Thursday, December 22, 2011

O, Holy Night

“Truly He taught us to love one another; his law is love and his gospel is peace. Chains shall he break, for the slave is our brother. And in his name all oppression shall cease.”

Just a few weeks ago, I was singing “O, Holy Night” in the car and a question came to me, followed by an answer that was so powerful!

“Who is the slave?” When I was young, I thought that “the slave” was referring to actual slaves and the need to abolish slavery. I never thought much more of it…just words in a song. Fast forward 35 years, “Who is the slave?”

The slave has been each one of us. We have been enslaved to sin, selfish ambition, pride, loneliness, anger, the need for the approval of others, the list goes on.

Christ has set us free.

There are others who still sit in darkness, who are enslaved and oppressed. This beautiful carol reminds us that we are to love those who sit in darkness. God’s law is love, not judgment. His Gospel is PEACE, not hostility. In His precious name, oppression is broken…the reason Christ came to earth!

May you know true love and peace this Christmas time and all year through. May Christ bring liberty to your life. My prayer, during this Christmas and New Year, is that we all would come into a greater understanding of God's great love for us. And I pray that we would respond to that great love, by loving others!

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Wonderful Walk in the Woods

In October, a friend and I were able to get away to Atlanta for Country Living Magazine's Country Fair. We spent the weekend in Atlanta, and a FULL day at Stone Mountain @ the fair.

It was staged in the woods. Hundreds of vendors...

Excuse me! A girl HAS TO eat...perfect fair fare...ribbon fries and a corndog...mmmmm!

My, oh my!

To say, "we were inspired", would be an understatement!

The whole time my mind was racing with ideas for design, decorating and crafting Christmas presents.

My "workshop" has been under construction with Hubs laying a new wood floor. However, I have still been working on a few surprises...inspired by all of this creativity!

In the midst of all of this, my heart delights...on so many levels!

First of all with creating...we are made in the image of God. He is the creator of all. So, when we create, we are mirroring just a tiny facet of God and that delights me!

Next, all of these particular items here have been repurposed.

I really love when someone can see something other than what appears before them. It's called having vision, seeing beyond the "seen". That is so God!

In the midst of our lostness, He has found us. He has redeemed us. Restored us. Repurposed us for more. That delights me. That brings hope.

He makes beauty from ashes. I am delighted. I am inspired.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Secret

This is my little friend, Reichen...

Tonight I just had to tell him a secret! I could not hold it in another minute.

Me: "Reichen, I have to tell you a secret...

I am SO in love with you!"

Reichen: "I'm in love with your eye balls!" as he runs off down the path.

Me: "Well, thank you Reichen. A boy has never said that to me before!"

I just love three year olds!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Unlike Any Other

This Thanksgiving was unlike any other. We only had six people around our table this year, our kids and Todd's Mom, Nana. In the 21 years that we have been married we have always celebrated with more family and friends. I LOVE preparing a feast for those I love. This year was no different...just smaller...and quieter...and different.

Some friends had family in town to celebrate with. Some friends went home, or to other friends' homes. Todd's youngest brother, Brad, and his wife Dana (who we so enjoy around our table) are celebrating in China. My family is celebrating at my parents house in Maple Grove, along with other family and lifelong friends. So, I really missed the people that have sat around our table in the past.

We were reminded of other special people through the family recipes we used, eating off of Mamo's favorite Franciscan Ivy patterned china (made famous on the Donna Reed Show and I Love Lucy Show in the 1960's). Using the turkey platter that I got from my brother in law's Grandmother Strickland. Making Rachael's famous citrus tea. Bringing out an old favorite...upside down apple pie.

I realize that, no matter who is around our table, I am making memories with/for my kids, as we celebrate with tremendous JoY and GrATefUlnESs, the awesome blessings in our lives. As we celebrated, albeit quietly (just what the Hubs needed), I looked around the table at Nana, Ashley, Todd, Jackson and Gabi and realized how blessed I am.

One day they will look back at ALL the special ways we celebrated Thanksgiving through the years, sometimes small and sometimes very, VERY big! But always

Monday, September 19, 2011

Beyond Words

One year ago today we were welcoming students to Youth With A Mission-Charlotte's Discipleship Training School. All of us, here at YWAM, were so excited to see this school of 21 students, coming in from all over North America. The first day is always hectic and awesome! Usually, we are running around welcoming people, helping people to their rooms, talking with family and friends who brought them here, airport runs, etc.

Last year was a little different for The Hedgepeths. You see, as students were arriving by planes, trains and automobiles, Jackson was being rushed to the hospital, by ambulance, to save his life. When we called 911 did they send an ambulance? Why, yes of course, along with two fire trucks and three police cars. "Best Practice" they said, "Overkill", I murmured. (Just kidding...I only thought it in my head). It was a little much for our little street and it brought so much attention.

I haven't written too many details here, regarding our situation a year ago, for many reasons. (I may expound on another day.) The bottom line is that Jackson contracted a fast growing form of MERSA that threatened to take his life. Two different doctors informed us that most people in Jackson's situation do not make it to the hospital. It is a miracle that he did. It is also a miracle that the doctors were able to save his arm.

What Jackson has gone through this year has been nothing short of traumatic, and yet, he has been brave and courageous. We could not have gotten through this year without so many people, our gratitude is beyond words, but I want to give it a shot.

First of all, I am grateful to the Lord. He has been gracious and faithful. I look back over this year and see his hand of faithfulness all over it. Seriously, I am so GRATEFUL!

I am grateful to Mike, who works with Jackson 40 hours a week. He was here a year ago, and drove me to the ER, behind the ambulance. He loves Jackson like his own kids. He believes in Jackson and his abilities. He champions my son. I am grateful to him and Ruth, for being friends to us, especially during this time, for bringing me New York pizza at the hospital, and for all the jars of homemade chicken soup.

I am grateful to Tara, Erma, Diana, Pat, Leslie, Tammy, Dee Dee and Debbie for the meals and cards, to Ellen and Lem for the MacAlister's Deli dinner and gift card, for the hospital visit with cards and balloons. Thank you to Pastor Billy for all of the visits to PICU, for sitting with Jack even before we could get there in the mornings, praying for him, and the phone calls checking in on us. To Michael and Darla, for listening to my heart in an e-mail and sending Mike up on a flight within 24 hours to sit with Todd, and for remembering my birthday that day with a hot pink and zebra striped bag that just screamed my name.

To Bev, for "just dropping by" Jack's hospital room...with goodie bags, checking in with us. To Jane, for having lunch with me in the hospital cafe. Sending me cards, like clock work, every few days.

To Mom Sandi, for dropping by the hospital many days, to sit with Jackson, or visit with Todd. To the Knox-Hedgepeths for the MASSIVE balloon delivery!

Thank you to Bill and Bridgette for the love, phone calls, prayers, building our house, making a place for Jackson to come home to. Also, to our precious Ephrata Family, for standing with us, praying for Jackson, loving him, helping to make a special place here for him.

To YWAM-Charlotte, for all the dinners, moving furniture, raking the lawn and offering to watch the girls. To Seth and Andrew, for being friends to Jackson. To our greater YWAM Tribe, who has prayed for us and sent letters of emails of encouragement. To Janet, who was always checking in with me via fb, getting updates on Jackson, and letting me know she was praying.

To my parents, for coming down and just being here. Helping to finish the house, caring for the girls, allowing me to be in PICU (the girls were too young to go in), laundry, cleaning and loving on us. For Jen, flying down to be with me...calling me every morning to "check in". Tam Tam, for calling every time "our songs" came on the radio, for taking the girls for the day.

There are all the doctors and nurses, therapists and technicians, who listened to what we were saying and really trying to figure things out. Thank you to all who watched "Temple Grandin" and "Wretches and Jabberers" as an act of standing with us and trying to understand the world of autism.

To Melinda, for stopping by, calling, doing a great job with The Arc of Union County...being our friend. To our other amazing advocates Jennifer Bills, Andrew Strickland and their whole team at Disability Rights of NC.

To Janelle and Jeane, for sending incredible care packages via Kevin, arriving one year ago today. I was scared that day and had a bit of an idea that we may be headed to the hospital...little did I know the severity of things. God did. Through your gifts, I felt like He was saying that He loved me and He was taking care of things. It would be weeks before I could really delve into that wonderful, amazing Lancaster goodness! Janelle, for your continued gifts of love, words of encouragement, hugs from a distance and prayers. Thank you for wanting to get it, to understand.

Cacey for adopting Cookie, our chocolate lab.

There are so many others who have helped in so many ways. We are grateful. Looking back, I do not see all of the machines and tubes, the surgeries or procedures. I see the faces and acts of kindness and love that were shown to us. I may have missed a few names, I am sorry.

Our gratitude goes beyond words...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I had to go into Charlotte last week. I never mind going, I love it really. However, when I have to be there early, I HAVE TO leave my house before 7 am.

It doesn't matter if I leave at 6:45 or 6:58, I just have to be on the road before 7 am, or I will be stuck in traffic. A few of us around here talk about this fact. We all in your car and on the road before the clock strikes 7!

On this beautiful day, I hit the road...a few minutes later than planned...putting me in my car, on the road, at 7:08. I was sailing right along, and then...bumper to bumper. No worries. I had time, I'm just not sure this is how I wanted to spend my time. I relax, take in the scenery, memorize the license plate ahead of me, sing at the top of my lungs, stuff like that.

Then, a business van pulls in front of me. On the rear doors, he has two magnetic posters up, asking me, "Have you seen me?" I look closely, no. I haven't seen either one of these two kids, Angel or Savanna. I start to wonder where are they? Who has seen them? Are they still around to be seen? My heart aches and I start to pray. I pray for their families, their safety, God's protection and mercy to be upon them. I pray for them to be safe. When I can't pray anymore, I jet into the other lane and pass that van.

Soon, I come up on a cute little sports car to my left. The kid in it is trying to burn up the road, in a traffic jam. I smile to myself. Then, he pulls in front of me. (Dude! Careful!) Then I notice his bumper stickers, I actually start to get physically sick. They are absolutely disgusting! Seriously, I can take a few things. These were absolutely vulgar...I can NEVER repeat to anyone what I read.

My first thought was, "I can't believe his mother allows him to have these on his car!" Then I think, "maybe he doesn't have a mother." the lost boys of Neverland. Again, my heart is heavy. I start to pray for this young guy. I pray for the Lord to reveal Himself. I pray that the Lord sends someone into his life to show him love and grace. That the Lord, Himself would be merciful to this young man.

I was still in traffic, but traveling forward. From here my thoughts went back to my wedding day, July 7, 1990. At we were introduced as Mr. And Mrs., our friend sang, "Find Us Faithful", by Steve Green.

Our prayer, for our life together, was that song. It still is our prayer.

"May those who come behind us find us faithful.

May the fire of our devotion light their way,

May the footprints that we leave,

lead them to believe

and the lives we live, inspire them to obey."

What are people seeing as they follow me? They may not always "choose" to be behind me, but traffic, aka "circumstances" have them following behind me. My prayer is that they see something that inspires them, a light that would encourage them to keep on in the journey, a joy like none they have ever seen.

Monday, August 8, 2011


Today Hubs is in the land that I love...Minnesota! He has a clean, beautiful, quiet house to himself, a brand new Rav 4 as his chariot and, oh yeah, he's playing 54 holes of golf TODAY!

(My parents are on vacay in Canada, so Todd has their house and car at his disposal. He is there by himself, thus the quiet house. I am not sure he is enjoying the quiet, or the clean, as much as I would if I was there.)

In July, Todd was invited to participate in a golf tournament that helps raise money for missionaries and ministries. Since we are missionaries, that raise money for our ministry, he decided to give it a shot...well, many shots! The tournament includes playing 54 holes in a day.

Todd has been working on gathering sponsors over the last month. (It is not too late, if you want to sponsor Todd per hole, multiply it by 54 and send a tax deductible check, for the amount, made out to "YWAM" and mail it to 418 E. Franklin Street, Monroe, NC 28112. He has gotten sponsors for .75 -$10.00 per hole. Some people have sent in one time gifts as well.)

You may ask yourself, or me, why is Todd doing this? Why do the Hedgepeths "raise support"?

As missionaries, with Youth With A Mission, we do not receive a salary. Our family is responsible to raise all the funds needed to be in ministry and to do all that the Lord has called us to do. We recognize that there are many valid ways of financing ministry, as YWAMers we are called to practice personal support raising in the context of dependence on God for financial provision. We have seen the Lord provide for us, through the generosity of family, friends and churches for over 21 years. It is not just us out here, doing "what we do", it is a team of people who are being obedient to what God has called them to do.

We are grateful for the generosity of others. We are grateful for every gift that comes our way.

As we have seen added responsibility given to us, within our mission, we have had an added increase in expenses. So, Todd golfing, and getting sponsors, has helped to fund what we know God has called us to do.

A friend wrote on Sunday night, saying that we are living in financially fragile times, but God is not a fragile God! And He promises that "He will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus."

I love that I get to be a part of this "tribe" called YWAM and I am totally stoked that Todd and I get to do this together...with each other and with our kiddos, and with the people He has surrounded us with.

Life is good...God is GREAT!

Friday, July 15, 2011

For Mom

This morning I received an email from my sweet mom. I love her so much. She and my dad are ThE GreAteSt PaReNTs ever. I am serious. There has never been a time in my life that I have not felt their love. They really live life. They are retired, and busier than ever...golfing, fishing, movies and dinners with friends, kayaking, time with grand kids. Their lives are full.

I recently was able to take the girls "home" to Minnesota for a wonderful getaway...enjoying family and nature in a BIG way (I will blog about that later...promise). Most of the summer is spent living at the cabin...except for the occassional trips to the city for a doctor's appointment or airport pick-ups. There is no cable tv at the cabin. The sun rises early (5:30 am) in Minnesota during the summers, and goes to bed late (10 pm).

So, you live outside and enjoy


...which brings me to my morning email (they do have internet and a cell phone, THANK THE LORD!) My sweet mom had gone to my blog and noticed that I had not posted since March! (Mom, not to be argumentative, but I did post a mini something in May...)

So, I thought this would be the perfect time to post this new fav commercial, which totally reminded me of my parents the first time I saw it! And for the record, I did introduce my mom to Facebook...years ago. And Mom, the lack of blogging is only due to the fact that I have been living like YOU...FULL LIFE. Good news, this sort of living has given me stock piles of writing material. I will be back on the blogging wagon soon...I cannot wait!

Love you Mom and Dad!



Friday, May 13, 2011

"No matter how long the winter, spring comes."

I'm counting on it...

Dear Lord,

I am waiting on Spring...

I am waiting on YOU.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Busy. Glamorous. Life. Well, not always "Glamorous!"

Many days I think to myself, "When life slows down....(fill in the blank)." Well, guess what? Life is not slowing down!

My life is filled with many things...being a wife, a mom to a three kids who all have very different needs, a friend, a daughter, a sister, working with YWAM, being an advocate for my child, standing up for and abroad, travel, cleaning, laundry, the list is endless. Some days, I am just tired...plain and simple.

Recently, life has been quite daunting. I look for the bright spots here and there. This past September, while Jackson was in PICU for the first time, Todd and I were named, "Parent Advocates of the Year" for The Arc of Union County. This was such and honor, and HUGE surprise, for us. It was also an encouragement in the midst of some very dark days.

Just last month, The Arc had one of their main fundraisers for the year. Todd and I were invited to attend. It was one amazing night. I loved seeing all the friends, neighbors and community leaders come out to support Arc...really supporting Jackson and others like him. It was great to get out on a date of sorts.

So, here, Live from The Red Carpet!

Thank you Melinda and all the staff at The Arc of Union County. We appreciate the way you advocate for others. We are so happy to be linked with you guys!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

one blog leads to another

So, after I poured my heart out regarding my current home life and my pondering over spoiling my family, (Well, I didn't pour OUT my heart, I gave just a "drit". Drit: a word used by my Swedish Grandma, meaning, just a "Grandma, would you like some more coffee?" "Oh, yes please, but just a drit.")

I took some time to peruse a few favorite blogs. When I do this, it using leads to blog hopping...checking out my favorite blogs' favorite blogs. Somehow, I happened upon "the good news girl!"

With a name like that, I just had to check it out. Boy am I glad I did! This is what I saw...

How apropos! She may be speaking my language! Maybe we could be coffee buds.
Then I saw this...

Why stop there?

So, without delay, I went to Amazon and ordered myself some books! I've started on "Loving Your Man..."

I have never heard of Susie Davis. I am not familiar with her ministry. I can tell you that I certainly am enjoying her style and the content of her work. Her passion is to "help others develop God-centered relationships." I know that my family and I will enjoy the benefits of my reading.

Hubs probably would have enjoyed me starting with "Uncovered...revealing the secrets of a sexy marriage" Hhmmm. There is a time a season for everything!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I have spoiled them, I just know I have!

I have spoiled my family, I just know I have! When I say "spoiled", I mean this...

"To do harm to the character, nature, or attitude of by oversolicitude, overindulgence, or excessive praise."

I am so serious!

Why else would dirty clothes be left laying around, you know a pair of sock here or there. Shoes left where they have been kicked off, dirty dishes in the livingroom. A dirty pan left on the stove top.

It is as if it was all left for me to care for! Add to that, the responsibility of planning, and cooking, three meals a day. Being able to produce a gourmet snack at any moment.

Wait, there's more... four people asking for help from me, sometimes at the same time, on good days, one right after another. To all of this, I scream out to Hubs,

"Who do you think I am? Super Woman?"

He replies,

"Quite frankly, yes!"

As I have wallowed in self pity and the sadness of living with a family that does not know how great they have it (tongue in cheek), the conversation in my head goes something like this...

"Vickie, you love your family."

"Yes! That is true."

"You enjoy making gourmet meals, and snacks, for your family."


"You seem to enjoy making your home a place of rest, refreshment and beauty, a place of refuge."

"True again. I am just tired."

"Guess what? Your family is tired too. Everyone is offering their best. All of you need to see it as that, an offering. And then, receive it from one another. You do have laughter in your home. Laughter is good medicine. It helps you to care for the one who is emotionally and behaviourally fragile. It gives strength to you. It alleviates the pressures, at least for a moment, and that moment is precious."

So, after thinking on that for a while...

"But, have I spoiled them?"

"Have a conversation. Make some changes. Be flexible. Be respectful."

We've had the conversation. Things are going pretty well. There is a happy medium, okay, not always happy. I realize that I am the one who may be a bit ruined...having to have things just so. When something crazy/hard/challenging happens, outside of my control, I need to be the one to make the adjustment. If I can do that, with the Lord's grace and direction, our home will continue to be one of rest, refreshment, beauty and refuge.
Disclaimer: Hubs knows about this posting. I asked him weeks ago, "Have I spoiled you all?" We had a conversation. Also, in our household we share many responsibilities, including laundry, taxi driving, therapies, etc. We did get off track. We are back on track.