Sunday, February 22, 2009

If you hang out in a barber shop...

The S.H.E. Team (Seeking Him Eternally) for our Women's group at church had a meeting at the beginning of the year, just like every year. As we discussed what we want to accomplish in 2009, we all really felt like we wanted to do more outreach this year. We worked last year once a quarter at the Women's Crisis Center, but we really wanted to do things more than four times this year. We all felt the need to improve in this area as a group. We also wanted to expand where we do our outreach, wanting to find a place in Paragould also since we have many gals from there. We decided one place would be The Agape House. We have monthly prayer breakfasts, usually the first Saturday of the month. We decided to add an outreach project with each prayer breakfast. In March, we'll be doing our first project at The Agape House. Sunny, the lady who runs the house wanted us to come and look around, meet some people and find out what we wanted to do. So the four of us went there Saturday morning.

None of us knew a lot about the organization so we were anxious to see what it was about. It is a four month program for women getting off drugs. It was an incredible hour and actually I could have sat there much longer just listening to her. I am really excited about going back.

We met a woman who went through the program and now works as a "house mom". I can't even begin to convey the emotions, the transparency she had and the wounds that have been healed in her. As we sat in the living room and talked and asked questions, she let us into her world. She was addicted to meth. She has birthed seven kids and gave two up for adoption. She lost her kids and everything she had before she got straight. She's been clean for almost two years. Tears were shed, laughs were many and it was more than obvious that her life has been changed. And now she just wants more than anything, to give back to the place that gave her back her life. God was mentioned in every other sentence. They teach that the only way to really kick that lifestyle is with a relationship with the Heavenly Father. Yet, with tears in her eyes, she admitted, I can't be around certain people. "If you hang out in a barber shop, you are GOING to get a haircut!!" We laughed at the cleverness of her statement, yet in the same breath it broke my heart. What a weight to carry. To know that something could swallow you whole if you make one wrong step.

I commend the women in this home. It was truly amazing.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

S is my favorite letter!

Five years ago today it was Super Bowl XXXVIII. I can't remember who played but I do remember that it was the Janet/Justin half time show! But long before kickoff... I have many memories.

Days before I remember asking Dr. Julie Wilkie if it was crazy to go to a concert on January 31st in Memphis. See, I was due on February 3rd. :) But we had tickets to see Bebo Norman, Amy Grant and Mercyme!!!! She said that we would be close enough to home that it would be okay. Just come straight home if I started to have contractions. My family was none too happy that she said that. I got numerous calls from my mom that night making sure that I was okay. I sat the whole concert. It was a great concert. Great for the soul. After the concert we went backstage and walked around with the guys of Mercyme for about an hour. It's always fun to reconnect with them... plus, I got to meet Amy Grant and she rubbed my belly! Driving home, completely pain free, I was more than happy we went to the concert. But it definitely threw me into labor. I woke up at 6am having contractions every 6 or 7 minutes. Off we went to the hospital. I labored for a few hours and then was lucky enough to get my epidural. After pushing for 45 minutes, Saraya Ashlyn joined this world at 4:42pm on Super Bowl Sunday.

We turned the Super Bowl on in the second quarter. But I don't remember much about it. I was fascinated by my daughter. To this day, I am still just as fascinated by her.

It's amazing to me that she's turning five today. Time passes so fast. I love the way she hugs and the way she kisses. I love that she volunteers those hugs and kisses. I love the way she laughs. I love the way she tells stories. I enjoy having conversations with her. I love that she has an opinion. I love that she's independent. I love that she loves music. I find myself looking at her sometimes just absolutely speechless. God blessed me beyond words when He gave me her.

Happy Birthday My Girl!!!!