Hope....does not disappoint us.
By: Lynn Kotrba - Executive Director
Today, I sit here with 1,000 thoughts going through my head of what I can write to you about. I could tell you about how busy summer was here at the farm, but you can see that in our section about Llama Llama Camp and Farm Camp and surely if you follow us on Facebook you have seen it there too. I could tell you about our sponsorship opportunities and that we have 10 NEW Lambs that need new sponsors, but you will read about that in our Fundraiser Flyer at the end of the newsletter. I could also talk with you about the importance of community in each of our lives, which you can read about in our print newsletter in your mailbox this week!
What's on my heart today is this....don't let the moments pass you by, no matter what your circumstances may be. Yesterday, I kissed my seven oldest kids good-bye as they headed off to school. Today is their first day, and for Autumn, it is her last 1st day of school as a student at JPII Schools. I am excited for each of them to have their own experiences, grow, thrive, learn, mess-up, and discover their own path. This year will go by fast and I will soon be planning our first of many graduations over the next 10 years and I plan to cherish every moment of it.
As most of you know, I am at risk for Huntington's Disease (HD). HD is a disease that is always terminal. It is best described as a combination of Alzheimers, MS and Parkinson's all in one. Most people diagnosed with HD receive the diagnosis between ages 35-45 although there is a Juvenile form and some are diagnosed at an older age as well.
For many years, HD controlled the way I lived my life. I often made decisions based on the fact that I "might" have HD. Thank God for my husband, Jason, who has always been the rational one in our relationship and was able to help me think through these decisions without the possibility of HD taking the front seat. If I made a mistake or forgot something I would immediately think I had HD. When I relative looked at my writing once and said, "this looks really shaky" I immediately thought, well, here begins HD. Those of you who are at risk for HD know exactly what I mean. Too often, I hear about people making decisions in their lives based on the "what-if's" and it makes me sad to know that they may be truly missing out on some of the best moments of their lives.
Nearly four years ago, Jason and I took a leap of faith (with the support of our amazing board members) to start Harvest Hope Farm. Believe me, it was huge leap for me and a small leap for Jason because his faith is stronger than most. I remember questioning several times if we should really do this and Jason continually reassured me that we needed to be a vessel for God to do his work. So, four years later, here we are with no regrets. I could have said, what if I have HD, and I did. I could have let that stop us and our kids from doing something bigger than ourselves that has brought us and others so many moments of HOPE. But, instead of letter the possibility of HD stop me and my family, we decided we needed to do something to help bring HOPE to others, no matter what the circumstances may be.
Here we are, four years later. Our camps are thriving, our special events are growing, we are providing produce to over 20 families this summer, and we will hold our 4th Annual Fundraiser on September 18th here at the farm. I have also been blessed with the opportunity to leave me occupation of 21 years as a foster care licensor to devote my time to my family and the farm. God is great! We don't know if I have HD or not, but I can honestly say that I don't think about it daily anymore or make decisions based on the "what-if's". Now, I focus on the moments that we experience each day, whether with our own children, our campers, visitors, volunteers or anything else. It's amazing what you notice and appreciate when you get the "what-if's" out of your way. Try it. Hope....does not disappoint us.
Check out the rest of the e-newsletter to read more about what is happening at Harvest Hope Farm and we look forward to seeing all of you on Saturday September 18 from 5-8pm for a family friendly fundraiser at Harvest Hope Farm!
Blessings - Lynn