Sunday, March 30, 2014

Unexpected Blessings

"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins."  1 Peter 4:8
Abby and her purple bags

To say that we are blessed is a far understatement. We have been blessed every time we have delivered bags. We have been blessed every time we have seen others share our Facebook site. We have been blessed every time we have been contacted by a recipient of a purple bag. We have been truly blessed.

When we were first approached to do a segment on the Today Show both my husband and I had reservations. We aren't the type of people who enjoy the spotlight. We didn't want to put our daughter in the public's eye. The public can be harsh and we didn't want to open ourselves and our family up to negativity.  We also weren't doing this for attention, fame, or recognition. We never wanted to this project to be about us. 

 From the beginning we agreed not to pursue any publicity and put everything in God's hands. So when this fell into our laps, it was scary. We were hesitant. We prayed long and hard. We finally came to: God if You want to use this, want to use us, here we are.  

great friends = great fun

The play date itself was fun, as all the purple bag play dates have been. It was filled with artwork, creativity, smiles, and purple bags. The real gift we received from this experience was when we delivered bags. 

Abby and her dad waiting patiently

Abby and her new friend Claudia
In the past, we have always dropped the bags at the receptionist's desk. Most treatment centers do not allow visitors, especially children back into the treatment room. So the day we filmed, it was truly an honor to get to visit with patients.

We got to witness courage, hope, and joy in the faces of every patient we met. Their strength and determination was inspiring. We may have given them a purple bag, but they gave us an example of how to live, how to conquer, how to smile. That experience was an unexpected blessing.

Another unexpected blessing has been the relationships we've built during this project. Relationships have been strengthened and new ones have formed. We are so fortunate to make so many new friends.

We put ourselves in God's hands. We put ourselves in the public eye. Guess what. The public wasn't harsh. The public was loving, the public was supportive, and the public was inspired. 
Abby and me at Channel 3 News

What started out as a selfless birthday wish has become a symbol of love. Love fore others. Love for strangers. We have been privileged with front row seats to see this project touch lives in every corner of the country. We are so blessed. Today I reflect on one of my favorite hymns from childhood:

"To God be the glory, 

great things He has done." 

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