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Being Content, in Every Circumstance

Is it apparent to you what the common theme of most advertisements is? How about the messages we receive on social media? The goal of most advertising is to convince you that “you need this” or “your life could be better if…” and in social media, we often receive the message that we’re not doing enough in life, because it seems like everyone else is doing so much better and more.

 

How can we be content, when we always feel like we’re lacking in something? This is the question I’ve been wrestling with lately, and I’m grateful that God has been revealing the secret of contentment to me!

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Shine Bright at the Orlando Legacy Retreat® presented by Kendra Scott

I love this Legacy Retreat® so much! There are several reasons why it is so special.

 

1) All of the families on this retreat have the same diagnosis. They have metastatic breast cancer. Powerful community is always formed among the families at Legacy Retreats®, and this particular retreat seems to bring about instant connection as these families don't even have to explain about different illnesses to one another. In fact, many of them have been in private Facebook groups and chat rooms together and now they are finally meeting face to face.

Orlando Legacy Retreat presented by Kendra Scott
Orlando Legacy Retreat® presented by Kendra Scott, Feb. 2020

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Reason for the Hope

1 Peter 3:15-16 – "In your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to give an answer to anyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have, yet do this with gentleness and respect."

 

Inheritance of Hope volunteers do such a great job telling people what we do. On a retreat people see our shirts and our large group and they often ask, "What is this group all about?"

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Everlasting Father

Originally posted in December 2015

A year ago I reflected on the wonder of “Unto us a child is born,” which took on fresh richness as Allison and I experienced new parenthood along with Advent. Now we can hardly believe that we have been parents for a year already! Our baby girl has grown and changed so much, and so have we. As Advent scriptures and songs once again circulate, different parts of them grab my attention. In a recent reading of Isaiah 9, the phrase “Everlasting Father” struck me. I love my little girl to death, but that is tragically literal – some day death will interrupt my fatherly love. An “Everlasting Father” is worthy of reflection.

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He is My Strength

This piece was originally published in November 2011 by Inheritance of Hope Co-Founder Kristen Milligan. Kristen passed away from a rare liver cancer in 2012, but her legacy remains through her vision of serving other families like her own.

 

The LORD is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise him.

Psalm 28:7

 

In January, I began training for the 2011 Marine Corp Marathon.  I had exactly ten months to prepare myself to finish 26.2 miles in less than seven hours.  I worried from day one.  I had spent the previous months recovering from a brutal surgery where doctors removed cancerous tumors from my chest cavity, the lining of my heart, my lungs, my diaphragm, and my esophagus. 

 

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You Never Know What's 'Round the Corner

James Herriot, a British veterinarian of the last century, tells a story about a cow that had ingested some wire, which would have to be removed.  The vet performing the operation was on a big kick about cleanliness and presentation, so he arrives at the farm in new, sharp clothes and then dons a “brilliantly white smock.”  He has his assistants lay out all the polished tools of surgery on brand new metal trays.  The farmer asks if he can watch, and the vet is only too glad to show off for an audience.

 

He cuts through skin and muscle and arrives at the cow’s first stomach (they have four).  Before he can cut open the stomach, it bulges out through the opening in the skin.  He presses it back in, but it comes out again, bigger!  The vet suspects gas is causing the stomach to expand.  They go back and forth several times, with more stomach coming out each time, until finally it is so large outside the cow that he can barely hold it with both arms wrapped around it, and it’s at his eye level!  It takes two men to wrestle the thing down, at which point the vet quickly makes his cut.

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A Letter to be Read at My Memorial Service

October 26th, 2019, marks the seventh anniversary of Kristen's death. She revised the letter below in February 2012.
 
Dear loved ones,
 
Watch Kristen's story in 4 minutesAs I write this I admit feeling a little sad. Sad because my greatest earthly desire was to grow old with Deric … 17 years of marriage was not nearly long enough. Sad because it is a mother’s job to be there to comfort her child when that child experiences her first broken heart, or when he sits on the bench during a much-anticipated game. Sad because my heart hurts to think I will not be there to share in my children’s joys and inevitable accomplishments, their weddings, or for the births of their own children. Sad to leave my mom and my sister with yet another loss after the premature death of my dad. Despite the sadness this illness has brought, when I consider my life I quickly realize that God has blessed me abundantly … how can I feel anything except overwhelming thankfulness?
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Faces of Holley Day: Erica Chase-Salerno on the impact of her family’s Kendra Scott-sponsored Legacy RetreatⓇ

Erica Chase-Salerno was a gifted writer who graciously shared her thoughts and words with the larger Inheritance of Hope family.  Erica attended the January 2018 IoH retreat, and wrote this for us the following October, in celebration of Holley Day. Erica passed away in February 2019, and we are honored to continue sharing her legacy.

 

Life is uncertain, eat dessert first.

And go on an IoH retreat. Or help another family go.

Because this is an organization that walks the talk, excels at creating legacy experiences, and “gets it” about cancer challenges for families.

 

Inheritance of Hope Legacy RetreatⓇ presented by Kendra Scott
Welcome to the IoH Family!
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God Created Me, To Do Hard Things

Recently, my family and I went on a trip up to our favorite place, Hume Lake. It’s a beautiful lake, in Sequoia National Park, and it’s where Brian and I met as campers one summer, so it holds a special place in our hearts. My middlest -- as she likes to call herself -- Charlotte, really wanted a milkshake. Not just a portion, an entire milkshake to herself. Now, these are HUGE milkshakes. And, we don’t really give our kids sugar, so this was a giant ask. So, like any kind parent would do, I gave her a giant goal, thinking that, surely, she wouldn’t actually complete it.

 

The giant goal: run the lake without stopping. A few things to keep in mind: we are at 5,500 feet elevation, running the lake is a 5k, and she’s 7. “No problem, Mom. I got it.” That is what she tells me.

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Faces of Holley Day: Lisa Lyon describes the importance of her family’s Kendra Scott-sponsored Inheritance of Hope Legacy RetreatⓇ

When I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer at 28 years old with three very young children, the only thing I ever thought about or wanted was to make meaningful and fun memories with my children and husband that were full of joy. During my year of very hard cancer treatment, I would sit in the infusion chair and think “all I want to do is be with my kids.” It felt impossible to ever think I would be able to go to Orlando with my family. The Legacy RetreatⓇ was a dream come true for me, my husband, and our three kids. We spent that time focused on each other…not scary cancer, not worrying about money or all the other hard things cancer brings on for a young metastatic breast cancer patient. We had the most wonderful and magical time. When I think about our retreat, those who served us, and everyone that made it possible for our family to be there, it makes me cry and feel so much gratitude for angels on earth.

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