit in a cookie cutter classroom, and made a learning environment that he did indeed fit in.

CCA staff. I can never thank you enough. Y’all were a truly Angels. Shannon Threatt, Tyler Boring, Kashuna Roberts, Anna Shaw. Anna and her love for Hunter are a blog for another day!

Joe Coy. Hunter was so blessed to have you as his very first internship. Never could a finer role model have been chosen to teach him a beautiful trade of cabinet making. But even greater is the standard of your own work ethic and biblical living that you’ve impressed on Hunter. You’ve taught him that character and moral integrity Go hand in hand with business. Thank you for investing in Hunter. He considers you one of his greatest mentors.

Troy Reece, David Baker, and Mark Baker are also a part of the village that gave Hunter invaluable training and skills doing internships. Thank you. I can never repay you.

Mark and Debbie Bennett. Hunter’s home away from home. Mark will never know what the countless hours under the hood of the racecar meant to Hunter. I never had to wonder or worry when Hunter was with his “other” parents. Thank you for your faithfulness and love all these years.

Our family. My brother especially. Ken Blackmon has been the one source of unwavering, constant support for us individually, or as a family. He was recently asked to write a few words of encouragement for Hunter’s yearbook and his response blew me away. It reads….

To my nephew, Hunter.
I was asked to to write a letter to you offering advice or encouragement since you are about to graduate. I thought this to be an odd request based on the fact that you are a perfect example of encouragement and perseverance.
In your short life you have endured tragedies  and setbacks that most of us never experience in our lifetimes.  No matter what curveball life has thrown at you, life has never struck you out.  The average person would have taken a dark, discouraging path, but not you, Hunter.  You have chosen to follow a bright promising road, led by our Lord and Savior. 
How can I, or anyone else, offer you advice or encouragement when I can look at you and know that your future is bright. All I can say is that life goes on, just make sure you live it right.                  Love,
Uncle Ken

I thank God for Hunter and allowing me to me his mama. Entrusting me with Hunter’s earthly needs while He has done amazing, wonderful things in Hunter’s life. Thank you Lord, for allowing me to see Your fruits come alive and thrive within him.

Lastly, I thank God for THE VILLAGE. Hunter wouldn’t be who is if you did not each have the love and conviction that you do in your own hearts. Who is your village? Thank them.

No BeanCounter today. Just a grateful mama.

Be Blessed!

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