Monday, February 22, 2010

Are We Present?

This is a post I have been anxious to get to for several weeks now. I have prayed about it, researched my topic and written it in my head with hopes of getting it just "perfect". Well, I give up and here goes what I do "got".

If your family is like ours, you are ready for summer, at least spring. We are sick of winter and cold weather. Well every time I complain, I'm reminded of a group of men and women that have a bit more reason to be weary from the winter. I'm talking about the homeless in our city. Or, if you are not in Birmingham, I'm certain, your city has homeless men and women as well. If you have been downtown you've seen them. Hopelessly walking around with everything they own, on their body. We don't know what circumstances put them where they are but we are certain of a few things. They are hungry, currently they are VERY cold, lonely, and sadly, many of them lost. So here goes that uncomfortable question... "what does that have to do with us?". A lot, my friends.

Our family's first encounter with these men and women was on this past Thanksgiving Day. I won't share all the details but if you are interested you can read more about that story HERE on my daughter's blog. We made a quick trip downtown to share some cake and when we left we couldn't wait to go back.

I'm not sure how many homeless are currently in the Birmingham area; we've always found at least 25-30 and as many as 50 or more. You can find some staggering statistics on the Jimmie Hale website.

Ok, so what can we do to share the love of Christ with these very appreciative men and women? And I must say every time we go, there are more and more women amongst the group. We can share our food, our clothes/blankets, our hearts and our JESUS.

Let me answer some questions that you may have:

1. Where can you find them?
Linn Park is the most common hangout. However, we have also found them in Kelly Ingram Park as well as near the fountain in Southside.

2. What kind of food can you serve them?
Obviously, anything you want but some things that are fairly cheap and go a long way would be: pizza ($5 at Little Ceasar's), soup, sandwiches, biscuits, cake, cookies and a bottle of water or can soda.

3. How do you serve food/drinks to them?
I guess whatever you are most comfortable with. What works for us is pulling up, opening the hatch on my Yukon and setting up a make-shift buffet right out of the back.

4. What other physical needs do they have?
Sleeping bags, heavy blankets, warm coats, and back-packs to carry everything they own in.

These things would meet their most immediate physical needs but we all know that what they truly need is a Savior. Please pray for these men and women to find hope in Christ and then be willing to share it.

Two things I want to leave you with. Please visit my friend's website for Grace's Kitchen. These ladies are doing some amazing things and they also have many opportunities to serve that you may be interested in. Check it out... I promise you will be inspired by them!

Last, if you are looking for a good read and are interested in knowing more about the homeless; you have to get your hands on this book, Under the Overpass. Here is one of my favorite quotes from it:
"If we are the body of Christ-and Christ came not for the healthy but the sick- we need to be fully present in the places where people are most broken."

The broken are there, let's make ourselves present.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Long Awaited Snow Day!!!!

We woke up Friday morning to a house full of very anxious kiddos. The weather man said we would see snow by mid morning and there was nothing to do but wait. Well, that was until I thought of a great idea to pass the time quickly.

We headed to the kitchen to bake our Valentine cup-cakes. My girls love to make a mess in the kitchen and this would prove to be an excellent opportunity.
Maggie is very careful to get her sprinkles just perfect.
Lilly would consider herself the "head" chef : )
When it was all over the girls had decorated some very festive cupcakes.........
.........and the boys did what boys do best......

they ATE them!!!!

By mid morning the snow started to fall.... so we ran upstairs, pulled our snow clothes out of the storage bins and headed out the door to build snowmen (and women). Of course, it had to be a competition.

The boys and I built a cowboy snowman, decked out with a hat, holster and gun. (I think we won : )

Daddy and the girls (along with their friend from next door) constructed a snow-girl, accessorized with a tiara, scarf and shades. My man is an awesome girl daddy : )
This was the first time the twins REALLY enjoyed the snow.
Maggie had lots of fun despite the fact, she was very disturbed that her wardrobe did not match.
Something I have to remind the big kids of alot..... yes, she is an angel!!!
Below, brother gives big sis a ride on the 4-wheeler. He totally adores her..... even though he'd never admit to it. I just can't believe he's old enough to drive this thing by himself... well, actually, he's probably not....... and I'm guessing they should be wearing helmets. Oh well, maybe I shouldn't post this pic but it's just too cute not to.
..... and baby Cross gets to enjoy his FIRST snow day!!! He loved it!!

All of this fun led to a zillion cups of hot chocolate, a house full of nasty floors, and a laundry room full of wet clothes to be washed. I wouldn't trade this "bliss" for anything!


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Update on Joy

When I asked for help, I expected several responses but WOW, this is amazing! What servants you all are. The countless phone calls and messages has truly touched my heart. People that I have not talked to in years have been calling to see when they could drop their gifts off at my house. This is exactly what it means to have a heart like Christ. Thank y'all so much for stepping up to the plate and making this happen.

I wanted to give a quick update on Joy. We visited her today just before she headed to a doctor's appointment. She is in some pain but is holding up pretty well. Please keep praying for her strength. She shared with me that yesterday was a hard day.... very depressing. She has a long road ahead of her and she will need to rely on the LORD to get through. Please pray specifically that she will be delivered from the bondage of her past and know that she CAN do all things through Christ.

Thank you all so much for your prayers and your gifts. I hope to post a picture of the gifts over the week-end so you can all see what kind of impact you've made on this little life about to be born.

I leave you with this passage from the Message..."So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life - your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life- and place it before God as an offering." Romans 12:1

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I Need Help!!!

Those of you who know me well are thinking, Sister, we already knew that. And your right but we'll get to that in another post. :)

For now let me update you on my new friend, Joy. Don't you love her name?! That's exactly what she needs is some joy in her heart. Oh, how I wish I could tell you so many things about her but trust me when I say, if you could hear her story you would wrap your arms around her and fall in love with her the way I have. I saw her yesterday and we talked about a baby shower. I asked her what she has for the baby... her response... nothing. That hurts my heart. So with that said, we need to get busy.

Many of you have responded saying you want to help so let me tell you what our needs are. Following is a list of items that she will need and they can be new or gently used.
burp cloths
pack & play
car seat
bouncy seat
towels/wash cloths
For anyone that wants to donate, please send me a message and I will be happy to pick your items up. I will gather everything and take them to her at one time.

I'm so excited for this sweet girl and thank you all very much for your prayers for her and for your willingness to serve.

"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10

Monday, February 1, 2010

Young Girl in Need

Saturday I met a new friend who is about 8 months pregnant with a sweet baby boy. I wish I could share her story with you but unfortunately at this time, I can't. I can say that I'm certain God's heart is broken for this precious 28 year old mom and now my heart is broken as well. I sat on a bed beside her as she told me her story, and when I say I wept uncontrollably, I mean she must have thought I was losing it. I cried with her, prayed over her and left there committed to helping her.

More on that in just a minute, but first I must share what's been on my heart since I walked out of her room. This precious young girl, made one bad decision that led to 3 years of bondage and ultimately cost her about everything she had, including her 3 children. As I walked out of her room, God clearly spoke to me, reminding me that it's only by His GRACE that I'm not in the same situation. She made the same decision I would have likely made had God not saved me from myself. This week I'm feeling so unworthy of His mercy, but oh so thankful. Praise You Jesus for loving such a wretch like me!

So now let me share a bit of my plan for helping this broken young lady. She only has one outfit to wear right now and is need of XL maternity clothes or XL elastic waist pants. If you have anything like that and wouldn't mind giving it up, please let me know. That would help meet one of her immediate needs. Next, I would like to give her a baby shower and will need baby gifts for a little boy. She will be giving birth at a hospital in Birmingham and I want her to have nice pjs and slippers for her stay there. This girl needs to see Jesus in the face of others willing to help her. If you feel led to participate in this opportunity, you can leave a comment or send me an e-mail at

The most important thing we can all do is pray! Please pray for my friend. God makes us a promise in Jeremiah 29 vs 11 that I pray over a list of people daily. "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future". My new friend just got added to my list!