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Stuff Eden’s Stocking 2014

Here's EVERYTHING you need to know!

Here’s EVERYTHING you need to know!

We are starting our Christmas project a little early this year!  What better way to show how grateful you are this season of thanksgiving than to give your love, support, and stocking stuffers to little cancer warriors!  Deadline this year for stocking stuffers is November 18.  So get to shopping (I know you want to start your Christmas shopping early this year, anyway)!!  Need some inspiration?  Click on the link below.  Giving is always better than receiving.

Stuff Edens Stocking Video

Look Alive!  AND happy shopping!

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Unbroken: A Review and More

I just finished reading the book Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption (not to be confused with another Unbroken book out there).  I usually post these reviews on my FB page.  A quick overview of the book and then the movie that follows sometime after that.  I was on a mission this year to read every book that also had a movie being released this year.  I have gotten through most of them, although there were a few that slipped through my fingers.  I had friends ask me “Unbroken is on your list, right?”  Yes.  It was, but because the movie is not set to release until Christmas, it was almost at the end of my list.  You know what they say…..last but not least.

Words really are failing me at the moment to describe this book.  Life-changing.  I don’t want to give many spoilers but I felt it necessary to write a little bit more in detail about this book.  For those that do not know, the book is the true account of Louie Zamperini, an Olympic runner who during World War II was a lieutenant in the Army Air Forces.  In May of 1943, his bomber went down in the Atlantic.  After surviving weeks at sea, he is then captured by Japanese military only to become a POW in the most horrifying of conditions that I can personally imagine.

As I read the story, I kept thinking what could possibly be inherent in a man to allow the strength and courage and sure-will to survive such an ordeal.  I know that I am a survivor of losing a child and several have called me “strong”, whatever that means.  But let me tell you, my first few days at sea with no food, water, or shelter from the sun and with sharks circling, I’d be saying, “Take me home to see Eden, Jesus!”  And that is the honest truth.  So what is it?  I do know that attitude and mind-over-matter do have something to do with it, but that can’t be all.  At least, not entirely.  I know that people must be born with that attitude or inner strength.  Some have it.  Others do not.  Just looking at my kids…..Eve is a born pessimist.  Jude an optimist.  That simple.  Nothing that Justin and I had anything to do with.  Does that mean that Jude would have a greater chance at surviving difficult circumstances than Eve?  Maybe.  Who is to know what a person is capable of until put to the task?

But I do know who is capable.  And if there was ever a testimony to the fact that God never leaves us or forsakes us and that He can turn every situation to good for those who love Him, it is the testimony of Louie Zamperini.  At the end of the book (I’m trying my best to avoid spoilers), Louie realizes that God was along with him through the starvation, dehydration, torture, pain, humiliation, degradation……the entire time.  Yes, I believe he had the will to survive, but what if that will came from the only one who could supply it?  Louie was not a believer during his time as a POW, but somehow through all the attempts to break him, he was unbreakable.

What we face in life aims to destroy us.  Break us to the point of no repair.  Two things stand in the way of that……the choice to survive and the One who comes to the end of where our strength disappears and takes over.  It is something that I have witnessed, experienced, and now have read about in a way I never thought was possible.  It truly has little to do with us, but everything to do with Him….the embodiment of hope, grace, love, strength.  We don’t even have to be aware of our faith to be touched and changed by the only one capable.  I’ve said and have heard others say, “I could never survive that” or “I don’t know how anyone could survive that”.  No, I can’t, but, yes, I know how, because I know the One who can.

READ THIS BOOK……if it is the last book you ever read.  The movie opens Christmas Day.  It is directed by Angelina Jolie and has tons of Oscar buzz.  I’ve seen the preview, and the film looks amazing.  I just hope they do the story justice.

AND for your viewing pleasure……some pictures from the Be A Firework! glow-in-the-dark 5k.  A huge success because of our supporters and the One who can…..

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Death: Perspective from a Mother Who’s Lost a Child

In the wake of a legendary celebrity’s passing, we are all at a loss for words.  Whether we are a true fan or not, we are usually saddened by the end of one’s talent and the gifts that he/she gave the world, our nation, or our community.  Yesterday, I was talking to another mom who has lost her child.  We messaged our thoughts back and forth about the latest news of Robin William’s death.  I was in awe at the words that this mom spoke of death, and the clarity of which she spoke about it.  I, too, have had some of the same thoughts since Eden’s passing, and I have been thinking about these words all day “….for me it is my reality.  My life.  I forget to notice it’s not normal or comprehensible to others…….It’s part of who we are.  Our life.  Our reality.  No.  It’s not all we are, but it is part of who we are now.”

It is as if we mothers of lost children have a new understanding of death.  We understand it more, while, at the same time, understand it less.  We feel the loss again and again with every new news of someone passing, young or old, natural causes or accident, no matter.  We easily empathize with all the victims and feel their pain deeply.  Death is no longer something we view lightly.  Yes, it is a part of life, but we have faced it head on.  Face to face as it tried to claim us in its path to take our children.  It is somehow personal.  When our children died, so did part of us, but, miraculously, something else was born in its place.  A strength.  A softness.  A grace.  A passion.  A wisdom.

Grief never truly disappears, but as time goes by a resolve covers it like a vine covers the rails of a fence.  It is a strength that says “I survived this…..I can survive anything.”  It is a strength that proclaims that we will not be conquered……strength that gets us out of bed in the morning when we are heartbroken.  A bravery arises to make those aware, to honor those lost, to reach goals, to make dreams become reality.  Strength that dares others to look at their own lives…..to right the wrongs, live to the fullest, jump to new heights.

Beneath the strength is a new softness.  A new appreciation for the little things cultivates an abundance of grace.  We realize that under the smiles might be pain, under the bad days might be real struggles that need love and not irritation.  We can go to the grocery store and deal with the rude cashier because once we needed grace, too, and there will be days we will need it once again.  When sickness, tragedies, and funerals arise, we are the first to answer the call for food, flowers, comfort, listening-ears.  We know not to say things like “God works in mysterious ways” or “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle”.  We understand that a word not need be spoken, but support is all that is needed.  A hug.  A tear shared.  A presence felt.

You might have met one of us and encountered a passion like no other.  A fire to make a difference.  A fire to change the world.  A passion to let the enemy know that we will not be destroyed.  That we will not succumb to death and its destruction.  We buried a child so we can do anything. We seek a new order.  An order for change, an awareness, a crusade, a cause is not looked upon as something unachievable, but an Everest that can and must be climbed.  With each passing of a new soul, the drive to climb accumulates.  Love must be shared.  Grace must abound in this world, and we are just the ones to do the spreading.

Death kills us but somehow makes us wise.  We have a discernment about what it must have been like for God to look upon His child as He lay dying, because we have done the same.  Heartbreak.  Devastation.  We do not take for granted the sacrifices God and others have made for us.  We choose to do the sacrificing in return.  To be the miracles that we need in the world.  To take up the cross.  To change the status quo.  We grasp the concept that life is, indeed, too short.  If we know better, we should do better, and that’s what we aim to do. We are not afraid…..of our peers, of opinions, of death.  We are smarter than that.  We are wiser.

All of this is our new reality.  Birthdays missed.  Graduations uncelebrated.  Lives remembered instead of lived.  This is who we are now.  We did not choose it, but we seek to make good of it.

Because of loss we may be stronger, softer, more full of grace and wisdom now, but, oh, that we could make a trade…….

 

 

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Glow in the Dark 5k is Here!!! Register Now!

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It’s that time again!!!  Be a Firework! Glow in the Dark 5k fun run is Saturday, September 20, 2014!!  We are ecstatic about this year’s run and are adding even more glow and black-light elements to the course.  You won’t want to miss it!  I know all of you are clamoring to know how you can participate in such a “glowing” good time.  Here’s how…..

Click on this:

5k Runner form

Then fill the form out and email the registration to fireworks5k@yahoo.com

or mail it to
Eden’s Fireworks Foundation
PO Box 2017
Woodward, OK 73802

*To insure you are properly registered, all registrations MUST go through this email or this PO Box, please.

Make all checks payable to Eden’s Fireworks Foundation.  You may pay via credit card by going to our Be A Firework tab and clicking on Donate.  Please leave us a note with a reference to the 5k.

New this year!!!   Families of 4 or more who register together will receive a discount of 20%.

Deadline for early bird registration and guarantee of your very own glow-in-the-dark t-shirt, plus glow-in-the-dark items and VIP pass is Friday, August 22.  So don’t delay!!!

We are still looking for run sponsors so if you are interested, please contact us.  Sponsorship deadline is August 4, and all donations are 100% tax-deductible.

Thanks for being a Firework!  Look Alive!

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Project Stuff Eden’s Stocking Happening Now!

Our 2nd Annual Stuff Eden’s Stocking is upon us!  I know that each one of you wants to spread a little love to some sick kiddos this Christmas!  Here’s how you can:

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Don’t let Eden’s stocking go empty!

Eden’s Fireworks Foundation

is collecting donations of stockings, gift cards and stocking stuffers. 

Stockings will be delivered to

OU Children’s Hospital

Cancer Floor on

Monday, December 16.

Deadline for donations:

Wednesday, December 11th

Stuffer Suggestions:

Gift cards – Wal-Mart, Target, iTunes, Restaurants, etc. – stocking caps, travel games, coloring books, crayons, markers, paint and art sets, Silly Putty, CD’s, DVDs, books, lip balm, hard candy, stickers, Hot Wheels, small toys, puzzles, socks.

ANYTHING THAT WILL FIT INTO A STOCKING

UNISEX ITEMS ARE GREAT!  WE NEED GIFTS FOR ALL AGES -

INFANTS TO TEENS

Donations may be mailed to

Eden’s Fireworks Foundation
PO Box 2017
Woodward, OK 73801

OR

Simply click on our BE A FIREWORK tab to donate money via PayPal

Monetary donations are very helpful, too!
We will be purchasing as many Kindle Fire HDs as is possible to deliver, as well.

If you are located in NW Oklahoma, you may use the following drop-off locations:

CAFE EDEN – 1018 Main St in Woodward
CRAFTS N SCRAPS & MORE – 911 Main St in Woodward
LAVERNE DENTAL CENTER – 703 S Oklahoma Dr #4 in Laverne
MOORELAND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL in Mooreland

WOODWARD EARLY CHILDHOOD CENTER has agreed to do a stuffer drive for us, while they aren’t an official drop-off site, if you have a student at the ECC, you may send your stuffers to school with them.
ECC parents – watch for a flier sent home from the school.

Several groups around the state are using Stuff Eden’s Stocking as their community project.  Contact us if you are interested!

            

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