The Blaines

The Blaines
For more information about current fundraisers and walks, please click on the picture!

Buggin' For a Cure

Buggin' For a Cure
Learn more about Noah's fundraising goals for 2017

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Ellie's Big Give 2016

When I set out to plan Ellie's Big Give this year, I wanted to go local, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do, but I really wanted to find organizations that glorified God and helped others.  When mom suggested the Pregnancy Centers of Central VA, I knew I had found one!  Helping out an organization that is all about saving the lives of unborn babies and supporting moms with the love of Jesus!  Then while talking in Sunday School one morning with our class, we starting talking about giving to the homeless, and what we could provide them, I joked about making those bags for us to just hand out at Ellie's party too.  I mean we have a big family and all, but I knew there had to be a place that could hand out more than just my Blaine/Renninger crew.  And as God would have it, Richard's mom's church had started a mission in downtown Fredericksburg, I contacted them and they gladly accepted what I wanted to do!

I put it out there that I wanted to collect 50 packages of diapers and have enough stuff to make 100 blessing bags, big numbers, but hey Shine Bright or go home!  Packages starting pouring in from all over! With the sales of our tshirts alone, we raised $580 to buy supplies, people were giving my family members money to help out, it was just amazing to watch God work in the people around us!

The week before Ellie's party, snow storm Jonas blew in, dumping over 2 feet of snow in our town and even more in the areas around us, I just smiled...there's always snow on Ellie's birthday!  This lovely blizzard left me plenty of time to decorate and let my imagination run wild with all my Tinker Bell ideas.

As prepared as I was decoration wise, organizer Carly couldn't quite wrap her brain around how in the world to pack all these bags in an organized manner....I had the man power, just not the brain power! Thank goodness my peoples love me and they put up with all my ideas, and listen when I ramble, and sometimes just tell me what to do. I don't know what I'd do without them!

 (can you tell I got a selfie stick just for the occasion??)

Once we got it all figured out...for the most part, they went to work!

 They loaded up 58 backpacks and then moved on to just filling up ziploc bags with supplies! They were amazing and patient when I couldn't think (math is not my strong area!) And reminded me that God provided all this stuff, so we would figure out a way to get it to the people who needed it!

We also ended up making 30 onesies to donate to the Pregnancy Center as well!

The kids had a blast, even the tiniest of them!

Tinker Bell giggled on top of Ellie's cake and then we lit the night sky for our sweet girl!

It was such a touching evening, and I love what God moved us to do this year!  I loved all the work, all the confusion (yes I'll admit it), all the help and all the encouragement.

(good thing I got that selfie stick...that's a lot of people in my little kitchen!)

With all the extra money that was donated, I was able to order enough back packs and a few other things for us to make 122 blessing bags! As I sat there this weekend surrounded by the rest of ziplocs and socks and deodorant and back packs I was overwhelmed with gratitude.  If Ellie hadn't of entered this world, hadn't of gotten cancer, hadn't of died....none of this could have possibly happened.  If my heart didn't have this massive hole in it, my heart may not have had the passion for helping others. If Ellie's dimples hadn't wrapped so many around her fingers, I wouldn't have the ability to do this much, in Jesus name for others.  All because of cancer, all because God choose to answer my prayer in a different way, all because He loves me (and you too) my life is better.  Yup, crazy lady just said my life is better.  I have gotten to experience the most amazing unconditional love and blessings from so many. I have been given opportunities that have changed me.  I have been able to grow in ways that I don't know if I would have, without the loss of Ellie.
These past two years when we did things, be it walks, or speeches or donations, I have tended to put the memory of Ellie first. If it goes well, her name is heard more, people remember her more, I get to talk about her more.  As I mature in my grief journey (I guess that's what you call it) I've come to a clear realization that its not about Ellie....I've said that before, but I think its finally in my heart...its about Jesus.  If I raise a ton of money, it doesn't bring Ellie back, it gets us recognition, but that will be gone the next day, I hit that realization this past fall, when Princess Strong raised over $10,000 for CureSeach, I was so excited...but it was like I wanted to "win" to get Ellie's name there....the next day, it was over and I felt empty again.  I want my girl to be remembered always, but as we go into the upcoming walk season, I want my Jesus to be glorified more!

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. Colossians 3:16-17

Thank you again, for being with me on this crazy journey of life.
Prayers, Praise and Pink

Loaded down van with 60 packages of diapers and 30 onesies....amazing!