Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Maddie's Elephant Sew Day

I wanted to share about an amazing Saturday I was honored to be a part of. Many of you are familiar with this already BUT I wanted to share about the story behind this post to give opportunity for more people to get involved in making a difference in the lives of families going through very difficult times.

February 3rd is quickly approaching...It is a day I will never forget and a day that has forever changed so many aspects of my life. 5 year old Madeline Musto was diagnosed with an inoperable brain stem tumor and 5 days later on February 8th, 2012 Madeline went home to heaven. (you can read her story and about her diagnoses DIPG here http://www.maddiesmark.org/maddies-story/) If you aren't already please join me in praying over the next several weeks for this wonderful family as this difficult anniversary of their loss approaches.

In her honor Matt & Erin started a foundation, Maddie's Mark...here is the purpose (from their site):

Maddie’s Mark Foundation is our family’s way of showing the world our Madeline. It is our way of carrying on her legacy for as long as we live and beyond. Our hope is for people to enjoy all the good the world has to offer, to enjoy their 'best days ever'. The goals of the foundation are a reflection of Madeline’s spirit and outlook on life. All support and donations will be going toward these goals:
  1. Maddie’s Mark provides ‘best days ever for children suffering from major illness, and provides support for their families;
  2. Maddie’s Mark actively encourages child enrichment, through financial grants to improve public and private entertainment, educational and athletic facilities for children - including schools, parks, playgrounds, and theatres; and,
  3. We honor Madeline’s legacy and love of learning through a scholarship program, to provide meaningful and significant financial assistance to remarkable young women.
You can read more about the foundation and how you can help by going to http://www.maddiesmark.org . They have done a variety of fundraisers from a golf tournament, 5K, and a variety of children and family events!!!

One of the ongoing fundraisers is Maddie's Elephants which was started by 2 friends of mine Heather Torn and Wendy Matusic. You can check out Maddie's Elephants here: http://maddieselephants.blogspot.com/ . On the site you can read about why they chose an elephant for this fundraiser! The elephants are available on their site for $20 and I believe they have already sold over 1000 elephants. Many of these elephants have been sewn by these 2 ladies BUT they also have teams of quilters, mom groups and friends all over the place who have had days of creating a whole chunk of "The Herd". 

Heather asked a few months back if we could host a sewing day at Sonrise and day came this past Saturday. It was a wonderful day of sewing, stuffing, cutting and turning. 50 Women (and a few children) came out from all over the surrounding communities to donate their time and talents. I don't know the exact number of elephants BUT it was in the neighborhood of 70 completely finished (25 of which sold that day), another 25 plus that just needed their bottoms sewn and another whole lot that are partially finished!!! 

It was not only a day of successful sewing but a wonderful day with friends and making new friends. I totally forgot my camera (until my husband dropped it near the end....at which point I still forgot to take pics until everyone was gone) I did get a few of a pile of about 40 elephants BUT my friend Sarah shared a few of hers so I could share some from the day with you. 

If you are looking for something for your kiddos or grand kids for Valentines day why not hop onto  http://maddieselephants.blogspot.com/ and order a special Valentine Elephant that is not only cute and cozy BUT the proceeds also go towards the goals and efforts of Maddie's Mark! (Valentine's Elephants must be ordered by February 1st)

Also if you are somewhat local and would like to join us for the next sewing day later this year, leave a comment here or shoot me a facebook message and i will make sure to keep you posted when the time comes (NO SEWING SKILLS REQUIRED)

Thanks to everyone who came out to help or donated supplies. I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of something much bigger than me...Is there something you are a part of in your community that is about helping/serving others OR maybe you can spend some time thinking/praying about how you can get involved in 2013 in something of this nature! We can't do everything BUT we can all do something....

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

MY "ONE THING" (2 really)

Happy New Years everyone!!! We rung in the new years with some awesome friends...new and old.... played some super fun games and midnight came quickly! So much to be thankful for in 2012 and looking forward to all God has for us in 2013!

So we all know statistics show most people don't follow through on resolutions for their first month and by Valentines Day most have left it behind them....So here I am at the beginning of January looking to grow and change.

Last Sunday Lyle preached and talked about what "ONE THING" will you work on, change in, get rid of, etc. in your life...For me there was no question...I wanted to work in 2013 on my scripture memory. God's Word is what I live my life by...it is where I have learned about my salvation, it is where i find principles for raising my children, it is the map by which Lyle leads our family....AND I know I need to not only know what it says BUT I need to have it imprinted upon my heart. So....tonight we begin Beth Moore's bible study called "James- Mercy Triumphs". I have heard from 4-5 women from different churches and backgrounds that it is awesome and that it is the best study Beth Moore has ever written. I got my book the other day and started into it...It is so good....She has 5 tiers you can choose from depending on your time, desire, etc.

1. Just watch the videos
2. Watch videos, do the 5 days of homework study through the week (each takes about 20 minutes)
3. Watch videos, do homework, Write out the book of James as you go through it
4. Watch videos, do homework, write out book of James, Do the digging deeper sections of homework
5. Watch videos, do homework, write out book of James, Do the digging deeper section, AND MEMORIZE THE ENTIRE BOOK OF JAMES!!!!

So in the intro she suggests you settle on which tier you will commit to. I circled 4. THEN, after you circle it she suggests you go one step further....YIKES... that left me with #5 AND just a day after i committed to inscribing Gods Word on my heart in 2013...I didn't think that would mean memorizing an entire book.....OK GOD... I GET IT...I AM NOW MEMORIZING THE ENTIRE BOOK OF JAMES. One chapter a month for the next 5 months. I almost have verses 1-7 down....ONLY 101 to go...You can pray for me that I stick to it...I am committed to not being that statistic that quits!

I also decided to do a home "ONE THING" I did it last year as well. It's called 40 bags in 40 days. That means each day for 40 days I choose an area of my house (My closet, the pantry, the dining room, Kitchen cupboards, Bathroom cabinets, junk drawer, etc.). There is no bag size restrictions...it could be a walmart/grocery bag OR a gigantic trash bag. I did this last year and at the end of the 40 days I was missing nothing and felt so much less overwhelmed and  way less cluttered!

What might your "ONE THING" be in 2013? Let go of food, drink, an addiction, a grudge, A show that is only filling your mind with garbage. Maybe more exercise, more time in Gods Word, attend church on a regular basis, keeping your home cleaner, choosing to spend more time with your kids, family dinner each night, changing how you treat your spouse....the list really keeps going and going. I challenge you to think of committing to "ONE THING" in your spiritual life and "ONE THING" in your home life! Shouldn't we all be growing and changing? You may not have commit to something January 1st BUT why not commit to something now? Feel free to comment or email me about your "ONE THING". I will commit to you to pray for you and your "ONE THING" in 2013.

Happy 2013 and I look forward to what God has in store for each of us in this new year!

Liv is sitting here with me and she said she wanted to blog too! Her message to you today is "I LOVE YOU, I LIKE YOU, I HOPE YOU HAVE A GOOD DAY" - Olivia Hartwell