Saturday, September 13, 2014

I Lift A Prayer For Her




So it's been awhile since I've written as life has kept my busy and a little silent these days. I was reading an article on the latest scandal in the NFL involving the football player captured on video abusing his wife. In the article it said domestic violence is BACK in the news and I thought to myself, "Has it ever really left the news?" 

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1 in 3 women have experienced physical violence by an intimate partner. That could mean if you are standing in between two other women that one of you has experienced this abuse firsthand. 

This football player's wife is on my mind tonight. As I listen and read many wondering why she stayed with him and some going even further to play the blame game, I remember that I was her years ago in another lifetime it seems. Let me tell you a little about that time.

First let me say that I was that woman that believed and many times verbalized that I would NEVER put up with a man who would abuse me. I was 19, just out of school, and fell in love with a boy. I can still remember the shock of when he hit me the first time. And yes it was a few months before I married him. I just cried and he apologized saying it would never happen again. I believed him. Why wouldn't I? He loved me, right? I mean we're getting ready to stand at an altar and pledge our love to each other. It couldn't possibly happen again. I had to believe that.

I was wrong. I won't go into details except to say that for a year and a half I lived a nightmare. I stayed and at some point believed that I deserved all of it. Once you hear something so often, you can mistakenly let it into your head and heart. I hid it from everyone until no one could ignore the hospital visits including many injuries and a miscarriage. I still went back. You know what finally made me leave? Looking into the monster's face as he held me by the throat and told me that he could kill me. I believed that. 

It was then that I reached out to family and friends and fled that life. I hid at a friend's house until I could get a flight to my mom's. He didn't give me up immediately though. He stalked, called, and finally after two more years he signed the divorce papers and I was free.

I wasn't really though. It has taken many years and it is only by God's grace that my heart is whole again. I have a good man in my life now.

But I remember her. That young girl who believed. That young girl who lived in that space thinking it was exactly what she deserved and was so ashamed. That girl who was so broken.

That's why tonight I think of his wife.
And I lift a prayer for her.

Won't you join me?

Blessings,


Monday, February 17, 2014

Missions Monday - Giving Children Hope

It's time for Missions Monday.

Every Monday I will introduce you to some great charities that you can get involved in. When I say get involved, I mean you can donate your money, time, and/or pray for these organizations who are doing amazing things to help people.

Today I would like to introduce you to
Giving Children Hope


From the website:

Giving Children Hope is a community driven non- profit that equips front line partners with resources to serve vulnerable children and families.

GCHope is privileged to work with diverse individuals and communities both locally and around the world, providing supplies for projects that focus on needs of children and serve the poor.

GCHope works to promote family sustainability, economic independence, and self-sufficiency so that children can grow in stable environments. GCHope also plays a role in the development and rehabilitation of under-resourced clinics, hospitals, and orphanages. Our supplies mobilize organizations so that they can focus on implementation; this empowers communities to reach those caught in hopelessness and work toward self-sustainability.



You can learn more about this organization and
how you can get involved by visiting their website here:

You can connect with them on Facebook here:
and follow them on Twitter here:

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Breaking Out at Orange


The Orange Conference is just a few months away. This week I will be joining the Orange Bloggers in sharing our hearts about the conference, curriculum,  and the strategy of Orange. You can find a list of all the bloggers at Orange Leaders.

I am super excited to be going Orange this year. The added bonus is that I will be teaming up with my Orange Blogger friends again at the conference.
There are so many fantastic breakouts this year that it was very hard to choose just one for each session.


Here are the workshops/breakouts that I will
 be attending and a bit about each one.

Pre-Conference

YOU LEAD KIDS

If you lead kids-or influence them, teach them, listen to them, talk to them and love them-this session is the best place for you to begin. We want to create a space specifically for those who lead kids. Come network and learn from others who do what you do every week. Discover the five critical areas you need to grow and develop as a leader. Practically assess where you are now, in each of these areas, and begin to create your own long-term development plan.

BUILDING A HEALTHY VOLUNTEER CULTURE [CHILDREN]


When you're constantly scrambling for volunteers, it's easy to focus on simply recruiting warm bodies to fill your quota. Okay, that's reality. But what if you could recruit leaders who love serving, who want to show up weekly, and who invite their friends to help? Idealistic? Maybe. But in this breakout we will discuss ways to recruit children's volunteers in such a way that you create something they will love . . . almost as much as you do.

STARTING A CHURCH FOR UNCHURCHED FAMILIES


You've probably figured out by now that the beliefs and values systems of an "unchurched person" are different than they were ten years ago. You also might have noticed that families in your community "aren't what they used to be." So, with all the change, how do you create a ministry to effectively reach the families in your community? In this breakout, we'll look at 12 characteristics of today's unchurched families and discuss what these characteristics mean for your ministry.

HELPING FAMILIES GO DEEPER (ELEMENTARY)


The elementary years present a unique window of opportunity for parents to engage with their children. The conversations and experiences that can happen during this life-stage will shape much of a child's identity and character. Your ability to partner with parents at this stage can build a deeper spiritual foundation for kids in your ministry.

Conference Breakouts

LIFE STAGES

Children and student pastors are age-group specialists by default. But sometimes intuition isn't enough. That's why it's helpful to understand the patterns and unique issues that affect every age group. Understanding these life stages will help you leverage your ministry to target specific age groups more effectively. It will also help your age-group staff work together better to impact kids as they transition from one ministry to another.

6 THINGS EVERY KID NEEDS

There are approximately 936 weeks from the day a child is born until they graduate from high school. If you're a parent or leader, you are running out of time and your days of influence are limited. Join us as we talk about the six things every kid needs that will transform the focus and intentionality of your ministry, and how best to weave these six essential principles through everything you do as a leader and as a parent.

WHAT I WISH I COULD TELL EVERY VOLUNTEER

We know how important volunteers are to your ministries, but sometimes we struggle to tell them just how vital they really are. Join Sue Miller to discuss how best to share with your volunteer team how instrumental they are to your ministry and the great impact that they have on the lives of the kids that they are investing in week in and week out.

GET BETTER AT WHAT YOU SAY

If you are a leader, you have an audience. You have to cast vision, explain an idea, communicate a truth to someone. Maybe your platform is a group of kids, volunteers, or just people on your team. What if there is a clear process that will ensure that your next presentation is your best one? This breakout will give you that process, so you can discover how to get better at what you say.



Have you chosen your breakouts yet?
Which ones will you be attending?


 Hope to see you there!

Blessings,

Monday, January 27, 2014

Missions Monday - Unseen

It's time for Missions Monday.

Every Monday I will introduce you to some great charities that you can get involved in. When I say get involved, I mean you can donate your money, time, and/or pray for these organizations who are doing amazing things to help people.

Today I would like to introduce you to
Unseen



From the website:

Our purpose is to work towards the eradication of slavery wherever it is found, providing survivors with safety, hope, and choice.

We believe the most effective way of achieving this goal is to concentrate our work on prevention, survivor support and increased collaboration with other experts.

We identify the genuine issues surrounding human trafficking through thorough research and then provide care and support where it’s needed. All of our current projects and those in development are the result of detailed investigation.

You can learn more about this organization
and how you can get involved by visiting their website here:

You can connect with them on Facebook here:
and follow them on Twitter here:

Friday, January 3, 2014

Fight For His Heart



Five Minute Friday is where gather with my sweet friends
to write our hearts on a page for 5 minutes prompted
by the friend who encourages us to write bravely - Lisa-Jo.

I love this community more than words can express. 
They are my people.
It's been awhile.
I've missed them.

Today is about FIGHT.

Five Minute Friday


I've been thinking a lot about the prodigal son this week. Probably due to it being the lesson this week for the Bible study I am leading, but even more so because we have been living it out in our home. It's part of why I have been quiet here in this space. 

Several months ago our oldest son sat us down and told us that he didn't believe in God anymore. That he never really did and isn't saved. This came out of the mouth of the boy who brought his Bible to school for years, who earned the nickname "preacher" for telling others about Jesus, who talked about being a youth pastor. I think it might be the first time I was at a loss for words in conversation with one of my kids. He told us that he believes the Bible is just a collection of stories and more about why he came to this decision. In my head I just kept saying to myself, "Don't freak out. Don't freak out. He will stop talking if you freak out." So I listened. 
My only response that night was to tell him that I love him.
He went to bed soon after. 

D and I were in shock.
We talked and prayed late into the night knowing that we had begun to fight for the heart of our son in a way that we hadn't expected. It has been tough with him these past months. I would swear to you at times that a "pod person" (Invasion of the Body Snatchers reference) has replaced the son I know. He has been angry and hurtful. I have shed many tears and hit my knees often.

I want to be a good prodigal parent. One that loves him enough to let him go and also enough to be there to welcome him home again.
More than anything I want him to know that I will always fight for his heart. 
Always. No. Matter. What.
With open arms either way.

Blessings,

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Breaking the Silence



It really just started out as taking a break
over the summer to spend time with my family.
This whole not writing thing.
Then I realized it was a bit more than that.

A time to let God speak to my heart.
A time to speak to the hearts of others in my life.
A time to use my words more in other ways.
In prayer. 
With Him.
At home. 
With family and friends.

So I took the time.
I planned to start writing again once school started.
And I tried, but the words got stuck.

You see, right about that time some things happened that 
have been tough for me to talk about let alone write about here.
These things have challenged me in every way possible.
And I really didn't want to write about it.
Then I couldn't write anything.
So continued the silence.

I really miss writing.
I know that to begin again I have to break the silence on the hard stuff.
It was really difficult to do that with friends,
but I am so glad that I did.
Not only have they been so loving and supportive,
but it has given me a chance to do the same for others.
Being vulnerable opened that door.
Maybe I could be ok being vulnerable here too.
So looks like it's time to share.

So today is the first step.
Where I say...

Hello again, friends.
How I've missed you.

 Blessings,


Monday, October 21, 2013

Missions Monday - Love A Child

It's time for Missions Monday.

Every Monday I will introduce you to some great charities that you can get involved in. When I say get involved, I mean you can donate your money, time, and/or pray for these organizations who are doing amazing things to help people.

Today I would like to introduce you to
Love A Child




From the website:

"We are working to spread the word of God and show the love of Jesus by example, as we minister to the poorest of the poor in Haiti. Our outreach programs include 13 Love A Child schools, where we educate and feed over 5,000 children each day, and food distribution programs that feed thousands of Haitian families. With the help of our partners, we establish churches in villages, hold remote medical clinics and oversee many other projects to benefit the poor in Haiti."


You can learn more about this organization and 
how you can get involved by visiting their website here:

You can connect with them on Facebook here:
and follow them on Twitter here:


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