365 Days.

The number of days Manda has been in heaven.

Without pain and fully healed!

 I shared a lot of thoughts about my sweet friend last year.  Because if I could have introduced each and every one of you to her here on earth, I would have.  I can’t wait for you guys to meet her in heaven.  Until then, I tried my best to share her with you in this post last year.

I don’t really have many words today.  Sometimes my heart is spewing and other times it’s a bit more silent. Today’s one of those quiet days.

So, I just wanted to share a couple of my favorite Manda memories that make me smile.  πŸ™‚

 For Manda’s birthday in May of 2016, we thought it’d be fun to go all out.  We had a limo pick us all up and then we showed up at her house.  She was shocked and so excited!

We had the best meal, so much fun, and ended the night singing, “Happy Birthday”.  Manda was totally in the moment…a night that will never be forgotten!!


Over Memorial Day weekend my neighborhood always has a big party and we invited all our people.  in 2016, the party just happened to land on Manda’s actual birthday.

We told the band it was her birthday and was expecting them to sing a quick little song, BUT they asked her to come to the front {and you should know Manda was not the front and center type} and spell her name with her HIPS!  She was mortified but such a good sport.  I’m not at all a dancer, but I joined her to try to make it less awkward and some other friends joined us too.  I’ll NEVER forget the look on her face when the singer asked her to do that!  She nailed it!!


In December 2016, Manda was having really hard days.  She wasn’t feeling well and in lots of pain.  Shay and I saw her at the preschool Christmas program and she mentioned she’d really like to have her nails done for Christmas, so we jumped on the chance to take her to the nail salon and even invited Sheaffer to join.  We spent an hour completely free of cancer talk discussing average, ordinary, everyday things which is exactly what Manda wanted.  That conversation may have sounded trivial at the time, but it meant so much because we all knew we wouldn’t have many more of those girl chats left.  I will always cherish that day and that simple chat with my sweet friend, Manda.    

When I think of Manda, this verse stands out every single time.

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”  2 Timothy 4:7

I’d like to say a huge THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for the many sweet e-mails, messages, and texts letting me know you were praying for the Maxwell family.  I truly cannot express how thankful I am for all of you!  

Secondly, if you didn’t get a chance, I strongly urge you to set aside some time this week to watch Manda’s funeral.  I promise you-it’ll touch your heart.

Manda’s family started the Manda Strong Foundation, which is a non-profit organization that helps moms battling cancer while also raising children.  You can read all about the organization and you can also sign up to donate as well.

I don’t want to speak for Manda, but I have no doubts she’d want you to know her hope was in Jesus.  He was and is her Lord and Savior.  She believed {just like I do} that he came to earth, died a painful death on a cross, and rose again for us.  For sinners-like you and me. 

If you declare with your mouth, β€œJesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10

I don’t know where your heart is today or where you’ve placed your hope for tomorrow, but if you’d like to learn more about Jesus, I’d love to tell you about my Savior.  You can e-mail me at

I hope you’ve been able to see just a little of the Manda we all know and loved.


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Leave a Comment


  1. 2.26.18
    Mix and Match Mama said:

    What a beautiful tribute about our beautiful friend. xo

  2. 2.26.18
    Narci said:

    I just love that memory of the Memorial Day party. ❀️ Such a great post, friend! Xoxo

  3. 2.26.18
    Sheaffer {Pinterest Told Me To} said:

    I'd never heard the spell your name with your hips story! She must have been MORTIFIED! πŸ™‚ Such a sweet post honoring our incredible friend. xoxo

  4. 2.26.18
    Amanda @ That Inspired Chick said:

    I am trying to picture Manda spelling her name with her hips! Hahaha. Such a precious post. She touched so many lives. I feel so blessed to have known her for even just a short time. Big prayers today for all of her most loved ones. xoxo

  5. 2.26.18
    Sheryl said:

    A beautiful and loving tribute to your friend. From reading your blog daily, I know she was a very loved christian woman.

  6. 2.26.18
    Lauren said:

    goodness. Having read all of you guys posts this am … I was not prepared to cry over my blogs this morning! Thinking of you all

  7. 2.26.18
    ProudAuntKaren said:

    Prayers for all of y'all. I've felt grief for her and her family this past year, and I didn't even know her! I can't imagine for those of you who are good friends with her. Her testimony made a difference, and I'm thankful to have watched the video of her story! Thanks for sharing it with us! What a special person!

  8. 2.26.18
    The Gittings Family said:

    Ah, pass the tissues please. Such a sweet post full of love for your friend. Our lives are nothing but a vapor. As I get older (I'm 34 now), I have opened my eyes and place way more value my relationships to much more, and especially now while the big "c" is at center stage with out a cure. Also, how absolutely wonderful of you to offer yourself up as someone anyone can go to to to learn more about Jesus! God bless you and your family, Erika!

  9. 2.26.18
    Parnell's Pantry said:

    No words are really sufficient, but it is encouraging to know that she had such a wonderful support system around her when she needed it most. You ladies are a great bunch of people.

  10. 2.26.18
    Simple Purposeful Living said:

    Thankful that her deep love of Jesus lives on and that many may come to know Him because of her steadfastness. I can't wait to meet her in heaven πŸ™‚ xoxo ERIN