Tuesday, December 30, 2014

These last few moments of 2014...

The last few days have been wonderful... sipping hot chocolate, playing games with the kids--all while harboring a special anticipation for 2015!  I hope that during this time you are able to enjoy your blessings all around.

I rolled into work this morning (after promising my husband that it would only be for two hours) and was overwhelmed with the many email that I need to browse, respond to or delete.  Many of them are from non-profits asking for a end-of-year donation.  Even yesterday morning on the Today Show, they mentioned the importance supporting charities with donations. I liked how they ended the segment, "a lot of charities really count on these last few days of the year."  If only they knew how true that comment is!

So, here I am trying to quickly type up a blog that sounds snazzy enough to pull your heart strings and inspire you to make a donation--and falling short.  I am just one person sitting behind a desk trying to figure out the next words to type.

This is what I came up with:

Our Home is a mission-field that is unique and inspiring.  We see lives changed everyday as bellies grow and tears are shed.  We walk beside these young ladies as they make decisions that will impact generations to come and teach them about redemption.  For many, being at LGH is the first time they have experienced structure, security and unconditional love.  The team never judges but speaks truth into the lives of each expecting Mom that comes through our door.  We thank God for what He has done, is doing and will continue to do at LGH!

The Liberty Godparent Foundation has a budget that we are always trying to meet.  If God leads, please take a moment to send a check or make a donation on-line.  Each penny is used to further our mission and impact the lives of those that need our support.   No matter how small or large the donation may be, we are thankful and can promise to be good stewards of what is given.  Thank you for your prayers, support and encouragement!

Have a wonderful New Year!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Prayer Tree

Last weekend we held our Annual Liberty Godparent Foundation Open House.  This is one day of the year that we open the Home to those that want to learn more about our program, see the property and enjoy some homemade snacks.  

This year we did something different... we created a Prayer Tree.  Having supporters prayer for our ministries is a priceless treasure.  It was our goal to place different requests and names on red tags so people could specifically prayer through the year as the Holy Spirit brings it to mind.  What a blessing it was to see the tags leave the tree knowing that people are committed to pray for us... even specifically by name!

As the day finished up, tags still remained on the tree.  Each tag represents a person or a request so I thought it would be appropriate to share the remaining "tags" with you.  Would you commit to pray for one of the "tags" listed below?   (the following list is in the order they were removed from the tree at clean-up)

~ Lauren (LGH Case Manager)---works with each resident on goals, behaviors and plans for the future. Pray for wisdom, clarity and discernment
~ Donors-- protection and blessings for those that supports this ministry
~ Father of the Baby-- personal growth, clarity, wisdom, peace
~ Board Members-- energy as they lead, wisdom for the future
~ Parents of residents-- peace, comfort, growth, wisdom
~ Local Pregnancy Resource Centers-- blessing on their organization, fundraising, safety
~ Resident  "M" plans for baby and school
~ Parenting Support Group-- continues to meet the needs of the ladies, growth of the group
~ Janelle (LGH Director)--  wisdom, energy, new ideas to reach more young ladies
~ Essence (LGH Office Manager)- she schedules and supervises medical appointments, volunteers and interns
~ Volunteers-- that God prepares their heart to make an impact, energy,  discernment
~ Linda (LGH Nurse)--  leads health and prenatal classes. Pray for blessing on her teaching, safety, balance in life
~ Waiting FLS adoptive families-- peace, blessing, understanding and patience
~ Resident "R" plans for after delivery
~ Rachel (FLS Assistant Director)-- currently in the adoption process.  Pray for her growing family!
~  Jen (LGH House Manager)-- oversees the daily activities of the Home.  Pray for balance, wisdom and energy
~ Clarity in plans for the expected babies
~ FLS Foster Families-- those that provide care for the newborns until they are ready for their forever families
~ Upcoming Fundraisers-- God's blessing on how we raise funds, ideas, etc.

** LGH - Liberty Godparent Maternity Home
     FLS  - Family Life Services Adoption Agency

We hope you can join us next year for our Open House!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

To those that gave...

Some days I am blown away by people's giving spirit.    Yesterday was one of those days.

As I walked through the office, I noticed a box with an assortment of items that had been dropped of on Sunday.  I investigated further and was pleased to see cleaning supplies, paper towels, and other miscellaneous items.  It is here that I  must stop and give God the glory because those items were needed... and God's timing is always perfect!

According to the papers in the box, the items were collected at the Russell Springs Neighborhood 5K Fun Run/Walk last weekend.  Wow.  I will never know who gave or if they have any connection to our Home but wanted to share our appreciation.  Thank you for thinking of us and investing in our program!

To those that gave the tissues... thank you.  They may be used when a young lady learns that her future is falling apart or when tears come because she put the wrong sauce on the stir-fry.  Yes, that really happened-- pregnancy hormones are real!

To those that gave the bathroom cleaner... thank you.  You made one of our young ladies very happy as she is constantly cleaning and enjoys a sparkling, clean bathroom.

To those that gave the paper towels... thank you.  With it being flu season, we are washing hands many times in efforts of not spreading germs and keeping our expecting moms healthy.

To those that gave... thank you.  We can't operate this Home without you, your prayers and support.  Thank you.

Want to see what other items we need?  Check out our Liberty Godparent Foundation Wish List on Amazon

Have a wonderful day and stay warm!

Friday, December 12, 2014

It's Christmas time at LGH!

 Our Christmas party for the girls is next week! We have decorated the house and made scrumptious Christmas breakfast plans.  Just like your family, our young ladies wear their new pajamas, open stockings and laugh a lot that morning.  Then they have great food and open gifts that are under the tree.  We are blessed to see the way God’s people give to them, and look forward to letting them soak up some love in celebration of our Savior’s birth.

Many of our young ladies have never experienced a full Christmas before, and so many traditions are new to them- even the smallest things, such as baking cookies or going to see Christmas lights, or the Christmas parade, are all new.

This year they made gingerbread houses, listened to carols, and visited with other high school students who came to encourage them. They also baked sugar cookies to give to some of our volunteers.

They were treated to the Virginia Christmas Spectacular and also the LU Christmas Choral Concert.  It has been a special holiday, so far, indeed!

Yet in between the festivities, there is a lot of serious thinking and decision making going on. Many of the girls are very quiet, lost in their feelings of being away from family this time of year, or envisioning their futures and the future of their baby. It is not an easy time.

Many are facing an upcoming adoption process, and many are facing single parenting.  These thoughts weave in and out of all the classes, preparations, education, appointments and work.  

Classes at Virginia Baptist Hospital the last few weeks have included Baby Care, Infant Safety, and also Breastfeeding. Prenatal, Parenting and Adoption classes are on track.

GED and high school classes continue and the SAT’s are done for this semester.  The residents work diligently through our Level System to attain rewards, responsibilities and more freedoms.

Quite a few of the ladies just earned their Spa and Salon Day and Maternity Photo Shoot.  “I felt like a princess,” one girl laughed, “I had one stylist doing my hair and a person on each side, giving my hands a treatment.” Another added with teary eyes, “It was just what I needed after such an emotionally hard morning.”  Thank you Sage Tryall Salon for treating our ladies with such great care!

We look forward to sharing Christmas with these brave women, and as always, look ahead to a New Year to see what more God will do in their lives and in the lives of those yet to find us!

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Phillipians 4:4

Merry Christmas,

Jen for all the LGH Team

Monday, November 24, 2014

What has been happening around the Home....

LGH Residents’ November Checklist:

Surprise Graduation party, with cap and gown ceremony, cake and pizza, good wishes and congrats! Many smiles and laughter and applause. Confidence boosted. Maturity and good work ethic gained.  Diploma framed. Hat toss!!

Thanksgiving Feast with all staff and residents. Get stuffed, happy, and thankful. Talk and laugh with friends. Deliriously consume leftovers, especially pie.

Knit baby bear infant hats in cheerful yellow yarn. Carry Reality Works doll everywhere while wearing it, improving the cute factor by leaps and bounds. Don’t get annoyed when people ask. Just grin and say politely, “It’s plastic.”

 Use sidewalk chalk for fun time in the sun, adding color to both entrances, making folks smile when they come and go. Try to draw my friend.

Attend Parent Support Group. Share from the heart. Encourage and support all the other single Moms. Get good advice. Problem solve. Laugh, Cry. Play with 1, 3 and 4 year olds. Keep confidentiality.

Skype with friends and family. Just go ahead and let myself be homesick. Be firm in planning. Set boundaries. Love generously. Smile. Watch family carry laptop around to show everyone and everything. Try to be patient.

Volunteer at church banquet. Serve and work hard. Accept compliments and warm gratitude. Eat amazing food. Go to bed with a sore back but with a feeling of great accomplishment and satisfaction for helping others.

Study more for SAT’s. Read two more chapters in my book. Return University library book.  Put new batteries in scientific calculator.

Exercise and swim in the pool. Do aerobics, yoga, stretch and relax. Feel baby move and wiggle. Giggle and see if others can see the movement.

Go for lengthy walks in the crisp air and get sunshine therapy. Breathe deeply. Think about upcoming labor and delivery. Ask a lot of questions. Share fears. Slowly increase heart rate and release endorphins to fight off depression.

Attend counseling. Prepare heart. Weep. Laugh. Feel safe. Experience some healing. Learn to forgive a little. Learn to let go.

Meet with caseworker. Complete assignments. Vent frustrations. Share goals. Make phone calls. Get things more in order.  Get a Plan A, Plan B, Plan C.

 Pray more. Use my new highlighters in my Bible.

Have a good Dr. appointment. Don’t gain too much weight. Keep blood pressure low. Eat healthier.  Cut back on sweet tea!

Throw softball around with friend. Get outside more. Get better at catching.

Write more letters. Send thank you notes for the clothes, shampoo, toothpaste, and gloves and scarf that I really needed.

Look up that Pinterest Recipe and add to grocery list. Make my meal awesome so everyone will want the recipe. Get good at it so I can make it on my own.

Do my laundry twice a week to keep it under control.

Eat out at LaCarretta this weekend. And then grab personal stuff I need at Dollar Store.  Try to get little gifts for my family.

Make my Christmas list!!! Try not to get too excited! Look online for things I need and want! Find that perfume I love. Get prices for Mary-Kay makeup. Find winter boots.

 Change my bedroom dry erase board for my weeks of pregnancy. Stick to the baby names I have picked out!

Pack for the weekend. Don’t listen to Christmas music ‘til after my Thanksgiving break!  Relax and have a good visit! Sleep in!!!!

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

What is happening at LGH this week?

 We are adjusting, shuffling and settling in with a few new residents. With new faces come new personalities and the dynamics of the group change every time. We enjoy making room for those who God has brought our way, and welcome them warmly!

As we get to know each girl better, we continue on with our daily schedules. We also incorporate each young lady into school, evaluating her to find out where she’s at, educationally. Transcripts and test scores are also sent to us.

Medical insurance and the first Dr. appointments are set up, and the complete handbook is reviewed with each new resident. Training begins for chores, and we get to know their love language and a few of their unique spiritual gifts, as well as their favorites or dislikes when it comes to school subjects, food, colors, activities, movies, personal goals, career goals, etc. She gets assigned specific spaces, laundry times, counseling appointments, and begins to assist with cooking.

They acclimate to exercise, new friends, staff and church as they work through their initial 21 days. This is time for them to begin new habits, to feel safe and be healthier.  Most young ladies write a lot of letters during this period, too.

Weekend outings help with this adjustment in a relaxed way. Our residents recently went to a Fall festival, carved and painted pumpkins, and went trick or treating.  They also attended a women’s Blush Conference on another weekend.

Hands-On Parenting offers our young ladies occasional time with a family, where they assist in caring for infants, toddlers and children, while being supervised by our staff. This is something they really enjoyed this last week. They also price shopped and budgeted for baby expenses in the local department stores.

One young lady was able to vote on Election Day, and then she closely monitored the political results on the news.

Another resident had a job interview and is preparing diligently for independent living in her future, which includes researching apartments, the bus lines and securing a high-quality day care.

We celebrate with the one who just graduated with honors with her GED! And thank you to all who sent cards to her via our Facebook request!

Staying motivated, one individual is looking at online writing jobs, while continuing to prepare for her SAT in December.  

As you can see, these young ladies are continuing to make changes, adjust, stabilize and prepare for their futures. Please keep them, and us, in your prayers.

~Jen for the LGH Team

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Home Happenings.... October

Hello Friends,
We all wanted to share with you our latest happenings around the home!

Each resident is working hard to tackle their education goals.  That’s the beauty of having a program that meets individual needs in academics. We are blessed with a passionate teacher and tutors who volunteer, as well as an online program that enables our students to work at a pace quicker than public schools. Most are motivated to do so. It’s one of the changes we see after a resident settles in. She quickly values her education and desires to accomplish all she can, and to do it well.

Some of our young ladies are preparing for the GED, SAT’s and then college classes. One young lady is working through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace class. She said she likes “how he not only teaches financial principles and we learn a lot for making good decisions in the future, but he also shows us how managing your money relates to family relationships, too. He can be pretty funny sometimes, so it’s interesting!’ 

Shaken Baby Syndrome and some practical tools to deal with crying infants and children was the topic in Parenting Class.  Part of parenting is also preparation, so research on day care costs, average pay scales for typical jobs, and independent living budgets are often assigned projects from the caseworker. Estimating expenses for raising an infant, including baby equipment, diapers, clothing, formula, etc. also teach them to plan and provide.

Each day is full of classes, meetings, appointments, exercise, devotions, and chores- from 8 am to 5 pm, and then tutors come four times a week, often in the evenings.  These ladies are scheduled, on time and are getting things done! 

This is a safe place. When they leave here it is not guaranteed these young ladies will always be so well taken care of. Please pray each child and mother will continue to grow and to feel safe, loved, and walk further in the love and knowledge of Christ, too.  We tend to think of these young ladies as adults, but many of them are still maturing and growing up- physically their brains are still developing, their emotions and bodies too- all while being pregnant and working hard to make plans- whether placing or parenting.

 It is because many of you give to the Liberty Godparent Home that we are able to be a part of their journey. So thank you again and again! 

Jen, for all the LGH Team