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NYC...Here we come!

Times SquareThe November 2012 New York City Legacy will kick off this Sunday.  This year, we have 16 families from around the country including: Indiana, Texas, California, Oregon, New York, Massachusetts, North Carolina, South Dakota, Mississippi, Arkansas, Florida, Wisconsin, Arizona, Nebraska, and Washington.  Similarly, our loving and servant-hearted volunteers are from New York, Indiana, Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Maryland.

Here are a few of the highlights these families can expect:

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An Instrument of Peace

St. Francis of Assisi largerEarlier this week, my family and I were walking on the grounds of a chapel in St. Augustine, FL.  While strolling through this beautifully manicured piece of our nation's history, I came across a statue of St. Francis of Assisi, who is highly revered in the Catholic church.  Next to the statue was a prayer that is often associated with St.Francis.  As I read the prayer, my heart was immediately grabbed by how closely this prayer parallels the heartfelt service offered by Inheritance of Hope volunteers.

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Peace

dont-wait-for-the-storm-to-passPeace. It does not mean being in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.

How do you do that? When there are true storms pounding down on us and looming in the distance how do we remain calm in our hearts? How do we "dance in the rain"?

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Friends

help-each-otherUSA TODAY's Nashville music critic Brian Mansfield was diagnosed with colon cancer at age 48. He now chronicles his life with the disease - and with only a small part of his colon - in a series of weekly installments.

Below is a segments from a recent article in USA Today titled My Semicolon Life: What to say to a Cancer Patient:

What's the very best thing you can hear from a friend when you've got cancer?

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Ask BIG

The other night my family and I stopped at a new convenience center in town that is way better then your average gas station.  Yes, they sell gasoline, snacks and drinks but they also have a full deli and a pay-by-the-ounce yogurt and topping bar.  Well, as we got out of the car to check it out a somewhat scraggly looking man approached my husband. The kids and I kept walking into the store unaware that my husband had stopped to talk with the man.  

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Running the Race of Life

"Show kindness whenever possible. Show it to the people in front of you, the people coming up behind you, and the people with whom you are running neck and neck. It will vastly improve the quality of your own life, the lives of others, and the state of the world."

Ann Patchett
 
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Life Legacies

I received the following on a card from my grandmother and I have had it displayed next to my bed since then.  It really spoke to me.

Live Deep

Never stop learning, playing, or finding wonder in the world around you.  Live the length of your life, but live the depth of it as well.

Travel Light

There is no use in carrying around worry and regret.  They only weigh you down.  Always keep yourself open to hope and to love.  They give us wings.

Forgive Imperfections

In yourself and others.  Imperfections keep things interesting.  They're the cracks where the light shines through.

Own Beautiful Things

And not just to keep in the drawer, tucked away for a perfect day.  Surround yourself with things that make you happy, that remind you of the beauty all around us if we only keep our eyes open to it.

Make Mistakes

Follow detours. Sometimes it take an unexpected turn to help us find the life that is waiting for us around the bend.  Trust yourself and the path that is meant for you.

Take Care of Yourself

And sometimes that means you need the ice cream.  Be good to your body, but also your mind and spirit.  You're the only one who can.

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Don't Quit

I was once asked in a job interview what the quote I live by was and my answer was the poem "Don't Quit."

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Service and Sacrifice

My brother-in-law is a treasure for so many reasons.  He is the most thoughtful and compassionate of the 3 Thompson brothers. He is an extremely hard worker and a very loyal and dedicated man.  He is smart and silly. He has three daughters and a lovely wife which leaves him VERY outnumbered in his household.  I think he is awesome. He is a professor of engineering at West Point and a Major in the Army.  I respect him for these roles that he leads and feel very proud of him for his accomplishments professionally. However, I have never loved my brother-in-law more then last week when I saw this picture of him on facebook. He and his wife just added twin girls to their family a few months ago and when my sister-in-law got the opportunity to go out he did not even pause when he sent her out to have fun with her friends. I'm sure things weren't all smooth the whole time she was gone but that didn't stop him from making the best of it and giving his wife a much needed break. I admire this attitude.  I have seen it in so many relationships and it is always very touching.  It is an attitude of sacrifice and service. Many loved ones in Inheritance of Hope do this for one another.  A spouse who takes on an extra job while her husband goes through chemo.  A teenager who makes meals for his younger siblings while mom and dad are at the hospital for mom's most recent surgical recovery. An IOH volunteer who for 4 days on a Legacy Retreat does everything he or she can do to give all members of the family a much needed break.  It is a beautiful picture of love though service and sacrifice. I am privileged to love and serve alongside these people and I can't wait to grab both of these babies and give both my brother and sister-in-law a break when I get to see them in July. Strap on the baby carrier and hand me two bottles.  I'm ready!

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Nesting

robin nest porch

My family and I moved into a new house this Spring and I have really enjoyed setting up my new home.  I have moved around furniture and trinkets until things look the way I want them to look.  I am nesting.

Nesting is defined as:

1. To build or occupy a nest.
2. To create and settle into a warm and secure refuge.

One of the things I love most about my new home is the location.  It is situated on a lot that backs up to the woods and there are many, MANY birds.  We have installed a bird feeder off our new deck and we can watch the birds come and go all day long from the many windows in our home. They are fascinating.  They are beautiful.  They  are hungry.  We fill the feeder a couple of times a day and watch as the birds eat their fill, sometimes 7 at a time!

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