Every Now And Then You Have To Boast

Would you mind if I took a couple minutes to brag?  I know Mom always said no one likes a bragger.  Even the Good Book, the Bible, says, “Don’t brag about yourself—let others praise you.”  Proverbs 27:2  But I can’t help myself!  I feel like I’m going to explode if I don’t brag a little about David’s Refuge. 

Six years ago when Brenda and I started David’s Refuge, we wondered if anyone would actually sign up and come to our home for a weekend of respite.  We converted David’s wing into a beautiful Bed and Breakfast.  We formed a Board of Directors.  We applied for our not-for-profit status.  We reached out to our community for financial support.  And finally, we opened our doors wondering if anyone would come.  And they did!

In 2012 we served 43 families.  We were blown away.  Fast forward to 2018.  In the month of March we served 51 couples!  That is more than we served our whole first year.  In the first quarter of 2018 we served 98 families.  Now do you see why I had to brag?  I’m sure my mom would forgive me if she were still alive.  But I’m not done!  Let me list a few things I just have to brag about.

  • This year we have 261 weekend respite opportunities.  As of today 223 of those weekend respites have been booked!
  • We currently use 19 Bed and Breakfasts that love and support our mission of Caring for the Caregiver.
  • We now have 28 Host couples that make sure our parents know they are not alone, what they do matters, and they are loved by God.
  • Christine Corbett just joined our staff as the Director of Philanthropy, making our staff one of the most amazing nonprofit teams in all of Central New York.
  • Our Board of Directors is made up of a diverse and passionate group of leaders who are fully committed to the success of David’s Refuge.

I could go on but I think I may be pressing my luck with Mom’s words of encouragement to not boast!  I do want to say thank you to anyone reading this who has volunteered, prayed, financially supported, or encouraged us over the past six years.  Lives are being changed, marriages held together, and families supported because of you.  Thank you!

Warren and Brenda

PS: Proverbs 27:2 says, “Let others praise you.”  If there is something you want to boast or praise David’s Refuge for, feel free to leave a comment.  I promise you my Mom won’t mind!


Defining PROUD

Today’s Blog is brought to you by Sarah Watson – David’s Refuge Event Manager

 

Definition:

proud/

adjective

1.

Feeling deep pleasure or satisfaction as a result of one’s own achievements, qualities, or possessions or those of someone with whom one is closely associated.

2.

Having or showing a high or excessively high opinion of oneself or one’s importance.

“She was very proud”

A few weeks ago my little guy took his first “legit” steps! He has been creeping around furniture for MONTHS now, but he hadn’t had the confidence of letting go.

That sure is a lot to expect from a tiny person isn’t it? To be carried around or safely crawling for the first year of your life and then… “Hey man don’t worry about it! Just let go!” Well, Chase finally found his inner strength and let go! He took 6 tiny steps towards my mom (who was offering him a cookie) and oh boy was he proud of himself!

He looked like a puffed up little bird smiling ear to ear at us as he munched on this cookie bite.

I had a thought the other day… When do we stop being proud of ourselves? Yeah, you do something “awesome” or “accomplished” and you feel great, but what about the little things in life? Yeah I walk all the time…I’m not proud of myself? I know I spend more time thinking about the things I didn’t do than the things I actually did.

You know the saying “don’t sweat the small stuff?” Let’s take that a whole new direction and say “let’s celebrate the small stuff.”

I got a shower this morning! *ring ring ring*

I got 2 things crossed of my check list! *ring ring ring*

I ordered a pizza so my husband and I didn’t have to cook dinner tonight! *ring ring ring* (and pizza is delicious!)

(Clearly the *ring ring ring* is me ringing my imaginary bell at myself)

Of course this is a super silly example of positivity and I know everyone has a lot of serious and scary things happening every day in their life, but if we can take a mental note (a little *ring ring ring*) for the small things that we do in the day, I will guarantee you that you will start to feel proud of yourself.

As I watch my little boy grow up and accomplish new things, I want him to always be proud of himself. And isn’t the best way to lead by example?

So guess what my son? Mama wrote another blog post today! *ring ring ring* Mama booked a tent and bouncy houses for the Rochester summer picnic! *ring ring ring* And Mama took a few steps towards being more PROUD of herself today! *ring ring ring*


Sleep Deprivation

Yesterday my doctor looked me in the eyes and said, “You have to work on your hygiene!”  No, I’m not my talking about my personal hygiene.  My appointment was with a sleep specialist who talked about the importance of good sleep hygiene.  I have struggled with sleeping for many years.  As the parent of a child with a special need, there were countless nights we cared for David throughout the night.  Near the end of David’s life I went months with what felt like no sleep.  I finally swallowed my pride and accepted a prescription for Ambien.  I was told that it is not addictive.  They lied.

Last night was the first night I tried to put into practice some of the steps the doctor suggested.  I removed my clock radio, turned the air conditioning up so the room was cold, set my alarm for 6:00 AM, stopped drinking water before 8 PM, turned off my computer and iPad and iPhone two hours before 11 when I was scheduled to go to bed, made sure the room was pitch black, and for the first time in years did not take my 5mgs of Ambien.  It was one of the worst nights of sleep I can remember in a long time.  There were a few benefits.  Throughout the night I prayed for my son and daughter in law who have three under the ages of 4 and experience sleep deprivation on a regular basis.  I meditated on Psalm 8:4 that says, “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. ”  And I read a book and caught up on my bible reading.  I finally went to sleep.  Tonight I am sure I am going to face the same thing.  I am going to tweak the program a little.  I think cold turkey was the wrong decision.

Unfortunately, there are many families that can’t “tweak the program a little” so they can get more sleep.  Their child needs to be rolled several times a night to prevent sores from forming.  Their son wanders the halls of their home all night singing, crying, or knocking on their door.  The cries of their nonverbal daughter blasts through the monitor next to their pillow telling them she is afraid or cold and unable to cover herself.  Sleep deprivation is a reality for many, if not most, families caring for children with special needs or struggling with a life threatening disease.

I wished I had an Easy Peasy solution for how to get more sleep.  If it were only as simple as counting pretend sheep, covering your body in lavender, or drinking a glass of warm milk while listening to light jazz on an all night radio program, but it is not.  So I have an idea!  I know there are many families who read this post that are raising children with special needs who have wrestled with getting sleep for years.  Let’s gather some of the lessons you have learned and share them with parents who are struggling.  How have you dealt with sleep deprivation?  What tips have you learned and put into practice that have helped you as a family?  What resources have you read that gave you some effective tools?  Are there any safe alternative approaches to improve your sleep that you have found helpful?  Let’s gather all of these ideas and create a resource we can share with other families just like ours.  Can you imagine the beauty of a mom or dad taking one of these ideas and using it to help them battle the effects of sleep deprivation?  Let’s do it!

Warren

PS: Knowing that I am going to have some extra time on my hands over the next few nights feel free to hit reply and share your first name and I will pray for your sleep.  If there is anything specific you would like me to pray for let me know.  It would be my pleasure!  If you want to share it anonymously, email me at warren.pfohl@gmail.com.  Sleep Well!

 


My New Habit

 

I’m working on developing a new habit.  It’s going to take time and effort, but I am confident that I will succeed.  You see,, for the past five or more years I have wasted some of the most productive hours of my day with brainless activity.  Like a gerbil running in circles on his exercise wheel, I would start each day with what seemed like purpose.  I would read the local newspaper and then check my email to see if Travelocity had offered me a 60% discount on a trip to Ireland or Costco had a sale on the gourmet steak and burger grill pack I’ve had my eyes on.  Nothing wrong with either of these two things.  But then it would begin.  I’d start running a little faster on my wheel and open up Facebook.  I would look to see if anyone asked me to be their friend, I check to see if someone liked something I wrote or posted, and then I would start stalking friends and family.  I would start watching videos of the pig who became best friends with the little white duck that was orphaned by its mother.  I would start looking through someone’s 236 vacation photos, wondering when I would ever be able to go there.  I’d watch videos of liberals yelling at conservatives and conservatives yelling at liberals.  This could go on for a while.  I would then kick my wheel into high gear, open up Flipboard, and start combing the internet for news, recipes, stories from Syracuse, weather, the Green Bay Packers, technology, electronic gadgets, free iphone apps, and on and on it went.  Without knowing it, I was like the gerbil who forgets to hop off the wheel and is spinning around and around until I am flipping upside down in mental exhaustion.  I realized this had to stop!

I’m two months into developing my new habit.  I still start the day with a cup of coffee but I don’t open my ipad or iphone or computer.  I pull out a notebook and write the word “Yesterday” on the top of the paper.  I take a few minutes to think about what I did, who I ran into, what I learned, mistakes I made, things I read, and dreams I may have had.  It has been a very helpful exercise.  It is so true that an unexamined life is really wasted.  I then write the letters A C T S and this becomes the basis of my prayer for the day.  A stands for Adoration.  I spend a few minutes just thinking about how awesome God is and I write it down.  Next, I take a few minutes to examine decisions and thoughts and actions that hurt someone else or dishonored God.  C stands for Confession.  If you have ever been a part of Alcoholics Anonymous this is step five, “Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.”  I then stop and list what I am thankful for.  T stands for thanksgiving.  I can’t tell you how powerful this little exercise is.  Someone once wrote, “No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks.”  Often I will pull out a card and and write a note to let someone know how thankful I am for them.  And finally, I write a list of the things I would like to see God do.  S stands for supplication.  I ask him to heal Finn, I pray for wisdom to make wise decisions, I ask him to fill the parents we serve at David’s Refuge with hope and strength and endurance, I pray for Turning Point Church, and I pray for my kids and grandchildren.  I am loving my new habit.

I still read my newspaper, check my email, and look through Facebook, but these things no longer control me or start my day.  Today in my time of Thanksgiving I wrote down the following: “I am thankful for everyone who takes the time to read my blog.  I am thankful for those who support and make David’s Refuge possible.  I am thankful for Brenda.  I am thankful for time in New York with my kids and grandchildren.”  What are you thankful for today?  Be brave!  Hit reply and let all of us know one things you are thankful for today.

No longer a gerbil!

Warren


Defining a year…

Today’s Blog is brought to you by Sarah Watson

Year
yir/
noun
  1. 1.
    the time taken by a planet to make one revolution around the sun.
  2. 2.
    the period of 365 days (or 366 days in leap years) starting from the first of January, used for reckoning time in ordinary affairs.

I watched a super sappy sad video that was going around on Facebook… you know, one that’s there to make you cry and sentimental. Reading the words on the screen telling me that the days are so long, but the time goes by so quick, I semi-rolled my eyes at it because the night before it took over an hour to get Chase to bed, I had also just told Chase to stop chewing on a book for at least the 30th time that day. I was really hoping the “time goes by so quick” would kick in soon, so my husband would get home and I could make the ceremonial “Here is the child” handoff.

A few days later I sat around a table with multiple David’s Refuge parents. I was listening to a mom speak about her daughter and she very candidly said “We are not planning on her going to college. We are planning on her living another year.” Oh my gosh. I sat there frozen. My husband and I had just opened a 529 college savings plan for Chase days before, and now I’m sitting across from a mom who hopes her daughter lives at least another year. That just really puts the length of a year into perspective.

 

 

Chase turned one year old on the 14th. My tiny little squish (we affectionately call him) is no longer a baby, but a 24 pound toddler that is going to take off walking any second now. On Chase’s birthday I thought about that mom. All of a sudden the days and nights didn’t seem long at all. That year had completely vanished right in front of my eyes. One year was gone. One entire year.

Of course the past year of my life has been busy (ya know, having a baby and all) but what else did I do this past year? What else could I have done? One thing I know I could have done better and WILL do better is taking in each moment as they come. To take a mental snapshot of things I want to remember, things that are important to me. Yeah of course I’m going to be frustrated that Chase won’t stop chewing on his books… but I laughingly put one of his extremely chomped books in this memory box this morning, so I can make sure he remembers his taste for publication.

I just showed CJ the sappy video… when it ended, my tough adorable husband had tears rolling down his face. He said to me “It’s just so easy for us to take for granted that we have a healthy baby.” I agreed. “We need to treasure every single moment with him because he’s going to be so big soon and think we’re lame.” Well yeah that last part I’m sure is true…

Being a parent of a “Typical” child, but working for an organization that helps parents who have special needs children is challenging. Challenging in all of the right ways. It challenges me (and my husband) to take a step back, and look at our life. To be grateful for all that we have and for our families future. Also to appreciate the opportunities we have to learn from the very special families that we meet through David’s Refuge. Their stories and experience continue to shape us into the family we strive to be.

And just because I can’t keep the super sappy video to myself. Grab a tissue… Here it is. Sorry!


Pray For The Schafrans

“Hey Warren…wanted to text you…Just talked to doctors…test indicate positive for rhabdomyosarcoma…Finn’s cancer is back.”

Come on God!  We prayed for the Schafrans.  Finn was in recovery.  He was getting better.  Life was getting back to normal.  He was gaining weight.  But now it’s back.  It’s not a cyst; it’s not scar tissue; it’s not a smudge on the screen.  It’s cancer in little Finn’s body.  Oh God!  Please do something.

We too need to do something.  Unashamedly and boldly I am asking you to join with Brenda and me to pray for the Schafran Family.  I know we prayed earlier.  I know his cancer is back.  I know it’s overwhelming.  But I also know Dan and BrandiLee need to believe they are not alone.  I know they need to know God loves them.  I know they need to understand that the most important thing they can do right now is to love on Finn, Gavin, and Everett.  I know they believe in the incredible power of a God who loves them and listens to the prayers of people like you and me.  They need our prayers.

If you are struggling with what or how to pray because you feel so overwhelmed let me give you a five word prayer a daddy prayed in the Gospel of Mark when he too struggled to believe his son could be healed.  He prayed, “I believe; help my unbelief.”  This of course has been Dan and BrandiLee’s prayer.  Yesterday they wrote on their blog the following:

This is obviously not the outcome we have been praying for and we are more than sick over this news. In as much as the entire Christian life can be summed up in the verse “I believe; help my unbelief,” (Mark 9:24) we feel this dichotomy in an acute way right now. As Job in faith clung to what he knew to be true and cried out to God about that which he did not understand, we too cry out to God in our anguish; but at the same time we cling to what we know to be true and strive to submit ourselves to the sovereignty of God, taking comfort in the grace he continues to offer us and Finn during this time of trial.

So let’s pray for them.  I know it is sometimes hard to know what to pray so here is a suggestion:

Dear God, I believe, but help me in my unbelief.  I am asking you to be so close to Dan and BrandiLee and Gavin and Everett and Finn that they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are there and love them.  In the midst of the fear and confusion and despair and shock, overwhelm them with your peace.  Please give Dan and BrandiLee endurance and strength and an extra measure of grace as we know they are overwhelmed.  We boldly ask that you would bring health and healing to Finn’s body.  Destroy the cancer.  Use the hands of doctors, specialists, medication, and the incredible power of your loving touch to bring healing.  We thank you for the incredible privilege to pray for our dear friends.  In Jesus name, Amen

You can follow the Schafran’s journey more closely by liking Finn’s Fans on Facebook.


Love, Marriage & a Side of Grief

Apart from the occasional humorous anecdote or good-natured jab at his expense, I don’t often write about my husband. Sure, I write a lot about life and family in general, but I don’t think I have ever written about marriage or romance. Since I am guest-blogging here for the first time ON Valentine’s Day, it felt like maybe I should write about my husband, Tom, once and for all. As I sat down, I discovered that I just couldn’t do it.

First, allow me to explain why I don’t usually write about him. You see, I grew up with a bad-to-the-bone single mom who raised the junk out of us four kids. She taught us all the important things: like how to be kind and compassionate, how to curl and feather our bangs to perfection and how to make homemade donuts. Basically, life essentials. And she did all of this alone. She did this in the wake of a divorce and then the death of my 17-year-old brother just shortly after. She is incredibly strong, and she did a pretty great job with us. But still, it was not easy.

So, every time I feel compelled to tell the world about what an incredible man my husband is, I think of the women who are raising the junk out of some awesome little kids, and are maybe doing it alone. I think about the people who have marriages in crisis or marriages that are just okay I think of those that are still grieving the death of their spouse, or all the peeps who are single-n-lookin-to-mingle. OR the zillions of people who are happily-single-and-just-sorta-sick-of-hearing-about-other-peoples-marriages. And I panic. It starts to feel all weird and braggy, and I get in my head about it all. I tend to be hyper-sensitive to other people’s feelings and situations. It’s the blessing and the curse of being an empath, and sometimes it prevents me from publicly celebrating certain victories or gifts in my life. Including my husband. I just don’t want my joy to bump up against someone else’s grief.

In the past year and half, however, I have spent a lot of time studying pride, jealousy and envy in the Bible. These are three things that I have struggled with immensely for the past couple of 36 years. (Alright look, basically from conception on I have been a pretty gross person ok?) I have sooooooo far to go in this journey of uprooting pride, sinful jealousy and envy from my heart, but the one area that I have felt pretty strong is coming along side of those who are grieving or struggling. This is very natural for me. What is less natural and requires more of an effort, is the celebration piece. Celebrating others, and feeling the freedom to celebrate in my own life.

In the spirit of Valentine’s day, that is what I am commiting to do. I am going to celebrate all things love and marriage. And while I am still quite afraid of bumping into a wound or two, I am giving myself permission to publicly celebrate a man who is long overdue for me to gush over him a bit. Guys, if you take the beloved Jack from the hit TV show This is Us (hold the drinking problem and 70’s mustache – replace it with mild-to-moderate anxiety and lumberjack stubble) you have my husband Tom. He is dependable, thoughtful, conscientious, protective, hilarious, steadfast and strong. Unlike Jack, he would never die in a fire to save our dog, but that’s seriously his one and only flaw.

In the past 15 years together, we have faced some really dark times. We have had some big wins and some pretty major losses. We have had moments where we felt like total failures as parents, we have been passive-aggressive and cranky (me), hangry (him) at times, but also really devoted and self-sacrificing. He lives more like Jesus than any man I’ve ever known. All the good in our marriage has been him. So I celebrate him today. And I celebrate marriage and love and things that are going right. And for those with wounds – whether fresh or long held – there is plenty of room for this empath to give a reverent nod toward grief today too.

If you would like to read more from Lara, check out her blog at laracapuano.com


HELP: It’s Valentine’s Day

I need your help!  Last year I dropped the ball big time.  I’m sitting in my office, sipping coffee, checking out what’s happening that day on Facebook, and I start noticing all these people leaving comments for Brenda.  I think to myself, “I wonder what’s causing all the excitement?”  So I click onto her Facebook page and notice everyone is wishing her Happy Birthday.  I totally forgot!  You know that nervous, fluttering, queasy, swirling, churning, trembling, bloated feeling you get in your stomach when you feel like you should run to the bathroom real quick hits you?  That is what I felt.  So I gathered up my courage, swallowed my pride, and humbly went to her to apologize.  I said, “I’m sorry I forgot.”  She said, “Forgot what?”  She too had forgotten it was her birthday!  It sure is fun growing old together.

Next week is Valentine’s Day and I want to make it special.  Not simply because I forgot her birthday last year, but because I love Brenda so much.  Brenda has been my Valentine for 34 years.  We spent our first Valentine’s Day drinking herbal tea and eating fondue and artichokes in her small little apartment.  I’ll be honest, I never liked artichokes and still don’t and would have preferred coffee over herbal tea.  But I was willing to eat or drink anything that would let me spend time with her.  Thankfully, our love has grown over the years.  I no longer have to dip an artichoke leaf into butter and then scrape the green flesh off with my front teeth to say I love you.  I have grown to know what communicates love to her and she has grown to know what communicates love to me.

We have also learned that we are not clairvoyant or very skilled at mind reading.  The best way for our love to continue to grow and not stagnate is to talk with each other.  I love it when Brenda clearly tells me what makes her feel loved or not loved.  A few months ago we drove to Orlando where I was officiating at a wedding for one of David’s best friend’s growing up.  On our way there, we listened to the book The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman.  One of Brenda’s primary love languages is what Chapman calls acts of service.  Every morning I bring Brenda a cup of coffee.  Often times I just drop it off.  Sometimes I give her a kiss.  But every time I do it I know it tells her, “I love you.”  If you are interested in learning what your or your partner’s love language is you can take a quick online quiz at http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/

So please help me!  What do you suggest I do for Valentine’s Day to tell Brenda I love you?  What have you done in the past?  What are some creative inexpensive ideas?  I would love to hear from you.

Warren

(Brenda’s Valentine)

PS: Ladies if you see some ideas that you wished your husband would consider, email him the idea.  Remember, he is not clairvoyant.


Defining a mother…

Today’s post is brought to you by Sarah Watson – David’s Refuge Events Manager

Mom. What does that word mean to you? To me “mom” is pretty much everything. A name, a person, a feeling, a comfort, an emotion. Mom is wisdom, guidance, happiness, strength.

The Dictionary defines mother as –

Mother –

mothered; mothering  \ˈmə-t͟hə-riŋ, ˈmət͟h-riŋ\

transitive verb
1 : to give birth to
2 : to give rise to :
3 : to care for or protect like a mother

 

Okay I get number 1. That’s the super basic definition… Just from my own personal experience of… ya know… being born.. I was adopted, so my MOTHER who I still and will continue to call MAMA (YES I’m almost 30) did not “birth” me, but I think that’s completely beside the point. When I think about MY mom, I think of the quote from the movie Stepmom – “You know every story, every wound, every memory. Their whole life’s happiness is wrapped up in you… every single second.”

Let’s move to number 2. “To give RISE to” – Wow. When I first searched the definition and read the word “RISE” it gave me chills. They could have put “raise” which would have made complete sense (BASIC) but they chose “RISE.” Perhaps I’m stretching it a bit but a mother, a GOOD mother, will “RISE” their children up to the sky. They will allow them and help them to RISE up to their potential. They will RISE up to the opportunity of being there for their children no matter what the situation. They will RISE up out of their warm and comfortable bed at 4am when their baby is crying and refuses to go to back to sleep (I added that last one in there because it may have just happened at my house last night)

A few weeks ago David’s Refuge hosted our first “Vent” parent potluck at Casey’s Place. As I sat at the table surrounded by amazing moms and dads who are raising child with special needs, I listened to many stories of trials and tribulations, happiness and sadness, excitement as well as disappointment.

A story that that really stuck with me came from a mom who came by herself while her husband stayed home with the kids. She talked about birthday parties. A very popular topic in my house this past month as we have been planning for Chase’s first birthday

When the mom’s daughter was younger she use to go to so many birthday parties. It seemed like every other day an invitation was coming home with her daughter from school. As she got a little older the invites started to decrease and decrease until they stopped coming at all. One day an invitation arrived in the mail and the family celebrated! The mom was so happy that her daughter was invited to this party, but also so sad that throughout the years she had not only seen her daughters friends slip away, but her own friends who weren’t inviting her to coffee as much anymore. Her daughter is now in her later teens, and being a mother of an adult, she’s had a really hard time finding the right balance of “PROTECTING” (see mother definition 3) her daughter or letting her RISE up to life’s new challenges. Where can she find the balance? Where in the ‘Parenting 101’ handbook is this chapter?

As I’m writing this I keep glancing over to a picture of Chase and my mom. I want so much for my son. I want him to be healthy, happy, active, smart, strong, funny, clever, silly, brave, nice, but more than anything I want him to be accepting and compassionate. I want Chase to WANT to invite everyone to his birthday party, because he wants to.. not because mom is nagging him, or because that’s just what he has always done. I want him to WANT to do it! (HA I’m starting to sound like my own MAMA now)

It may be a lot to put on an 11th month old. But as I RISE up to be the best mother I can be, I guarantee you that I will try my hardest to teach him to be the best possible person he can be. And I’ll also call my mom and ask her what to do.

Every single day I find strength not only in my own amazing mama, but my coworkers (who are ALL mom) as well as so many David’s Refuge moms that i’ve met over the past two years. These moms are the definition of wisdom, guidance, happiness, strength.


Two Of My Favorite Things!

Yesterday I had the following symptoms:

  1. I had this nagging feeling I didn’t belong
  2. I was more emotional than usual
  3. I had a hard time getting motivated
  4. I was a little sad
  5. I was a little less confident than usual

If you were my doctor what would your diagnosis be?  Pregnant?  I don’t think so.  Lack of vitamin D?  I live in South West Florida.   Sleep deprived?  I’m getting enough sleep.  Grumpy old man?  Sometime true, but I don’t think it is the cause of my symptoms.  Do you want to know what I self diagnosed myself with?  Homesickness!  I was simply missing my life in New York.

I miss walking through Tops and knowing 72% of the people shopping that day.  I miss my kids showing up with my grandsons to simply say hi.  I miss bothering the staff at David’s Refuge.  I miss meeting new people who think I’m Wendell.  I miss worshiping and serving at Eastern Hills Bible Church.  I miss a burger and a beer with friends on Friday night.  I miss hosting couples from David’s Refuge.  I miss the men’s group on Thursday mornings.  I miss the snow and ice and wind.  Wait!  I’m sorry I got carried away!  Please disregard the last sentence.

It was a simple case of being homesick!  Today it has passed.  I love my life here in Florida, but I will always have a very special place in my heart for beautiful central New York.  One of the things that helped me get out of my funk was a video I saw on Facebook about Valentines Date Night.  It’s a video that combined two of my favorite things in life: Eastern Hills Bible Church and David’s Refuge.  These two beautiful and amazing organizations work together to love on families who have kids with special needs.  Watching the woman share her story of how Valentine’s Date Night helped her as a special needs mom was like taking Tamiflu for homesickness.  I am so grateful for the message of love and hope that these parents will experience.

I hope you take a moment to enjoy the video! http://bit.ly/2Dv0M0C

If you are interested in attending Valentine’s Date Night you can get more information at http://www.easternhills.org/vdn

Miss and love you all!

Warren