It has been quite a while since we have posted something on our blog and we are quite sorry for being MIA. Although we haven't posted anything in months, it doesn't mean we have not been busy. The past 6 months have been amazing and the journey has allowed us to help multiple organizations and share our passion to inspire and make a difference with many. It is amazing how people support and inspire us with the simple act of sending a card. Nothing showed us this more than a 7th grade boy with a huge heart and a desire to have a service dog to help him through his day. He not only took on the challenge of raising a large amount of money for his dog, he decided to create many ways to gain these funds that he so desperately needed. The most amazing part is what he did when an anonymous donor decided to give the entire amount he needed for his service dog. Instead of quitting or keeping the money he raised he paid it forward to another child who also is in need of a service dog and is working with W.A.G.S. 4 Kids. Such a caring and giving heart is what we all should strive for in life. Sometimes it just takes someone, even a 7th grade boy, to show us the true meaning of life and living.
I feel so blessed and honored to announce Written Inspiration’s partnership with New Perspective Foundation! I have had this foundation on my heart since our son, Bryce was in Mr. Bob Gentry’s class at Briar Middle School. He would come home and tell me stories about Tyson, Mr. Gentry’s son who was injured playing football for The Ohio State University. When Tyson was in Sandusky for his annual 5K Fundraiser in 2015, Bryce knew he wanted to run, and he really wanted to meet Tyson – the person who inspired him to run in the first place. Meeting Tyson was such a humbling experience – he is an inspiration to everyone around him.
Bryce ran this race just 2 months before my husband, Chris broke his back. We met Tyson for a reason…his story inspired us to keep going when we were climbing our own mountain of challenges. I knew in my heart, even before we began our Written Inspirations projects, that I wanted to do something to support New Perspective Foundation.
My prayers have been answered, and we are partnered with New Perspective Foundation to encourage people who have spinal cord injuries. Please visit our website to inspire and encourage individuals New Perspective is helping by sending them a card directly from Written Inspirations. We will also add a handwritten message of encouragement in the card you choose to send. For every New Perspective card purchased, $1 will be given to New Perspective Foundation to support their cause of helping those who have been injured.
The past month has been amazing! We have been honored with the opportunity to partner with an organization that is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of those who have experienced spinal cord injuries. New Perspective Foundation, started by a former Ohio State Buckeye football player - Tyson Gentry, is using life experiences to encourage and help spinal cord injury patients and their families through difficult times. Although many of us will never know the pain and the struggles that these amazing individuals are challenged with each and every day, we do know that a simple card and words of encouragement make a huge difference in their lives to push through the pain and difficult times.
A little over a year ago I (Chris Bodle) was involved in an accident. The result of my accident was several fractures and other injuries in my lower back. Although I was able to maintain my ability to walk and didn't suffer any paralysis, I knew that the outcome could have been worse and more devastating. As I lay in the hospital and later at home, I received many cards from people I knew and people I didn't know. This was important to me because each of these cards provided me with encouragement to keep fighting to get better and stronger each day. One never understands the importance of these little gestures until they are placed in a situation when a simple card is the thing that motivates them to not give up! I will never forget all of the people who supported my family and myself during the difficult time of recovery. Their kind words and generosity were more than I could have ever imagined.
This is why I challenge and encourage everyone to take a moment and send a card to someone who could use a kind word. Our hope and dream is to spread kindness with a simple card sent to someone you know is in need of inspiration and encouragement. Life is short. Take a moment to send a card. The person who receives it will be forever grateful!
I was given a challenge this week to choose my one word for the year – My word is - ENCOURAGE. I have been creating and writing inspirational greeting cards for the past seven years. My passion is writing, and God inspires me every day to write and encourage others. It is, however difficult for me, during my own challenging times, to sit back, be peaceful and be encouraged. During this past year, our family had a mountain to climb when my husband broke his back. People all around us encouraged us and inspired us. But it is the quiet moments, when worry, fear and frustration set in that I have difficulty holding on to the encouragements. My hope this year is to be constantly encouraged by God, and the people He places in my life. As I strive to encourage more people this year than I ever have before, I also long to be completely uplifted by the encouragements that God provides in my own life.
This photo is the picture of the Tschingelhorn Mountain of the Bernese Alps in Switzerland – the mountain Chris and I actually climbed together a few months before he broke his back. It now symbolizes the mountain we had to climb after he fell. The inside verse I wrote for this Written Inspirations Card that I pray I can live by and be encouraged by when facing struggles is:
Even though your battle
Seems to be uphill –
God will be with you,
And the path He provides
Will make your climb easier still.
Feel His presence, and be uplifted –
For it is then that conquering the mountain
Is God’s will.
Just before Christmas, we were able to be a part of something amazing and exciting. Our partnership with OHgo allowed us to attach Christmas cards to the shoe box gifts they were going to deliver to children in Erie County, Ohio who were in need of a little extra love. These gifts (almost 1000!) and cards (600!) were then hand delivered to the children in time to open them on Christmas morning. All of the volunteers that were a part of Project Happy Christmas really did make a difference in the lives of many with all of their small acts of kindness. We were honored to be a part of such an awesome event and can't wait to see what the future holds.
On a side note, OHgo has made a huge difference in the lives of many children in our communities. They have also promoted and perpetuated an attitude of giving back and putting smiles on people's faces through small acts of kindness. In a world and society that is constantly bombarded by all that is wrong, it is nice to see individuals finding the good in everyone and making it a part of their life. We know that the future is bright for our community when there are individuals who are willing to make a difference in the lives of many by being kind and inspiring others to do the same.
The Christmas and Holiday Season is upon us and there are many reasons to be thankful this time of year. Many of us have the things that we need and are extremely blessed. Most of us don't know what it is like to go without or be in need of even the most basic of life's necessities. So as we celebrate, let us not forget the children and families in our community that need to feel the blessings and love of someone that cares enough to send a card or a gift. Please take the time and bless those in our community that are in need.
OHgo and Written Inspirations have teamed up to make all of this a possibility for hundreds of children and families throughout Erie County. Be a part of the magic and joy in a child's life! WE CAN ALL MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
Heather and I wanted to take this chance to once again thank everyone who participated in our 2016 Veterans Day project. The past month has been a whirlwind of activity and preparing for our big delivery on November 10, 2016. With the help of all of you, employees at the Ohio Veterans Home, Perkins Local Schools, several American Legion Posts, Patriot Guard Riders, and our families we were able to surpass our goal and deliver over 600 cards and flags to the Veterans! In addition, we donated $650 to the Resident Benefit Fund which is used to fund different programs and activities for the Veterans. We also had the opportunity to help place flags on all of the graves at the OVH, over 4000!
We are humbled and inspired by the many Veterans that have served our country with honor and dignity. These men and women are some of the greatest people and they deserve all of our respect and gratitude for protecting our liberty and freedom. Remember to thank a Veteran anytime you can, because so many never hear those words and you might just make their day!
I am feeling so blessed.
The events in our lives this past year have led us to this place … this place where we want to bless as many people as we can with the Verses and Cards I love to write and create. So, Chris and I began this adventure together this fall, and we have been going non-stop since then. We knew we wanted to do this from the bottom of our hearts. But once our project to deliver 580 cards to Veterans officially began, I cannot even begin to explain how humbled, blessed and thankful I am that we decided to do this. The overwhelming support of people everywhere, purchasing cards, writing in cards and sharing their stories of Veterans in their lives is blessing me more than I could ever have imagined.
All of our local Perkins Schools have hopped on board and are each helping us in their own way. The other day, I was able to be part of a class at Furry Elementary. Mrs. Diane Smith, the Guidance Counselor at the school is including our Veterans Day Cards as part of a class on compassion. Wow! I had no idea when we began, how impactful this project would be for the whole community. Not only did I totally enjoy being part of this class, Diane shared a special story about her own father, a Veteran himself. She told me he was not one to boast or talk about his heroism as a Veteran. A special organization, through Stein Hospice, made blankets for Veterans who were receiving care from Stein Hospice. He was given one of these blankets as he had served in the Army. Diane went on to explain how special that blanket was to him and how he would show it to people who came to visit. For this reason, she is so excited that we will be blessing all of the Veterans at the Ohio Veterans Home.
We could hot have accomplished this big goal without the help of everybody around us. Our very own special Veteran, Dave Bodle (my father-in-law) has been instrumental in encouraging us and being our advocate to several American Legions in the Wooster, Ohio area. These Legions are also very supportive, and I can’t say enough to thank all of them!
My parents, as well as Chris’ parents have been by our side helping in any way they can. They are all helping with the card-signing, flag counting and accompanying us for the delivery.
I am feeling so blessed!
As we get closer to Veterans Day, we are humbled and grateful for all who have purchased a card for a Veteran(s) to be delivered to the Ohio Veterans Home in Sandusky, Ohio. We are getting closer to reaching our goal of providing each resident with a card! We all know that each one of these amazing people has sacrificed much for our country and we want to make sure that we acknowledge them with a simple card and a handwritten message. In order for us to accomplish our goal, we are asking for everyone's help and know that our goal will be achieved because of the compassion and caring of all who support the Veterans who have served our country.
One year ago today, I had to put all of my trust in the surgeon who would perform my husband's back surgery. After he fell and his back was broken - I was faced with the scariest situation of my life. How would I trust the hands that would determine the rest of my husband's future? How would I find peace in everything we were faced with? We are a very active family, and my husband's job requires physical fitness. How could he continue to be a Fire Lieutenant with a broken back? How would he be the dad he had always been? How will I encourage him through this difficult time? How could this happen to someone so strong? I was instantly drawn to prayer, even with all of my questions.
My husband was blessed with an amazing doctor. How did I know this? Before the surgery, the surgeon sat down with me, as well as my parents and in-laws. He explained what he would be doing, and how it would all work. But what I remember most is the last thing the doctor said to me. He looked me in the eye, and he said, "I will fix the picture, and God will do the rest." At that moment, I knew God had blessed us with the hands that would heal my husband. Tonight our family celebrated the most miraculous recovery I could have ever imagined!
Going through this difficult year gave me just a glimpse of what Veterans have dealt with. My hope and dream is to show them how much they are appreciated for everything they have gone through and for everything they have sacrificed so that we can all have a wonderful life in the amazing United States of America.