December 30, 2020
If you would have asked me last year what Aly’s Monkey Movement would look like by the end of the year, I would have never believed you. This ministry has become such a burning passion in my heart, that bubbled over from my daughter’s tenth birthday wish, nearly two years ago. Our whole family has distinct roles in the ministry that we literally do each and every day of the week. Some days it is full throttle, and others, we have some down time. I’ve learned that if you’re obedient to God’s call, he truly provides you with the energy and motivation you need to tackle the job. He has given us all that we need and then some in this ministry. Praise be to him.
As we wrapped up last year, we really didn’t know where our monkey journey would go. We had started a race to purchase 1500 monkeys, and by Aly’s 11th birthday, we did just that! It wasn’t long after that we began the process of creating our very own Aly’s Monkey! Time moved forward and in October we welcomed 1500 more monkeys into our home, but this one, we could truly claim as our own. We welcomed, the “Olivia” monkey.
We have been blessed to meet so many amazing people. We are surely blessed with such a giving community. A close-knit village who truly is exceptional. We’ve learned so much perspective on life. We’ve been reminded of our blessings, and we have been gifted the ability to embrace a good day, a healthy life, and healthy kids in ways we never imagined.
I say we’ve been gifted… because each day in the monkey ministry; we’re reminded that in any moment our lives could change…Just like those we hold tight in prayer as they fight their fight. We have celebrated victories, and we have lost some battles. Some days, it’s easy, and there are some seasons it is heavy and hard to breathe. Truth is friends, there are times, I’m not really sure why God has called us to this. Some days it feels hard. Losing s child. It takes our breath away. We become invested in their journey as if they are own family… because that is what they become when they receive a monkey from Aly’s Monkey Movement. Family.
More than once, I’ve said to my husband, I don’t understand what God is doing. Why does he think we are the ones for the job? This is hard. My husband reminds me that If he brought us to it, he will bring us through it. Guess what, he always does…and guess what? I’d truly be lost without this ministry. I have learned that God has our family, right where he wants us. Oh and Aly, she has made it clear that this needs to be around for her “grandchildren” HA! Soooo looks like we are going to be here for quite some time. I’m okay with that. Like REALLY okay with that. My heart and emotions are weaved into this ministry in ways, I don’t ever want to let go.
This year, our hearts have mourned the loss of many children. Aly has learned how to appropriately navigate it and she responds with “I’m glad they got a monkey to help them.” Me too sweet girl, me too. End of life is so difficult to navigate but truly reminds us daily what our priorities should be. Some see a stuffed animal monkey as a simple toy. Not necessarily a lifeline, and that’s okay. God put this on our hearts for a reason. He has given us reason to believe that it is a lifeline. When children are scared, and comfort seems unattainable…. These stuffed animal monkeys, they provide what we as adult humans can’t. They have a neutral stance, no opinions, just love. Just cuddles. Just comfort.
I can tell you over and over how God showed up in this ministry this year. Moments that just came together in the most beautiful way were most definitely orchestrated by him. We’ve witnessed miracles. Even when we didn’t receive the outcome or news we had been praying for, God has made it clear that he is still good. God has made his mission clear, and it continues to overflow in young children, as well as older individuals. They feel his tug to rise up, and join in on a simple birthday wish that is continuing to move across the United States. He is good.
We’ve celebrated so many awesome victories. Honestly, I believe the story of 2020 for Aly’s Monkey Movement lies in the hands of Emma Palmer. If we were a magazine and could nominate the most amazing human of the year, it would be her!
Emma fell ill at swimming practice this past year, due to a brain bleed. I remember reading her story in the middle of the night, and feeling the tug to get them monkeys. I reached out to someone I noticed taking the lead of her story, and learned that it was her aunt. Ashley, gave me her address and accepted my invitation to send monkeys to Emma and her siblings. I followed Emma for quite some time, and was in tune with every bit of her recovery. This girl daily works hard to become stronger. Her dad shared a one time, that there are difficult times and it is okay to be sad, but you got to keep moving! Man, that is TRUE!!!!!! It’s okay to not be okay… it’s not okay to stay there!!! Emma swam her first lap in the pool recently and I gotta tell you, I ugly cried. What a beautiful moment. If you missed it, follow this link.
Watch until the end. Because this is the best statement made of this year, and it proves that you can do anything moving into the new year that you put your mind to! Emma, you have our whole hearts, and we will always be loud and clear from Pennsylvania cheering you on!!
Emma was one of many miracles we seen throughout the year. We witnessed Maverick, Zoey, Elliot, so many, just to name a few. These kids, they beat the odds, and they’ve fought. We have some who are actively fighting. Their stories pierce our minds and hearts daily to be the best version of ourselves. It reminds me as a momma to teach my children how to embrace a good day at its fullest. Let them be dirty. Let them be loud. Drink soda (but brush your teeth). Laugh hard, and loud. Live life fully.
As I close up this post for the day, I’m not sure if you’ll get another one this year or not… Just in case you don’t, since we have one day left…. The one thing I ultimately pray that you take from the monkey movement 2020 is perseverance. That you learn as you move into 2021 that despite the challenges, and transitions we dislike… despite health conflicts, career changes, or life’s struggles. You CAN PERSERVEARE. You can make the choice to find joy in your celebrations and trials. You can make the choice to push through and fight. You can persevere through anything that you put your mind to. A young girl lost full function of one whole side of her body. She kept her head above water and she worked her way all the way down the swimming pool. Her testimony is clear that with God, and a positive attitude, you can do anything.
If you need prayer, or someone to help hold you up while you regain strength, call out. Aly’s Monkey Movement community will hold you up in steadfast prayer. We will help you keep your head above water. We will cheer you on as you regain strength and stamina. We will celebrate with you. You breathe air into our lungs and give us a true meaning of “Victory”.
Aly’s Monkey Movement is forever a concrete foundation of world changers who will work together to change the world, one monkey at a time.
As we close up, please consider checking out our 12-minute highlight video of 2020. It was a great year and we are so excited for 2021! This upcoming year we get to celebrate our one year as a nonprofit, and of course second year as a moving ministry. The fact that God chose us for this ministry leaves my heart bursting! For HE IS GOOD!!!!
We wish you an incredible close to 2020, and we pray 2021 is an incredible party! We love you and we’re so thankful for you. Be Blessed and Be Kind!
Persevere, my friends!!!
Happy New Year Humans!
The Creasy Family