Sunday, June 17, 2012

I'm in awe...

I have to say, I am completely in awe. I wrote last week about a loss my very dear friend had suffered (read it here). When Sarah found out about the babies diagnosis, her plans for the birth changed drastically, from a home birth to a hospital birth, 4 hours from home. Long story short, she didn't have health insurance and now was going to be strapped with tons of medical bills as well as travel expenses.

That was when another dear friend and I decided we needed to do something. Our idea when from a holding a long distance "baby shower" to raise a little bit of money to help with gas and such, to the possibility of hosting a 5K (way out of our scope of planning) to finally a dance-a-thon. Rebecca had been to several Zumba-thons and Sh'Bam classes and thought it would be a great way to raise money. The idea quickly grew legs and the next thing you know we had a website, facebook page, bank account, paypal account and we were ready to promote.

We started this to help lighten their load. We had no idea what to expect, what we got was amazing. Donations starting coming in through the website, people were sharing the facebook page, sponsors started coming in and donations for giveaways and auction items were overwhelming. We held the event yesterday (the 16th of June), and it went so well. Everyone who came out had a great time and we are so appreciative of the ones who came early to help set up and stayed late to help clean up.

The amount of love and prayers that has been poured out for this amazing family has blown my mind. The majority of donations that have come in have been from people who never even met this family. Praise God, we were able to raise a little over $4,000 to help with medical and funeral costs. There is no way that we (Rebecca, the Jackson Family and I) could ever thank you all enough.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you to everyone who prayed, donated, volunteered, danced, sponsored and everything in-between.

To the moon and back...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I wandered

I kinda feel like this is my testimony. I've had times in my walk when I've fallen away, felt empty, betrayed, but I have realized that with out Jesus, there's really no comfort, no forgiveness and no healing.

A few years ago, I lost my cousin to cancer. She was a year older than me and at the time left behind a 6 year old daughter. Nothing made sense. I was angry at God. I realize now that everything happens for a reason. Good, bad or indifferent, it's not for us to know why. If we didn't have the lows, how would we recognize the highs?

i wandered the street
empty and broken
a shell of love song
better left unspoken
angry and bitter
a soul full of blame
no light to the world
just a snuffed out flame
seeking some guidance
some comfort, some peace
but the resentment's still clutching
no sign of release
when a stranger reached out
offering a hand
promising life
if i just take a stand
but what good is a life
if it's just full of pain
He said to be washed
with His blood comes gain
forgiveness and mercy
flow from His scars
release from this temporary
life behind bars
bars of pain
of sickness and death
i turned to His face
to be filled with His breath
i reached at His robe
for just a touch of healing
begging for love
engulfed with a feeling
i wandered the street
empty and broken
found peace in my savior
and the love He has spoken

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Of love and loss and grieving....

Ok, I stole that title from my bosses blog, but it's fitting.

I could start this blog off with "Wow, it's, like totally, been a really long time since I last blogged. I've been sooo super busy with my crazy important life but I totally promise to be better about posting!" (please feel free to read that in your best Valley Girl voice circa 1983), but I won't. Truth is, life happens and while I love writing, and emptying my head of random thoughts (yes, thoughts, plural, I do manage to have more than one, however, trains of thought quickly derail), I also have family, friends, 2.5 jobs, running and the like that fill my days.

I have had a blog brewing in my little brain about the "Are You Mom Enough" article, but my luke warm opinions about most things coupled with the fact that I haven't actually read past the title of the article, have hindered me from diving into that topic further. I am fairly certain, though, that I am not mom enough when you take into account that my almost 3 year old watches TV, has had his vaccinations as well as tylenol & motrin, was only breastfed (and not exclusively, there was formula in the mix) until 14 months, has had (on occasion) a PB&J for breakfast and navigates my iPhone better than me. But that's beside the point, on to the task at hand.

Tonight, I write of love, loss and grieving...

Love... The love of a gracious God, the love of a remarkable mother, the love of humbled friends. First, there is the love of gracious God who gives peace to a family who needs all of the comfort they can get. He has laid out the plans for them and gives them strength though the pain. Then there is the love of a mother, a love that has no rivals. I don't think you can truly understand it until you become one. I'm not taking away from the love a father has for his child, but I am saying that it is a bit different when you have carried, nurtured and felt the child moving from inside you. We give them our bodies for 9 months and in turn they take a piece of our heart with them on the way out. Finally, the love of humbled friends, who no matter how much they do for their friends, no matter how much they give, they are humbled to have the friend who is in need trying to comfort them through her loss.

Loss... One of my dearest friends and her family is having to go through what no one should ever have to experience, the loss of a child. Just a few days ago, after giving birth, she lost her son (you can read about it here). Throughout the pregnancy and birth, she gave her worries to God and above all asked for His will to be done. God's will was done, and part of His plan for Emmett was unveiled as he was able to be an organ donor and has the opportunity to help save the lives of two babies. 

Grieving... I can never claim to know what she is feeling, but I know that since Thursday night, I have been wandering around in a fog with an emptiness in my chest. My heart aches for them and I hate that we (her friends) can't be closer to help her through this and to keep her mind occupied. It's a very helpless feeling to have so much distance between us and to not be able to be with her.

It's amazing how someone so little can fill your heart so much and how you can be filled with so much love so someone that you never got to meet, hold, talk to or cuddle with.

My prayers continue to go out to the Jackson family, I hope you will do the same.

to the moon and back,