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Category Archives: Uncategorized


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!

            

Eden’s Fireworks Bracelets Are Here!

These just arrived, and you will definitely want one!

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100% silicon, 3/4 inch bracelets.
Two options:  Ignite Hope. Look Alive. OR Be a Firework.  $3 or $5 each (special bulk pricing for those wanting 10 or more – message for price quote)
How to order:
Easiest:  Go to our Donate tab on our Be A Firework page.  Pay for your bracelets via PayPal and leave a comment in regards to quantity and address for shipping (if local, email TeNeil Spaeth for pick up instructions).

Easier:  Email TeNeil Spaeth (Be A Firework page) quantity and shipping address.  Mail a check to P.O. Box 2017 Woodward, OK 73802.  Once the check clears, you will receive your bracelets.

Easy:  If you are local, the bracelets are available at Cafe Eden on Main St in Woodward.

This is an easy way to Be A Firework, spread awareness, and begin a dialogue with others about Childhood Cancer!  Thanks for your support!

Tweets vs Prayers: My two cents on the Miley, Robin, and Twerking it out…

I don’t really want to beat a dead horse, but usually when I can’t stop thinking about something, I have found that writing about it stops my inner-dialogue, at least for a couple of minutes.

I really didn’t think a whole lot of the situation, at first.  I usually watch the VMAs.  If for no other reason that it makes me feel a little less old than I am….or scratch that; maybe it makes me feel older.  But, at any rate, I like to keep up with pop culture.  That’s my excuse.  I actually forgot about the award show this year, but every year there is something controversial.  Ridiculous.  Uncomfortable.  And, quite frankly, something I wouldn’t want my children to witness.  Remember Madonna crawling around in a wedding dress singing “Like a Virgin”?  Or the Chris Rock proclaiming something like “get to church now, before we burn in hell” after Marylin Manson’s performance?  I do.  So when I saw all of the hysteria on FB, Twitter, and even the main stream news, I honestly did not think much about it.  It wasn’t until yesterday morning, after discussing it shortly with my mom, that I even sat down and watched the award show (that I had DVR’d).  I want to previse this by saying that I ONLY watched the VMAs.  I have been told there where other shots and camera angles shown by other resources.  Those I cannot commit on.  Anyway, I discovered that I have an opinion about this.

One question that I’d like to ask is that if this had been, say, Lady Gaga’s performance instead of Miley Cyrus’s, would our reaction have been different?  I certainly cannot predict everyone’s reaction, and I’m sure had it been Gaga, there would still have been comments made.  But I am willing to bet that we had such a huge reaction to the performance because what we expected was Hannah Montana (who may I remind you, doesn’t exist) and what we got was more Jenna Jameson (Yes, I know who that is.  Don’t crucify me.)  Expectations play such a huge part in how we react.  What I expect from you depends upon how crazy I react to your sins.  If I don’t expect very much, my reaction is minimal.  I will blow it off to you didn’t know any better.  But what if my expectations are high, well, that leads to all kinds of disappointments, hurts, and criticisms.  This is possibly going to sound harsh, but as a Christian community, we have got to lower our expectations.  Why did we expect ANYTHING different from a child who was raised by the entertainment industry?  A parent who told her that she is only worth as much as her latest Tweet volume, Google searches, FB followers.  That to continue her career, she must break away from the good-girl image and be more sexy, more shocking.  Sadly, we must have expected this type of behavior from Robin Thicke, because people were seemingly not as shocked by his addition to the performance.  I don’t know if this is because we have a double standard for men in our culture or if it is because his music leans toward the controversial. (This is clearly a whole new debate, so I will leave that to another blogger).  Why do we hold people to such high expectations and then yell “crucify!” when those expectations aren’t met?  We do it all of the time with pastors, family, children, friends.  Why do we hold people to expectations of which they aren’t even remotely capable?  And then act so high and mighty upon their failure.  I’m sorry, but this pretty much defines hypocrisy.  The only reason people aren’t posting about our sins most of the time is because we have chosen not to air them on national TV.  But they are mistakes, just the same.  I think Jesus Christ himself has had many a run in with our expectations.  We all know what happened when He didn’t meet the Pharisees’ expectations as the “Coming King”. Furthermore, I don’t think God was even shocked at her performance. And I don’t think that He was shaking His head at Miley saying, “What am I gonna do with you?”  I think He thought, “I love you, and I’m gonna love you through this identity crisis until you see the truth.”  Of course, I’m speculating, but I’m pretty sure it went something like that ;) .

Do not get me wrong.  I am not condoning her behavior.  I am not saying that we should support her by praising her performance (Honestly, I was more offended by her pitchiness than anything else).  You don’t have to jump on iTunes and buy her latest single.  I won’t be pushing my children to listen to her latest album.  And I realize that she, as a celebrity, relinquishes part of her right to not be ridiculed as she chose to make the statement she made in front of millions.  And choices have consequences.  However, I don’t think Miley is a dumby.  I think 300,000 Tweets about her DURING (not after) her performance alone (is exactly what she wanted.

Which leads to my second question, how many of you sent up a little prayer for Miley instead, or along with, your criticism on social media?  She obviously is a mixed-up girl who needs an encounter with the love and grace of Christ.  What if we prayed as much as we criticized?  Believe me, I’m preaching to myself.  One of my many flaws is that I can be harshly critical.  Just being honest.  And I have been convicted of my harsh criticisms many a time.  So this is not me calling out your sins.  I’m calling out my own sin.  What if 300,000 prayers just for Miley had been sent up in those few minutes instead of 300,000 Tweets?  Honestly, I hope there were.  Maybe I’m being cynical, but I kind of doubt it.  We love to see another fall for some reason.  It’s sickening.  And it shouldn’t be.  We know better.  Are not we told over and over….”Love is patient.  Love is kind…….IT KEEPS NO RECORD OF WRONG DOINGS.”?  Was your Tweet or FB post about Miley kind?  Did it mention her wrong doings?  Ouch.  Where’s the love, people?  What about a little love given when our expectations aren’t met instead of criticism?  What about a prayer that LOVE touch that person who is not meeting our expectations?

I want to tell you a story.

Once upon a time there was a little girl who loved the music of Michael Jackson.  She stared at his Thriller Limited-Edition album many a night right before going to sleep.  Once upon a time, that same little girl was a teenager at a Super Bowl Party at her church.  Michael Jackson performed the half-time show.  Most of the Christians at the party began calling Michael names and ridiculing him for his alleged mistakes, etc.  That teenage girl announced that she prayed for him all of the time to find the love and grace of God and that they should do the same.

Once upon a time, that teenage girl grew up to be the mom of a little girl who died of childhood cancer.  And one night that mom had a dream that her little girl came back from heaven with news that there were so many people in heaven that most would be shocked to find out “made the cut”.  She excitedly proclaimed, “Michael Jackson is in heaven, Mom!  I knew you would want to know.”  And off the little girl went…..back to heaven.

Maybe the dream was prophetic.  Maybe it was a delusion of a heartsick mother.  Maybe it was a message from God saying that we will be spending a whole lot of eternity with people that did not live up to our expectations, but, by a miracle and a lot of prayers, came face to face with the unexpected magnitude of God’s grace that covers a multitude of sins.  Including criticism.  And twerking.

Look Alive!

 

Real.

Somehow I have not spent a lot of time being angry after Eden’s death.  Somehow God saved me from that.  But there are times, like this very moment at 2:35 am.  Excuse my French but $@%& gets real.  I don’t cuss.  Really ever.  I used the F-bomb once in my life.  It was 1996.  So there you go.  But at 2:35 am.  Right now.  The only word that I can use to describe how I feel is pissed.  (If this word offends you, you might as well move along now.)

I am often told, “you are such an inspiration.”  Well, am I still an inspiration if I told you that sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and can’t go back to sleep because I’m pissed that Eden isn’t here, even almost 3 years later?  I’m pissed that childhood cancer exists, and that I’m neck deep in a world I don’t want to be in.  I’m pissed that I lose sleep about what to do during National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.  It’s too big a burden, and I want to scream because I have to carry it.  I’m pissed because I never got to hear Eden talk except to hear her scream “Mama” or “Daddy” in pain.  I’m pissed because I lied to her over and over and over again and told her that “it was okay.”  And it just wasn’t.  I’m pissed because Eve and Jude were robbed of a sister. I’m pissed that I didn’t have to buy Eden Pre-K school supplies this week or meet her new teacher.  I’m pissed that I can’t mention Eden without people getting an uncomfortable look on their face. As much as I’d like not to admit it, I’m pissed that I played the praise song “Mighty to Save” repeatedly in Eden’s ear as she lay dying, and, at least in the natural, her rescue never came.   AND I’m really pissed that I’m sometimes jealous of families of children who have conquered neuroblastoma.  I hate it that these words creep up in my head, “Why couldn’t that have been Eden?”

So there you go.  Quite the inspiration.  There really isn’t much inspiration going on at 2:35 am.  I know that with the sun, things will seem brighter.  Tears will dry, and I’ll have a more optimistic, faithful prospective.  But, to be real, there are moments of raw emotion.  Heartbreak.  Sorrow so deep that it actually hurts.

Childhood cancer is real.  It causes real pain.  Real terror.  It affects real kids, real parents, real siblings.  Real kids die.  I sometimes can’t even believe it.  Eden died.  That’s real.

You want to know what else is real?  God’s love.  I have not shared this with everyone, but the reason I can say this with so much confidence is that in the very moment of my worst heartbreak. THE moment Eden took her last breath.  God’s love poured into that hospital room. I can’t explain it but to tell you that I felt it tangibly and that I miraculously had the wherewithal to recognize it.  That same feeling of tangible love and goodness – like almost a weight on my shoulders, except that it was a comfort and not a burden – stayed with me for several weeks after Eden’s death.  It was there as I planned her funeral.  It was there as I buried her.  It was there as I adjusted to life without her. Some may say that I was delusional,  that in my despair I was not quite right in the head,  but once you have encountered such love and goodness, you can’t deny it. And it is still there.  At 2:35 a.m., when I need it the most.  In the dark, raw minutes of the night when life’s injustices seem the most exaggerated, God’s love is still there, and, to my relief, no matter how pissed I am.  I realize everyone quotes it, but I KNOW He really truly never leaves nor forsakes.  And there is another thing I know.  If He did it for me, He can and will do it for you.  So if you have never encountered His love.  For real.  Ask Him.

So in my realness, in the middle of the night, I’d like to say…..Don’t let me inspire you.  Let God’s love inspire you.  It’s the only real reason I seem to be a fairly functional adult at this point.  Let His love inspire you to love more.  To love better.  To love deeper.  And, in turn, others will be able to love more, love better, love deeper.  It REALLY is cliche, but His love IS all anyone needs.  Especially at 2:35 am.  (and maybe since I got all of this off of my chest, I can go back to sleep.)

Look Alive!

 

 

Glow-in-the-Dark 5k was a Success!

Months ago I saw a friend’s photo on Instagram of a group of ladies at a glow in the dark run in another city.  My sister and I had been talking about doing some kind of run in Eden’s honor since right after we lost her.  I remember thinking that the glow-in-the-dark theme would go perfectly with our trademark “fireworks”, and so the planning began.  I have planned a lot of parties, recitals, dance performances, etc, but never a 5K.  Stumbling in the dark, the event came together and on Saturday evening, August 10, as I watched the firework show after the run with tears in my eyes, I thought, “We did it, Eden!”  Because the planning had consumed my thoughts and time all summer, I really hadn’t had a chance to really think about what the event represented, until I saw the fireworks hit the sky.  We had the 5K because we didn’t have Eden.  Had Eden been a healthy four-year-old at this moment, planning a glow-in-the-dark run would have never, not in a million years, been on my calendar.

But this was the hand we were dealt, and, in turn, we dealt it to God.  And a beautiful thing happened.  Over a hundred runners/walkers/observers came together to celebrate life and love, all in the name of an amazing little girl.  Yes.  My heart is sad.  I’d rather have her with us.  But it is amazing how God’s goodness works.  It’s so good that it soothes over all the rough edges of the bad.  Words fail me to explain, but it somehow happens.  When you let it.  The event was bittersweet in part, but, at the same time, I have never felt more accomplished, blessed, and loved.

Of course, I couldn’t have done it without my wonderful board members, who continually to blow me away with their generosity and determination, – Tatum Marlatt, Rita Barney, Donna Olson, Kristi Johnson, Delaina Jeter, and, of course, my hubby Justin Spaeth.  I had a blast planning this with you, and I can’t wait until next year!  And, Justin, I look forward to walking the trail in the dark over and over, brainstorming over what cool additions we can add to the course.

I would like to recognize our Comet Level sponsors:  Durango Services (can’t get their logo to load to the page)

cafe logo

Jericho (1)BoomerAutobath

 

 

 

And a special thanks to our other sponsors:  Competition Sports, Signs of Life, Woodward Wellness Center, Impact Casing, Preston Manufacturing, SPC Office Products, Western Enterprises, and Senator Bryce and Mrs. Tatum Marlatt

Also, a big thank you to all of the volunteers that helped set-up, tear-down, and make the event run smoothly!

And here’s proof that many choose to be fireworks:

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Board Members:  Kristi Johnson, Donna Olson, Me, Rita Barney, Tatum Marlatt (not pictured – Delaina Jeter, Justin Spaeth)

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Fastest Man – Sheldon Meliza

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`Fastest Woman – Heather Hague

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Me, my mom, and our favorite hair stylist who came from OKC to run

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Right before take off.

Other Awesome Fireworks……….

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Began with Glowing Bubbles.  Ended with Fireworks.

Can’t wait until next year!  Continue to Look Alive!

What If Your Summer Was Different? 10 Things You Can Do Now

As the summer flies by, I am saddened by the fact that the Spaeth family hasn’t even had the chance to grill out once.  ONCE!!  This is a notably sad situation since most of our past summers have been spent in and by the pool enjoying an array of culinary delights from our outdoor grill.  We have spent the summer racing to baseball practices and games, lugging dance shoes and costumes to dance rehearsals and national finals, packing and unpacking between trips to camps and vacations, and somewhere in between planning for Eden’s Fireworks big 5k race in August.  I’m sure your summers have looked similar.  There is definitely no rest for the weary parent.  Or child for that matter.

Now take your busy summer and imagine it differently.  Running to and from hospital and clinic visits, CT scans, chemo treatments.  Bouts of nausea and diarrhea.  Worry in the day.  Fear in the night.  Tears in the shower.  These are how summers are spent in the lives of children and parents fighting childhood cancer.  Not so long ago, it was my life.  We don’t want to think of such things because, well, quite frankly, it’s depressing.  And we would rather go about our busy days wrapped-up in ourselves.  I am just as guilty as everyone else.  And childhood cancer has visited my front door.  But there really is no excuse.

Right now Talia and Gavin are spending their summers in hospice fighting for their lives.  Molly travels to Michigan for an experimental treatment to keep her neuroblastoma away.  Charlie is spending his July getting a stem-cell transplant, and Shane is spending his receiving immunotherapy.  Both to fight Stage IV neuroblastoma.  And there are thousands more fighting and fighting and fighting.  What if one was your child?

I know.  I know.  Some say, “Why should I be aware of childhood cancer?  My kid doesn’t have it.”  Well, mine didn’t have it once, either.  And all those fighting were once healthy kids enjoying summers full of water, ice cream, and family vacations.

We have about 5 weeks of summer left here in Woodward, OK.  The good news is that there are things you can do during this 5 weeks to help fight childhood cancer.  Yes!  You can do something AND enjoy your summer.

1)  Sign up for our Be A Firework! glow-in-the-dark 5k!
Saturday, August 10
There is still time to register to guarantee a cool t-shirt and glow-in-the-dark items!  Just register on or before July 26.  But if you find yourself a bit of a procrastinator, you can register up to the day of the race (or walk, if you desire).
5K Flyer

2)  Sign up to volunteer to help with the 5k.  Volunteers needed for registration, water stations, set-up, clean-up, and face painting and merchandise tables.  Email me at teneil@edensfireworks.org

3)  Donate to Eden’s Fireworks Foundation (or any worthy childhood cancer organization).  We need money to fight.  To give hope.  To put towards research.

4)  Share Eden’s Fireworks Facebook page.  And.  Keep.  Sharing.

5)  Share Eden’s Fireworks website.  And.  Keep.  Sharing.

6)  Send a card to a child fighting childhood cancer.  There are thousands of pages on FB alone dedicated to children battling all 12 kinds of pediatric cancer.  Choose one.

7)  Send a card to a family that lost a child to cancer.  Even if it was years ago.  They never will forget.  Neither should you.  Really.

8)  Start shopping now for tiny toys (and other goodies) for Project Stuff Eden’s Stocking.  Christmas will be here before you know it.

9)  Be annoying.  Yes, I said it.  Talk about childhood cancer.  Talk about kids who are fighting this summer.  Talk about Eden and those who have lost their lives.  It’s called awareness.  Don’t be an ostrich hiding its head in the sand.

10)  PRAY.  But do it along with one or more of the actions above.  Because, really, faith without works……well, I think you know.

Look Alive!

Quick note:  The route of the 5k has been changed with the starting and finish lines in the Woodward High School parking lot at 2406 13th St.  Same trail, just different beginning and end.  See you at the 5k!

 

 

“Fear not.” Yeah. Right.

Jasper is creeping up on 17 months old.  The exact same age Eden was three years ago when she was diagnosed with stage IV high-risk neuroblastoma.  And unless you have had a child who has had some life threatening illness or injury, you can probably only imagine the kind of fear that tries to creep into my psyche.  Mental torment is not an exaggeration.  To top it off, Eden and Jasper were both born the exact time of year, so at this very moment three years ago, the Spaeth family was having what I thought at the time the BEST summer, yet.  And then, just like that, we weren’t.   So I’ve been thinking about fear.  A lot.

You probably haven’t thought about it much (or maybe you have), but fear plays a huge role in our culture, our paradigm, our human existence.  Simple searches on the web created an overview of how often we talk about, walk into, and come face to face with fear.  Any of these sound familiar?

Phrases:  wild with Fear, my worst Fear, frozen with Fear, conquer your Fear, face your Fear, Fear of failure, Fear of commitment, Fear of what others think, Fear for my life, Fear of tomorrow, Fear of change, Fear of the unknown

Movie (and Book) Titles:  Cape Fear, Sudden Fear, Primal Fear, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Sum of All Fears, The Fear Inside, Fear Dot Com, The Summer of Fear, Fear

Song Titles:  Fearless, Fearless Love, Fear is the Key, Fears of the Father, Fear of Flying, Fear of the Dark

And one wildly popular TV Show a few years back called Fear Factor, where people competed against each other while facing “frightful” (not to mention often disgusting) obstacles.

Quotes:  “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself.”  “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.”  “We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.”

There are 530 documented phobias.  To name a few I found interesting:  Ablutophobia- Fear of washing or bathing, Chaetophobia- Fear of hair, Cheimatophobia- Fear of cold, Geliophobia- Fear of laughter,  Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia- Fear of the number 666 (I want to know who came up with that one), Ideophobia- Fear of ideas, Lilapsophobia- Fear of tornadoes and hurricanes, Necrophobia- Fear of death or dead things, Phobophobia- Fear of phobias, Soceraphobia- Fear of parents-in-law (Calling Dr. Phil…), and Tonitrophobia- Fear of thunder (Go, OKC!).

And that is JUST the word “fear”.  What about all the words we use every single day that are basically just synonyms?

Worry is fear.  Fear that I would look like an idiot when I shaved my head for St. Baldrick’s.

Concern is fear.  Fear that my oldest child will grow up to be the messiest adult alive.  Seriously.  I’m concerned.

Stress is fear.  Fear that my sanity might not survive this Wal-Mart trip with a cranky 16 month old who really wants that bag of candy in the checkout aisle. 

Insecurity is fear.  Fear that I’m not skinny enough, funny enough, pretty enough, smart enough, strong enough….

PTSD is fear.  Anxiety is fear.  Dread is fear.  Doubt is fear.  Timidity is fear.  Apprehension is fear.  Hate is fear.  ALL fear.

Fear paralyzes, distorts, hinders, lies, blinds, steals, and kills.

And, yet, we pay hard-earned money to skydive, hang glide, deep sea dive, cliff climb, bungee jump, zip line, run the rapids, and roll the coasters.  We pay to sit in the dark, on the edge of our seats, waiting to be served up a heart attack at any moment.  We willingly walk through houses filled with horrors every fall just for the thrill.  Can you say love/hate?

From another perspective, not all fear is bad, right?  I’m sure many a caveman lived to see another day because he feared leaving his cave after dark. It’s called survival, and God equipped us with an amygdala, an almond shaped mass of nuclei located deep within our brain that triggers our survival instincts upon facing fear and distress. Interesting.  It’s like God knew we’d need it.  Sometimes fear is wisdom, like locking our homes and vehicles and not letting our children play in the street.  Sometimes fear is awe and reverence to the most powerful.

I think that it is reasonably safe to say that we have all felt and reacted to fear.  We parent out of fear.  Love out of fear.  Hate out of fear.  Control out of fear.  React out of fear.  Befriend out of fear.   Say “yes” out of fear.  Say “no” out of fear.  Even the Son of God was afraid once.  HE.  SWEAT.  BLOOD.  When was the last time you were that stressed?  Fear is simply part of the human condition.

But was it always?  And how does God expect me to manage all of the scary stuff in this world?

Enter Strong’s Concordance.  According to those geniuses, fear (or a synonym of fear) is used 400 times in 385 verses in the King James Version.  God knew we would face it, He created our brain to handle it, and, yet, He gives us specific instructions to “Fear not…” numerous times.  He wants us to stand in awe of Him, give Him the honor He so deserves, use His Spirit to discern dangerous situations, but He doesn’t want us to be controlled by the Spirit of Fear…..the fear that cripples us.  So during my middle-of-the-night thought surges, I began to wonder when is the first time we are introduced to fear in the Bible.  You can probably guess…..the Garden.

So here are Adam and Eve placed in an exquisite paradise.  Everything provided for them….food, shelter, comfort, and fellowship with their Creator, even the freedom of choice.  Think about it.  Naked but no worries.  (That just seems unnatural.)  No bug bites.  No sunburn.  No rashes.  No insecurities.  Their whole existence was dependent on God’s perfect love and goodness.  Remember “….Perfect love drives out fear”…..1 John 4:18.  Fear could not exist in a realm where God’s character was never put into question.  Then, like with all children, that freedom of choice had to go and reek havoc.

I used to wonder why God chose the eating of the apple as the first sin.  Okay, God, so she ate the apple.  But I’ve grown to understand that it could have been any action because in the instant that Eve chose to take that bite and pass it to her husband, she was actually making a choice to question God’s character.  Was He really that perfect?  Did He really have their best interests at heart?  Was He really that good?  It was a choice that reflected “maybe I, mere human, can do all this myself.”

Enter fear.

And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”  And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself”….. Genesis 3:8-10

Dang. Self-awareness. Self-reliance.

Then there were all kinds of reasons to be afraid.  Instead of living completely dependent upon a perfect Creator, humans had to rely on their not-so-perfect selves.  For food.  For shelter.  For clothes.  For survival.  Then along the line, God’s hardheaded people still couldn’t get it, and they asked for the Law.  More self-reliance.  All the while, God is there practically screaming, “not by power not by might, but by my Spirit (Zachariah 4:6).”  He drove His point home when He sent His Son to the cross.  When are we ever going to learn that it’s not about us?  It’s ALL God.

The more we rely on our strengths, wrestle with our weaknesses, believe the enemy’s lies that God is less than He claims to be the more we are controlled by fear.  Because let’s face it, we are human.  We are imperfect.  The world is imperfect.  Crappy stuff happens.  All.  Of.  The.  Time.  Who wouldn’t be afraid?  But the minute we make the choice to believe that God is good.  That He “only has plans to prosper us and not to harm us (Jeremiah 29:11).”  That He does not lie.  That He loves us unconditionally.  That no matter what we face His perfect love and His perfect promise to “work all things together for good for those who love Him (Romans 8:28)” holds us secure in His hand.  We are free from fear.

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love”……1 John 4:18

To live without fear is to live solely dependent upon whom God says He is.  No one said it would be easy.  Not even God (remember all those “Fear nots”?).  The world around us mocks us with the contrary.  But if we want to live phobia free, we choose to exist without self-reliance but with God-reliance.

There is an AllState Insurance commercial that sums it up beautifully.

“There are man-eating sharks in every ocean, but we still swim.  Every second somewhere in the world lightning strikes, but we still play in the rain.  Poisonous snakes can be found in 49 of the 50 states, but we still go looking for adventure.  A car can crash.  A house can crumble.  But we still drive and love coming home.  Because I think deep down we know, all the bad things that can happen in life can’t stop us from making our lives good.” (Good Life)

And just as fear is an emotion engraved in our beings, there is a yearning in our souls to rely on God’s character.  To know deep down that good has already conquered evil through the cross.  Our only job is to trust and believe that all the bad things that can happen in life can’t stop GOD from making our lives good.  It’s how I live in a world where childhood cancer exists and kills innocent lives.  God is my fear insurance.  And I am in good hands.

Look alive!

P.S.  Don’t fear!  There’s still time to register for the Be A Firework! glow-in-the-dark 5k.  Register early to guarantee your t-shirt and glow stuff!  Click on the link below!!!  You know you want to…..

5K Flyer 2

 

 

 

Register for our Glow in the Dark 5k Now!

While we want to happily announce how you can register for our Be a Firework glow-in-the-dark 5k run today, we want to first say that our hearts are just simply devastated over the tornado destruction that has so greatly affected our home state.  Our prayers are going up, especially on behalf of the families whose children are unaccounted for at this moment.  Justin and I know all too well the heart-wrenching pain that comes with knowing your children are in danger, and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.  May God’s grace pour out on each and every victim and sustain them like only He can do!

You can now register for our Be a Firework glow-in-the-dark 5k run now!

Be A Firework! glow-in-the-dark 5k Run  

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Woodward High School parking lot – 2406 13th St / USDA Field Station Trails

Race packet pick-up begins at 8:00pm – Race to start at sunset (Approx.9:00pm)

Registration Fee:  $50.00 – Includes T-Shirt and glow in the dark items

Registration Deadline:  Friday, July 26, 2013 to guarantee a t-shirt, medal, and glow in the dark items
Late Registration up to the time of the race:  $55.00 – no guarantee of t-shirt, medal, and glow-in-the dark items

To Register, Click on the Link Below.  Fill out the form.  Email it back to me or mail it PO Box 2017 Woodward, OK 73802.  Checks made payable to Eden’s Fireworks Foundation.  Credit Cards accepted on our PayPal account.  Simply click our DONATE button on our Be a Firework page.  Reference your payment as 5k.  Hard copies of the registration form also available at Cafe Eden, 1018 Main St in Woodward, OK.

5K Flyer

Again, we are still looking for corporate sponsors for this 5k run.  Please contact us if you are interested in helping our first event become a huge success.  There are a lot of childhood cancer warriors who need a little love and a little hope!!

Look Alive!

Hello world!

Well, here I am.  The moment for which I’ve been waiting 7 months since starting Eden’s Fireworks Foundation.  In the internet-dependent world in which we live, I can now say “WE ARE OFFICIAL!” – professionally designed website and all….

Obviously, I have thought a lot about what to write in my first blog since, well, forever.  I’m thinking I may be a bit rusty because I have all of these thoughts and ideas I want to tell you about and no coherent theme in which to put them.  Figures.

But one thought does stand out.  A few months after Eden passed away, Lady Gaga premiered her single “Edge of Glory” on the American Idol stage (some of you may remember).  At the end of the performance, she and a male dancer held hands and jumped off a fairly tall set piece, obviously signifying their leap off the “edge”, so to speak.  I heard all kinds of opinions of her performance, mainly on FB, of course.  But some in person from a few of my friends.  Many were appalled because they interpreted their jump as open encouragement for suicide.  I, obviously, do not know exactly the inspiration behind Gaga’s stage blocking and choreography, but I suspect her motives were unlikely suicidal.

I have a point (by the way).

While Eden was going through treatment, I proclaimed that I served a God of miracles.  That Eden was going to be one.  That God would get the glory.  If I were a poker player, you could say I went all in.  I remember telling my mom once, “If Eden doesn’t survive this, I’m going to look really stupid.”  I guess that’s up for debate at this point.

Well, Eden didn’t survive.  But my opinions still remain the same.  I serve a God of miracles.  Eden was one.  And God is getting the glory.  When you step out in faith, it’s a step out on the edge.  The Edge of Glory.  God’s glory.  It’s you saying, “I’m all in no matter what happens.”  Is it comfortable?  No.  Is it easy?  No.  Is it worth it?  I say “Yes!”

So here I am again.  With everything on the line.  I am all in to fighting childhood cancer.  Any and every way I know how.  And my challenge for you?  Join me.  Go all in.  A life worth living is, indeed, one lived full out.  One lived on the edge of glory.  One lived out of your comfort zone.  One lived in faith.  It’s from this kind of life that miracles come to fruition, that passion changes lives, that people become world-changers.  I’m going to take Eden’s lead.  Be a firework.  And recruit others.  To see miracles.  To change lives.  To become a world-changer.  Who’s with me?

Big things are happening!  A huge announcement will be made tomorrow, including details about our first Fireworks event/fundraiser.  Please share this page, our FB page, our Twitter page……We need more fireworks!!!

Oh, and LOOK ALIVE!  Always.