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GOD IS BIG!!!

Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!
— Psalms 107.8

 

First off I have to apologize for the late response in updating you all about our event.  After the event, I have felt a weight and intense fatigue that I can not describe, and certainly did not fully anticipate!   I knew that I would be tired, but working on emotions for hundreds and hundreds of hours over the last months caught up to me this week.  I am just now starting to feel like I can function again.  Crazy, but so very good!

Okay, now for the very exciting news!!

WE RAISED OVER $10,200

"So excited "THE DAY" is finally here for, my sixty-five-roses (Cystic Fibrosis) pegetty dinner (spaghetti)."

I am still in awe when I see that number!!  It is more than a number, it represents hundreds of people who care!!  It represents a hope and a future.  It represents a God that walks with us through the valley of this devastating disease.  He is truly good, and I know that He worked in and through this event and HE DESERVES ALL GLORY AND PRAISE!!!

Part of our amazing team and family!

Ticket takers

Sister modeling the shirts that came at the last hour...so thankful

The day started early.  Everyone in our house was up before 7 am with smiles and excitement flowing.  We arrived at the hall at around 10 am.  We thought that it would be enough time to get everything set up….well we were wrong!!!  There was far more work to be done than we anticipated.  Praise the Lord for sending others to help.  There were several unexpected people who came to help.  GOD KNEW!!

This woman was truly sent by God, as were all of our helpers. She contacted me about 2 weeks before the event offering her help with organizing the night. IT WAS AN ABSOLUTE BLESSING!! Once again, an example of God taking care of us!

We had so many items! We had no idea how many things we had, until we started putting them in the room.  It was so awesome.  Considering we had about 15 baskets or less 3 weeks ago…pretty incredible!  Needless to say, the set up took forever!!!!  So many signs to be made, things to organize and decisions to finalize. It was crazy.  We were literally running around from 3-4pm.

Our shirts arrived around 3-ish.  We were extremely thrilled that they came and were so bright and fun!  There was something so real about seeing Rachel’s name on a t-shirt that was worn by so many.  A TEAM working to save her life!

My terrific husband. He worked so hard all day, and with a smile!

The "man of the hour". Amazing worker. Thank you!

More fabulous people helping, look at that food! MMMM!!! THANK YOU JUSTIN and family!!!

A blur of activity=), busy helping. Thankful for this friend!

Paul's cousins (Rachel loves having her out of town cousin visit!) came up to celebrate and support us. So blessed by them.

 

So many good things to look at. Each one representing hope for the future!

Invaluable helpers. Love the cheerful spirit!

After the event started there were some amazing people who played key rolls.  Paul and I were so relieved to know that there were wonderful people working in the kitchen.  The comments that we heard from people about the food were only praises about how good the spaghetti was.  We really didn’t have much to do with the food, but are so thankful that God placed wonderful people in a roll that they were brilliant at doing!!

Wonderful blessing! She was amazing in the kitchen!!!

Another amazing blessing. The man with the fun voice that made it a "party". So awesome!

CF never stops. Rachel was doing her lung therapy in the other room while the auction was finishing. Little sister, Shiloh, coming to give hugs and loves and let her know that she was not alone! THANKFUL!!

"Hope Rising"-Painting by Rachel

By the end of the night there was a flurry of people.  Everywhere we looked there were people.  Friends, family, doctors, and complete strangers that had come out to support our efforts to bring hope.  Rachel’s Hope!  It was incredible!

I have been agonizing all this week on how to appropriately put into words the INTENSE response, joy and love that we felt through this fundraiser!   There really are no words.  Thank you just doesn’t seem enough.  When I look at Rachel and her beautiful smile…I feel blessed and encouraged that so many people came out to support her life and future!  At one point during the night when we were waiting for the final auctions to be announced, I was overcome with emotion.  I stood and looked around at the room and it was FULL!!  I felt the knot in my stomach…the one that signifies intense emotion.  I realized that these people were all here for a child that had an incurable disease… a child that they were hoping to help…a child’s life that they willingly and joyfully gave to make a difference in…it was a strange and overwhelming feeling to know that this was MY CHILD!!  We are fighting to save HER LIFE!  When I thought about it, the tears sprang to the surface.  CF is a constant reminder of how short life is.  I know that it is short for all of us, and that God has our days numbered, CF has a way of  keeping it in the forefront of my mind.  I know the struggles and trials that she has faced thus far and the many difficult ones ahead that she faces with out new therapies and medicines.  My heart felt great sadness and sorrow, followed by an encouragement and hope that is inexpressible.  People were smiling, laughing and having a great time.  THESE WERE THE PEOPLE THAT WERE PART OF OUR TEAM!!  THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE LOVINGLY CHOSEN TO STAND BESIDE US AND SUPPORT OUR EFFORTS TO RAISE THE FUNDS FOR A CURE FOR OUR BABY.  These are the people who God was using to save her life!  It was amazing.  I stood there scarcely being able to take it all in, but praising my God for His goodness to our family.

Daily, Cystic Fibrosis is one of the hardest things that God has ever allowed in our lives, and yet that night…I felt a sense of gratitude that ONLY GOD could bring.  He brought hope and joy through something that has and continues to bring us, as well as so many other families, great pain and heartache.  I felt the love of the Lord through every person that walked through the door and every dollar given.  Those dollars represented much more than a dollar ever could.  It represented God’s faithfulness,  His ability to bring others alongside us, it represented sacrifice, it represented hope for Rachel future.  It was a reminder that we don’t fight alone!  THESE DOLLARS  REPRESENT LIFE!!!

I have never known what it is like to fight for breath, but I have watched my baby fight!  Knowing the fight that Rachel has ahead of her and the many, many that have lost this fight far too early makes nights like Friday night spur me on to continue praying, hoping and believing that God allowed Rachel and our family to be affected by CF.  As much as I despise CF and pray each and every day that the Lord would take this horrible disease from my baby, I know that HE IS GOOD.  He has given me hope through this event.  He has a purpose and plan that I am so very blessed to be a part of.  I choose to trust in His master plan and that He, and He alone will make something good out of Rachel’s CF.  He is an amazing God and I am eternally thankful for each one of you that helped, and those who came.  Please know that you were and are part of His awesome plan!  Thank you will NEVER be enough, but I say it anyway, THANK YOU FOR YOUR LOVE AND SUPPORT.  Thank you for caring for my baby!!

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11

Thank you for being used by God to help save my babies life! We are humbled, and blessed by your care for our family!!

A Bright Hope for a CURE-painting by Rachel

If you didn’t get a chance to come to the spaghetti dinner.  There are still many ways that you can join Rachel’s Raise of Hope.  There will be an annual Great Strides walk on May 14th.  Please consider signing up and coming out to walk with our team ( http://www.cff.org/Great_Strides/PaulAndTiffanyLeaders ) click the link and sign up.  You could also just let us know and we will sign you up. If you can’t come, you can still give through the great strides site, or through Paypal and the “ipad giveaway” on this blog.  We still have lots of shirts.  We are selling them for $5 each.  We will wear them at the walk.  If you can make it great, if not please consider buying and wearing Rachel’s shirt wherever you may be on that day.  (We can even send them to you, if you will pay for the postage=).   Email me personally at jcleadsus@msn.com.  We would love to know that people are wearing a “Shirt that brings Hope” from different parts of the country!!  Thanks again for all of the love, and support (and taking the time to read this blog=0).  Blessings to you!

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One Response

  1. Fantastic, Tiffany! Love it! So glad we got to be a part! Looking forward to more opportunities to be your friend and to help in this walk with Rachel and God. Thanks for your amazing testimony of faith and faithfulness.

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