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Posts Tagged ‘walking in faith’

 

Luke 8:43-48

43 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. 44 She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped. 45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.” 46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.” 47 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. 48 Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”

These two weeks are all about faith for me. I am back to square one and completely confused. My car is no longer functional. It developed electrical issues and can not be driven and I don’t have the money to fix it. It never had issues before. And comparatively, the value of the car isn’t going to be worth the money put into it to fix it, so I am without a vehicle. I can no longer go to Living Bridges Ministry because I don’t have a way to get 1 mile down the road much less 40. It is disappointing, frustrating and sooooo confusing. I had prayed about this for months before I got involved. I felt God leading me that way. Some might say that this is an attack of the enemy keeping me from my purpose. I don’t feel that way. I usually have a pretty good sense of what is an attack and what is God. Not that I am always right.

I will be housebound for who knows how long. My only way of getting a car is prayer. God has a way of stripping us of everything in order to bring us closer to Him. It is sometimes needed to bring us to a place that we are fully dependent on Him. Just touching the garment of Jesus can bring a miracle, if only we have faith.

Luke 22:42

42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”

I still struggle with trying to control things. Maybe, keeping me housebound is a way for God to make me focus on HIS will for once. I can’t go anywhere. He has a captive audience and I am willing to say, “I am completely confused and I have no idea what you are doing, but THY WILL BE DONE.”

I have 2 heart tests next week, so prayers for a positive outcome are appreciated!

Regardless of all the challenges in my life, I am abundantly blessed!

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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.

 

 

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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?

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I was able to attend a Family Connection meeting on Monday. This is a meeting for non profits and agencies to get together to share resources for their communities. This meeting was actually held in a neighboring county and Chastidy (Living Bridges intern) and I got to go and share some information on our programs and upcoming events. Speaking in front of people terrifies me, but again I do my best to allow God to push me out of my comfort zone without running away. I haven’t run away yet!

On Tuesday, we hung out at the Living Bridges Community Center and continued to sort through clothes for the Fall/Winter clothing exchange taking place on 10/12. I have already made some great friends as we work together to do what needs to be done. Some parts of the center are still works in progress, but aren’t we all. It is a satisfying task to bring something that has fallen into decay back to a state of wholeness and beauty. Even more so, the people we serve. To see a life that has been broken by circumstances revitalized and made new brings about a shift in perspective and we view God as a shelter and refuge that we can cling to.

Wednesday is clothes closet day and I remember the days when my 5 kids were little and I, as a single mom, had to visit food pantries and clothes closets to take care of my kids. I am humbled that I have the opportunity to serve others out of love, compassion and respect. You never know what a person’s story is, so we need to treat everyone with love and respect.

Thursday started out at the community garden. I’m not going to lie, it was a challenge! South Georgia did not cool down as Fall crept in. It is still high 90’s and I struggled some with the heat, but I love being there. I got a lesson from a Master Gardner as we planted cabbage, broccoli, and collards. When you have the opportunity to get a lesson from a Master Gardner, you listen and obey. Not unlike our walk with God (who is THE Master Gardner), we listen to what He tells us and we obey the commands that He gives us and in the end we get to harvest the fruit (or vegetables) of our labors. Thursday afternoon, Chastidy and I braved the heat and did some outreach for the ministry. We visited some daycare centers and a couple of uninsured medical clinics to give them information on our programs and upcoming events. It was actually fun and Chastidy has become a friend.

A wonderful article was written in the Valdosta Daily Times about Living Bridges Ministry. Click HERE to read the article.

 On a personal note: 

I posted a couple of weeks ago about my blood pressure being high. It still is higher than normal and I don’t know if it is from anxiety or something else. My pulse has been consistently between 107 and 125. I am seeing a health coach to stabilize my a1c for my diabetes and now I have to go in for an EKG on 10/15. If all is well with that, I may be put on a medication to bring down my blood pressure along with helping me to manage my anxiety (I am already on a blood pressure medication). I am trying to manage it on my own, but God continues to push me out of my comfort zone and my discomfort level is sky high. Every day is a challenge, but I am actually not unhappy at where I am. I have met some wonderful people and made some friends. Each day I step out my front door and I walk in faith.

If you are reading this and can contribute to my life on mission, please visit my support page. I appreciate all of you who reach out to support, encourage and pray for me in my journey of obedience and faith.

 

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This week started off with a panic attack when I got in my car Monday morning and the engine light was on. I am a worrier and my car is one of my biggest worries! I went into a tailspin and my wonderful daughter, Kiowa, had to talk me down off of the proverbial ledge and remind me that if I REALLY trust God then I need to remember that He will ALWAYS provide and that He can and will take care of any car issues I may have. Thank you, daughter! According to the diagnostic test that I had run I found out that is more than likely  just spark plugs misfiring and those are going to be replaced in the next couple of days. God is good!

Monday was crazy at Living Bridges! The clothes closet was open and due to unforeseen issues, I was the only volunteer there to run the clothes closet with Darcy (Living Bridges founder and remarkable woman of God). I had stepped a toe into the running of the clothes closet last week. Well, Monday, I was thrown into the deep end and I am happy to report that I survived! I was able to work past my anxiety and do what needed to be done. I still acknowledge that I can be somewhat socially awkward, but thankfully God works through and even uses our imperfections.

Tuesday morning was Mom’s Connection Club and the topic was goal setting. We were given a whole new approach to goal setting apart from the S.M.A.R.T approach and I love it! Our guest speaker was Verna Harvey and she shared some information on goal setting from the book she is currently writing. It is based on the questions, Who are you? What are your desires/goals? When will you start pursuing your desires/dreams? Where  are you now in pursuing your desires/dreams? Why this desire/goal? and How will you get to your destination? It made goal setting more personal. If you want more information, you will have to wait for the book!

Wednesday was clothes closet day. I go into these days with some trepidation. I stated earlier that I can be a bit socially awkward and it can be hard for me to approach people and start a conversation, so clothes closet days push me out of myself and out of my comfort zone. We also sort the clothes and housewares that will go into the clothes closet. We organize and re-stock the clothes closet for the next day. We have also been sorting clothes that will be given out at the Fall/Winter clothing exchange that will take place on October 12th.

Thursday morning I was able to work with Darcy in the community garden. We were able to clear some of the raised beds out to prepare them for Winter planting. It was hot, but it was actually relaxing and satisfying to pull the weeds out and end up with blank canvases that will be ready for the next crop. It reminds me of us, as humans. We start with that blank canvas. We then plant the activities, values, relationships, and life experiences what we want in our lives into those empty garden beds. Next, we water the beds with Bible study, prayer, worship, christian community and service, so they will grow the deep roots that will sustain us in our lives, but inevitably, those weeds of sin, negativity, and toxic relationships begin to grow and if we are not careful they will choke out everything good. DEEP ROOTS! We need deep roots to keep us growing in the good things of God.

Job 14:7-9

“At least there is hope for a tree: If it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its new shoots will not fail. Its roots may grow old in the ground and its stump die in the soil, yet at the scent of water it will bud and put forth shoots like a plant.

There is hope! When we weed out the harmful, the dead, and prune back the overgrown aspects of our lives, then we can continue to water what is good and at the scent of water our lives will flourish and we will prosper. God is the good in our lives. The Bible, prayer, worship, christian community and serving others are the water that keeps us growing in the right direction.

 

I was blessed when Darcy gave me the last of the Summer crops. God does provide in expected, but mostly unexpected ways. I am blessed beyond measure.

God continues to grow my faith. I am very much a work in progress! I have my ups and downs, but I keep looking toward the future.

Philippians 3:14

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Every week is a mystery and a miracle!

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