Sunday, August 17, 2014

Mark your Calendars!

Creativity hasn't ever been my strong point, so when I've tried brainstorming ideas to raise money to continue producing and mailing bracelets I've hit a brick wall. Like, every single time. That's where prayer comes in real handy. I began praying at the beginning of this year that someone would be put in my path to help me raise money.

Of course God came through and He sent Kyle and Samantha Fouts my way. This couple has been amazing! Following their own tragic loss they felt compelled to help me help others and I am so very thankful for their hearts to help.

They put their heads together and have organized a Charity Golf Outing to benefit Hudson's Bands of Hope. This will be our biggest fundraiser yet!

Mark your calendars and tell your friends! If you are in the Kokomo, Indiana area the outing is scheduled for September 20th at 1:00. We have had great support from several sponsors and various gift donors! So, come golf, get a free t-shirt and lunch, support a good cause and win some great prizes!!

Visit to register yourself or a team!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Big News!

When I made my last post I had no idea what would happen in the days to follow. This last week has been a big one! It began with a letter in the mail from the IRS stating that Hudson's Bands of Hope has been approved as a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation! Then I was surprised with a beautiful gift and constant reminder of God's hand in this ministry.

It was the kind of week when I look up and say, "Wow, God! This is SO much bigger than me!"

Now let me get to the mush-gushy, emotional side of it all. Because you know, I don't know how to write about something unless my heart makes a few comments.

Let me take you on a little journey here, if you will...

Hudson's Bands of Hope didn't begin with a big idea and future perspective. It didn't begin with intention to become a corporation that has affected so many people.

It began with just a modest goal of putting bracelets on the wrists of 12 grieving mommies...

 I take that back. It actually began with just the urge to do something special for Hudson on his due date.

I figured that if I could help someone at the same time then that would be ideal. I'll never forget when the thought crossed my mind. It was a profound moment as I sat on my sister's couch writing down my ideas and enjoying the silence of sleeping children - hers and mine.

I thought back - trying to remember what someone did for me that was really special. I knew that is what I would want to do for someone else.

We received SO MANY thoughtful gestures following Hudson's birth, but my first and only thought went to my hospital band. Memories flashed in my mind; like when I clutched it as I exited the hospital, or when I walked down the sidewalk of my little town wondering and kind-of hoping that someone would notice it.

Immediately following that flash back I looked down at my wrist, wearing a simple chain bracelet with two blue footprints on a heart charm. Honestly, there was no moment in time where I decided, oh yes, give moms a bracelet. That would be a great idea. Instead I grabbed my phone and called the hospital. After that conversation my mind was made up. I would one way or another come up with 12 bracelets to give to the moms that would leave the hospital after delivering their angels. 12 should cover the year 2013

I would have been happy to provide just enough bracelets for that year. Never did it occur to me that something big was about to happen.

That small goal led me to ask my Facebook friends if they would want to donate some money to this project in memory of their angel babies. That one post far exceeded my expectations and from it alone I collected $800. After realizing enough bracelets could be made to give some to another hospital I decided to name the project. Just a couple of days stewing over the name and I knew "Hudson's Bands of Hope" was the right one.

The word "Hope" in that name was not my choice. It was God's. I know it. At the time that I was deciding on the name my cousin shared a scripture with me - the one I've shared with those who receive a bracelet:

"And now, Lord, what do I hope for? My hope is in you, Lord." Psalms 39:7

Not long after that, my mother called to tell me she found a bead with the word "hope" inscribed on it and she thought it would be a great idea to add to the bracelets. My mom nor my cousin had spoke to each other and neither of them knew I was deciding on a name. It was clear. God was wanting me to share His hope with these mothers.

The first bracelet, prayer card and message of Hope was delivered to the hospital on Hudson's due date, just as I had originally planned. From that moment forward I watched as the donations and requests for bracelets came flooding in. It didn't take long for me to realize that this was God's idea and he was just using me to accomplish it.

Nearly two years have passed since my sweet Hudson was born and today I am still overwhelmed by the call on his life. I am still stunned as I think back to these meager beginnings.

To date Hudson's Bands of Hope have been distributed from 9 different hospitals and 4 partnering ministries. They have been mailed to 16 different states and even into Canada. They've been handed to nearly 1,000 women!

God has seen fit for me to walk blindly on this journey. He created the ministry, he sustains it and he grows it and I am confident that His work is not yet finished.

I barely had enough time to fully digest the fact that this is really, seriously a working non-profit organization before Brady takes me to the hospital on Wednesday night. I didn't know what I was doing there for sure but I knew my birthday was just the day before and it must have something to do with HBOH.

Upon arrival, the amazing Birthing Center nurses gave me this breathtaking canvas!

It was made just as a birthday gift and a way to express their thanks, but it means so much more than that. It's a sweet reminder to me of what God has accomplished through my little boy. I am grateful for God's purpose for Hudson. I am grateful that He has led me faithfully through every decision concerning Hudson's Bands of Hope and I am thankful that with His help this ministry is growing and thriving!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Just a little peek inside of my head...

I've grown insecure at times when I think about this ministry. I tease myself with doubting questions... "Is it really a ministry?" "Does it even matter?" "Shouldn't I be doing more?"

On occasion I find myself weary with it all. Counting beads, placing orders, trying to figure out where I put that address, counting beads, realizing I've STILL not ordered enough, counting beads, running to the post office, sitting in the middle of the floor opening impossible packages of bracelets late at night, counting beads, worrying about ways to get the money I need, logging receipts and bracelets distributed, and counting more beads...

It's usually in the middle of the day-to-day chore list that I ask myself if I'm just doing this for me; or is it for the mommies that open up the package in the mail or walk away from the hospital with a little green bag in their hand and a big hole in their heart.

When I take a step back from it all I can see the big picture much more clearly. This is for me, it is for Hudson, and it is for you - the one whose whole world just came crashing down.

It's not about a piece of pretty jewelry. No, it's not about the bracelet. That's just the part that people can see. The bracelet is just the tangible piece. Hudson's Bands of Hope isn't just a little thing that gives bracelets away. What warms my heart the most is knowing that all of this has inadvertently created a safe community for  moms. It tells them that they're not alone.

Every time a group of women gather together to assemble bracelets I'm amazed at how God brings at least one whose pain is fresh. I've seen women string beads as they talk about their experience and encourage the one whose heart is heaviest. I've seen friendships grow over stamping envelopes and tying bags. Often times the hands that make the bracelets are wiping away tears at the very same time.
Bracelets have been handed to women who have never spoke of their loss until that moment because then they felt like it was safe.

When a bracelet is worn a platform is created. A door is opened for that mother to speak of her child.

My story has encouraged other women to run with their own passion to help.

Hudson's Bands of Hope has done more than I could've ever dreamed.

Ultimately I'm reminded that Misty has nothing to do with this. God has everything to do with it. I'm not just being humble. It's really, really not me. I'm more confident of that than anything else. This was God's vision and one of his purposes for my Hudson. It's such a sweet feeling knowing I didn't sit down with lists, diagrams, pencils and erasers trying to come up with a good idea. God wrote it on my heart. He designed it all.

The questions and weariness never linger for long when I remind myself that it's not me. It's not just a bracelet or a chore list.

It's an expression from the heart of God to the broken hearts of moms everywhere.