Monday, February 13, 2012

Legacy Retreat #10

Last week, I packed a few bags and went off to work at my 10th Inheritance of Hope Legacy Retreat.  During the past four years, I've spent time in New York and Florida, privileged to sit and have conversations with dozens and dozens of parents from all over the country whose lives have been turned upside down by a life threatening illness. 

During our morning group sessions together, these fathers and mothers and their spouses/caregivers meet others in the same boat.  Stories are shared, we wrestle with the pain that hits at every level of who they are, and discover the multitude of ways that they can leave legacies to their children.  In participating, they receive the gift of discovering that they are not alone ... even as their children interact with other children in their own counseling sessions.  What a huge gift for them to discover that yes, there are other kids whose parents are ill. They, too, are not alone.

And after the counselings sessions?  The families take off with their new friends and lots of energetic volunteers for the day ... with all their expenses paid.

Here's a glimpse of the most recent retreat ... families, staff, volunteers ... the whole gang.  There were few dull moments.  So much laughter!  And yes, a few tears.

These people are simply courageous. Inspiring. Amazing. Words fail me as I watch them move through their days on retreat. They've learned to choose to focus on what matters most because they live with illness that could cut their lives shorter than they would have hoped.

As I've offered gentle questions to unleash unspoken dreams, challenges, and fears, I've listened to broken hearts that are yet incredibly strong.  And in the whole process, I've learned much about living intentionally and the importance of leaving a legacy of value for my own family

How thankful I am for the relationships that have developed with the compassionate, energetic staff and volunteers that make these events happen.  I just love this extended family!  My husband Tim travels with me as a volunteer ... and our own relationship has deepened as we've joined in ministry together.  Our lives have been enlivened and enriched.

{And yes, I finally met Mickey at dinner the first evening!}



  1. Hard to believe there have been 10 retreats already... I remember praying for this ministry BEFORE it was birthed. Only heaven will be able to fully explain how many lives have been touched. So glad to know that YOU are there ministering...

  2. Kristen and Deric's vision, passion, and leadership have been incredibly powerful and effective! What a joy to share in this ministry!

    Thanks, Katherine!


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