It is part of my job to send an email to all the families and team members who were part of a Legacy Retreat when someone from that retreat passes away. Sometimes I feel like I am sending out one of those death notification emails every day. It is overwhelming at times. There is so much loss. The loss of someone’s husband or wife. The loss of someone’s mom or dad. That person was someone’s daughter, sister/brother, friend co-worker. But, those of us who have served many IoH families have served some families that, even though they may be at the very end of their earthly life, they still have SO MUCH life.
I love this Legacy Retreat® so much! There are several reasons why it is so special.
1) All of the families on this retreat have the same diagnosis. They have metastatic breast cancer. Powerful community is always formed among the families at Legacy Retreats®, and this particular retreat seems to bring about instant connection as these families don't even have to explain about different illnesses to one another. In fact, many of them have been in private Facebook groups and chat rooms together and now they are finally meeting face to face.
1 Peter 3:15-16 – "In your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to give an answer to anyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have, yet do this with gentleness and respect."
Inheritance of Hope volunteers do such a great job telling people what we do. On a retreat people see our shirts and our large group and they often ask, "What is this group all about?"
I am so excited that Kendra Scott has partnered with Inheritance of Hope to sponsor Legacy Retreats. She sponsors Legacy Retreats to honor her friend Holley's legacy, and the reason that I am involved with Inheritance of Hope is because I am carrying on my friend Kristen's legacy. I can definitely relate to Kendra's heart in this mission, and it is such a pleasure to team up with her to honor our friends together.
There is a popular song by Matthew West about a person who looks around the world and sees people living in poverty and people in trouble and all kinds of struggles. He shakes his fist at heaven and says, "God, why don't you do something!?!?!"
God says, "I did! I created you!"
When God dwelled over the tabernacle in Numbers 9:15-23, the Israelites “obeyed the Lord’s order.” When the cloud lifted, they broke camp and set out. When the cloud remained, they stayed put and did not set out. Sometimes the cloud remained over the tabernacle for a long time, and the Israelites obeyed the Lord’s order and did not set out. “Sometimes the cloud was over the tabernacle for just a few days, and at the Lord’s command they would encamp and then at his command they would set out.” (v. 20)
I can’t help but imagine the logistics of this flexibility on the part of the Israelites. As a mom with 4 children, I think about all that goes into packing for a trip. Each member of my family has items they need: clothes, shoes, food, blankets, etc. It is stressful packing and managing the items needed for a family going on a trip, so I can’t even begin to imagine when the packing and planning involved everything families own, including livestock and food preparation material and seed and grain. If I knew the date and time that this move was going to take place it would be hard enough, but to set up camp, my home, without any clue how long we would be staying would be so difficult.
The Bible has a lot to say about love. An entire chapter in 1 Corinthians is dedicated to the topic.
"If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
“Every man dies, not every man really lives.” -Braveheart
The death rate in the world has been steady for all time. It has been hovering right at 100%. Everyone will die. Even if you are healthy, active, in shape, body-conscious, one day your body will stop working.
Wake up, eat three meals and a few snacks, go to work, clean yourself and your home and car, watch a show, read a book, go to bed, do it again.
Is that living or just surviving?
When most people think about a Times Square countdown, they think of a giant ball being lowered from a tall pole in the center of New York City while millions of people count down to a new year.
Confetti. Music. Celebration.
Well, Inheritance of Hope is about to begin a Times Square countdown of our own, and we are going to focus on lifting the burdens and lightening the loads of 21 families from all over the country who have young children facing the loss of a parent.