Tag Archives: serving others

Part 3 God whispered Nehemiah: And you thought I forgot what I was doing

Nests are typical examples of extended phenotypes.

Image via Wikipedia

And you thought


forgot what I was doing…

A couple of weeks ago I started this series on Nehemiah and how the re-building of the wall relates to the Building of The Nest for The Sparrow’s Nest. I bet you thought I wasn’t devoted to finishing this series. But…

In Chapter 4 of Nehemiah we read Nehemiah and the people were facing great opposition to the rebuilding of the wall. But despite the frustration and distractions verse 6 tells us they “rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart.”

We’re getting into that time of year when we’re distracted by really good wholesome things, not at all like the evil Nehemiah faced. But Fall is starting, college football is in full swing, kids soccer is every weekend, and all those holidays are coming. With all that being said, we have fabulous momentum going. This is the time, just like Nehemiah, to put our noses to the grindstone and get the Nest built. This is the time to constantly be putting the word out, to be creative in our planning and implementation, and to give sacrificially to this ministry.

So, you may have thought I had forgotten about writing this series. But I’ll reply rather snarkily in a biblical manner:

I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down.

Why should the work stop…” Nehemiah 6:3

This is the time to fully devote ourselves. Just as Nehemiah and the wall builders devoted themselves to building a legacy that would last generations, we need to devote ourselves to this work. Just as Nehemiah and the wall builders devoted themselves to hard work despite financial and provisional struggles, we need to devote ourselves to finding every resource available to Build The Nest

And just like Nehemiah and the wall builders stated as recorded in Nehemiah 5:16 “Instead, I devoted myself to the work on this wall.” We need to state:

We devote ourselves to the work of building the nest for The Sparrow’s Nest.

Can we count on you? Are you devoted?



Where do we put the stuff?


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?

It Isn’t Right That…

A year ago God opened my eyes to an injustice in my community. He boldly pushed me to fill in the sentence “It Isn’t Right That….” I can fill that in with so many wrong things in the world. Wrong things that leave me broken hearted. Issues like child abuse, poverty, and bad water sources, that can leave me feeling powerless and immobilize me to do anything about it.

In this season of my life I’m addressing the injustice that It Isn’t Right That Children Having Children Don’t Have A Safe Place To Stay. I’m not justifying these young women’s choices. I’m not trying to make it cool to be an unwed teen mother. But in my heart it is not right that a teen mom should be convinced that her only option is to abort her child or that if she chooses to parent her child that somehow that life should be one of burden and lost dreams. It’s just not right.There are worse things in life than an unplanned pregnancy

We are embarking on a whirlwind 12 months. We have so much to accomplish and we need your help. We need volunteers to step up and knock out some of these details that we need to be successful. We need volunteers to draft policy and procedure. We need volunteers to plan and staff events. We need volunteers to draft grant proposals. We need volunteers to make connections in the community and set up meetings with influential people.

God is doing amazing things in our community. You know you possess these skills to help us. Or  you know someone who does. Or you have a stirring deep within you that you want to do something more. You want to get in and make a difference. You’re just not sure what that is.

Mark your calendar today for Tuesday, August 16th for our next volunteer information meeting at 6:30 p.m. Bring a friend, bring your small group from church, send a representative from your civic group. Let’s get fired up and right this wrong now!

How would you finish the sentence “It Isn’t Right That…” What social injustice has God opened your eyes to this summer?

Toe Dipper or Cliff Diver?

Cliff diving with JT

Image by 4ELEVEN Images via Flickr

Are you a toe dipper or a cliff diver? Do you need to test the temperature of the water or do you jump in with both feet first? However you’re wired we can use you at The Sparrow’s Nest!

Things are rocking and rolling and we need more manpower to keep this momentum and keep moving us closer to opening and ultimately helping young girls and saving innocent babies lives. We need leaders as well as “doers.” These are specific tasks you can look back on in 30 years and tell your grandkids “I helped at the beginning to form The Sparrow’s Nest into what it is today.”

We’re pulling through our strategic plan and specific needs are starting to surface. The following list is very fluid and will be defined more clearly in the coming months. Send Carissa an email at carissa@thesparrowsneststl.org if you would like more information about certain needs. Just because you respond doesn’t mean we’re signing you up for life! 🙂  All of the committees that develop will either be led by a Board Member or will have board representation. Make sure to send these needs on to friends, family members, or community contacts whom you think might be better equipped for these jobs.

In all of these things continue to pray for The Sparrow’s Nest and for these tasks to be completed in a quick and timely manner and that they would be filled with integrity and honor.

facilities: Volunteers Needed to: Identify all codes, licenses, and ordinances required by state, county, and city to operate a residential treatment home for minors. Volunteers are also needed to help find a general site for the facility. Volunteers are also needed to develop procedure and policies for the management and upkeep of the property.

Residential Services: Volunteers are needed to develop policies and procedures for residential services for the girls and their babies. This would include developing plans for parenting and life skill curriculum, educational plans and expectations for the girls, intake, etc. This would also include developing medical plans as well as physician and hospital relations.

Personnel: Volunteers are needed to develop a expectations of staff that will be used to form job descriptions. Volunteers are also needed to help develop  a framework of human resource development and payroll.

Community Relations: Volunteers are needed to develop a community relations plan designed to support a continuing intentional relationship with the community. Volunteers are needed to act as liaisons with churches and civic groups and The Sparrow’s Nest. Volunteers are needed to develop and host periodic networking events to link comment and church resources together.

Marketing/Development: Volunteers are needed to develop and maintain general outreach material such as newsletters, flyers, brochures, videos, social media campaigns. Volunteers are needed to research and/or write grants for funding of The Sparrow’s Nest. Volunteers are needed to hold fundraising activities for raising general or specific funds.

Finance: Volunteers are needed to continue to develop and maintain systems and procedures for management of funds as well as review monthly statements. Volunteers are needed to complete all IRS requirements as well as annual report.

Administrative: Volunteers are needed for upkeep of database, developing office procedure, maintaining calendar and scheduling, writing thank you cards, organizing mailings.

Who set this schedule?

Calendar Module and iCal data

Image by m.gifford via Flickr

If you are looking for a place to plug in this is the week to jump feet first. We have one happening schedule!

Join our Golf Tournament Planning Committee tonight 6:30 p.m. Bread Co Clarkson/40.  Do you know more of golf than what Wii can teach? We need help planning our inaugural Sparrow Scramble for this fall. We need help securing sponsorships, promotion, marketing, and registration.

Tuesday 5:30 p.m. 5K Debriefing/Planning Meeting Email Carissa at carissa@thesparrowsneststl.org for location. We’ll be processing the success of this year’s 5K race with Bridgeway and starting to plan next year’s event.

Thursday 6:30 p.m. Meadows Pkwy Early Childhood Center Board Meeting. Curious how a non profit operates? So are we. Our board meetings are always open especially if you feel you have the passion, leadership, and experience to guide a fledgling organization .

And of course there’s this little matter of GIVE WINGS 30K in 30 DAYS. We are in our final week and we currently stand at just about $22,000. We have 8 days to raise the rest of our goal. If you’ve been holding out to see how close we get I would encourage you to donate today at http://www.thesparrowsneststl.org or snail mail to The Sparrow’s Nest Maternity Home ATTN: Book Keeper 911 Hampshire Heath Dr. O’Fallon, MO 63368

Wow Me Wednesdays

If We All Do One Random Act of Kindness...

Image by heathbrandon via Flickr

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

It has a been a crazy couple of weeks around the globe wouldn’t you say? Tornado devastation, the death of Osama Bin Laden, levees being busted to save towns, the Coleman trial here in St. Louis. Not to mention daily doses of divorce, cancer, depression, family unrest. It enough to put you in the fetal position locked in your bedroom for 3days.

But even with these scary and uncertain times Good is still being accomplished. Generosity is abounding. Strangers are still producing Acts of Kindness. Grace and Love and Mercy are still being demonstrated. Laughter is still being heard and Joy is being felt.

Today for Wow Me Wednesdays I REALLY want you to share what fabulously GOOD  things you have seen or heard about that are bringing JOY, GRACE, MERCY, LOVE, KINDNESS, LAUGHTER, or GENEROSITY to your community, your church, your family, your neighborhood.

Live blessed!

Service Above Self

Recently was inducted into the Cottleville Weldon Spring Rotary Club. If you are not familiar with this service group “Rotary International is the world’s first service club organization, with more than 1.2 million members in 33,000 clubs worldwide. Rotary club members are volunteers who work locally, regionally, and internationally to combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, provide education and job training, promote peace, and eradicate polio under the motto Service Above Self”. You can find out more at http://www.rotary.org.

I was drawn to the organization for its service to my specific community but I absolutely loved how Rotary views each individual community as a piece of the larger picture of the world as whole. I love the motto of “Service Above Self.”

This week is  National Volunteer Week and I  just wanted to take a few moments to thank those of you who have already jumped in with both feet for The Sparrow’s Nest. One of my prayers is that I can clearly communicate this vision to people around me and that God would send me people who are passionate about our community and passionate about serving people who are sometimes difficult to love.

I am so emotionally moved by all the people God has sent our way. Each person brings their own motivation for wanting to help. But what absolutely astonishes me is that each person comes with their own unique set of gifts and talents.

We have volunteers like Scott who is our own individual IT department for the website. We have volunteers like Shelley that love the research required to find about ordinances and code. Other volunteers like Kelly  can write beautiful thank you cards or Carla can gather diapers and wipes like nobody’s business. I’m blown away by volunteers like Ember, Pam, Kate, or Jimmy who see an event, can dissect it into manageable pieces, and get it all done with grace and speed. Have I told you about our high school volunteers who serve at our fundraiser and students like Kristin who are even planning their own fundraiser for us? Have you seen Ms Kay and Ms LaJuana ask me how they can pray for us? I know the volunteers who are waiting to serve the young women are already praying and dreaming. And I haven’t even gotten to our incredible board yet. Kevin, Susan, Scott, Marla, Cesar, and Amber work so hard to make these dreams into realities.

We have very little financial resources and as a non profit that will just always be our reality. I’ve come to the understanding that fundraising will always be a fact of life for me. But our strength lies in our volunteers. So many people coming from so many backgrounds with so many things to offer.

It is a beautiful thing to watch a legacy being formed.

So for myself and for The Sparrow’s Nest we join non profit organizations around the country celebrating volunteers, those who view service above themselves. There is no way we could have accomplished so much in so little time without your service, love, and sacrifice.

May God richly bless all that you touch this week.

Cheers for Volunteers