Tag Archives: Inspire greatness

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;



Part 2: God whispered “Nehemiah”

Priests to Perfume Makers

Nehemiah 3: 8-9 Uzziel son of Haraiah, one of the goldsmiths, repaired the next section; and Hanaiah, one of the perfume-makers, made repairs next to that.

One of the most fascinating things to me about this passage is the diversity of the workers. Nehemiah inspired priests, goldsmiths, rulers of other districts, countrymen, and even a perfume maker to rebuild the wall . He cast such a vision that anyone with a heartbeat and hands could make a difference and significantly contribute. The passage that caught me up is found in Chapter 4 of Nehemiah. Verse 19 says Then I said to the nobles, the officials, and the rest of the people, “The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall. Whenever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!”

This resonated so strongly for me. Our volunteers and workers mostly work independently. We don’t have  central location for every one to gather and meet, to hear the trumpet when they are attacked, or scared, or overwhelmed. But these are not things to hold us back. We have a common goal . We have common timeline. We have a common passion. We come from all walks of life. All levels of education. Gifts and talents and every sort of personality marks the identity of our phenomenal volunteer force. God has brought together a unique group of individuals into his vision for The Sparrow’s Nest Maternity Home.

Our tasks are spread out of a large time span. But I want our volunteers, our own wall builders to know that even though the work is extensive and spread out that you are doing an incredible work. Especially this coming fall, we have some tasks before us, primarily fully funding this vision, and YOU are key! You are building your legacy in your own Jerusalem just as Nehemiah did in 500 B.C.



Image by bkeepers via Flickr

I want you to get out your calendar. Because 364 days from today you will be sitting on the lawn of The Sparrow’s Nest Maternity Home no doubt sweating, drinking lemonade, eating ice cream sundaes, and listening to incredible live music as we celebrate the opening of The Sparrow’s Nest.

Can you just see it? Can you feel the excitement of that day? Can you imagine the faces of our neighbors? Can you see the face of the first girl walking through our doors?

But I can’t tell you the location yet. I can’t tell you the time. But I don’t want you to just hang. I need you to MOVE.

We have so much to accomplish in the next 12 month and we need all the help we can get. And I have to admit my fragility as an Executive Director. I cannot physically do this without you. I can’t be everywhere meeting with everyone that needs to be met. I can’t fill out every single piece of paper and file every license we need to get going. If this all falls on me we’ll miss the opportunity. We won’t be able to help as fast.

I need you to feel the urgency for efficiency and productivity. I need you to have the desire to build a quality organization based on biblical foundations. I need you to get fired up and answer the question “What Needs to Be Done?”

This isn’t sitting on the sidelines cheering us on. This is getting in, learning a lot. getting your hands dirty, leaping in and getting this thing done. This isn’t the time to worry about your age, or your money, or any other excuse. This is not waiting on me but it’s you rallying your community. It’s you getting the word out to your small group, your neighbors, your friends, your family and saying “this is what is going on, I think you might be the right person to help or to spear head this action.”

But this also isn’t the time to sit back and say this isn’t my gift or talent. Maybe this is the time when you answer that question that has been nagging your heart, “I want to do more, I’m just not sure what it is…” Maybe this is the time not to fall on your natural abilities but it’s time to take a leap of faith with us and say “Lord,  I don’t know what you’re doing to me but I trust you. Use me however you see fit even if it’s something I’ve never done before.”

Grow with us. Make an impact with us. There will be time next year to sit back and enjoy that glass of lemonade. Now it the time to MOVE.

Call me at 636-336-2534 or email carissa@thesparrowsneststl.org to volunteer. Let’s talk about what you can do.

“Open Ourselves to Doing”

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?