Tag Archives: God’s timing

We have to have a parking lot? Really?

 

 

Eighteen months ago it seemed like a pretty simple concept.

  • Pregnant teens needed a home

Logically speaking when you see a problem you search for the solution. This one seemed like a no-brainer.

  • Get them a home

I honestly couldn’t figure out why I seemed to be the only one to see the solution. I’m a fairly intelligent woman but not always the sharpest knife in the drawer. As each month passes it’s pretty clear now why nobody wanted to touch this one. As each month passes the stacks of papers, regulations, applications, policies, procedures, licenses, requirements grows exponentially. The budget is nowhere near what we originally thought. We have to convince a whole heck of a lot of people that what we are doing is a good thing. And now we found out we have to have a parking lot.

A Parking Lot? Really?

All we want to do is help those in need

And that, is exactly what we are going to do.

Are you ready to dig in with us? Are your knees ready for some bruised up prayer time? Are your knuckles ready to be bloodied as we climb the side of this cliff?

We have a tough road ahead but it’s necessary.

Are you in?

Leave us a comment below to tell us. Thanks!

2 Corinthians 4:8

The Message (MSG)

 7-12If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us. As it is, there’s not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we’re not much to look at. We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side;

 


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Where do we put the stuff?

Housing

Image by james.thompson via Flickr

If your children are “Messies” encourage them to marry someone who is laidback but possibly not a Messie. For better or worse, I’m a Messie and I married a Messie. Among other places in our house, the garage has always been a major dumping ground for us. This past year it has also become storage for the wonderful donations from people like you that just can’t wait for The Sparrow’s Nest to open.

Our garage is full of diapers, maternity clothes, a couch, a chair, a sidetable and lamp, a glider rocker, a changing table, well, you get the idea. We worked almost all Saturday cleaning and organizing and sorting. We took some into other parts of our house and some we took to church to store for awhile. It’s so fabulous and exciting to think about these items being used in the house by young mothers.

But that’s the catch , isn’t it. We are getting all this great stuff but we still don’t have a place to put it. We don’t have in our possession the whole point of The Sparrow’s Nest.

The Nest.

God has put on my heart such an urgency since the weather has started to change. Do you remember how bitter last winter was? I keep having that dreadful thought of a young mother trying to find shelter when it gets really cold. What if she thinks the only way she can find a home is to terminate her pregnancy? These thoughts race through my mind and make me sick to my stomach.

I just want to put on your heart the plea for God to provide a facility for us. I know there is someone in our area that could make an incredible sacrifice and donate a 4-5 bedroom house in St. Charles. I also know that if we pool all our resources we can have this project fully funded by January so we can lease to own a property.

There are so many exciting possibilities this fall. I want you with us every step of the way. I want your prayers. I want your creativity.

Can you just see it?  Are you willing to make it happen?

Walk This Way

Aerosmith - Steven_Tyler

Image via Wikipedia

What’s your favorite walking song? You know, a song that has lyrics that talk about walking? What about “I would walk 500 miles…” by The Proclaimers. “These Boots Are Made for Walking” by Nancy Sinatra? “I’m walkin'” by Fats Domino? Everybody is good for “Walk Like An Egyptian” by the Bangles. And I totally date myself by admitting I still love to scream out “Walk This Way” by Aerosmith.

But I struggle with walking. I’m a runner. Not a fast runner but I still love to run. Even when I’m suppose to walk, if I’m injured or something, it’s all I can do not to run even a little bit. I like to move fast. But sometimes you miss out on so much when you’re moving to fast.

Sometimes when I feel the Holy Spirit touch me it literally sends chills up and down my spine. That happened today. Right in the middle of telling yet another person about The Sparrow’s Nest. I was talking fast about what we are doing, and what we hope to do next year, and plans for fundraisers for next year, and hiring staff, and we’ll do this, and we’ll talk to them, and we’ll partner with them , and, and, and,

And then God said “I want you to walk just putting one foot in front of the other and walk in step with Me.”

“Sure, God, like speed walking, you mean? Like really pumping and driving it across the finish line??? Because if I go much slower I’m worried this is all going to fall apart.”

No, I want you to walk one foot in front of the other and walk in step with Me.”

“But, God, the urgency, the intensity, the focus will be lost.I’m worried if I slow down this won’t happen!”

I want you to walk one foot in front of the other in step with Me. Listen to the scripture I have made so important to you.” 

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Matthew 6:25-34

What else is there to say, but “yes, Lord.”

What are your favorite walking lyrics? How do they relate to your walk with God?

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If you give a mouse a cookie,…

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve been using the analogy of Laura Numeroff’s books lately to explain the process of starting The Sparrow’s Nest. Her titles include “If you give a Mouse a Cookie,” “If you give a Moose a Muffin,” “If you give a Cat a Cupcake,” as well as “If you give a Pig a Pancake.” The basic premise for all the books is if you give the main character an item it reminds them that they want something else that is bigger and better and more than likely, more complicated.

Today has been one of those days for The Sparrow’s Nest. I started really researching and applying for grants today. But when I started applying our tax exempt number does not show up yet electronically on the IRS website so we are automatically declined for the grants. Don’t misunderstand we do have our 501C3 status, but the IRS explained our status won’t show up electronically until sometime after June even though we’ve had the number since January 12. 2011. I also went to apply for our Missouri Maternity Home tax credit today. This will help our donor’s dollars go further by not only have a tax exempt donation but receiving an actual tax credit for that donation. But we can’t get that until we have a letter from the Department of Social Services Children’s Division stating we are in good standing. But we can’t get that until we have an actual home to be licensed and of course, you see where I’m going. We can’t get a home until we have sufficient funds.

A vicious circle when you’re just trying to do the right thing.

However discouraging and confusing this journey becomes I know God is going to see it through to the end. I still have no doubt that this service is desperately needed for our area. Further proof was supplied on the April 13, 2011 report from Putting Kids First. The following is an excerpt.

Compared with the cost of 130 unwed parents and teenage parents who may require up to two years of public assistance, which could cost St. Charles County $2,600,000 (130 parents x $10,000 x 2 years), we believe St. Charles County will benefit more from expanding its existing services to develop productive healthy families. The savings to the taxpayers would be over $1.7 million every two years.The establishment of a maternity group home with a capacity for six (6) teen mothers (averaging 12 mothers per year) at a daily cost of $185 would cost $405,150. (6 mothers x 365 days x $185 = $405,150) Please note these estimated costs are based on current Youth In Need direct service cost experience. They do not include inflationary costs. These cost estimates are also consistent with the contract experience of other providers. The $185 per day cost can be further broken down as follows:

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$102 per day for housing and 24 hour supervision

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$83 per day for counseling and case management, which includes intake, service planning and linkage, prenatal and post partum care coordination, individual, group and family counseling, and discharge and aftercare services.

The total cost for both programs above is $821,150. ($416,000 + $405,150 = $821,150)

Trends
The capacity to provide services to teenage parents has dropped slightly since the last survey, but the demand for services has remained the same. Since the closing of the only group maternity home in the region, no facility has taken its place. The Pregnancy Resource Center is interested in spearheading an effort to locate a group maternity home within the County, but funds have not been raised.

I know you can see the financial mountain we have to climb. $400, 000 seems insurmountable. But I have faith in our community. I have faith in God’s people. We will find the funds we need. We will get the licenses we need. We will provide the services needed in our community. We will minister to the young women of St. Charles. God is faithful.

Let me know how you have experienced God’s faithfulness. Share how an unsure time revealed God’s plan for your life.

Consider supporting us financially through our Secure Give site: https://sparrowsnest.securegive.com

Meltdown to Praise

This past week has been one of those weeks where I had to choose to either completely freak out about the pace of The Sparrow’s Nest or trust in God’s plan and timing. The choice seems obvious but it is one I usually fight daily. I don’t like to be an “either-or” person so I chose the middle ground. I had a slight meltdown and THEN turned to my Bible for peace. I wouldn’t suggest following my example but the result was pretty cool.

I was directed to 2 Peter 1:3

His divine power has given us everything we need

for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us

by his own glory and goodness.

I need those reminders that it’s not me but Him. I have a friend who calls me Center of The Universe as a truthful jab. It’s not so much the attention I crave but trying to keep everything aligned. I struggle with staying in control and forcing all the pieces to go how I see them needing to go. And I wanted it all 3 weeks ago.

So today I just want to share some things that have happened that reminds me God has The Sparrow’s Nest is in His hands. These are things I have had nothing to do with, I don’t know where they came from, I had no planning, no forethought. These are pieces of the puzzle God has given us through his divine power to show us He will give us everything we need.

1. The Homeschool Association of St. Louis is donating the proceeds of their food sales from their expo next weekend. I’ve never met them. I haven’t shared the dream with them.

2. My friend Bill wrote me the most encouraging note ever. I received it minutes after my meltdown. I don’t think we share the same belief system. But I heard God speak through his words.

3. Lutheran High School Teens for Life Club donated the proceeds of their Spring Blood Drive to us this week. I didn’t ask for it. I didn’t know there was such a club.

4. My new friend Casey Graham has laid out a step by step plan for us to follow for a major fundraising campaign in May. He gave it to us free of charge because he said he believes in what we are doing. He lives in Atlanta.

5. I was having a meeting at my “office” at the St. Charles Coffee House. I started talking to the young lady behind the counter. Turns out she’s a Non Profit Management major at UMSL. She’s going to be our summer intern this year.

6. My new friend Kurt Schulz was called to pray for 70 people this week. We were one of the 70. How did he know what to pray for?

7. A youth minister with 4 young children mailed us a check for $100. He lives in Nebraska. He wants to support what’s going on in our community.

8. My second cousin’s ex husband lives in Kansas City. He contacted me to work on some marketing videos and press releases for us. He said he can’t explain why he feels God has lead him to us but he’s following the call.

9. I asked my old high school buddy Quinn Murphy for an attorney referral in St. Charles to help with the legal mumbo jumbo. He called back saying his firm of Armstrong and Teasdale would like like to help us pro boon. Armstrong and Teasdale was voted the number one law firm in St. Louis last year.

10. I keep getting phone calls from parents, counselors, educators, service providers looking for places for girls to stay. Planned Parenthood has lost its funding. Every volunteer I recruit says they’ve been looking for something like this.

For such a time as this…

How has God shown you your life is in His hands? More specifically, how is God leading you to The Sparrow’s Nest?