Sunday, October 8, 2017

Hearts and Pearls

Hello, my dear friends. I am alive and well!
Usually when I am quiet, it means things are not going well and I've gone into hibernation as I process through whatever is going on. That is not the case, though, this time. I have been adjusting to a new job while also quietly working on a project that I'd like to tell you about today. (I promise, within the next week or so I'll update you on the events of the past several weeks. It's all good.)
Today, I entered a contest. A contest that could potentially launch my dream - my vision to help single mamas in a way that is greater than anything I could ever possibly do on my own.
Chip Gaines of Fixer Upper is sponsoring a contest where he is asking for people to share their dreams - however big or small. Video submissions as well as written plans about the dreams are to be submitted for Chip's review. He will pick the semifinalists this Tuesday, October 10, and will fly them to Waco, TX next weekend where he will choose two winners. He will make a one-time investment in the dreams of the two finalists. Just as people believed in him in his early years of goals and dreams, Chip is now passionate about believing in and investing in the dreams of others.
So today I took another bold leap of faith, completely left my comfort zone, and submitted my dream. I want to launch Hearts and Pearls Ministries - Serving families with hope and love. My prayer is that we will turn our hearts to hurting families and serve them in tangible ways by meeting their physical needs, and watch as beautiful pearls are formed as God heals the pain of broken hearts and lives.
I have hinted about this throughout my blog posts, but today I am making my vision public. Hearts and Pearls Ministries will be the parent foundation for other branches of ministry to be formed and grow. My heartbeat for this entire vision is to help single mamas and their children, especially those who are fleeing abusive relationships.
Pearls from a Mom's Heart is the blog segment of Hearts and Pearls - a place where faith stories, both past and present, can be shared to help inspire faith in God as well as encourage hurting hearts.
Hearts and Pearls Homes will help provide homes for single mamas. This has been a burning desire of mine now for many years. Initially, I'd like to provide a home for a single mama who has limited means of paying a mortgage or rent. I dream of purchasing and/or building homes scattered throughout cities across America that have been funded through Hearts and Pearls Ministries. I plan to partner with local churches, individuals and businesses in fundraising efforts, and Hearts and Pearls will have no boundaries. The long range goal is to build small communities of affordable, energy-efficient homes where single mamas will feel safe and can live lives of freedom and dignity.
While my heart is very tender toward single mamas, I also recognize the tremendous blessing we have with older individuals who may be lonely - grandparents and empty-nesters. I'd like to partner young single mamas and their children with older families who can help love and mentor these young families. The wisdom gained from experience (pearls) can be an invaluable source of healing to the hearts of families who are hurting and broken. God puts the lonely in families - what a beautiful picture this could be of pairing two generations together in communities where individual families as well as shared space could be developed. Community gardens could be planned as well as ultimately developing retail space (such as a restaurant or day care) that would provide family bonding as well as income.   
Hearts and Pearls Meals will help provide food to families, especially those who are most desperate.
Hearts and Pearls Counseling will help provide Bible-based counseling to help bring health and freedom to those suffering from the trauma of broken and abusive relationships.
And with all of these plans, the most important focus of Hearts and Pearls Ministries is to understand and recognize that relationship with Jesus is the foundation of everything we will do. God is the Healer of broken hearts and lives, and He is the Restorer of families. While my intention is to help serve physical needs, the true miracle is a life saved and changed by God.
Why is my burden so great, and why is my vision so expansive? Because I am the recipient of this kind of love and ministry. 
24 years ago as a single mama with 5 children ranging in ages from 15 yrs to a young infant, I had absolutely no idea how I was going to make it in any way - physically, financially, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. I was a mess, and it was all so overwhelming. I didn't know where to start except to simply trust that Jesus was in control. I will get into the details of my story in the coming weeks, but for now I just want to say that God did a miracle! He healed me; he healed my children. We are a walking testimony of His grace and His healing power.
But God also used people who reached out in love to help us. No matter how much I worked, especially in those early years, there was never enough money to cover all of our household expenses. But God always came through with miraculous provision! Over and over, year after year, need after need, families in my church reached out and helped us in tangible ways. They helped pay the mortgage; they remodeled our home in desperate need of repair; they brought us food; they invited us over for meals and fun; they helped provide clothing for children who outgrew their clothes continually; they listened, prayed, laughed, cried, comforted, and counseled us as often as was needed. This went on for years - until we could stand on our own. And although I could never repay these families for everything they did for us, I did make them a promise. I promised that I would help other single mamas in the same way that they helped me.
And so, it's my turn. You can view the link below to see my video submission to Chip Gaines. Please pray that God will use whatever means He chooses to launch Hearts and Pearls Ministries. May history be rewritten and the lives of multiplied hundreds of families be eternally changed forever - for generations to come.
Thank you once again for your love, support and encouragement. I don't know where my life would be without friends like you. You are my heart!
With a heart full of love and gratitude,

May The Lord bless you and protect you.
May The Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.
May The Lord show you His favor and give you His peace.
One tiny, precious pearl among many-the product of pain. Conceived through irritation, born of adversity, nursed by adjustment.

1 comment:

  1. Mom, I am exceedingly and overwhelmingly proud of you and the courage it took for you to make this video - finally making your dream public. While this dream was birthed and nurtured in private, the far-reaching tangible impact it will have will echo around the world as the lives you touch begin to share their testimonies with others, as well. This dream, Hearts and Pearls Ministries, is initiating a snowball affect that no one will be able to stop. Thank you for the boldness you displayed in submitting your video, and even more importantly, the boldness you showcased in your vulnerability of sharing your dream with others. People everywhere are going to latch onto this dream and by partnering with you make it their own. Like you mentioned, families are going to be restored; individual lives are going to be mended; history is going to be rewritten for these families; and souls are going to be snatched out of darkness forever. Why? Because you, as the recipient of so much, made good on your promise to one day extend to other moms and families the miraculous provision they so desperately need. I am humbled by your unwavering, undying, relentless pursuit of seeing the Lord work through your life. I pray that my life too will have the impact that yours already has! I love you and I'm so very proud of you!!!