Monday, April 16, 2012

An Unexpected Shower

Last Thursday we had our monthly Women's Event with the women of Mending Hearts at Cross Point.

Mending Hearts is a place where women who are homeless or at the end of their rope due to addiction, mental or emotional disorders can find shelter, hope and healing. They live there as they recover. Mending Hearts is about a mile away from our Nashville campus. 

Cross Point began a relationship with Mending Hearts a couple of years ago by helping them with construction needs around their campus. 

In the fall of 2011, we committed to help Mending Hearts refurbish 5 buildings on their campus to house 40 women who are seeking freedom in recovery. On the 2nd Saturday of the month we meet at Mending Hearts from 7:30 AM - noon to volunteer with a construction team working to get these units built & finished! On February 12th we celebrated the opening of our first completed building!   

During the first week in my new role as Missions Coordinator at Cross Point, I got to help facilitate an event that was arranged by a couple of women at Cross Point. The event was a painting night open to women of Cross Point & the women of Mending Hearts. Lisa Gardiner, a local artist and Cross Point attendee walked us through step by step to paint a beautiful heart. The ladies' paintings were auctioned off at the annual Mending Hearts Fundraiser.
It was my first opportunity to spend time with the women of Mending Hearts. The girl I sat by decided she wanted to draw Snoopy instead! What are the odds of that. :) My friend Brenda won her painting for me at the fundraiser.
I knew Cross Point could serve these women by spending quality with them. I made time with the women of Mending Hearts a monthly local opportunity for the women at our campuses to be involved with. It is a time to build community with the women of Mending Hearts and help them with their recovery by encouraging them. The goal is to create a safe environment for them to have fun, enjoy fellowship with other women and experience the love of Christ through those relationships. Many of the women have said, "I didn't know I could have fun sober."

Our monthly events so far:
*Thanksgiving dinner w/live music from Cross Point women
*Christmas caroling in neighborhoods by Mending Hearts
*A chili cook-off where the Mending Hearts women made the batches
*Valentines dance/karaoke 
*A jewelry craft night with Strings for Hope

Thursday's event was an ice cream sundae extravaganza and we brought toiletries to donate to the Davidson Department of Children's services. The event was nearly over and my boss Ryan and co-worker Krystin said they needed to talk to me about some work related things upstairs. I kept fighting them saying, "I need to get back to them! What if I don't get to say bye to the women!" Krystin and Ryan did a good job trying to keep me busy while the women were hard at work. :)

When we got back downstairs to the gym, the women of Mending Hearts were lined up, beaming from ear to ear, screaming, "Surprise!!"

They had planned a baby shower for me. 
Krystin caught the precious surprise on video. 

Many of these women are mothers, who currently do not have custody of their children.
Many of them are pregnant themselves. 
They have very little financially because of their addictions.

But, they chose to love on me in an extravagant way. 

While I was opening my gifts, I asked them to throw out motherly advice. We had so much fun laughing about the joys & crazy times of parenthood. 

One of the girls pulled me aside at the end of the night, "This is such a blessing. Don't mess it up."

I will remember that advice & respect her for speaking so boldly. You don't have to be an addict to mess things up as a parent. 

I love these women and I am praying for them to experience freedom from their addictions and to always rely on Christ through that process.   

If you are a woman and attend Cross Point, I hope you will consider being a part of our monthly events. Our next event is Thursday, May 17th at 6:30 PM at Centennial Park in Nashville. We will be enjoying a picnic together! Email to sign up! 

Monday, April 2, 2012


When you are expecting, the word you hear the most is "advice." Some people say, "Don't listen to any advice" but then proceed to give it with much conviction. Some will share without asking if you would like to hear. Others who respect our decisions will wait until we ask for it.

There are so many ways to take care of a child. Bottle & diaper choices, feeding, outings, daycare, the list goes on and on. I find myself overwhelmed that we won't make the right decision about the trivial things, but more importantly, how we will parent our little one. 

I was comforted recently while reading God's word. Every story bursts with advice on how to be a good parent. 

Advice on how to LOVE. 

God has been angry with us, disciplines us, laughs with us, is proud of us, welcomes us into his arms when we repent and never fails to shower us with forgiveness. 

My thoughts have shifted from over analyzing decisions on how to raise our baby boy, to learning what it means to parent like God

That is advice I'll never turn down.

In closing, the past 7 months have flown by! I started my new role at Cross Point as Domestic Missions Coordinator and I'm now in the third trimester of my pregnancy. I made it through 5 tough months of nausea/vomiting and have learned and embraced new, exciting opportunities at my job that benefit God's kingdom in huge ways! A few pics of my growing belly and our growing son. Prayers for the health of our baby & relief from some pregnancy pain for mommy are much appreciated. :)