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World Cancer Day

4 Feb

Today is World Cancer Day.

Today I stand for my beautiful friends Lariate, Avery, and Tom, who are currently bravely and courageously fighting a battle against cancer.

I stand for my grandmother, my Aunt Susie, my friend Lori, my little friend Daniel, my friend’s little girl Avery, my friend’s little boy Dylan, my friend Ashley, my friend Jazmine, my friend Kim, my friend Brad, and my friend Travis… who are all in remission from cancer after fighting a courageous battle.

I stand for anyone else who is currently bravely and courageously fighting this same battle. You are STRONG, you are BRAVE, you are LOVED, and so many are so PROUD of you… I am amazed each day at the incredible amount of strength and fight in so many of you out there… it’s so inspiring and you’re wonderful!

Who do you stand for? And will you tell them that today? It will do wonders for their souls, I just know it!

-Lisa

Never Forgotten…

6 Aug

Two years ago today, 31 members of the Army, Navy, and Air Force lost their lives in Afghanistan. They made the ultimate sacrifice, and we honor them today and everyday.

Two years ago, loved ones of those 31 lost were left behind. Loved ones who continue on in this life, continuing to make sacrifices with their significant others gone. Their life didn’t stop, it goes on.

I think we often forget about this piece of things. These women and men are amazing. hard working, and so courageous. They keep on keeping on, even on the hardest of days.

They are leaving a legacy for their children, and their children’s children… and that is a beautiful thing.

Today, if you know someone who lost a loved one- it doesn’t even have to be someone who was in the military… call them. Tell them you love them, and share a treasured story with them about the loved one that has passed on. Tell them how much they meant to you, and how much you mean to them. Bring them a pretty flower, a nice meal, a gift card, take them out for coffee, and share a smile with them. A hug.

If it’s been a while since that loved one has passed away, think about getting together several close friends and setting up a  Food Tidings meal schedule for them. You could invite those our of town family members as well, and they can have a meal delivered to them through Food Tidings.

I guarantee that the loss is still so hard and they could use support and love even now. Possibly even now more than ever. Now that the close relatives are back in their own hometowns, life continues to go on for many, and it may feel lonely.

Help them to know they are not alone. I know that we can all do this for someone in our lives, so this is my encouragement for you to make that call, send that text, set up that meal schedule, write that card, ring that doorbell, make that meal… and brighten their day.

-Lisa

Here’s a beautiful video honoring those who lost their lives in August 6, 2011 as well as their significant others… take a few minutes and watch it.

Welcome Magic Kitchen!

26 Jul

We would like to welcome Magic Kitchen as our second vendor that will be providing meals that are purchased through our site to be delivered. We are SO excited about Magic Kitchen; they are an awesome company that prepares delicious meals in their USDA approved kitchen, and ships them all over the entire US.

The other great thing about Magic Kitchen is that they offer meals to feed 1-2 people, 3-4 people, or 4-6 people. Also, the meals can be frozen to be used at a time when they really need it.

So the next time you’re invited to bring someone you love a meal through Food Tidings, have a meal delivered to them! OR, you can even go to a meal schedule you’ve participated in in the past, and have a meal delivered to that family… what a surprise blessing that would be!!

Have a fantastic weekend,

Lisa 🙂

Grieving…

23 Jul

Hi friends. Yesterday was a rough day for us, as we said our goodbyes to a good friend of my husband’s at his funeral. He was 33 years old, married to  a wonderful woman, and has 5 beautiful children. It was sudden, unexpected, and just so very sad. He lived a full, yet very short life. He brought life to all who knew him, and he was so good at bringing others together into community. He was a beautiful person, and he really did make an impact in the lives of those around him.

The loss of a loved one is such a hard thing. My sadness has been for my friend (his wife), and their kids. I’m just overwhelmed with so much love for them, and want to show that in a meaningful way to them. I keep thinking that right now she’s surrounded by family and friends who love her and loved her husband very much, and they’re all supporting her and holding them up. But in a few months, there won’t be as many rallying around her because life keeps on going even when these kinds of tragic things happen. That is when I want to be there for her.

When the flowers stop coming, the meals stop coming, and reality sets in that he is gone… that’s the desire of my heart is to be a blessing and a true friend to her then. Many tears of sadness have been shed today by my husband and I as well as many many others, and our friend will be missed.

She shared with me that the first few days after his passing, people just showed up with food. She was grateful for it, but felt so guilty because she knew that her family wouldn’t be able to eat it all before it went bad. And lots of it in the beginning was fresh fruit, meat trays, etc, and she couldn’t freeze some of it.

It got me thinking. Food is a universal sign of comfort and love, it’s something that brings all kinds of people together, and it is a way that we show our support during a time like this. We don’t want to go to someone’s house who just lost a loved one empty handed, so we bring a meal or a tray of some kind of food. It’s great, and she was very thankful.

I’m wondering if the next time you are faced with a situation like this one (I hope that you aren’t, but if you are…), consider bringing a gift card to the family. That way, after all the meals, flowers, cards, and other gestures stop coming, and the frozen meals are eaten… they can then have something to draw on. Consider it a delayed gift of love. Something they can use on an evening where they just don’t have it in them to cook, and they are really missing their loved one. They can go out to eat or even order in.

Or a few months after the meals have stopped, you can always go back in to their Food Tidings schedule that you were invited to, and order them a meal that will be delivered to them. Just because the schedule is done doesn’t mean you can’t still order them a meal. So that’s always a good option as well. 🙂

The other thing I am thinking is just to be there for them even a few months after the loss… consistently. Set up a weekly park day, a weekly or bimonthly dinner date where you invite them over to your house, or a game night monthly… just something that they can count on happening as part of their routine. And if they’re not up for it… ask them how you can help.

Just a few thoughts in the midst of this journey. Most of all, just love them!!

-Lisa 🙂

Pinterest!!

16 Jul

Hi friends! I am SO excited to share with you that Food Tidings now has it’s own Pinterest page! We have all kinds of boards that we’ve started with so many ideas that will inspire you to no end! I have to tell you that I just LOVE pinterest, so this is the best part of my job!!

We’d absolutely love it if you would follow our boards… just click here to get to our boards, then click “follow all”. And then go be inspired!!

-Lisa 🙂

Send a SMILE!

3 Jan

cookie greetingHappy New Year, everyone! I can’t believe it’s already 2013. I remember what feels like yesterday, I was sitting in class writing the year 2000 on all my papers… and feeling like I couldn’t believe the 90’s were over. How funny!

I have a really fun new gift idea for you all… you can now send friends and family a smile! For only $5 and free shipping, you can go to Cheryl’s Cookie Greeting, and have a beautifully frosted cookie along with a $5 gift card to her site sent!! I can’t believe I just found out about this… it’s SUCH AN AWESOME IDEA! There are all kinds of themes for the cookies as well…my favorite is “Have a Sunny Day”. Click here to see all the cookie themes.

I hope you like this idea as much as I do. Go check out the site, and send a smile today!! 🙂

*Image from http://www.cheryls.com

Experiencing Loss

27 Apr

About eight years ago, I had a miscarriage. I was 9 1/2 weeks along, and I just knew something was not right before I even had symptoms that confirmed that. I was so scared, and my husband was at work, so my mom went with me to have an ultrasound to see if everything was okay.

There I lay on the cold table at the Dr’s office, watching the screen of the ultrasound maching and wondering what I would even be looking for if everything was okay. I felt very vulnearable, scared, and a sense of loss. The ultrasound tech confirmed that there was no longer a heartbeat, and also said that it looked like it was twins. Woah. I was excited at the idea that we could’ve had twins, and sad that it wasn’t going to happen all at the same time.

The rest of the day is a blur in my memory. My Dr. explained that 1 in 4 pregnancies end this way, and that it’s the body’s way of helping when something was probably very wrong with the baby or babies. He was kind, and said that it was nothing that I did or didn’t do, and that it just happens. He suggested that I have a D&C to help my body with the process that had already begun to occur. So that’s what we did.

I remember laying in the recovery area, and telling the nurse that it was twins. I was so incredibly sad, and I wondered if I’d ever be able to have a baby. The fear and sadness I felt was pretty overwhelming. I had amazing support in my family and friends, but it was a very difficult time.

It took us a year to get pregnant again, and each month leading up to getting pregnant, I would cry when I’d realize that that wasn’t the month. I didn’t want to worry or be fearful. I knew logically that God is the one who decides when the right timing of things is and I wanted to trust Him, but I struggled for sure. A book that helped me a ton during that time, and even once I got pregnant with my first (because I had to be on bedrest from experiencing spotting for the first trimester) was

Now I’m grateful and humbled to say that God has blessed us with four beautiful children since then. Sometimes I think about how things might have been if we were able to have the twins, and how different life would be. But then I realize that if that had happened, we probably wouldn’t have the four amazing kids that we are so blessed to have now.

But I know that everyone’s story is different. Some women carry their babies to full term and deliver them stillborn. Some deliver their sweet baby, and he or she only lives for a very short time, never able to leave the hospital. Some women are not able to get pregnant at all, and go through the grief of not being able to birth a child of their own. These are stories, experiences, and emotions that I know many women have, and also stories that aren’t told very often. They are memories that are held onto in the hearts of so many.

When it happens to someone you know, what do you do? What do you say? How do you help and show your love? I know those are the questions I have had when it’s happened to a few friends of mine.

Here is a beautiful article from a wonderful woman that I had the pleasure of hearing speak at a blogging conference last year. She recently experienced the loss of her precious daughter, Afton Jean. She wrote about five things you can say or do for a friend who has experienced a loss. I’m so grateful for this article and for the heart of Kami, that she wants to help others as they grieve their way through these difficult times. She’s a tremendous writer and a very talented photographer.

My biggest take away from her article was that saying “let me know if you need anything” is one of the worst things you could say. She uses a quote from Ronald A. Rasband to explain why that’s not helpful, and I think she’s exactly right. Here’s the quote: “”If you came upon a person who was drowning, would you ask if he needs help, or would it be better to just jump in and save him from the deepening waters. The offer whilst well-meaning and often given: ‘let me know if I can help?’ is really no help at all.” – Ronald A. Rasband”

So, here’s where Food Tidings comes in. If you know someone who has experienced a loss of some kind, make them a meal schedule. Get your friends and family together, and invite them to sign up and bring a meal. It’s a tangible way to share your love and care with them. Then you can incorporate a few of Kami’s suggestions when you bring the meal. I think that by just bringing the meal, and being there will mean so much.

 

It’s The Small Things That Make a BIG Difference

13 Mar

 

I came across this idea from an incredible website called Tip Junkie (if you haven’t checked out this website yet, you HAVE to. It’s amazing- you literally could spend all day checking out amazing ideas here… but don’t becuase then it would be my fault you get nothing done today! ;)) Tip Junkie features different blogs that she comes across that have great ideas.

She featured an awesome blog that I’ve shared with you before, called Somewhat Simple for her gift idea for a neighbor or friend. It’s such a thoughtful way to show you care!

It’s truly the small things in life that make a huge difference. Just taking the time to put this together and bringing it to a neighbor or friend that you know is going through a tough time, can make a huge difference in their life. It shows them that they’re not alone, they’re supported, they’re loved, and thought of.

D.A.L.E. Foundation: Do A Little Extra

9 Mar

I was introduced to the D.A.L.E. Foundation recently, and I am so touched that I wanted to share this with all of you. The D.A.L.E. Foundation was created in honor of a man named Dale Settle Jr., 23, who was killed last September. He was shot during a robbery, and he was on his way to Bible Study. He sounds like a very amazing man who loved Jesus very much, and was doing his best to live for Him.

His family and friends, wanting to continue on with the way he lived, decided that telling his story and inviting others to pay it forward would be the best way to do this. I agree, it’s awesome. They’ve even created a flyer that can be printed off to give to others as you do a pay it forward type of gesture. This will get the story of Dale out, and continue to inspire and encourage others to be kind, and to share God’s love with others.

I would encourage everyone to do 3 things: 1. check out the website for the D.A.L.E. Foundation, 2. become a fan on their facebook page, and 3. print off several flyers and begin paying it forward. I guarantee that it will bring joy to your heart as you do kind things for others, as well as of course benefit those that you’re helping!

Relay For Life

4 Jan

Cancer. It’s not the most fun word I know of. It takes from us. It can take our loved ones, even though that’s never what we would’ve chosen. It takes our time and our energy, and there’s nothing about what cancer does and is that seems right. But on the flip side, it also makes me think of the words hope, prayer, fight, courage, strength, and love. It reminds me to be thankful for each day God gives me, and to love my family and those around me. It’s almost as though cancer tries to take, and in turn shows us all how to give.

I have an aunt that recently had a double mastectomy due to breast cancer, and she has shown us many of these things as she continues on her journey. It’s not one that she would’ve chosen, but that doesn’t change that she’s on it. My Aunt Susie has taught us how to stay positive, to see the good, to LOVE, to enjoy this life because we don’t know what’s around the corner, and to be courageous. I’m not thankful for the pain she is enduring, the side effects of her chemo and the pain and hardship that goes along with healing and transitioning after a double mastectomy, the difficulties and realities of losing her hair, but I can say that I’m thankful that God is showing her that she is worth it. She is amazing, she is beautiful with hair or without, and these are lessons that her son, daughter, grandchildren, her siblings, nieces and nephews, and her parents get to learn by watching her go through this tough time. Through all the difficulties, I see a huge reason to celebrate! Which brings me to why I’m blogging today: The Relay For Life.

Here’s what the site says that it is: “Relay For Life is a life-changing event that helps communities across the globe celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease.” I love this.

I recently had the pleasure of meeting a wonderful woman named Mary, and she is the Survivor Chair for the 2012 Anthem Relay for Life. She is a cancer survivor, and she is now giving back to the community by heading up the 2012 Relay For Life in Anthem, Arizona. She has also been on the receiving end of a Food Tidings schedule by her friends and family. “I first was introduced to Food Tidings by my daughter when I was diagnosed with cancer for a second time and decided to have a double mastectomy.  She signed us up and for two weeks we did not have to make one meal. Every night at 6 p.m. our door bell rang and someone with dinner, breakfast, goodies, cards, flowers and hugs stood at our door waiting to come in. It was wonderful not to have to worry about feeding my family. My son came for a week to stay with me, my mother in law and then my daughter and they never had to worry about meals.. that will be two years ago this July and I have recommended Food Tidings to EVERYONE since then.. for every reason..”

Part of Mary’s responsibilities as the Survior Chair of the Relay is to get the word out and invite any and all to come celebrate life with them on April 28th, 2012. And that’s just what we want to encourage all of you to do! If you live anywhere near Anthem, Arizona, get signed up to celebrate life with Mary and everyone else at the 2012 Anthem Relay For Life. It’s going to be awesome, and amazing memories will be made. They also could use sponsors, so that’s another way to be involved.

If you don’t live near the Anthem Relay, which I know many of you don’t, there are Relays all over the globe! Click here to find one local to you. Here is a description from the Relay For Life website of what a community Relay looks like, “At Relay, teams of people camp out at a local high school, park, or fairground and take turns walking or running around a track. Each team has a representative on the track at all times during the event. Because cancer never sleeps, Relays are overnight up to 24 hours in length. Most of the fundraising is performed by teams during the months leading up to the Relay For Life event.”

So in the midst of what is a very difficult and sometimes dark times for those on a journey with cancer, let’s find a reason to celebrate life! Put on your walking shoes, and come join a Relay For Life event in your area!

Here’s a really great video about Relay, and the story of how it all got started. Also, go here to read a beautifully written blog post by Mary about putting one foot in front of the other, and her continued journey as a cancer survivor.