Thursday, May 13, 2010


My youngest children have always enjoyed their nifty knitters and have been content to make hats and knitted scarves with them. I learned to crochet when I was young, but I could never get the hang of knitting. They say, if you pick up one, you will have trouble with the other, and this rang true for me. So, to me, these nifty knitters were amazing! I love the fact that so many children to young adults are using nifty knitters to construct these beautiful little preemie hats for Lydias Hope. These devices make it so easy to do that even very young children are able to participate in this venture, and do beautiful work. Still, I have always noticed there are several preemie hats that are knitted the old fashioned way-on knitting needles. I would admire that beautiful work and remember my days of fruitless efforts trying to learn how. Thank God for nifty knitters!
This year, my children are in a 4-H club and part of our agreement in the club is you teach a class and you take as many classes as you wish. (a homeschool mom's dream club!) I put my two youngest daughters in a knitting class. The bonus of this class is that I go with the girls and learn along with them so I can help them in their work if they have any trouble. This has proved to be a clear case of 'the blind leading the blind", but we have always had you-tube videos to turn to in moments of being completely confused. I have to say after attending knitting classes I have an even greater appreciation of the art. As I have learned what the stitches are, and how many rows to knit or pearl, and how to create the patterns in a series of knit and pearl stitches, and getting lost in my count several times...I admire the time and efforts of our knitters tremendously. I have tried out the pattern on this website for the preemie hat, and the pattern is a good one. It's easy enough for beginning knitters like us, and can be changed with different and more complicated stitch patterns.
Thank you to all the knitters who contribute to Lydia's Hope. You have all done beautiful work.
Thank you to all of you who are doing my favorite pastime-making quilts. I know some of you are making your first quilts and blankets for these babies and I smile at your efforts that are works of beauty. For those of you who caught the quilt bug, I really, really understand the pull of taking tiny pieces of fabric and sewing them together to form beautiful patterns. I wish I had some feedback from the recipients or their families, but I don't. I just know one receptionist at the desk always goes through the quilts and admires each one before they go to the nicu. Last month, a nurse from the nicu was called down to get the box of quilts and hats from me and she thanked me (well, all of us) over and over. I am condensing a verse for all of you that I feel applies to those of you who have or are in the process of contributing. What beautiful hearts you have!
Phil. 2:3 ...let each of you regard one another as more important than yourself...Have this attitude in yourself which was also in Christ Jesus.
Thank you for demonstrating this verse in regard to the preemies.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

hope renewed

Today I took over 100 hats and many baby quilts to Shawnee Mission Hospital. As we pulled up to the special additions maternity entrance, I noticed a "Childrens Mercy" ambulance out front. I noticed it because it was colorful with childlike graphics, and because it was parked in front of the maternity entrance. I had a feeling they were transporting a sick child. In that moment of realization, I had strong feelings of pain for the parents of a child sick enough to be transported to a higher level of care than Shawnee Mission Hospital.
I arrived at the front desk to see my friend Susanna who was excited to get the boxes of hats and quilts for the preemies. As she and I visited about Lydia's Hope, a tiny baby was being wheeled out to the Childrens Mercy transport ambulance. The workers wheeled the baby boy right passed me. As I looked, I saw the most perfect tiny face with his eyes squinting at the lights while opening and closing his perfect little mouth. He was so small, in his enclosed bassinet. Susanna explained that he was 27 weeks old and very sick. He was 27 weeks old! He was barely 6 1/2 months old! He was tiny, but perfect in every way and beautiful, And somewhere in that hospital had to be a parent or parents who said goodbye to their son in hopes that a level IV hospital could serve him better than a level III. Off and on today I have stopped to pray for that little boy, and for his family.
I think I needed to see that. When I got the ball rolling with Lydia's Hope, (and I didn't get the momentum alone, I feel a need to clarify that) but I was so excited to be helping a group of nameless and faceless people who had a need that I could fill. Last summer I quilted about 10 quilts and with the start of school, my ability to produce as many quilts slowed tremendously. The great thing was new quilters were being added to Lydia's list of volunteers. As the holidays neared, and I got even busier, I had even less time to devote to this project. The knitted hats kept coming in great volume, and we took on a second hospital nicu to help. Then one of my knitting groups had to stop. To what could only be attributed to God's favor and leading, my remaining knitting group just picked up the slack. I didn't even ask them, they just did. Each time I lost help with this outreach, God seemed to pour out His grace on the project and the need for the preemies continue to be met.
Last month, I delivered my first batch of hats and quilts. Up until this time, I had hospital workers I knew as personal friends that I could hand the hats and quilts over to take to the nicu, but because of their work schedules and life in general, I wasn't seeing them to give them the hats and quilts to deliver. So I started doing it. up until this time, I had so little feedback about these efforts, I felt myself becoming discouraged. I felt I was doing something blind and couldn't report back to the knitters or seamstresses any encouraging news or helpful advice. Then I received the e-mail from Tina Moore (clinical mgr. SM Hospital nicu) and hoped it would revive all of you as much as it did me.
Today as I got to the front desk to drop off the boxes of knitted hats and quilts for the nicu workers to retrieve, I saw a tiny baby boy who reminded me why we do this. I wish I had all kinds of words of encouragement for all of you who work for Lydias Hope as a volunteer, but I really don't. I don't know a single baby or family these hats have served, but I know that God has helped me along in this nameless/faceless outreach each time I felt like 'why am I doing this?' I have seen His provision through all of you in the time you give to making these beautiful knitted hats and quilts. I've see Him motivate workers when some lost their motivation with this project. I am reminded that Lydia's Hope is His outreach meeting the needs of our community's premature children. Today, I came face to face with one tiny, sick, premature child and saw with my own eyes who it is that we are serving through this ministry. And I realized how much God cares for these babies and their parents to keep all of you going and using your talents to serve them.
Tonight I went to my sewing room and started piecing a tiny quilt top and started praying for the tiny child it would belong to. I don't know if I am the only one who needs to be reminded of Who is in charge here, but I pray that He is able to continue to encourage and bless the works of your hands. You are doing something beautiful here and I see His hand guiding all of you.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

from Shawnee Mission Hospital nicu nurse

I received an e-mail to pass along to you; the following "Thank You" to 'prop' you up and keep you focused on this worthwhile venture. While we don't do what we do 'for the praises of men', it's still nice to hear from one of the nurses that it means a lot to the families of these premature children. Thanks to all of you who help make Lydia's Hope such a worthy outreach to the community. Vicky

Thank you very much for the lovely blankets and hats for our babies. It is such a sweet and special thing you do and it means so much to the families who receive these! As a nurse, I nearly well up every time I get to give one to a family and explain to them how they are made by volunteers! You are making such a difference in the world. Families who have great needs are touched by your kindness and families who are in a better position are moved to the point that many of them ask what they can do to make a difference! Thank you!

Tina Moore-Yamron, J.D., RN.

Clinical Manager, Neonatal Services.

Shawnee Mission Medical Center

(913) 676-7574 Office.