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Family Spotlight: Crawford and Loner Families

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor. If they stumble, the first will lift up his friend—but woe to anyone who is alone when he falls and there is no one to help him get up.”  Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

 

One of the goals of Inheritance of Hope (IoH) is to connect families. Families who are grieving a life-changing diagnosis, struggling with fears, and facing new realities draw strength from each other as they share experiences and burdens.  Through IoH, new friendships are often formed that offer a depth of understanding many families can’t find elsewhere.

 

The support that is shared is sometimes intangible and immeasurable, yet always tremendous. Sometimes, the support may be tangible yet also tremendously immeasurable, as was the case when Heather Crawford donated a wheelchair van to fellow IoH family Craig and Dana Loner.

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A New Twist on Mother's Day - May 2016

[This post was originally published on May 2.]

 

Mother's Day 2016 is only a few days away. Hallmark will claim record-breaking sales, and florists will hire extra delivery staff to make sure that the roses and daisies make their way to the doorsteps of moms old and young, new and seasoned.

 

I recently sat for hours going through my own Mother's Day cards… or as my youngest used to say, “polishing and tumbling the memory agates,” alternately smiling and weeping. Smiling over the stories and weeping over the ever dear and precious words in cards, notes, and letters over five decades. Joybox after joybox. Words of encouragement, words of gratitude, tender words of love and appreciation for being an example in hard times… for pointing them to Jesus… for loving them unconditionally.

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Life-Threatening Illnesses and Social Security Disability Benefits

Cancer or other life-threatening illnesses are devastating for those diagnosed, and their families. In addition to the enormous expenses for chemotherapy, surgeries, medication, and other aggressive treatments, many patients are not able to work and maintain a steady household income. This can cause them and their families to be placed in a very difficult financial situation.

 

Fortunately, those who have been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness and their families may be able to receive assistance in the form of financial benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). There are two forms of benefits: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

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Creative Ways to Display Your Favorite Memories

Displaying memorabilia like photos and items that hold significance to you and your loved ones is important because it has the powerful ability to create a special and nostalgic experience. Whether during times of struggle or celebration, catching a glimpse of your favorite memories as you pass by should remind you that although life is full, your hearts are even fuller.

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8 Back to School Tips for Being Intentional

 

  1. SET ASIDE TIME TO PLAN YOUR WEEK (MEALS, SCHEDULE, ETC.)

 

Back to school season is hectic. In order to prevent your family from unraveling, consider placing a family calendar where everyone can see it and include activities, assignments, and meal plans for the week or month.

 

  1. TURN ON YOUR VOICE RECORDER

 

Use your voice memo phone app to record everyday conversations with your children. Push the record button while they are eating their after-school snack, while driving to sports practice, or during your bedtime routine. (The conversation flows better and is more genuine if they don’t realize you are recording. Be a ninja!) If your phone is regularly backed up those recordings will be safely secured on your computer or hard drive for years to come! Record yourself from time to time too - this is part of your legacy that everyone will appreciate.

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As the Tide Rolls Out

This week, Dad took us on a vacation to Destin, Florida. The sun is shining (maybe a little too much), and the afternoon showers never fail to make an appearance. The sand is soft, and the water is refreshing. But you are missing.


Everyone who has lost someone they love may not feel the same way, but for me, when we go on vacation, I can’t help but notice that our number for dinner reservations is one shorter than it used to be. The whole family can’t be here anymore. On top of that, there has always been something about beach trips that makes me think of losing you, and I’m finally starting to understand why.

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The Rudeness of Grief

I created this blog – From My Heart to Yours – a couple of years ago as a tool of self-expression and to get the myriad of words out of my head and onto paper – or keyboard as the case may be. I  have never hesitated on the topic or regretted posting any of them. It’s doubtful that I offend anyone since I direct any and all criticism, growth, mishaps, or challenges at myself. Always. I choose truth in transparency, seeking always to bring glory to God in the midst. His strength in my weakness and failures.

 

So I’m not certain what the difference is in this one. Why the hesitation. Maybe because it’s so intensely personal… like you are reading my journal… like I am exposed. Maybe because it isn’t uplifting or has no real ‘take-away’… but it is real and transparent. About grief. I read it to a handful of  ‘safe’ folks who are on their own grief journey… and they encouraged me to share it. So, here you have it.

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Singing Isn't Just for the Birds

6:00 a.m. The deck is shady and cool. The coffee is hot. The neighborhood is quiet except for my cardinal friend singing at the top of his tiny lungs. He is never satisfied to be in the lower part of the tree. No, only the very top of the 40-foot evergreen for him. Every morning. He is proud and beautiful and facing the sunrise as if to say, "Good morning, God. You did it again!"

 

I love listening to the birds, especially their early morning chatter, trying to figure out if there is a pattern to their song. And as I tune in (pun intended) to this friend I shall call Chirp, I am struck by the fact that... not only does he have multiple patterns, but at least three - maybe four - different songs! He never worries if he is on key or as good as those around him. Doesn't ever wonder if he even has a song on a particular day. He just sings.

 

I want that... not the treetop experience as I have a fear of heights, but his confidence... the singing and the 'being' simply because that's what God designed him to do and be.

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Thankful for Legacies: Jacey Lawler, Volunteer

Our founder, Kristen Milligan, left a profound legacy with her family and the families we serve. As we approach the second anniversary of her death, we showcase members of our Inheritance of Hope family and what legacy means to them.
 
Jacey Lawler has volunteered at 17 Legacy Retreats®She is a favorite of the kids, parents, other volunteers, and staff -- everyone! 
 
In May 2013, I officially became “grandparent-less” with the passing of my last grandparent. They were all gone. This fact really hit me hard, and I knew life would be different. Instead of their physical presence, I was left with their memory. Happily, because of my many experiences volunteering with Inheritance of Hope, I knew the power and importance of legacies. 
 
My grandparents played an important role in my life, and I loved them dearly. Both my PopPop and Nana (my dad’s parents) passed away early in my high school years from cancer. My Grandma and Grandpa (my mom’s parents) passed away from illnesses last year, my senior year of college. All of my grandparents came to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior at varying points in their lives. For this I am beyond thankful, because it truly shaped the aspects of their legacies that I most value.
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Thankful for Legacies: Lanham Family

Our founder, Kristen Milligan, left a profound legacy with her family and the families we serve. As we approach the second anniversary of her death, we showcase members of our Inheritance of Hope family and what legacy means to them.
 
Larry Lanham attended our February 2012 Legacy Retreat® with his wife, Michelle, and their two daughters. Michelle died on June 2, 2013.
 
Legacies -- we all have one, and we will all leave one. I want to tell you about Michelle's legacy.
 
I have to tell you about Michelle's closet. You see, Michelle was a planner and an organizer. Michelle's closet is in the entryway of our house, and it is neatly stacked from floor to ceiling with labeled boxes of clothing. Michelle knew the sizes of dozens of kids; she was constantly on the lookout for good used clothes, and she would store them according to size and season. It was her thing, and she loved sharing with friends and family. As the girls outgrew something, or if she needed to make room, she would find someone to bless with the clothes. But the primary purpose was so that she would always have clothes for Mattie and Maggie. 
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