|My hair is tied back with fabric that|
matches Rachel's birthday dress ♥
This event revealed a lot to me in so many ways - some ways are for another post... but one that really stands out is that we all love in different ways and each has it's own impact on the world - but that it's so important to love actively. My heart has been overwhelmed with gratitude every time I saw another twist on Rachel's Race this year. All of these things took THOUGHT and EFFORT and lots of them took OVERCOMING OBSTACLES... and many of them took giving of yourselves when there was nothing to be gained at all for you.
And all of that reminds me so much of my journey with - and love for - Rachel. It's the most like the love of Jesus than I've yet to see at one of my big 5K's in town. You all met me where I was at this year - unable to hold a big event all on my own again and desiring to follow God's call to be more available and present with my family here - and you SHOWED UP when there was no 'feel good' event to attend and it was just you, God, and Rachel's memory... and my heart. I want to thank each of you from the very depths of my soul and want you to know that as Rachel's Mama, you have given me more than you know in your simple ways of loving us Aubes. Thank you.
This year, without me having to do much more than a few full days of work (as opposed to my usual 5-6 months of constant work!) unless we get any more donations in the mail in the coming week, we brought in over $1900! While this is only just over half of the proceeds from last year and not even 1/4 of what we donated to other places with the first two years' proceeds, this is what I was able to accomplish from my living room without pushing my kids and husband aside to get it done and I am THRILLED with the outcome! This will be enough to get the nonprofit bills paid and create and donate some nice boxes for Rachel's birthday at the hospital without having to do another fundraiser (phew!) - plus minister to a few others along the way.
I want to give a big "Thank you!" to Grace Community Church and Hynes Communications for being our big 'corporate sponsors' this year, both with $250 donations - although I know that there was nothing 'corporate' about your donations and that they truly come from big hearts and a place of love for my girl and it means the world to me!
And so here are some of the ways in which people remembered Rachel this past week...
Team Rachel in NH! Karla (a member of my Board of Directors for Rachel's Legacy) walked 4.30 miles in memory of Rachel ♥
Team Rachel in NH! Claire is due the same time as I am and I asked her for a belly shot of her little Christmas baby out for her time with Rachel. She got a few of her friends to join in, too! ♥ Just a side note, Claire has made some of the most beautiful birthday cakes for Rachel EVER - including last year's "dancing in the rain" cake and she has made them as birthday gifts for Rachel ♥♥♥
Team Rachel in MO! Lisa and her nephew made pinwheels that her and her husband planned to bring to a local cemetery and leave for all the older baby graves from 1800-1900's with a tag that says "Never forgotten - remembering you and sweet Rachel Alice Aube always" ♥
Team Rachel in Maine! Jennifer took her boys to this field and spent 43 minutes running and visiting Lily's garden and reminding them how precious life is. ♥
Team Rachel in NH - Dear friends and the family of Rose Alix (Rachel's friend in heaven) went out for ice cream and left the waitress a $43 tip with this note and a card from the race. I'm sure the waitress will NEVER forget that! Rachel was being talked about possibly for the first time by the staff at Friendly's that afternoon ♥
|these two awesome kids also wore their shirts|
to church that morning ♥
Team Rachel in PA! Trish and her gang walked around the pond together and remembered Rachel. This family has grown a lot since I met them through my blog and yet each new member knows who Rachel is ♥ Very special ♥
I got a few more messages - like Tienne in OH who prayed for 43 baby loss families and a few others who just wanted to tell me Rachel was on their minds. This week also brought an unbelievable amount of new people to Rachel's Facebook page where I held a giveaway... people needed to comment with what comes to mind when they think of my journey with Rachel and it was so good for my heart to read all the different ways she and I impacted others and the lasting legacy her life has left on so many. I also had someone share the post I wrote for August 4, 2012 called The Truth About Anencephaly and it EXPLODED with shares on facebook and new readers... in a matter of just a couple of days, over 4,000 people had read it and a couple months later, it is still growing and is nearing 7,000 views, bringing it up to a crazy number I never expected! 123,228!!
So Rachel's life is still reaching new parts of the world... and I pray that as it does, my story of HOPE in the face of a fatal prenatal diagnosis will continue to encourage other families walking a similar path to love actively... and give of themselves where there is nothing to gain because you just never know where blessings will grow - or what God can do for someone else through a willingness to serve someone who has nothing to give in return.
I'm so thankful for how Rachel's life, and even her death, continues to point me back to the overwhelming love Jesus actively poured out for us on the cross. He gave for us who had nothing to give in return. Not because it was easy for him, not because it was what He felt like doing, not because He had nowhere else to be or because it was the most desirable of events...but simply because He loved us. In a small way, that's what I did for Rachel - and in a small way, this is what you have all done for me this past week. You have loved with your actions and not just your words. Thank you.