I've spent the day going up and down the stairs in our home taking the Fall decor up to the attic and bringing the Christmas decor down. And every step, every trip was full of prayer.
As Thanksgiving comes to a close and you start making your list for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday shopping, I'm hoping you'll add at least one more item to your list.
You see, I've been praying over 10 families....some of them I know and love. Some of them I call my dear friends. Some of them I don't know yet, but I will.
Five years ago, I met a little girl who changed my life and my love for Christ and every Christmas after that. Ellie Kate was a joy. I don't even know how to describe her other than joy. She was anointed. A child of God whose smile could light up any room. Ellie was born with a rare, genetic disorder called NKH. I fell in love with her, got really mad at God, and then discovered a God who loves us unconditionally.
Ellie's mom, Ryan, is the co-founder of a non-profit organization called Hope Link. It exists to provide support to families with children who have rare, serious, and often undiagnosed conditions. There is even a Hope Link Graduates group now for families who have lost children. We say it's not a group you ever want to be a part of, but it's a huge blessing to these mommas.
Hope Link is a thriving and growing community. They reach out to other families in the area by delivering care baskets to local hospitals to be delivered to other families with kiddos who have rare conditions and long hospital stays.
It is community in it's most raw and beautiful form.
Several years ago, we felt a pull on our hearts to attempt to provide Christmas for several of our Hope Link families. We used our Scentsy team as a launching point to spread the word and pray for gifts. And that year, our dining room was filled with gifts. Donations of love for several of our Hope Link families. Every year since, we have prayed hard and dreamed of great provision for some of these amazing families.
All our Hope Link families have to battle insurance issues and medicare and in-home nursing and long hospital stays. Unfortunately some of our families even end up at the hospital over Christmas.
So Christmas is something we do to try to ease the stress of the holidays. It's one way we can bless some truly incredibly families. But it's honestly a little scary.
We adopted 10 of our Hope Link families this year. We asked each of them to provide us with a simple wish list of 3 items they would like to have. Some of them have a hard time doing it. They fight me on it. They ask if there is another family who could be blessed by it instead of them.
And I press them. They deserve to be loved like this. They deserve for their stories to be told.
So this year, we are sponsoring 10 families, 47 people, and over 145 items on our final master wish list. And I would be lying to you if I told you I wasn't nervous. I am. It's a big task.
But I'm also so crazy excited. I can't do this on my own. There's no doubt about that. And when we decide to do big and scary things, we give God the opportunity to show off in big ways.
So I'm expectant. I'm asking the Lord to bless these families with more than just things this year. I'm trusting that He'll move in some of your hearts. That their stories will grab you and change you.
So I'm asking this year for a simple task....150 people committed to buying a single gift for a Hope Link family. They're more than just gifts. They truly are pieces of hope delivered to these families at one of the hardest times of the year. Many of these families are facing another Christmas without one of their babies.
My sweet friends the McLaughlins are one of those families. Ellie Kate went to be with Jesus on December 23rd of 2012. During a time when many of us can look past our own struggles and issues and focus on Christmas and family and Christ, it's hard for them to function without Ellie here.
So I'm asking for big love this year. I'm asking for more. Give a gift and then ask what else you can do. Volunteer to deliver theses gifts to one of our OKC families. Volunteer to bring them a meal or coffee or just ask how you can help. There is so much more that we can do as the body of Christ to love well those around us who are hurting. In honor of Ellie, we are giving hope this Christmas.
So how do you help?
- Share our story.
- Commit to buying 1 gift via our Hope Link Amazon wishlist.
- Reach out and ask how you can do even more. Just shoot me an email @ firstname.lastname@example.org. We need help wrapping, delivering, praying, writing cards....there is so much to do.
Help us give hope this year. Because there is no better gift than the thrill of hope.