Saturday, November 22, 2008

Another one leaves our nest....

Yesterday was the 2nd graduation (for girls) that I've been able to be a part of. Jordan, the sweet and silly one, graduated high school and Shelterwood. Its strange to see them all leave. All two of them. In December, we have 4 more graduating! AH. Talk about weird. The picture below is of Jordan (L), and Adrian (R), who both just graduated. Adrian's graduation was 2 weeks ago, but she came back!

I thought for sure a few months ago, that I would not be able to do anything for the Holidays. Well, turns out, I am wrong, at least for Thanksgiving. I have a friend from Hume, Cassidy, who lives in Joplin, Missouri, about 2 hours away. God is so good. Also, since I thought I wouldnt be going anywhere, the House Directors picked my days off so that I could be more flexible to help others who needed specific days off. So, I got 5 days off in a ROW, and I get to go see my dear friend Cassidy. How exciting. The Lord is truly providing for that need... which is needing to get the heck outta here for a few days. Whats funny though, is that I have 3 days off, starting now, and I have ALL THIS time to hang out and not do too much. Its so nice... but also strange, because I havn't had this much time off since last year this time... 3 full months off. Im keeping occupied with free Branson shows (SO amazing), good friends, movies and books.

I have two days on next week, and one of the days will be spent doing airport runs, and the other, we dont have any kids... so its FREEEEEEEEEEEEEE TIME for me. Will I really need it though? Most likely not.
I went to two light show drive through things this week... I've included a few photos of that for you!

Happy Thanksgiving! Its almost Christmas!!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A LONG week... but many blessings.

Its been such a hard week for me. I've learned SOOO much, but at the same time, this is one of the hardest weeks I've had here. 

Part of LeadTime, and actually, part of working for Doulos, is having times to serve and give back to the community. We have serve day every Thursday, and last week, we had our Thanksgiving Serve Projects. On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, we were split into teams of staff, LT, and kids, and were sent out to serve. 

On Wednesday, my team was on raking. I was astonished at the amount of leaves on the ground at the TWO houses we went to. The first house's yard was HUGE. Probably a good 50 yards, think half of a football field ish. And that was just the front yard... and, the leaves were at least 4 inches thick on the ground. It was crazy! I really havent seen that many leaves in my entire life. The couple who lived there had been married for something like 61 years, and had lived in the house for 35 years. What a blessing to be a blessing to him and his wife. 6 hours of raking, and a huge reward. 

On Thursday, we were assigned to a building project, or rather, tearing down a house. We had the opportunity to help out the area Habitat for Humanity by demolishing a house so they could rebuild for a family in need. We tore out windows, and moved cement blocks, took off the porch... etc. It was cool to see that process. But, the best part about the day was when we found love letters in the attic. Dated back to probably the 70's or 80's, we dont really know when. It was really fun to read the letters and cards, and figure out their lives. It was quite the thriller. 

And, my favorite day, Friday. I looked forward to this all week. We got to deliver Thanksgiving Food Baskets to people in need. Talk about Humbling. We delivered 11 baskets, and every time, I was so convicted about how I live, and those less fortunate than me. It was an incredible day, helping others to enjoy the upcoming holiday. We talked with one lady for about 10 minutes, and she was so sweet, and vibrant, and charismatic. Precious. My heart has a passion for moments like I had that day. 

So, on top of all of that, I slept in the house for 3 nights, and it was crazy. I think the girls were stir crazy, and just all of the circumstances... I had a rough few days. I got yelled at, confronted, walked away from, dang. All kinds of things. It really hurt my heart and my spirit. But, the Lord is teaching me about follow up and confrontation this week. Its cool, really cool, but so hard. I had some really great follow up conversations with the girls who hurt me, telling them they did. It was freeing to be able to speak to them in such a way that frees me from hurt. 

Also, today, almost a week later, I've had some really great conversations with other girls, and I got to include GOD! Usually I dont get to, or dont make the opportunity to. These girls are Christians, so its a bit easier to "slip" it in. Gosh, every single hard moment is erased completely by the good moments and good conversations. It makes living here worth it. Not that it wouldnt be worth it, but it goes to show everyone on the "outside" that this ministry and this program WORKS. How incredible!

We have another graduation this week, Im so excited! Its really fun to get to see the end of the journey. I know her well enough to say that she is going to succeed in this life! 

Like I said, this week has been about follow up and confrontation. I really feel that the Lord is moving in me and through me to the littles, and its so exciting. Also, I walked into this year feeling lonely and weird that I'm 24 and still single. After much thinking and praying, and heartbreak, I can actually say that Im content with where God has me. I know that He is going to be faithful in this area of my life, as He has been faithful in so many other ways. Its incredible to have a changed mindset. It took awhile, but how GREAT is our GOD. Who knows what He has for me, but I'll be ready when it happens :)

Im looking forward to Thanksgiving break! It starts this weekend! I have 8 DAYS OFF! They're split up, but thats okay because by Wednesday, ALLLLLL of the girls will be GONE! How awesome. PARTY! No, not really, only figuratively. It will be fun! Im just ready for more than 2 days off in a row. :)

I guess I have one more thing to add... actually a story. Today I went thrift store shopping with another big, and we went to a store that we've helped at several times. The owner runs the store for a ministry/shelter for women. She noticed that we were familiar, and asked where we were from, and when we said Doulos, she got teary eyed, and asked for help. Her daughter is young, 18, and just had a baby. She is on psych meds, and is slowly detaching from her baby, and making bad choices, etc. She was crying by this point, saying that she had a family ready to take the baby when her daughter was ready. We were standing there almost awestruck and teary too. How vulnerable she was, and so desperate. She considered Shelterwood last year, but couldnt afford it (its middle range in the big picture of res. care) as a single parent. She was practically begging us to mentor her daughter, or to find SOMETHING to help her.  WOW. I was so humbled, and promised to do what I could. That poor baby boy, in the middle of it all. So, I guess why I wanted to share this is to show the impact of Doulos on the community, as well as how incredible God is to use my off time to minister to real people. AND, so that you can help me pray for this family.  

1. Two littles got saved on Sunday! Im praying that its genuine and that it sticks. Be praying too!

Prayer Requests:
1. For my continued trust in the Lord, in the way of finances, healing of past things, and new things too. 
2. For the graduate! Pray that she is able to transition well into this harsh world we live in. 
3. That the littles continue on the right path, and that they can see why they are where they are, and that this is just a season in their life. 
4.  For the family in the last part... mom, daughter and baby boy... that they find help and restoration. For peace in their lives, and that the Lords will be done in their lives. 

Thank you so much for your prayers and encouragement. Im so blessed by it!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Fall is a beautiful thing!

Fall in Branson... its so beautiful! The leaves change almost daily, and its finally starting to feel cold. Not that I was avoiding it or anything, but last week was so warm! Im thankful to have to use my coat this week.

We had 2 graduations on Friday. It was amazing to see how the Lord works in the lives of the kids and families. Because of privacy, Im not allowed to talk about my littles, but now that shes out, I can! Adrian, 18, from Texas, graduated! I've only known her two months, but I've seen a major change. The Lord truly works here, if only you could witness it first hand.

We have 14 girls left in the house, with one graduating in a few weeks, and some graduating next month. I think that by the end of January, we will have 6 girls left. Currently, there is no one on our waiting list, and its said that girls will go to the Kansas City Property before us. But, who knows what could happen. Please pray for these girls, that the Lord be working in them and through me and the LeadTimers. There is one girl specifically (lets call her Jenny) that does not know the Lord, but through a potential crush, is getting to see God. Pray for her heart that HE works on it, and that we're here to help.

THIS is exactly why Im here. I am part parent, part sister, part friend, part mentor, part everything else. So I could use your prayer as well.

Prayer requests:
1. Financial peace.
2. "Jenny", that she comes to know the Lord before going home.
3. That Adrian continues on a path of righteousness before heading to YWAM!

Happy Sunday everyone!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Prayer and Supplication

I've been learning a lot about prayer and supplication this week. 

Its been a long week. Our house deals with a new thing, a new vice, a new fad each week. Usually, its on the negative side. Im having a hard time dealing with this myself, wondering why the heck these things happen. BUT, I am so encouraged by the Love of God, and who I am in Christ. I have been learning to pray about my attitude, and give everything over to my creator... with no buts. 

My life is busy, so I apologize for not responding, or calling, or texting, or whatever as often as I should or have in the past. It is my desire to do better in this area, so keep with me people, Im on it. 

It is my prayer that the kids, all 15 girls, recognize the voice of the Lord as I have, and maybe you have. We have a graduation this week, and I couldnt be more proud of her. Please pray for her as she ventures out into this world, and onto bigger and better things. 

I have some prayer requests...

1. This may sound silly, but I am in need of a printer, but I dont exactly have the funds to pay for one. Please pray that this material need is met. 

2. I am sitting well financially for the next few months, but one of my student loans is coming out of defferment soon. I am looking ahead to my financial need, and there is a need. Please pray that the Lord provide for me in this, and that I have a peace about this will of His. If the Lord is calling you to give, please pray.

3. My dad's wife's health is mediocre right now. She is heading into a gamma ray treatment on Thursday, and we are optimistic that it will work. Please pray for healing, and the Lord's will in this.

4. I need more rest! Please pray that the Lord provide time for me to get rest, and please pray that I find rest in Him, and His word.