Way back in November I wrote this post about my idea to love something chronically. I don't know the exact date as my blog is retarded and doesn't record the date.. I should probably start adding the date into the actual post, just in case I ever really want to know when I wrote something. So I'll start with that here :) 12/31/09. See, not so hard.
I had a point. I came up with the idea of chronic love when a beautiful little girl was kidnapped (actually she was sold) and killed in our community. Jen Sparks said 'I hope she is found and loved on something chronic'. Those words stuck in my head for days, and one morning I woke up and realized that I had to do something.
In our town there is a women's shelter. A few months ago Stacey and I collected some things to drop off, toiletries and such. It's an organization that is very close to my heart bc as we all know, I was once abused, too. Although I was a child when it happened, to be honest, most of the trauma has come to me as an adult bc I didn't deal with it back then. I just survived it. I wanted to do something more for these women. Something that maybe no one else would do. And so started Chronic Love.
I went to the women at our church and told them about it and asked for donations. Stacey and I went shopping and bought certain things that were important for us to give, and we waited. We collected gifts, and threw them onto the spare bed in Eric's sewing room, not having an actual place to put this stuff. The gifts kept coming.
One day in early December I called the shelter and asked them how many women and children they had and what were the children's ages. I knew the number might change before Christmas, but it gave me a general idea. I realized that we had been blessed with entirely too much stuff! I immediately got online and started searching for other shelters in the area. I found another close by and we were able to bless not just one shelter, but two.
Late one night Stace and I sat on my bed and just started sorting gifts. I had bought 15 large gift bags and we just started splitting stuff up as evenly as we could. We ended up with 1o bags for the women and 5 for kids. It was great. Each bag for the women had a fleece blanket, a bath set, and a piece of home made jewelry (from my Mom). Some of the bags had candles or scented oils, some had Bibles and devotional books. Some had pretty little angel figurines, and some had robes. A few had cushy eye covers you sleep with ( I have no idea what they're called) and some even had journals and mugs with tea and apple cider. But no matter what was actually in the bag, they were all filled with love.
On the 21st I took the first set of gifts to our local shelter. I was so excited that I had just the right number of presents. They sent me to the actual shelter and I was able to take the gifts directly to them. It was a good feeling. But the second trip. That just made my day. On the 23rd I took the second set of gifts. When I had originally called they had six women, but when I got there, they only had two. That is fantastic, btw, that only two women were in the shelter at Christmas, but I wanted them to have a goo Christmas, all the same. I drove the 20 minutes over and took the gifts to their office. The woman was so grateful. She said that so many people think to bring gifts for the kids each year. So much so that this year she had to turn away toys. But no one ever thinks to bring presents for the women, and that it's such a blessing to have these gifts for them, when they wouldn't have gotten much. Slam. Dunk. I rode home on a high. I ended up have 3 full bags left over, and some misc. stuff that didn't get gifted this time. Since the term chronic means over a long period of time, we'll be doing this again. And again. And again. At Valentine's day we'll take something simple. A box of chocolate and a card. Then at Mother's Day we'll take what we had left over from Christmas and start building on that. We'll take gifts to all the mothers in the shelters. And then we'll keep going.
I'm so excited to be doing this. The feeling I got knowing that what I was doing was helping these women in a way no one else was, it made me want to fly. I can't explain it. But it's amazing. I wanted to say thanks to all of you who helped me iron out details and those of you who gave me support. Thanks to Jen Sparks for the inspiration. Thanks to Stacey and Amanda for helping me make these gifts meaningful, and to Erin for going from being an online friend, to a sweet sister! I love you guys so much. Thanks to Sheryl and Angela for encouraging me when I felt like I wouldn't be able to do anything but offer other's people's donations. Thank you to God for blessing us in such a way financially that we were able to help not only the shelters, but another family on our own as well. It's been such a good Christmas season. But the love isn't over. In fact, I think it's just beginning.
I'm a wife. I'm a mom. I'm a photographer. I'm a lover of Jesus. My house is a mess, my kids are dirty, we eat take out more often than not. My life is loud, busy and crazy. And that's okay with me.
This is Eric, the man you've been praying for. He's a paramedic. He quilts in his spare time. No, I couldn't make that up :) He has NASH (a form of liver disease, non-alcoholic) and diabetes, but those things don't define him. He's a man of God, an insanely wonderful husband, and the best daddy in the world.. Just ask these guys..
Our daughter Ali, she's 9. She's fiercely opinionated and strong willed. She's a Daddy's girl, but the umbilical cord hasn't but cut from me, either. She's a gymnast, and proud of it. She spends more time upside down or turning flips than she does walking. She's crazy smart, and absolutely sure of it. She is my insufferable little know it all.
Our son Dylan, 7. We lovingly refer to him as Chubs. Or Chubby. Or fat boy. Ahem. He is all boy, as you can see by his crazy wild energy. He has the highest pain tolerance of any child I have ever met. He plays soccer and does gymnastics, but truly he is a gamer, a nerd. He is an avid reader and loves to climb. Not to be outdone by his sister, he's a drama king, but to him, I'm the best mommy in the world.
I'm here to use my voice. So many people can't. In a world of darkness, I just want to help God's light to shine through. I pray that my words are His, and my love is His, as well. This is my journey through the darkness. To start are the beginning of the story, click here.