Friday, February 26, 2016

Church Sweethearts

The Herschelman family had a new sweetheart this year, thanks to the generosity of our Hillsboro United Methodist Church family. It was a week of love and celebration, and we were so grateful to be a part of it.

Everything started the day we returned from our trip to Walt Disney World in Florida  We returned on a Monday afternoon, which was a postal holiday, so it also meant it was a paper night.  While we sat at our desks working on the next edition, a couple from our church showed up with snacks for the whole office. There was a tray of cheese, meat and crackers and a tray off sweet treats, like cookies, brownies and Rice Krispy treats. It came with a special card just to say that our church family loved us and was praying for us.  I think our newspaper family was just as excited as we were for the treats.

We didn't think a whole lot else about it, until the following night, when our pastor's husband brought dinner to the house. It was a delicious feast of salad, breadsticks and pasta, and there was plenty to last for several meals.  Even Gracie Lou loved the pasta!

Pastor Joy wore her Grace shirt and asked everyone to pray for Grace on Saturday.
On Wednesday, I saw a photo on Facebook of our pastor wearing her Grace shirt, and asked others to join her in prayer on Saturday for Grace and our family. We were also treated to another night of treats with our newspaper family on paper night. This time, it was a basket of fruit and another of candy.  And I think we enjoyed every bite, as well as a chance to share with our coworkers.

Grace with her teachers when her special balloons arrived.
Thursday was Grace's day to shine, as all three of her preschool teachers wore their Grace shirts, and some of her classmates did as well.  Grace got her very own balloon bouquet delivered to school, and her teacher sent me a video of her just giggling and giggling.  Even as a baby, balloons have always been one of her very favorite things, and we got to enjoy them at home too!

Grace loved playing with her balloons with her friends at school.
While Grace was napping on Friday, I got a text from one of our church members, who asked if we were home. She delivered a big popcorn shaped tub, full of candy, microwave popcorn and soda, as well as gift card to the video rental store in town. It was everything we needed for the perfect movie night.  And I have to say, we've enjoyed it all.

Saturday was a day of prayer for Grace, and we are SO blessed to have so many people all over the world praying for Grace and all the children who are battling INAD.  

Which brings us to Sunday. As we walked into the sanctuary for worship, we saw many of the church members wearing various Grace shirts from different fundraisers.  My cousin Phil's daughter, Izzy, was wearing her purple Grace shirt from the race, and her mom had made her baby brother, Henry, his own Team Grace onesie.  It was so cute.  And one of my favorite parts of the service was listening to Izzy, who is three, say the Lord's Prayer. 

The special service included some very special songs, like Amazing Grace and Sweet Sweet Spirit, which was my Grandpa Hutson's favorite song, and I chose it for both our wedding and Grace's baptism.  During the service, the pastor talked about how the church family had decided to adopt us as sweethearts in honor of Valentine's Day this year. She talked about what an inspiration we have been on a very hard journey, and said they wanted to show us how much we were loved and cared for. They even presented us with a tree full of gift cards for gas and local restaurants to some of our very favorite places.  

Although Kyle and I don't' necessarily like to be the center of attention, we were truly touched by the outpouring of love and support, not just that week, but all year round. We are so grateful for all the people who lift us up in prayer. It gives us such strength and such hope for Grace. From the very bottom of our hearts, we love each and every one of you on this "Grace-Filled Journey."


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