#pfwg44thbirthday – The Finale!


If you aren’t aware of what #pfwg44thbirthday is, please take a moment to check out the links below.

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It’s a challenge that has been documented for my 44th birthday.  It’s kind of like a television series.  The finale for this season has arrived!  Grab your popcorn, your drink of choice, ice cream, or chocolate and check out the finale of #pfwg44thbirthday!  It turned out pretty awesome due to the help of some friends.

This finale begins with my Mother passing away in August of this year.  A group of some of my closest friends decided instead of giving flowers or monetary gifts as a memorial they would do something different.

Mother and I 2014

I must say this act of kindness has brought much to me personally than I can even put into words.  And along the way it has helped others a well, which is even better!

The ladies chose to hold an American Red Cross blood donation drive in honor of my Mother.  They chose the blood drive because they knew that donating blood was one of my #pfwg44thbirthday challenges for myself.  When they first told me about the plan I could feel my heart just burst and melt at the same time.

These ladies know me.  They get me.  They care about me.  They want to help others and they are really good at it.  The collaboration of these four ladies brought blood to those who are sick or dying, showed God’s love and kindness through each of them, brought strangers together, helped me exceed my goal of 44 blood donations, and honored my Mother’s life all at the same time.

LLL Gals

These friends and I know that they could not have done it without God’s grace and mercy and help.  We do not serve for our own recognition but for what God has placed within us. It’s only through Him that we are able to do these acts of kindness.

Each time myself or someone from the team  donated blood this past year, I have placed a red stone in a candle that another friend gave me.

Red stone display

I am grateful to each and everyone that chose to donate blood and help me on my journey.  Helping others is a key ingredient in bringing meaning to our lives and joy to others I believe.  I’m glad there are others that are willing to do things to bring those results.

Speaking of results, I’m sure you are interested to know where we ended up being.  I’m very excited to announce that we had 51 donations from December 26, 2014 to December 12, 2015!  We exceeded the goal by 7 donations!   WHOO HOO! Happy dance all around folks! This means if each donation helps saves 3 lives, a total of 153 lives were helped!  That is AWESOME!

I also spent the year writing handwritten letters and notes. I reached my goal of 44 this month. I hope to continue writing in 2016!

I am in the process of putting together another birthday challenge for my 45th year.  I will announce it in the near future on my new blog!  Here are some pictures from our great time donating blood!

Grace is a gift,

Julie

 

 

 

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Well folks it’s been fun in 2015 hasn’t it?  I mean we have laughed and shook heads in agreement with Honesty Days, touched base with God in the God’s Grace posts, and walked through grieving another death.

I hope that in my Music to my Ears posts you found yourself dancing while reading, enjoyed some awesome stories about adoption, but most of all I hope my writing inspired you.  Inspired you to do whatever God was leading you to do.  Whether it be through an act of kindness, pray with another, speak of His truth to others, or start a new adventure!  I’m so very glad you have joined me in every aspect of the journey.

I’ve written many times about connecting with others.  I know that between us is some sort of device, but I hope that my words have touched you in a way that has brought you joy.  Writing about my life experiences is a way for me to grow, help others, and deal with whatever is at hand.  I feel fortunate to be able to write in a blog setting.

Does this sound like a good bye?  Well,  don’t worry, I’m not. I’m just taking an extended vacation to focus on family, the holidays, and create a new space for us to meet.  I do have an upcoming very special post in December, just one.  Of course it has to do with #pfwg44thbirthday and you will see if I made my goals!

I pray that your Christmas season is a joyous one and that it holds the true meaning of it all.  Jesus Christ.  May you take time to watch the little ones play, sing, and be silly.  May you see the glimmer in your spouse’s/significant other’s eyes once again, and watch the adult children’s life unfold before you.  Hug and kiss the family too much and eat the good food that has been provided for you, and TAKE PICTURES!  Take moments to be generally kind to the clerk at the store, the elderly one, the ones less fortunate, and the ones alone this holiday season.

May we all encompass Christ’s love and share it too much!  God bless you and I will see you in a few weeks!

Grace is a gift,

Juli

Yep, still working on #pfwg44thbirthday


Here is where my team and I are at on the #pfwg44thbirthday challenges!  My 45th birthday is only 8 weeks away so that means reaching 44 each is upon me!

Blood donations are at 40!  Can you believe it?  That is AWESOME!  I’m happy to say that I think we will exceed the 44 donations by December 26, 2015.  The reason I feel confident in saying this is because I have a group of friends that have given me a great gift.

#pfwg44thbirthday

They are organizing a blood drive for December 12th at our church in memory of my mother Frona that passed away August 26, 2015.   I couldn’t have asked for a better memorial!  God bless them! I am hoping many of Frona’s family can join in and donate! An update will occur after the event!

letters

The writing portion of my birthday challenge took a break but it’s back now!  I am sending some pieces of joy via the postal service this week!  I am at 35 handwritten notes, cards, letters have been sent!  I can make this happen I am confident!

So if you have joined the #pfwg44thbirthday challenge feel free to comment and share what you have done!  I’m sure you bring joy to others daily but let’s make an extra effort to make a connection shall we?

Grace is  a gift,

Julie

44th Birthday Stats – #pfwg44thbirthday


A Day donating

I thought it was time to update you all on the #pfwg44thbirthday and let you know where I am at on this journey!  As of today there are:

25 red stones in my candle. That means that with the help of my friends I am over half way to my 44 donations!  Only 19 more to go folks! Feel free to join our team and help us reach or exceed 44 donations by December 26, 2015!

Each donation normally helps 3 lives. That means 75 lives have been touched by just giving some blood and time!  Isn’t that awesome?  I could not have made it this far without others helping. I want to say thank you to all of those that have donated so far!

We have six months to collect the other 19 donations and I have mine scheduled for June 26th!  How about you? When is your next time to donate blood?  Find the nearest donation center or blood drive by clicking on Red Cross Blood Donation!

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Now onto the Handwritten Letters challenge!  I am still working on those and have sent out 27 letters.  I have 17 more to go before December 26th.  I do not send the letters until I feel compelled to put words on paper.  Lately they have been lacking but that is because I want them to be true and heartfelt.  I want to lift up individuals and bring a smile to their face when they open their mailbox.

On a side note, my daughter received a McDonald’s gift card in the mailbox with a note telling her to have a super summer!  It brought a lot of joy to the little girl. I’m not sure who it was from and it’s the second one she has received in the past year, but if you read my blog we are thanking you!

If you are unable to donate blood, take a moment to help another by sending an uplifting card or letter.  Call if that is simpler.  Just reach out and grasp the joy and share it today!

Grace is a gift,

Julie

#PFWG44thbirthday – Donation time #3


Well it’s been over 56 days!  I had to push-off our blood donation gig by a week due to a conflict I had.  This go around my husband, sisters, and best friend joined me to get a little closer to the 44 times!  My brother-in-law wasn’t able to donate this time but next go around he will!

group

Check out the photos from today! It took me 60 minutes to drive to our destination to donate and only 5 minutes to fill a bag to help save three lives!  Totally worth it!

#pfwg44thbirthday #3

At this point in the journey with help from my friends, I have been able to place 23 red stones in the blood donation candle!

Blood donation candle

Only 21 more times to go!  Who wants to join our #pfwg44thbirthday team?!  It’s never too late to help save lives!  We only have until December 26th to make this happen! Help me reach my goal by downloading blood donation app and joining our team!  Or if you want, just comment on here when you donate! We’ll throw a red stone in the candle in your honor!

June 20th! That’s our next donation trip!  Come join the fun! It’s always a fun time!  We ended our time together by eating at the Doo Dah Diner in Wichita, Kansas. Totally good food and great way to celebrate the day!

American Red Cross

Grace is a gift,
Julie