Today, we had the honor of supporting a wonderful family who built a lemonade stand out of sand in Ocean City, NJ to benefit Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation. The Coyles invited us to come as an ambassador family while, David Coyle built a sand castle lemonade stand (complete with with lemonade for sale, of course).
It was a wonderful day! The stand raised over $3,000 (and counting!).
My favorite part about today was watching the Coyles use their gifts and talents to truly make a change in the world. The Coyles build sand castles and it is clear they also build families. The loved ones that surrounded them today were so full of love, positivity and good, good vibes.. Being around people who work together for one aim is truly inspirational. I think that is the magic of Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation--bringing together everyone for reason: cures for children facing cancer.
Experiencing that lemonade magic never gets old. My kids felt it today, too, and were so excited to help and serve up lemonade (even offering delivery right to beach chairs).
Every stand or fundraiser we participate in always teaches me a little something. Today was no exception. Here are three lessons from a Lemonade Stand in the Sand:
1. Your sand castle may fall; but you just build it back up.
When we arrived, Kathy mentioned there had been a collapse. Of course, I could not tell, because everything looked amazing and David rebuilt it. I heard David tell a reporter that was there that life is fleeting--one day you have a beautiful sand castle and the next day it is knocked down. So what do you do? David said you just build it again.
I will think about this every single time I think something is destroyed. Everything is temporary, friends. There is nothing you can do when the ocean knocks down your sand castle, except to rebuild it.
2. When something seems too hard, just look around you. You are not alone.
A reporter interviewed Lily. She's an old hat at telling her story and talking to the media (She told the reporter today that she does not remember when a news crew wasn't part of her life. haha). But, she always surprises me. Today, he asked Lily why she doesn't give up when things are hard. She said it was because she thinks of her family and friends all around her and she knows she can do it.
Life feels lonely sometimes, doesn't it? But, it shouldn't. Just look around. We've all got each other.
3. Sometimes when we all pray for the same thing and end up in the same place.
An older couple came to the Lemonade Stand today because they read about it in the Ocean City Sentinel. I commented how amazing this all was and the woman said to me, "Sometimes when we all pray for the same thing, the Lord has a way of bringing us together."
I think this is the most amazing testament to the power of prayer and community. God answers prayers in ways that I don't always understand. I've been struggling the past few weeks thinking about everything Lily was endured; struggling through the memory of her shunt failure 3 years ago on September 1 and just worrying about our good friend Cole, who is facing cancer for a second time after 15 years of being cancer-free. I've prayed for peace in my heart over this and then today, somehow, God brought us together with all these amazing people who have prayed for the same thing.
Like David said, when something is knocked down, you build it up again. And like Lily said, just look around--you aren't alone.