Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Passing On HOPE!

So at the HOPE dedication, we gave those attending a small 'hunk of hope'.  It was just a green stone, but the purpose of it was to drop it in a pocket or purse and every time they came up on it, they were to remember there is HOPE, and HOPE is given to be given!

So there were two HOPE stories that were shared with me!  I have to write about here. They are two pictures of HOPE that made a difference in my life.  Maybe they will in yours too!

One of the gifts of HOPE was this cross laying on the table.  At first, I didn't know where it came from. But after the prayer time around the cabin, I came back up to the front to open the front door, it was resting in one of the front porch chairs.  Instantly I remember Charlie Rayl saying, 'I'm making something for HOPE!"  I knew this was it.  You can't tell from the pic, but it's about 3-4 inches thick and stained with green.  Charlie was watching me as I looked it over.  He came to tell me that he got the wood  from a house in Henryville, IN when he and a group of guys from Crossroads went to help "CONVOY OF HOPE" rebuild homes after the tornado there.  So he said "I built this out of their hope, for your hope, for HOPE!"
So very cool!

The Sunday before the dedication, Charlie andJanice had come up to me to tell me that they had a gift for me!  Out of his pocket, he pulled this HOPE bracelet.  They said it was a gift from their 15 year old niece who had been wearing it at a family dinner.  They told her our story of hope, and the cabin, etc.  She pulled it off and said,
"Give it to that mom!  I don't need it anymore!"

I marveled that it was my 15 year old daughter, Leisha, that had taught me about hope in the first place.  Now, just as we were getting ready to dedicate the cabin, another 15 year old girl that had found hope and now could give it away, was reminding me that I had been given hope to passing it on to others.
Thank you sweet girl!  Both of you!
I've passed it on!

So now we are passing it on- to you!
What hope have you been given in your story?
Who is in your world you can pass hope to?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Announcing ....

...the engagement of our daughter, Brielle to Jason Augsburger!

Brie and Jason, we are so excited for you!  Your continued growth of your love for one another has shown over the past 6 years you have spent together.  We are proud of both of you and are thrilled to be celebrating your marriage. Congratulations!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Hope cabin...inside!

The pictures of the inside don't do it justice.  You just have to come stay her for a spell.  But I want you to see some of the wonderful spaces that are waiting for you! The color theme was youthful, eclectic green!

 the view from the front door!

 the Crossroads staff found these chairs at a coffee shop on one of their outings.  They knew right away that the HOPE cabin needed these.  They came home and almost immediately found them just by googling 'tree cut green chairs' or something.  They are so fun!  

This is a trundle bed- room for two to sleep comfortably.

The love seat Papasan chair is a special treat with a luxurious soft pillow. Already several have said how it has cradled them when they were there.  Leisha had a regular papason in her room for several years.  It was a healing place for me so many times after she died.  So when Randy suggested that we add one to the cabin (not knowing that Leisha had one), I knew that somehow Leisha was still getting what she wanted.

The barnwood cabinet was a gift from Rennie's parents made of barnwood from Lipscomb County, Texas where Rennie & I both grew up.  

 a favorite place!

Come, explore the nooks for yourself! The leaves have fallen, but the spirit of green hope is ever living in this space!  If you would rather not go alone, let me know.  I love making that journey in the woods with a friend.  It's a journey of hope!

The Post I couldn't wait to write...then had too!

The HOPE Cabin has been dedicated!  It has already been a haven for several who have shared that God met them there!  I wish I knew all the stories, but no one will, but God himself.
But I am so excited to share it with you!

So here's the outside view as we had our celebration on the porch.  The weatherman told us we would have a chance of thunderstorms and rain, but no storms happened in the WOODS and the rain held off till the last people were making their way into the church for refreshments.

Welcome to the HOPE cabin!
the view from the porch!

a touch of green!

the HOPE Bell! First thing that was Pastor Randy purchased for the cabin.  The clapper that hangs from it is called 'Remembering You" with the words 'in loving memory' on the ceramic square in the middle.  I had wanted to do something that remembered Leisha, but I hadn't found anything that said it subtly.  When we unpacked the items for the cabin, Randy left that box for me to unwrap.  My heart was so grateful!  He didn't know Leisha, but he knew my heart and he captured that important peice from the very beginning!  I was deeply touched!  I included a picture of the cardboard that was attached the the clapper when I unwrapped it.    What a difference a single life can make!!!

Passing HOPE on to the next generation! 

Another touch of green!

One of the most precious times for me was when our family went to the cabin by ourselves to hang the green ribbon that we cut later. I had some time the Tuesday before to spend at the cabin, but it was the first time for them to see the cabin complete.  I don't think any of us were fully prepared for the emotions that were connected to this moment.  It was a very meaningful time!

We had about 35 people join us for the Dedication.  Rennie shared the purpose for our meeting- a celebration of Hope passed on to us by Leisha.  A living faith even though she is not!  A dedication of something that represents hope to many who will spend time with in its walls.

I acknowledged all those who were in attendance;
people from our past and our present,
people who knew Leisha, many who never did,
3 of Leisha's girl friends came, representing many others who connected with us during the week
some came who barely knew us, but were attracted to story of hope we had been able to share.
I wish I could share of those stories with you- but those are not mine to share!

Cait & her boyfriend, Jack Andrews & Brie and her now fiance, Jason Augsburger

Cait also brought two of her college roommates to join us!  I know they didn't know what they were getting into!  We put them to work!
Thank you Megan & Tori!
We loved having you!

We told the group gathered that as Leisha had passed on hope to us, and we had passed on hope to DEEP WOODS, now it was time for us to pass on hope to others in our world.  We gave each person a 'hunk of hope'.  It was just a green stone- they could choose the size and shape of the hope they wanted to pass on!  But I've already heard great stories of hope being passed on to others.

The girls represented LEISHA'S HOPE passing on the HOPE cabin to the Crossroads staff who represented DEEP WOODS.  Pastor Randy gave a dedicatory prayer, then invited us to surround the cabin and join hands to offer our own prayers!  As we stood, I felt the wind swirling around us, as if the very presence of the Spirit of God was surround the space.

Then Randy called me to the front. "You need to be the one to open the door!"

"Ladies and Gentlemen, We invite you to HOPE!"

When life fills with Extremes!

Whew!  If you've been following me- you know that I had a massive flux of posts and facebook messages and website updates right before the Dedication of the HOPE Cabin on October 14th. And then...I almost disappeared completely for a while.  I know I have had lot's of people say- so what happened!  Are you ok? Did something go wrong with the dedication?  (nice to know people really are watching and want to know what happened!)

No and No!  We had an incredible time at the dedication (more on that)!  But the week before the dedication,  Ren's dad was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia! He was in a very serious place on Thursday and we had begun the process of canceling the event.  But Ren's mom called and insisted that we keep our plans.  It seemed very important to her that our part of the family was together to celebrate HOPE right now.  It was a Leisha connection and she needed us to make it as much as we did!  So we stayed and rejoiced in the moment!

But as soon as everyone left, so did we! We only stayed for the week, but saw an incredible teamwork between Ren's mom and brother Devin and his wife, Becky.  We are so grateful for them all!  His Dad is making improvement slowly but surely but is still hospitalized   We ask for your continued prayers for Barb and Ray both.  She has been by his side through all of this!  Her care for him has been a huge part of his motivation to deal with the next doctor's question or the next poke or prod!  We're proud of them both in the journey, but we know this has been one of those 'sickness and in health' times that you never fully imagine when you say 'i do' as a young couple! I've learned so much from Barb especially as we've talked again from a distance.  Thanks for praying for them!

It has been an amazing month of extremes.
We rejoiced at the completion of the HOPE cabin- celebrating HOPE that Leisha passed on to us.
We rejoiced at the birth of the first 'great grand baby' in my family- Congrats Kara and Steve!
We rejoiced at the engagement of our daughter Brielle to Jason Augsburger.  We are thrilled.
But we also saw the struggle for life and nearness of death!

Isn't that what life is- the series of joys and sorrows, ups and downs, life and death! It's finding a way to live in the middle of it all that makes it an adventure. It also makes us clearly aware of the importance of HOPE from a source that is never ending.   Thanks for your prayers- for all those we love connected with the above extremes!  We're grateful!

(We're just catching our breath a little! So, I will try to get the HOPE CABIN updates for you now! )

Monday, October 8, 2012


Last week the floor was laid in the HOPE cabin- and moving in day was Thursday!  It was a beautiful day! Incredible really!  The WOODS were beautiful with the leaves just beginning to turn. As I rode out to the site on the wagon filled with furnishings, I marveled at the feeling of joy that I felt.  And as we began to unpack, that joy only grew. You know that feeling when you begin to see all the peices of a puzzle put together- only way better!

Often when you think of a cabin in the woods, it's pretty rustic.  Well, we may not have electricity yet, and you may have to walk to find the porta-potty, but the insides of these cabins are not rustic.  They are great!  Each one with a different personality.

We have been collecting things for the HOPE cabin for 2 1/2 months.  Pastor Randy is great with design and Pastor Barb sees things that will help people see anything better.  The two of them, along with some great assistance from Randy's wife, Rhonda, gathered most of the items.  Ren's mom had us bring a small barnwood cabinet from her house to include.  Brie found a rug and ...'s amazing!

(I'm not showing pics of the inside until after the Cabin Dedication on October 14th at 2pm in the Deep Woods!  Come join us!  If you want to see teasers- check out my FB page at Kathy Burrus)

All day Thursday, I was so excited with the thought of it.   I was running errands for supplies for the dedication event, and enjoying the warmth of the day, looing forward to the day we could show it to our world-especially to Cait & Brie!  My plans were to run home and get some stuff so Ren & I could spend the first night in the cabin!

But I got home and ...this crisis of emotions begin to overwhelm! Yes!  I am thrilled the cabin is built.  Even more thrilled that we are very near the dedication of it so others can use it.  But even as I saw the items being unpacked and put together, I became keenly aware of how incredibly the SPIRIT of HOPE was captured. For me, it was also a reminder of Leisha's spirit.  Full of color- Greens, of course. Full of texture- never the same way twice with her.  Full of wondering- how she would LOVE this chair, or that one, or the colors, or...!

Suddenly, though I have felt her influence in all of this,  I was completely spent with feeling her absence. My heart was torn with being exceedingly joyful and sad all at once! I realized that my first time in the cabin could not be rushed!   I would need time to prepare my heart for something more than just the experience.  Somehow, God is using this cabin to heal more wounded places than I knew were still there.

Six years ago, I felt that darkness was swallowing me up. I was at a place where I couldn't imagine feeling hope again- let alone joy!  Today I feel both.  But I am reminded that I can feel those so strongly because I've known what it's like to not feel them!

How about you? 
Are you feeling hope and joy right now in great abundance? 
Oh I celebrate with you!  Drink it up! Be grateful!

Are you feeling dispair and darkness so strong it's about to drown you?
Oh I'm so sorry it hurts so bad!  Please don't go it alone!  Please reach out to someone you trust!

But more than anything- stop flailing, as if trying to get out of quicksand.
Stop, Close your eyes, and in your minds eye, look for the glimmer of HOPE that God has planted there just for you!  Come on, humor me!  Just do it!  Keep looking!  Keep looking! Do you see it? 

...that little leaf of green!

...that's HOPE!

...growing just for you!

I'd love to hear from you!  Add a comment or send me an email at  You are not in this alone! 

Monday, October 1, 2012

You are invited to the DEDICATION of HOPE!

Come Celebrate the


Sunday, October 14th, 2pm

Meet us in the DEEP WOODS
@Crossroads Church,
775 S Thayer Road, Lima

Light refreshments will be served.