Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘living without a net’

 

I am covering two weeks on this post. Fall has finally arrived and some cooler temps. We have changed out the Summer clothes for the Fall/Winter clothes in the clothes closets and we have seen an increase in clients coming in for clothes and housewares. On Wednesday we served 13 clients (some with family sizes of 5 or 6) and gave away 164 items of clothing. It’s a blessing to be able to serve these families and to make sure that the little ones will have warm clothes for the colder months.

I was excited to have Kiowa come volunteer Last Monday. She had been gone for two weeks on training in Europe and had a day off before going back to work, so she came and volunteered with me. She also volunteered at the Fall Festival on the 26th. Unfortunately, we were soaked an hour in by a torrential downpour and had to pack up. You never know in Georgia when it might rain! It was still a success and over 150 people were able to get information on community resources and the kids had fun on bounce houses, getting their hair painted, making slime, making sand art and doing other fun activities. We were able to give out toothbrushes and tubes of toothpaste to families and we were blessed with the appearance of a full rainbow.

I had to stay home Monday-Wednesday of this week due to my car being worked on, but I used the time to create a Faith based Facebook group for single moms in Lowndes County and the surrounding area. I will also be involved with In His Grace Ministries (a support group for single parents that meets once a month at a local church) and am stepping out to be a liaison between the two ministries and single moms in the community. If you know me or have read my blog at all, then you know that serving single moms has been a passion of mine for many years. I am excited to help single moms build community with each other, as well as providing online Bible studies, resources, information to help in the struggle, and a safe place to share our hopes, dreams and hardships. Being a single mom can be isolating. This is my way to bring single moms together in support of each other. If we can build that village of mutual support and encouragement, helping each other along the way, our kids will benefit.

I was also able to use the extra time to finish my program to become a certified Biblical lay counselor. I have always wanted to counsel/coach/mentor single moms. This does not make me a “licensed professional” but it does allow me to counsel from a lay position. Everything I have longed for and have waited 15 to 20 years for is being realized in this moment. God’s timing is perfect. When I try to control things, I make a mess of things but when I wait on God’s timing and will things fall into place. I am imperfect, but I continue to learn!

The garden is growing! Our cabbage, collards, broccoli, kale and basil are doing great! This week we planted carrots and lettuce. We have had some intruders on some of our crops and have had to take action early on to prevent further infestations. We want our crops to grow and produce healthy, strong fruits and vegetables and that won’t happen if we let garden pests take over. The same goes with our Christian walk. we need to guard our hearts and our lives or sin will creep in and take over, crowding out anything good that we might plant in our lives. We have to repent and dig sin out by the root in order to make sure that we keep growing and produce good fruit. Who knew that we could learn life lessons from gardening?

On a personal note: 

My savings is dwindling. I live a frugal life and have stretched it as far as I possibly could, but circumstances crop up that need money. I mentioned my 13 year old car needing fixed. I was blessed to have the husband of an intern at Living Bridges fix my car. He is a mechanic and charged me nothing in labor, however I have had to pay about $650.00 in parts since Saturday. If you have been moved in any way by my life on mission here in South Georgia, I am asking if you will partner with me to see how God works in not just my life but the community as well. God is working in Living Bridges Ministry. Classes are being added and we are reaching the community to make sure that those who are in need are being reached. Through Living Bridges God is at work in Valdosta and the surrounding community and I am blessed to be a small part of it. I also ask that you continue praying about my heart issues. I wore a holter monitor last Thursday to Friday. I have an ultrasound on next Thursday and a stress test on November 19th. Other than an occasional heart flutter, I feel fine.

Click on the link to check out the LIVING BRIDGES Facebook page!

Please visit my support page if you feel led to give as I live my life on mission in South Georgia.

Read Full Post »

 

This was my 5th week at Living Bridges! Time flies when you like what you are doing! God keeps showing me His goodness and every day I see His miracles.

We started the week putting stuff away from the clothing exchange. It was a big job! We had to pull all of the Summer clothes from the two clothing closets/rooms and start hanging the Fall/Winter clothes and coats. We have another clothing exchange in a smaller community next month and needed to put some of the clothes back for that. We always have clothes coming in to check in for the clothes closets which keeps us busy, but that’s a good thing!

We had a packed house on Wednesday! We had our clothing closet open, our Food Talk class, plus diaper Day. Amerigroup came and gave away diapers and wipes to our families. We were blessed to be able to help so many people and we are always blessed when we get to see/hold the babies!

On Thursday we went out to the community garden and planted two types of basil, watermelon radishes, and brussel sprouts. It was cooler than it had been in previous weeks, which made digging in the dirt more enjoyable. The community garden provides fruits and vegetables for low income families.

 

The cabbage, broccoli and collards that we planted a couple of weeks ago are doing well. We did lose some broccoli and collards, but planted watermelon radishes in their place.

I wrote my first blog post for the ministry and I am starting a Facebook group for single moms in the area. I will provide resources, Bible studies, Biblical parenting ideas, and a safe place to share prayer requests and concerns. I want to build that community for single moms. Single moms can often feel isolated and alone. I want single moms to know that they are not alone in their journey.

On a personal note:

I had an EKG on Tuesday and a slight irregularity was found. Not a big deal on it’s own but since my heart rate has been high consistently for quite awhile now, I have an appointment with a cardiologist on Wednesday morning. It might be anxiety, but I am doubting that. Anyway, prayers appreciated. On a good note, Kiowa is coming home after being gone for two weeks. Originally, I had decided that I would go back to Indiana while she was gone. I have never (and I am 49 years old!) been alone anywhere without family close by. I finally decided that I would stay here in Georgia. I have found friends and a community. I knew that I had to trust God in ALL things and not run from the discomfort of the journey. I have taken one day at a time and I have survived. My health coach told me that even if I do deal with anxiety, to push myself out of my comfort zone as much as I have takes courage. I don’t disagree. But, I believe it takes more than courage, it takes faith. Faith that I won’t see any snakes while Kiowa is gone. Faith that my car will run fine until Kiowa gets back and we can get it fixed. Faith that God will protect me and allow me to sleep at night. I am growing in faith. God is faithful!

I encourage you to visit the Living Bridges Facebook page for information and updates on the Ministry.

 

 

Read Full Post »

 

This was a busy week at the center! I continue to transition and find my niche. I enjoy being here. The people here have become my friends and family. I am becoming more comfortable, but it is a process. I can’t jump ahead of God. Sometimes, it is simply taking one small step at a time. I am blessed! I have stepped out and He guides me one step at a time.

Monday and Wednesday were busier in the clothes closet. It is a good thing! It means that the people who need us are finding the new building. Along with giving out clothes, we also provide resources for food, medical care, utilities, etc. to those who need them.

Tuesday was Mom’s Connection and we discussed home organization. I am pretty organized, but even I came away with ideas to be even better organized. The moms were able to take away some organizational tools to use in their own homes.

On Wednesday we also had our first Food Talk class. It is a 6 week series on cooking on a budget, cooking demonstrations and nutrition.

On Thursday, Chastidy and I were able to attend a Leaders Summit on gun violence at Valdosta State University. It was eye opening since I am new to the community. There are 3,000 youth in the Juvenile Detention System in Georgia that have gun related charges. Where do kids get guns? They steal them out of cars, homes and other places when permitted gun owners have not secured them. Some of the solutions discussed were educating permitted gun owners on gun safety, creating affordable/accessible activities for kids from low-income families, a partnership between agencies, law enforcement, community leaders, etc. who are willing to share resources and work together for the benefit of the kids, educating parents on discipline and communication for parents who are overwhelmed and may need extra support and simply working toward building that loving village that puts the kids first to keep the kids off the streets and out of trouble. Gun violence is a hot topic everywhere. I am hoping that the this will be more than just a conversation and action will come out of it. 

On Friday I spent the morning helping set up for the Fall/Winter clothing exchange. The clothing exchange took place on Saturday from 9:00 to Noon. It was a blessing to see 87 people be able to receive 1,258 items of clothing including coats/jackets for the colder months ahead.

I will be writing the blog for the ministry as well as keeping up with this one. I am finding my niche. I am blessed that I have found a ministry leader who allows us to explore our individual callings within the ministry. Not every ministry leader is that way.

I have felt from the day I moved here that South Georgia is my home and I continue to grow in my love of this area and those who are involved with Living Bridges Ministry. I listen to the client’s stories and I am in awe of the courage of some of these friends. Never judge someone else, because you don’t know what they have experienced in their lives that have made them the person they are. We need to be willing to really listen to where someone has been and we need to be willing to show compassion and love to those who may seem unlovable. Jesus met people where they were. He loved them as they were and then He empowered them to change. Jesus set the example. Are you following that example? Am I?

Read Full Post »