Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Update on Home Happenings.... October 2013


Hi Family!
Hi Friends!

First we want to shout out a big Thank you to Pastor Jonathon Falwell and his wife Shari, for treating the ladies to lunch out and dessert at O’Charley’s. And also for blessing each one of them with a book about Heaven.

We have to thank Janet at the Hibachi Restaurant for treating the ladies to lunch at the all you can eat buffet. too! It’s her hugs as we leave that is the icing on the cake!

Speaking of treats, Jenna, our houseparent, took the girls out for ice cream and let them tour some of the Liberty University residential facilities.  They also went walking on the Blackwater Creek Trail with Ms. Robin and had devotions there. She did weekend scrapbooking at her house too!

We were happy to see a few famous people, and we’ve quite a list to share: We heard Kirk Cameron speak at Liberty University. He produced the recent movie Unstoppable. The residents attended the Premier showing of the movie at the local mall theater and enjoyed it.

Another thrilling experience was meeting Willi Robertson, of the TV series Duck Dynasty. He spoke at LU and our ladies got the special privilege to have their picture taken with him afterwards and meet him.

Pattie Mallette, Justin Bieber’s mother, also spoke at LU convocation, and shared about God in her life. She was also a teen mom and lived in a maternity home while pregnant, so her story resonated with our girls.

Jeff Bethke was great to hear, and funny too!

Overall, the worship at LU is ‘amazing’ as one resident shared. She said the speaker could talk about pineapples and she’d still be thrilled because the music and the singing inspires her so- haha!  Our residents love the band and praise time at Convocation and Campus Church with the college students.

We have done a lot of volunteering, and we have so many people who role model that by showing up at LGH to help. They do cleaning, chores, gardening, errands, bring us baked goods and give us donations constantly. Giving is contagious! Our residents volunteered to help with the Day In the Park, and face painted little ones and handed out information. They collected supplies for Gleaning for the World to assist the flood disaster victims in Colorado by standing in front of Sam’s Club.

Job applications and resume’s continue to be done, and they dressed and interviewed with local business professionals for practice.

For fun we bought a basketball one day and went to the park to shoot some hoops, wade in the creek and walk on the trails. It was a simple break, and very quieting.

Adoption Training weekend went well. Family Life Services held their events with guests and speakers and our residents were able to sit in on some panel discussions. They also had lunch together with the FLS staff and LGH staff and guests.

We did some artwork with canvas and branches and they turned out beautiful!  Pictures will be posted soon on our facebook page!

Ms. Stacy invited us out to her farm and we had a tea party and brunch, and remained quite proper and used the best of manners. Then we went outside and fed the chickens, threw sticks for the dogs and rocked on the front porch, overlooking the countryside. How relaxing! Thanks, Ms. Stacy and baby William, for letting us spend the day.

Football! Yes, on a pretty fall Saturday, our houseparent Candace took them to a LU Flames Football game and they sat in a packed stadium and cheered along.

These are the highlights that came between very regular scheduled days and nights for the past month or so. Schoolwork, class times, counseling, Dr appointments, chores, exercise, preparation and responsibilities continue.

Our resident who next to deliver her baby wrote an awesome verse on the mirror this week:

“The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.” Ecc 7:8

Amen!

- Jen for all LGH staff and residents 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

"A place to lay my head...."


If you could be picked up and transported right out of your life right now- completely- just sucked up in the air and gently carried off- and then be placed somewhere safe, somewhere filled with people to listen to your hurts, to help attend to your needs, to help provide for you, to surround you with a beautiful environment, to lead you closer to God….a place that asks you to help place your own loving boundaries that will help you-  for your protection- where would you be?

Could you have even found such a place on your own? A place to assist you in repairing your relationships just a tiny bit at a time? A place for deep soul soothing, for faith and confidence building, for instructional, educational growth….for forgiveness…a place to focus on you, and let the stress of your life be held at bay for a time….for just a time….

Have you dreamed of a place that would provide a comfortable bed, daily home cooked meals and a little order and safety in your world of emotional chaos and doubts?

A place to help you take time to think, to step back and learn from past  hurts or mistakes and plan for the future….

A ‘time-out’ so to speak…A ‘greenhouse’ to grow stronger before you’re transplanted again….

Did Pastor Jerry Falwell know all of what his vision of helping young ladies in a crisis pregnancy would become? No, I’m not sure he saw all that it would be when he commandeered a group of willing Christians to start a maternity home for such young women. But the place mentioned above is what God has provided for many.

Once here at the Liberty Godparent Home, each young woman chooses how she responds. Some find it difficult to accept love, to trust, or to feel safe even here. Some are so used to criticizing and fault finding, so they spend their time in the beginning doing that very thing.

Some recognize immediately the haven that it can be and say, as a recent resident stated,  “I’m just thankful to have a place to lay my head and not worry about my next meal right now.”

There are good days and bad days here at LGH.  We laugh and enjoy a home filled with girls and staff that are all there for each other. We happily plan, conspire to bless, problem solve and pray.  Every day has good in it.

But bad days are okay too. When a resident has a bad day, it means she is not feeling well physically. But that means there is a work in progress- that a child is being wonderfully created within her.  The pain serves a greater purpose.

Bad days also mean that there are tears. But tears are okay. It means she’s able to feel what’s real to her heart. But the pain serves a greater purpose. She can find healing, direction, forgiveness or learn through it.

It’s also a bad day when she or other people she loves disagree or are not understood, but the good side is that she can learn and recover, rebound, re-communicate and then sometimes re-unite. The pain serves a greater purpose.

Christ left glory to come to us as incarnate God in man, to stand behind all others and be at the end of the line of humanity, to serve others and be of no account, to finally be beaten and killed. And we know His pain served a greater purpose.  To provide remission of sins for all man, in order to grant eternal life.

One day He will pick us up from our lives, transport us to a place way grander than all we’ve known, and it will be perfect.



 1 Corinthians 2:9
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

~Written by Jen, LGH House Manager

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Update on Home Happenings... Sept 9, 2013



It’s a BOY! He is healthy and happy and came a tiny bit earlier than we planned, but we rejoice at his arrival! Both Mom and baby boy are doing fine and are home now, beginning a new adventure in their lives. 

Just before the baby came, we also had a new resident join us. We are privileged to walk with her on this part of her journey and are excited to see what God has for her. 

By the time each resident completes our program, their life has a direction and a plan. This doesn’t mean they have life all perfectly mapped out! It does mean, however, that some of their relationships have improved, as well as their education, and they have a stable environment to return to, with some goals attained and some new ones set. We hope they know themselves a little better and are more confident in who God created them to be, ready and eager to use their gifts and talents, and put into practical action the basics that can ground them through out life.

With that in mind, Lifeskills class had our residents filling out job applications, preparing resumes, choosing interview outfits and preparing for interview questions. We are encouraging this group to keep theirs resume in a handy place! Every resident who recently completed our program has called back, looking for a copy of their resume. So it’s important to keep resumes ready!

We have been thankful for our volunteers in Education: Beth, who is excellent in Math and who also has the most adorable service puppy, Bella. The girls love it when she comes not just for puppy time, but for Beth’s expertise in tutoring.

Lizzie Phelps also joined our Volunteer Tutor team. She has a background in high school Math/Science and the residents are very thankful for her weekly evening visit.

Blonde to red…yep, it still can be done during pregnancy.  Thanks Sage Tryall Salon!  :)

And we had a pink cake with blue inside….just to throw everyone off for fun. That means one of our lovely residents had her ultrasound, and she’s having a boy!

In Adoption they talked about Parenting. Did you read that right? Yes, every resident is encouraged to explore both options, and even in Adoption class they discussed the importance of searching that out within themselves. In Parenting they also are encouraged to search out Adoption. The residents did budgeting for an infant and the costs of childrearing- an eye opening lesson. And then to be reminded of the gift of life, we have been blessed to have a few newborns stop in with their Mom’s to say hello. There were too many ooh’s and aw’s and scrunchy cute faces to count!

As for entertainment the residents went to Peaks of Otter in the Blue Ridge Parkway and grilled foot long hot dogs, walked around Abbott lake (1 mile) and made s’mores, played in the creek and drove up the parkway to enjoy the awesome views.

The home purchased 5 new Wii games, so if you hear geese honking and gun shots- well….
They are dancing to Michael Jackson’s Just Dance, ballin’ with the NBA and driving fast and furious on Need for Speed. Yes, they chose them all!

We had a few trips to Ivy Lake for swimming, happy hour at Sonic for Slushies, mall walking and individual clothing shopping trips. I think there was a late night movie trip in there too.

With new carpeting and new floors, we feel like we have a new home. It continues to amaze us how much God’s people bless us and these young ladies!  (pictures to follow once the floors have been completed!)

With all that’s happened, I think the best experience these ladies have had in the last month was the Liberty University Nursing Lab Seminar. This was a college level nursing program day led by Linda Gregory, RN and LU Professor. Our ladies sat in on several classes, complete with robotic mannequins that reacted to medical situations in a very lifelike way. The infant was used in the Infant Care session and and the woman delivering a baby was used in the Labor and Delivery Session. They were the most amazing machines. The ladies also sat in two other sessions: Epidurals and Post-Partum Care. Each session was led by a Dr., Nurse or Anethesiologist.

Our residents learned so much about what kind of care they will receive, all from a nurse or Dr.’s perspective. They asked a lot of questions and participated in the mock examinations of the mannequins. Although it was long day- 4 hours- it was worth every minute.

Thank you to Ms. Gregory and Liberty University for allowing us to participate!

So now the fall is here, the garden is turned over and football has started!  Our residents have been in a baking mood too…. someone had hot chocolate today.

Happy Fall!

Blessings,

Jen for all of the LGH team

Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Special Place in Her Heart


One of our current residents came into my office today with a piece of paper.  She proudly handed it over and said "it's for the blog" ...while sporting a huge smile on her face.  I was thrilled and super proud of the thoughts she wanted to share with you!  Please keep each of our young ladies in prayer as they continue on their own journeys.
Janelle


"Since I have come to the Liberty Godparent Home, I have changed for the better in so many ways.  Being here has given me the opportunity to not only learn more about myself, but also learn more about God.  This program has helped me become more mature, especially in making my decision in whether or not I would like to parent or place my child for adoption.  Life here doesn’t always seem easy, but it is comforting to know that the staff really does care a lot about our babies’ future and us.  I know that one day, when all is said and done, I will come out of this as a better person in more ways than one.

When you first come to the Home, things can be quite difficult to handle.  You have daily chores, schoolwork, tons of classes and counseling.  At times you may not always want to do the things that are on the schedule, but at the same time we know that these are things that are teaching and developing us to become a better person.  Living in a house full of girls can be complicated at times, but it seems to work out in the end and you all end up becoming family.

Without the Liberty Godparent Home I don’t know where I would be.  This place has become like a second home and all of the houseparents’ are like moms.  I know that I can come to them for anything. The Liberty Godparent Home will always have a special place in my heart."


Friday, August 9, 2013

More ways to invest in the Liberty Godparent Home

As you may have read in a previous blog, we are partnering with Macy's for the Aug. 24th event "Shop For A Cause".

In case you are one of those people that enjoys online shopping, we have other ways to make an impact.

We have a Target Wish List  maintained by our house manager.  Every few months she logs in and updates the list of needs.  This has been a wonderful blessing to us as we have had different people purchase items and have them delivered to the Home.   To browse our Target Wish List, please click HERE.

A few weeks ago, another supporter asked me if we had an Amazon List as they offer free shipping.  She had me at those two words... "free shipping".  Really?  Yes!  So, if you are an Amazon shopper -- feel free to browse out list HERE.

The Liberty Godparent Home DOES NOT receive government funding for the services we provide.  Each young lady comes to the Home free of charge.  We are beyond thankful for those that invests in each resident and baby!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Saving money while giving back...


FIND THE MAGIC OF GIVING BACK!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Liberty Godparent Home and Family Life Services is partnering with Macy's for this important day!


Since 2006, Macy’s Shop For A Cause Event has partnered with non-profit organizations nationwide to raise more than $45 million for their ongoing charitable efforts. This is your chance to be part of this monumental event on Saturday, August 24, 2013.


How can you get involved?
All you need to do is purchase a Shopping Pass from any LGH or FLS employee for $5.  Our organization is able to keep that money and you will receive 25% off of regular, sale and clearance items... including home items!  You can also save 10% on electronics, watches, furniture  mattresses and floor coverings. Plus, you can enter to win a $500 Macy’s Gift Card.

This is a nationwide event!


Find the magic of giving back, as Macy’s celebrates a national day of support for our community.


*Some exclusions and restrictions apply. For more information or to purchase a pass contact: Janelle Basham @ Janelle@Godparent.org



Thursday, July 25, 2013

Update on Home Happenings... July 25


Dear Family and friends,

Has it been two weeks already? My, how time flies! I’m sure at times that’s how the residents feel also.

To help keep track of time, the young ladies keep a countdown for their due dates. Beautiful baby bellies are growing. Everyone has their weeks of pregnancy posted on their doors, with potential baby names. Our senior resident gets some recognition as well, for all her time she’s completed so far. She gets to choose many of the outings, groceries, meals and also gets to ride ‘shotgun’ – in the front seat of the minivan.  J Her opinions are sought out, she’s asked to handle other responsibilities, and helps gently lead the others with such simple acts as choosing the verse for the week that gets written on the big mirror.  She’s earned some extra privileges as well.


Support group met this month here at LGH and our residents participated. Ms. Freda leads this awesome group of women who are working hard and raising children. Many previous residents, who are now single moms, attend and childcare is provided. This is a way to learn from others about the realities of parenting, and to see how this group supports each other.  Everyone had dinner together and then several topics were covered and discussions followed.

There was a pink cake in the house…which can only mean one thing - One young lady found out she’s having a GIRL!

Our teacher, Ms. Stacy, also had her little baby boy, and she is out on maternity leave. Jenna (houseparent) and Beth (volunteer) are working with the students during class time now. Online classes are not easy, but everyone is working with good attitudes and effort. Despite the fact that it’s summer, the residents have continued to make progress!

We’ve had some guests in to teach Devotions, as well as our Director, and a young missionary from Africa shared about her life in Senegal.

Summertime has brought more fun and the girls have been on a few outings: to have a cookout, play in the creek, and enjoy fireworks; to play some pool, shoot darts and watch a movie on a big screen; to the water Spray Park and walking on some wooded trails; and also to the lake, to sit on the sand, swim and use sidewalk chalk on the steps.  Of course, there’s the annual Dress Like a Cow day at Chik-Fil-A, and our ladies stuck their spots, noses, ears and tails on for a free meal.

Group Counseling is going great, and has been very timely for issues within the home between the ladies. Getting along with those you live with is a good place to start learning about resolving conflict, trust, communication and friendship.

The Level system is also in place, and goals are being attained. These include emotional maturity, self-control, communication and personal accountability, as well as good grades and healthy program participation.

We look forward to the rest of summer, as we know you do!

For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. Psalm 84:11

God Bless,

Jen and LGH staff
House Manager