Image via Wikipedia
Sometimes when I have a goal I get tunnel vision. For a very spacey, squirrel-y type personality, I can still get focused on one thing and those other details of life fall to the way side. If you haven’t noticed I’ve been focused on raising money to get The Sparrow’s Nest off the ground.
There’s a rather negative connotation when we think about someone who is solely focused on money. On the flip side, you would also think trying to help people wouldn’t be so hard or so complicated or so held back by something as petty as money. Who knew it would require so much money. However, God is REALLY using money and fundraising to mold me during this process.
First, I hope you can rejoice with me as I personally learn yet another level of trusting God. This month’s goal of raising $30,000 in 30 days is overwhelming. We are a third of the way through the month and a third of the way to our goal. I literally just have to commit the GIVE WINGS campaign to God and know He will take care of us.
When I look at the $405,000 needed to get everything off the ground running fully, I feel like I’m hiking up Mt Kilimanjaro in flip flops during a snowstorm. However, whether it’s 30K or 300K I have to let go of the worry and know God has it under control.
Second, I have to ask you to forgive me. For quite awhile I had been trying to figure out how I can get you to give more money to this cause. Then God showed me through another fundraiser that I was way out of line.
Then with a little more grace and maturity, but not much, I moved toward trying to determine what I could give you in return for what you were giving to The Sparrow’s Nest. Then God used a donor to tell me that trinkets and return gifts or even some acts of service can come across as empty.
Now, I’m trying to grow in my faith and look at it this way. I don’t want something FROM you. I want some things FOR you. Whether you give to The Sparrow’s Nest or not. I do want you to know the blessings that come from generosity. I want you to know how much I love you. I want you to know the joy of loving others.
More than anything I want you to know how much God loves you.
Wednesdays are brutal for me. For some reason I’ve set that day as my back to back meeting day. I guess I feel if I don’t have it done by Wednesday it’s not going to get done. But Wednesdays are also the days I volunteer as a crisis pregnancy counselor. I try to help parents (who hadn’t really planned to be parents), become the best parents they can be with the skills and resources they possess. Sounds difficult, but my spiritual gift is convincing people to do things they didn’t think they could do.
No matter how much I prepare myself each week through prayer and meditation I usually walk away from Thrive drained. There are ALWAYS young people walking through those doors. There are ALWAYS young parents in the counseling rooms. There are ALWAYS young kids trying to figure out tomorrow. Unplanned pregnancies seem like they will ALWAYS be around no matter how hard we try to educate, encourage, threaten, scare, etc.
I’ve had a few people and more than a few churches say they don’t see the problem of teen pregnancy going away so they don’t want to get involved in something that doesn’t seem to have a solution. I have to mask my first response of “REALLY??? ARE YOU KIDDING ME???” and respond with there is a solution. An obvious solution.
This week is Holy Week. People around the world are giving pause to Christianity and to what Christ did on the cross for everyone. Many are considering the love of God this week. For those of us in a community of faith we are preparing for a wonderful Sunday of remembrance and celebration of the Resurrection.
But let’s not lose the chance to share the solution of Christ. Yes, we live in a fallen world. Yes we all fall short of the glory of God. Yes, we are all sinners. However, the solution has been and will always be the love of Christ.
Our problems in this world are only temporary. We have to keep our eyes on the Cross. And more importantly, to those who don’t yet know His sacrifice and His grace and His mercy, we have to be the ones to share that solution with them.
This may sound kind of creepy and stalker-like but I just wanted you to know that I can’t stop thinking about you. I know we haven’t met yet and that probably freaks you out but I just wanted you to know that there are people out there that care for you. There are people out there who don’t want you to feel alone or scared now that you are pregnant.
I guess I just wanted to assure you I’m working as fast as I can to get you a safe place to stay while you are pregnant. I’m feverishly trying to raise money to be able to get you a place to stay, the right people to help you , and the things you will need to be the best mommy you can be right now. I wake up in the middle of night and God and I talk about you. Not like in a bad way. I just ask Him to keep His hand on you and your baby until I can help you.
You want to know the coolest thing though? It’s not difficult to find people who care about you. I don’t have to go searching hard to find people to want to help you get off to a good start in this next stage of your life. I don’t want you to think it’s all jacked up and they feel sorry for you or they pity you. It’s not like that at all. There are people all over this city who deeply care about you and your baby. They aren’t judging you. You don’t have to prove anything to them. They already love you and your baby.
So today, if you are waking up and you are already dreading today I wanted you to know you are surrounded by love. If you are waking up today and feel stressed out by decisions, and people, and school, and family I just wanted you to know you are covered in prayer. And that there is help on the way.
Hang in there sweetie,
Posted in Encouragement, Letters
Tagged abortion alternatives, Family, God, Home, hope, Mother, Parent, Pregnancy, Teen Mom, Teenage pregnancy
Do you ever feel bogged down by the mundane? Who am kidding? Of course you do. We all get caught up in the things we think we’re suppose to do. Especially as a woman I feel like I’m a constant tug of war of caring for everyone else whether it’s meal preparations, dishes, laundry, grocery shopping, helping with homework, breaking up kid fights, balancing church life, serving in the community, exercising, eating right, and the list can go on and on and on. Sometimes it’s hard to lift our heads up and see what’s going on outside of our own little world. It’s hard to even have time to be inspired to do something other than the million other things we are already doing.
I just saw the most amazing interview by Ann Curry on the Today Show. She interviewed Ruth Gruber. Never heard of her? Me either but she has moved to the top of my list of “People I Really Want to Meet. ” Ruth Gruber was born in 1911 in Brooklyn NY to Jewish immigrants. She is a very tiny petite woman who will turn 100 years old in September. In a time when women were trained as housewives and maybe teachers, Ruth earned her bachelor and master’s degrees by the time she was 19. She went on to study in Germany and earned her PhD in one year becoming the youngest person the world to carry out that accommodation. She became a journalist and photographer and documented some of the most horrifying parts of the Holocaust during World War II in Hitler’s Nazi Germany. One of the most heroic things she ever did was to escort 1000 Jewish and Christian refugees to sanctuary in the U.S. Ann Curry asked Ruth what made her decide to take on something so dangerous . Ruth’s answers resonated with me. She responded with ” For years I had been saying ‘why don’t we do something?’ so I decided to do something.”
She went on to say “We have to open ourselves to doing.”
I cannot truthfully put the horrible atrocities of the Holocaust in the same class of teen pregnancy. But what I can take from this is the absolute inspiration of Ruth Gruber. She saw a need and filled it. She didn’t start in the negative of what she didn’t have but she started with her strengths of who God had already made her to be. She used the gifts and talents and passions she already possessed to save 1000 Jews and Christians and to share with the world the story of countless thousands of other victims.
This kind of inspirational story fires me up. Whenever I doubt my abilities. Whenever I doubt my motivations. Whenever I doubt my resources, God shows me ordinary people doing extraordinary things. When I turn and look at the people God has already sent to The Sparrow’s Nest, those amazing volunteers who are just like me, just trying to figure this thing out as we go along this journey Our volunteers are using the things they know best. I’m telling you, I am blown away.
Ruth Gruber is one of my new heroes. Ruth Gruber is a new source of inspiration for me. However, The Sparrow’s Nest volunteers are a tangible source of inspiration I can turn to and touch everyday.
Who inspires you to be more? Who are your heroes?
Today’s lesson for me seemed like it was going to yet another one about God‘s timing. Had I written this post this morning it would have been about being patient, waiting upon the Lord, finding our satisfaction in Him. All perfectly good and enduring qualities. However, I would have had the Eyeore piety tone. The tone of just doing things because we’re suppose to not because we find real happiness in the discipline. I was feeling discouraged this morning because I had gone to the IRS website to track our application to become a 501C organization. The news I found sounded like it might be another 6 months before our application was even reviewed. I had been praying that God would grant us that 501C3 status in 30 days rather than the average 90 days so I could hit 2011 running to start funding this vision. I lowered my head, sent an email to our attorney requesting clarification , muttered a prayer about trusting God in all things and went on with my day.
I checked my email a couple of hours later and Dan Cooper had replied explaining those six month delays were for applications that needed further development and he had taken it up on himself to call the IRS to see about our status. The IRS representative told him The Sparrow’s Nest had been approved a WEEK AGO and that we should receive our determination letter in 10-14 business days! I went through about 50 emotions in a 30 second time period.
The feelings that rang through after my initial elation and celebration is why do I still feel like I’m not good enough to be heard by God. I do not doubt His might and strength and providence. I do not doubt He expects me to pray to Him. But I think I still doubt I am doing it right, or maybe He has issue with my motivation for prayer, or really it always comes down I still do not feel worthy. Despite all the evidence Satan can still convince me that I am the one not covered by Christ’s blood.
God and I have already had a little talk this afternoon clearing up that little mis-communication. We’ve agreed where He leads I will follow.
We’re excited at The Sparrow’s Nest about our status and the opportunities it will give to so many to share generously with us. But aside from that please take time to pray for those who will be coming through our doors who don’t find themselves worthy to approach the throne of the Lord. Pray they can always feel they can climb up into the lap of their Daddy and feel His grace, love, and mercy.