[stextbox id=”info”]This is a guest post by my friend Erica McNeal. The faith of her little daughter Jordyn has taken their family on a wild ride. Here’s the story…[/stextbox]
When we found out we were going to be first time parents, we knew above all else we desired to instill in our children to love God and love others. Therefore we developed a tradition in our family called Love Projects, where we intentionally look for ways that we can serve others. As our daughter Jordyn prepared for 1st grade, we asked her to think of a big Love Project we could incorporate into her schooling.
When we made this suggestion, we were thinking along the lines of filling boxes for Operation Christmas Child, or adopting a family in need for Christmas. However, Jordyn came to us with way BIGGER dreams of what she wanted to do. In fact, the first Love Project she came up with was to send a family to Disney World after their 15-year old daughter finishes her chemotherapy.
It took everything in us not to try and get her to think smaller. However, for some reason we stopped, and instead of immediately saying “no”, “that’s too big”, or “honey, that’s just not practical” (as we have in the past), we asked her how she would make this dream happen. Her big green eyes got even bigger, and she immediately rambled off 11 different ways she could raise money.
We were stunned and had a decision to make.
Were we going to allow her to proceed, or were we going to sway her in a different direction, a more “reasonable” direction?
We realized as parents, we needed to stop putting our own limitations of what is and isn’t possible on our children because we have lost our ability to think and dream big. We’ve set up our own boundaries based on our life circumstances and our own reality (at least how we see it). But, these are our issues, not theirs. Why not let our children dream big, then come alongside them and support their ideas, and their precious hearts?
In saying, “YES” to Jordyn, we are experiencing the pure beauty in her child-like faith, because she has absolutely no limitations, no boundaries, no financial concerns (or concept of money), and no idea of what is or isn’t possible. She simply wants to do something special for a family and therefore she is finding ways to get it done. There is no doubt in her sweet mind she can and will do this. And along the way, Jordyn is reminding us how to live a life with no limitations and with a pure and simple faith in God to see her through.
Therefore, a new Not For Profit, Faith Like A Child, Inc. has been created by our family to help families going through hard times. Jordyn simply wants to “help people who are sick and have dreams, make their dreams come true!”
As one of her ways of raising money, Jordyn asked me to write a book so she could sell it. So, our family compiled our ideas, and I put together The Staycation Jar, available as an eBook for only $2.99. All proceeds (70% of sales price) will go directly to Faith Like A Child, Inc., to help Jordyn love other families!
The Staycation Jar is filled with 200 Family Fun Ideas:
1. Creative Meals – This idea came from a long-standing family tradition of Crazy Dinners and range from Ice Cream Sundaes for breakfast to eating Candy Apples and watching Snow White, or eating “Dirt in a Cup” while watching Tangled.
2. Main Events – These are the major activities for the day. The ideas range from Theme Parks to Cultural Centers, renting a boat/canoe/kayak, and Behind the Scene Tours for your favorite shows.
3. Silliness – We wanted to add laughter and spontaneity to our days. Our ideas range from water fights, finger painting a portrait as a family, and sending secret messages with homemade invisible ink.
4. The Love Projects became our favorite category as we looked to meet the needs of others. Some of the ideas range from baking brownies for the Fire or Police Dept, to bringing food and supplies to a local Food Bank, and leaving an extra large tip for a waitress.
The Staycation Jar is available only at Amazon. This Friday morning, October 5th, Jordyn will choose one family to give her Winnie the Pooh Collection of Paintings to from those who purchase this book! To be eligible, simply send your book receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author of The Staycation Jar and Good Grief, by the time Erica was 32 years old, she was already a 3-time cancer survivor, and had experienced the loss of 5 children. Erica uses her cancer and child-loss to equip men and women to learn how to effectively love people who are hurting, and is passionate about helping families grow stronger through tragedy. You can find more about Jordyn’s journey at www.faithlikeachildinc.com and on twitter @FLACinc