Parenting isn’t easy. I don’t care if you have one kid or twenty…It really only takes one child to humble a person and make them need a Savior and an inspiration.
Obviously, parenting 16 children has it’s own unique challenges. There have been times over the last few years where I have needed more than a “It’s just a phase…” “This too shall pass…” or a “God won’t bring you to anything He won’t bring you through…”
I needed REAL inspiration. A reason to fight. And that’s when the Lord introduced me to what would become a line of work I wasn’t looking for and I never anticipated.
He let me meet Karen Vaughn and her husband, Billy (aka The Great One) who had lost their son who was killed in action, Navy Seal Aaron Vaughn on 8/6/2011. He then gave me the idea of hosting a dinner event with 9 local mothers whose sons had also died serving our nation and about 35 civilian moms who wanted to serve these sweet women. We all came away from that night with more strength, more grit, and a whole lotta fight.
And so THAT’s why we began Believe With Me. That’s why we have been working so hard to bring the American public a way to give back to these families that have lost a loved one in the service of our nation’s military. Serving these families has given me personally a strength I can’t even begin to describe as I read their stories, scramble to meet needs, meet new volunteers or get donations given by some middle schooler who babysat, cleaned houses and did other odd jobs just to contribute. We serve the Gold Star families with passion and purpose, and we teach every volunteer, from as young as three years old all the way to our WW2 veterans that America is indeed a grateful nation.
Our latest project, an All American Baby Blessing is what I like to call a “boots on the ground” project. It’s a chance for everyday Americans to contribute towards a baby shower for a recently widowed young woman, Britt Harris, who had just told her husband the week before he was killed that she was expecting their first baby. This young lady caught my eye and had my heart, not only because of her sweet spirit and tenacity…but the individual who helped me begin Believe With Me, was widowed at 19 years old during WW2 and she was expecting her first baby. Leila MacCauley has been one of the biggest influences on my life, even though we became friends when she was well into her 90’s. She and her husband founded Americares, and their tales of crazy rescues, amazing medical missions, and overwhelmingly beating the odds in risk-taking adventure were absolutely formative in our foundation.
I hope you’ll join us at Believe With Me. I pray you’ll find a way to give towards our projects and that you will follow along, finding that you too are becoming #goldstarstrong as together we serve America’s families of fallen soldiers. And just so you see the kind of amazing that Britt Harris is, watch the video below.