Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Updates & an Invite...

Whoops!  I let 2 weeks go by without updating this majigger-bob!
I know you’re dying to know…I have OVER ½ of my Nicaragua monies turned in with 10 days to go!  If you wouldn’t mind, please lift the team and the trip up in prayer and if you feel so led, consider giving.  Every bit helps!  If you can give a check, please make it payable to ‘Hub City Vineyard’ with “Nica 2013 – Chandra Dickson” in the memo.  You can either send to me (see Facebook event for address and share with friends) or directly to Hub City Vineyard.  You can also give online if you so choose.
I have some extra tees!  Let me know ASAP if you want one!

In other news, Don had his skin cancer COMPLETELY removed last Friday!  He’ll be going in on the 13th for a full body scan to make sure there aren’t any other spots.  While I pray daily about the niggling doubt that chills my heart, I just know that he is going to be fine and here to stay for quite some time.
I had a normal doctor’s appointment on Monday and just need to get my typhoid vaccine and medicine to ensure that I won’t contract malaria or a bad stomach bug while on my trip and then I’m set in that department.  A huge shout out to a new friend – Amanda – for watching the littles at the last minute for me!
Little Ms. Evie had her belated 18 month well-baby checkup and is off the charts for weight (as she has been for quite some time) and in the 98th percentile for height.  No big surprise there.  I had a terrible ordeal at the doctor’s as I had both kids with me and they took 45 minutes each getting us from the waiting room to the exam room and then getting a doctor in to see us.  Anyone have any suggestions for pediatricians in the Hagerstown / Frederick area?
As for EJ, well, he’s been ok.  Poor guy has had a terrible cough and a come and go fever but is his normal, cheery, and hilarious self. 
I’m SO excited right now because our church is hosting a women’s ‘Pajama Jam’ Friday night into Saturday.  Like an adult, all female fellowship lock-in!  How amazingly cool is that?!  Speaking of church, we just went to 2 services on Sundays…9:15 am & 11 am.  I wouldn’t be able to say it better than this, “Maybe you’ve been away from church…come check us out.  Maybe you’ve never been to church…come check us out.  Maybe you’ve been hurt, been abused, just have an overall bad feeling about churches…come check us out.  Bottom line, I want to share my Sundays with you.” – Matt Walker
Also, from Mr. Walker…he took this photo this past Sunday morning.  You can’t say that we don’t invite the Holy Spirit to come.  Completely unaltered…and he’s a cameraman.

As always, I hope this finds you well with lots of love surrounding you.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Optimism for 21 Days

I am a perpetual optimist.  That being said, this has been a REALLY rough week on me.  After all of my crazy news in last week’s post, I woke up Monday morning to find out I had lost another dear loved one.  My cousin who was more like an uncle D.W. passed away Monday morning.  Not a great way to start the week.  Not to diminish this loss at all, but when I saw my mom calling, my heart dropped because I thought that she was calling to tell me that something had happened to my grandfather.  I found quick relief and then fresh despair.  I was the one that ruined the 17 year streak for attention for D.W.  A LOT of my childhood memories are filled with D.W.’s mullet and smiling face.  Summers of fishing success stories, crawdad broils, catching fireflies and him being one of the protectors that allowed all of that innocent fun to be had along with the rest of our family.  God called home another in what we see as too soon timing, but all I can ask is that peace finds all of my family in their time of mourning and the knowledge that God is omniscient and we are not.
Rest in peace, D.W. …thank you for always being a part of my life.  Love always.

This loss left me kind of…well…blah for lack of a better term.  I was just ‘OFF’ in everything.  Home, work, yeah.  Praise Jesus for an amazing support system through my sweet hubby and our awesome church and all of the relationships that go along with that.

I will admit that I’m feeling a little under the weather as this week is getting started, but I am just trying to praise Him through everything and keep my eyes on the proverbial Nicaragua prize.  So, an update on the fundraiser:  I’m turning in over 1/3 of my goal money to my church THIS week because of all of the generous donations in the last 13 days.  Seriously…just 13 days, you guys are amazing!  Our money is due on the 3rd of February, so I have a goal to sell 1 t-shirt a day starting tomorrow 21 days until the money is due, 21 t-shirts.  Simple enough, right?  So, who’s in?!  If that actually happens, I will have reached my goal!  100%!  Please visit my Facebook event for payment details.
Thank you so much if you’ve already donated in any way, shape or form.  Above all, please pray for our trip, safety and effectiveness in our works while we are there.  Praying this finds you all well!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Some T’s, a little C and a D

We’re 5 days into the New Year and what an incredibly exhilarating and bright week that it’s been.  I can’t begin to provide my complete and sincere gratitude to this amazing family of friends that God has provided me with.  You guys have gone above and beyond!!  In the first 24 hours of the launch of my fundraiser for my trip to Nicaragua, there were 5 shirts and 1 photo book pledged for!  Since then, I’ve received 1/3 of my goal in donations and have another 1/3 of my goal accounted for with t-shirt orders!!  SPEAKING of t-shirts…WOW, did Mr. Mike Barnard deliver!  I ordered 20 shirts online yesterday to fill these orders and had them delivered (FOR FREE! is amazing!) TODAY…yes, a Saturday!  So, I took the shirts over to Mike around 1ish and he delivered them back to me at 5 pm!  That’s a 4 hour turn around and was completely unexpected and beyond appreciated. 

Check out my face of shock and my awesome model:

Please consider giving if you haven’t already by visiting my Facebook event…I found out the other day that the money is due February 3, so the sooner the better and thank you all so much!

In other news, we’ve had a rocky couple of days here in the Dickson household.  Don had a spot on his leg removed in December and biopsied and we found out the results of that biopsy on Thursday and it was cancerous.  While I was fully shaken and upset, Don was able to explain that it is completely treatable and curable.  He’ll have to go in to get the rest of the cancerous area removed, but then it’ll be gone.  Please pray for our patience with doctors and our peace in waiting for that appointment.  This isn’t something that can spread as long as it is treated.  Please pray also that no other spots decide to crop up and that we continue to turn to God as our ultimate Healer in all things.

On top of that news Thursday, my great ‘Aunt’ (Grandmother’s niece) Marge passed away Friday morning.  She was elderly and had developed and never recovered from a bout with pneumonia, so I am ever grateful that she is free of pain, sorrow and suffering.  However, being unable to attend the services because they will be held in Colorado next week; I’m feeling a great disconnect and home sickness for my family that is spread all over the United States. 

Rest in sweet eternal peace, Aunt Marge and give Aunt Bea and Nana a run for their money over cribbage in Heaven.  XOXO…
As always, thank you for reading and I hope this post finds you well!


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Crunching Numbers & Apologies

First off, I’d like to take a quick minute and apologize.  This is my very first missions trip and definitely the first time that I’ve done any kind of fundraising for a big project like this out without a sweet form to just fill in how much you pledge per mile I walk (a’ la Crop Walk circa 1995).  That being said, I thought that I knew exactly what needed to be done without seeking the proper counsel.  Please forgive me and my naivety in this endeavor and thank you for your patience as we get this ball a’rolling!
I saw this today just after my amazing friend Meghan (she mentioned me in her blog today!) was asking how much goes into setting up an online giving account…had to share with you guys:

SO, I decided to put together a couple of charts of my own so that you can see exactly where the monies for the items I’m selling will be going.  On average, the cost to make / buy the items is about 30%.  I’m doing everything I can to cut costs so that percentage decreases!  J 
Here’s everything broken down by column charts with all of the details:

A portion of your gift may qualify as a charitable deduction for federal income tax purposes when you make checks payable to Hub City Vineyard.
Please let me know if you have any questions by visiting the Facebook event and thank you all so much for your outpouring of love and support!

Online giving is now available!

Someone reminded me that not everyone possesses a check book (I know, I’m straight out the 80’s!); SO - I’ve set up an online giving account! 
I’ve raised my goal a bit to cover percentages that will be taken out, but am not raising the costs of the items.  We’ll just have to sell more and share more Jesus love!  
Click on the widget below to give online or visit my Facebook event for old school check sending info! 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

It's a NEW Year!

Happy New Year!!!   “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 
It’s been quite some time since I’ve blogged.  Not that I haven’t had anything to say, just that I haven’t been able to formulate the thoughts properly.   
Updates:  Hubs – I don’t think I’ve ever typed out just how much I love this man that God created specifically for me.  He encourages me in everything and is such an awesome daddy. 
The kids – EJ is now 3 ½ and that is a REALLY fun age.  Like…hilarious.  This kid says some of the darndest things!  My favorite from this last week:  “I can’t pee in the potty, momma…I already peed in my butt!”  (At the top of his lungs and very exasperated.) 
Evie is now 1 ½ (18 months) and is quite the comedienne herself.  She knows she’s cute and uses it to her advantage.  Her favorite word is “No” and she says it SASSY! 
As for me…well, I still have my pain.  Every day.  On the 1 – 10 scale, it’s usually around a 3 or 4.  Sometimes I have spikes, but not nearly as often as they used to be.  Basically, I have stopped going to the doctors for that because I was tired of being poked, prodded & tested with absolutely no answers.  Work is amazing.  I seriously LOVE my job.  Especially after being a stay-at-home mom all last week for their Christmas break.  I am NOT cut of the same steel as some of the amazing women I know who can have craft time, synchronized naps and dinner ready too.
My family…we come as we are.  I think we’re perfect for each other…

So…I bet you’re wondering.  “Why the ‘re-launch’?”  “What are your plans for 2013?”  “What’s with the map background?”  I am SO glad you asked!  J 

The re-launch:  2012 was on and off tough and crazy on us as a family with a lot of stuff going on that really didn’t matter for eternity.  We completely lost our focus as to what is right for us as Christ-followers, spouses, parents and people.  This VERY morning, hubs and I waded into the freezing Potomac River to rededicate our lives to Christ through water baptism.  We had both decided to do it and then when (shyly and awkwardly) asking what the other thought, we realized that God had put it on both of our hearts so that we could also recommit to each other.  This year, we’ll be celebrating 5 years together and I am so thankful that the Man Upstairs is in charge and not me! 
One of the most amazing experiences of my life:

My plans for 2013 are quite simple:  to focus inwardly while thinking outwardly.  A paramedic who is bitten by a snake on the loose obviously can’t save the man who called 911 in the first place, right? 
The map background is symbolically the most exciting part!  God has lain heavy on my heart since I can remember to help others.  Go.  Feed.  Clothe.  BE Jesus.  Taking a recent spiritual gifting scale test, I came in tied for #1 with Missionary & Hospitality.  For those of you that know me, I’m sure you’re completely shocked right now.  Our church sponsors a group to Nicaragua each year to help provide medical services to the community of HueHuete.  When they announced the trip back in August, I was sitting in my seat, minding my own business and I got this dry warmth that just surrounded me and every single word that was being said about the upcoming trip sunk through my brain like raindrops through a fog.  And then they STRUCK home.  I’m not the type that “hears” from God, but if that’s not someone telling you SOMETHING; I don’t know what is.  I committed to go.  I was excited and pumped!  I had a sponsor who said they would pay for my entire trip!  The time came to turn in the ½ amount for the plane tickets and the sponsor’s story changed.  I was devastated but put on a happy face at church and told one of the ladies going that I would just pray for the team and then save up to go next year.  During our after service worship, that very same lady came and laid a check in my hand for the exact amount due that day and said, “You are SUPPOSED to be there.”  It was amazing!  I was back in the game!   While in Nicaragua, we’ll also be helping to build an aquaponics system.  Here’s the Wikipedia link to learn more, but basically it is fish and plants living in water and thriving symbiotically.  Cool, huh?  In talking with a couple of my creative genius friends, we came up with the idea to ‘market’ the fish part. 
A small, portable aquaponics system:

Well, the trip is March 2nd through the 9th and I still need to raise the rest of the money...$800 total.  As a fundraiser, I am selling fish for $5 each, t-shirts for $25 each (hand screen printed by an amazing friend), and personalized photo books for $50 (filled with pictures that I take while on my trip and scriptures that inspired me to go).  P.S.  You can give ANY amount you’d like.  Every penny helps and contributes towards the trip.  To give, please visit my Facebook event.
Example of the shirt on a pink person:

Please don’t think that I just want you for your money!  I need lots of prayer in preparation for this trip as does our entire group that’s going as well as the community that we’ll be going to.  While this is more of a service trip than an evangelical trip, we are hoping to BE Christ everywhere we go. 
Thank you for reading and be blessed in this new and exciting time of year!