It's hard to believe that we leave in two days! I really don't have any time to write a post, but I just want to post some pictures so that everyone can see the craziness that we're living in right now as we prepare to pack up all our cuddly pets to bring them to the special child that they belong to.
So here you go...
This was taken a couple days ago. Shortly after taking this pic the wall of pillow pets came tumbling down.
We decided the next day it was time to start packing!!
The jumbo space bags fit about 10 pillow pets in them!!
We had family come to visit this past weekend so the pillow pets got moved into our bedroom.
Not all of the bags have been vacuumed yet.
There's about 30 pillow pets scrunched into those little bags!!
Thank you, thank you, thank you, to EVERYONE who donated or lent us their space bags. Without them there would be NO WAY we could fit them into our vehicle.
As of now, we have 112 pillow pets and we still have enough money in the fund to buy a couple more space bags and a couple more pets!!
Plans changed a little bit again.
Sarah (Amplatz Children's administrator) called me and told me that she has some staff coming in the day after Thanksgiving and they were wondering if we could do the pillow pets that day instead. That way the kids who are stuck there would have something to look forward to each day (the meal on Thanksgiving and pillow pets the day after). I told her that we have no problem with that. We just want to make it the best it can be for the families that are there.
So we will be spending Thanksgiving day at my aunts house, enjoying great food and awesome family time. Then the next day we may try to do some early black Friday Christmas shopping before we pack everything up and head over to Amplatz Children's hospital. They are giving us the family resource center room. We will get there at 10am, set up (Landon will stay at my auntie's house with his grandparents) then from 11 to 1 the families will come down with their kids to pick out their pillow pet. Some kids obviously will not get to travel out of their room so we will give the pillow pet to their parents and hopefully get to do some encouraging :) I want so badly to see each of the child's faces as their handed their new special friend, but I realize that just isn't going to be possible. It's enough for me to know that God will get to see the smiles that I will miss :)
We ran into a small downer.
We will not be allowed to put the tags we made on the pets. We were planning on laminating them and tying them around the pillows necks, but we can't do that because the tags say "Jesus" loves you. When I was told this I felt pretty sick and discouraged, but then I realized that I shouldn't be surprised one bit. Of course this isn't going to be easy. People are fine with acts of kindness unless you mention the reason for your out pour of love. I'm not angry at the children's administrator or anything I'm just ticked at the enemy. He doesn't want these hurting kids to be encouraged or feel the love of their savior.
After I got over my initial discouragement I determined before God that we will show His love in whatever way we can. It IS because of Him that we are doing this after all. HE IS the one who wants these kids to get these special gifts. HE IS the only one who knows each of their names and HE IS the one sending us into this place. This world, our country and culture are trying to take Jesus out of everything. Heck, their even trying to take Christ out of Christmas... BUT THEY CAN'T take Christ out of our hearts. I realized that God is relying on US, not just Ryan and I but the whole body of Christ, to be His messengers. We can go into places that the name of Christ may not be allowed and we can SHOUT his name loud and clear simply BY OUR LOVE.
That is what I am praying happens in that hospital room. If I can't depend on a little tag to tell people the reason for this project well then I pray with all my might that the reason will be explained by the way we interact with the people God leads into that room, no matter what religion they may be, I'm praying the ONE TRUE LIVING GOD speaks to their hearts.
We are coveting your prayers right now. We have so much going on in our own lives. We are worried for our baby boy and dreading the moment we have to hand him over once again to a surgeon. We constantly have to push that thought out of our minds because we don't have the strength to handle it yet. We know that we will not receive the strength we need until that thought is the present moment we are facing. We know that in that moment God's Grace will be sufficient for us and His power will be made perfect through our weakness (2 Cor. 12:19).
The pillow pet project has been SO awesome for us as a family. It has given us a way to focus on others rather then worry and feel bad for ourselves that we have to go back. I will write more at a later date about how we are handling the fact of going back, but this post is about the triple P (pillow pet project).
WE NEED YOUR PRAYERS
God would not have had us do this if He was not going to receive glory. We are just broken vessels, but I'm praying that God's light will shine through every one of our cracks. I don't know if we will be able to speak the name of Christ, but I do know that the Spirit will do whatever He pleases and that is what we desire.
ABOVE ALL, pray that GOD'S WILL BE DONE.
Okay, just one more pic for good measure :) The other night Landon was getting his first horsey back ride from his papa. He was giggling with delight and holding on so tight.
We love him so much more than words can say!!!
Thank you in advance for each of your prayers and each time you will hit your knees on behalf of our little boy in the next couple weeks.
Sending LOVE from the Maxwell's!!