Sunday, August 18, 2019

Say Hello to Maggie!

Over the weekend we added this adorable ball of fur to our family! I know, I know, we must be crazy! 
Honestly, our life is pretty chaotic, busy, and very full but, that's the way we like it! Adding Maggie to the mix has actually been really good, even though it seems insane. She is precious and the kids are head over heels in love! We've enjoyed spending the whole weekend together, playing with Maggie and Miles. It's been a lot of fun and we've laughed a lot! Maggie hops all over the place and tries her best to play with Miles but he hasn't quite decided how he feels about her. Allison tries to carry Maggie all over the house, Tyson wants to snuggle with her on the couch, Evan is already trying to teach her tricks, and Dylan has taken on the role of care-taker. Maggie is so loved already!

 Today I am grateful for sweet Maggie. She has brought out the best in each of our kiddos over the past couple of days. It's been incredible to watch each of them with her. I've been especially impressed by the level of responsibility Dylan has willingly taken on. She sleeps in his room each night in a laundry basket and he comforts her in the night when she misses her mommy and siblings.  He brings her downstairs in the mornings to go outside and then feeds her. He's not typically excited about tasks like these. Maggie has definitely brought out the best in him! I am also thankful for the fun time we've had as a family over the weekend as we've gotten to know Maggie. It's been a sweet time together! God created dogs with such a unique way of fitting right into families. I'm so grateful for the dogs he has placed in our family over the years.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Open House!

Last Saturday, August 4th, friends, family, and many supporters from the community came to celebrate all that God has done with Not Forgotten Ministries! This ministry is not something I've always dreamed of leading. In fact, I wasn't even able to speak of abortions until just a few years ago. This ministry was birthed out of my surrender and God's willingness to use little ol' me.  Even few a months ago I had no idea what God wanted me to do, but I just kept hearing "keep going," in my spirit. So, that's what I did! 5 months into this journey, God has done amazing things! 
We have been blessed with the perfect little space just a block diagonally from the Planned Parenthood in Winston Salem. Every single item in our center was donated by a supporter, with the exception of a couple of items in the memorial. Even the sign by the front door was donated! 

  Everything has come together so beautifully. The space is comfortable and "home-y" but also very sophisticated. It is the perfect spot for Bible studies, support groups, meetings, trainings, etc. In the months to come we plan to get an ultrasound machine in our center and offer free ultrasounds to the abortion-minded women we meet on the sidewalk. We also plan to begin offering support groups for families affected by miscarriage, infertility, and postpartum depression. There is so much in store!

  One of my favorite parts of this space is the Memorial for Preborn Babies. Families are able to create a candle holder in honor of a baby lost to abortion, miscarriage, still birth, etc. Honoring a preborn baby this way can offer a lot of healing. 

After everyone had a chance to see the office space, we dedicated this ministry and this building to the Lord. It was truly a special time. My sweet friend, Meghan, led praise songs and Pastor Jeff shared words of encouragement and said a prayer of dedication. My heart was overwhelmed by all the people who came to show their support and pray over Not Forgotten Ministries. I could have never, ever imagined all that God would do in such a short period of time! I've met so many wonderful people who are now some of my biggest supporters and friends! I am grateful for each of these people, as well as my faithful family and friends, for taking the time to help me dedicate this ministry to the One who orchestrated it all.

That afternoon was incredibly hot. Thankfully, as we did the dedication, a cloud came over and gave us some shade. Sunset Slush also helped some, and was enjoyed by all. (Especially Allison, who ate 4 flavors at least!)

After the dedication a large group of us walked to the Planned Parenthood to pray. I stand on the sidewalk there and pray 2 times a week, but there's usually only a couple of us. It was so powerful to see so many godly men and women standing so close that terrible place. We prayed together and sang "Jesus Loves Me," for all the babies lives lost there, for the mother's whose lives were changed forever there, and for the workers who have taken the lives of so many. Jesus loves each of them and our hope, beyond all else, is to share that love and hope with all who enter and exit those doors.

 Today I am over-the-top thankful for the amazing work God has done and for the part He has allowed me to play in it. I am also incredibly grateful for the support and love I have felt throughout this process. Many people have mentioned that several groups have been been praying for 16 years for this type of ministry to have a presence near the Planned Parenthood. It's overwhelming to see their sincerity and appreciation for Not Forgotten Ministries. I'll never understand why God has chosen me to be a part of the answer to their prayers, but I am humbled and grateful for the faithfulness and provision I've witnessed. He continues to amaze me!

Monday, August 5, 2019

Allison's First Dance Class!

Today I took my sweet little lady to her very first dance class!! I've been looking forward to this day for years! I began taking dance lessons when I was 2/3 years old. I took dance until I graduated high school. Ballet was always my favorite.  So, I always knew I would want my daughter to take dance too!

                                                                                                   My first year of dance.      Allison's first year of dance.

Allison loves her new teacher, Miss Jenny.

She was so happy!

She always gets someone to hold her!

Allison's dance class

Today I am grateful that I was able to take my precious baby girl to her very first dance class. I've been looking forward to this for a long, long time! I am also thankful that Allison enjoyed her class so much. She dances every time she hears music anyway, so I knew this would be so much fun for her! She loved everything about it from her leotard and ballet shoes to her teacher and classmates. I am so excited to see her in the weeks, months, and years to come!

Friday, July 26, 2019

My Cup Overflows!

 Just 9 days ago I signed a lease on a little space only block diagonally from the Planned Parenthood in Winston-Salem. That same evening I began asking for friends and family to donate furniture and other needed items. The next day donations started rolling in. I've been organizing and decorating and preparing the space for the past several days. We're still waiting on a TV for the kid's area and I need to install the changing table as well as put a storage cabinet together but other than those things, the place is completely ready. I cannot even explain how pleased I am with the office! Everything looks perfect! It's hard to believe everything (except the memorial) was donated!

I feel like I'm currently living out Psalm 23:5 which says, "You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings." 

Entry way

Entry Way Bay Window

Brand new couch!

A cure little seating area

This gorgeous table is perfect for training and board meetings!
Kid's area

The coffee station and another seating area.

A Memorial for Preborn Babies

A brand new desk! Isn't it pretty?!

Today I am grateful for this amazing space God has given Not Forgotten Ministries. This was all just a dream a couple of months ago. It's incredible to see it all coming together and becoming a reality. God has blown me away with His provision. He has been active in every little detail! My cup overflows! I am also thankful for the people who have been so generous! It can't believe how much has been given to this ministry over the past 9 days! The people of God are so giving and kind! When I look around the office and think about where each item came from, it causes my heart to sing praises! God has used His people to bring it all together and I am forever grateful!

Monday, July 22, 2019

A Brand New Space!

The past five days have been absolutely amazing! After 4 months of searching for a building for Not Forgotten Ministries to be housed, I found the perfect little spot only a block away from the Planned Parenthood in Winston Salem. I signed the lease last Wednesday! I let friends and family know that we hoped to completely furnish our new location with donated items. Less than a week later, we only need a few more things and the space will be completely furnished and we haven't spent a dime! 

The key to Not Forgotten Ministries' new office!
Our beautiful entry way of all donated items.

As I've cleaned, arranged, organized, and decorated, I've been in awe of God and His provision! Our space is not only furnished, its beautiful! I am so thrilled with everything! And amazed by the timing too!

Since March I have been on a crazy journey. God has been leading and I have been following. I know  many of my friends and family do not truly understand. I have walked by faith while others have questioned me and even spoken doubt and fear over me. There hasn't been a moment of doubt that God wanted me to keep moving forward with Not Forgotten Ministries but I won't lie, I have dealt with some fear and worry, especially when others showed their disinterest in going with me. As the last few days have unfolded and I've watched God do His thing, I have never been more grateful that He has allowed me to be apart of this. He has continuously shown me little things that prove to me that this IS His plan and that He is proud of me for walking with Him.

On Wednesday, after signing the lease, I turned on my GPS and began driving home. I've driven home from this area twice a week for 4 months but that day my GPS took me a different way. As I drove, I realized I was driving right past the building where I had my abortion 20 years ago. My heart was overwhelmed. It felt like proof that God is smiling on this ministry! Not Forgotten Ministries is  beauty from the ashes of my past.

Allison has been with me at the new office every day. We have been there alone and spent a lot of time together. Lots of toys have been donated for the kid's area, one of which is a baby doll. Allison has loved on this doll so much. It has blessed my soul to watch her. In this place, where God has led me to help other women choose life for their babies and heal from past abortions, I've gotten to enjoy watching my baby girl pretend to be a mommy. Is there anything more precious?

This mini refrigerator was donated by my aunt and uncle. It was used in a college dorm several years ago. They cleaned it up but its still pretty beat up. It works though, and that's all that matters! As I pushed it to it's new spot and plugged it in, I noticed a little sticker on the front. TRUST. It's the only word on the entire fridge. It was as if God was saying, "This is what happens when you TRUST me. I am trustworthy. I will provide!" We will not be disappointed when we TRUST God. He is faithful and always comes through for us!
Today I am grateful for all that God has done with Not Forgotten Ministries. It has been incredible to watch this ministry evolve and grow. This is HIS ministry, I'm just allowing Him to use me. My heart overflows with gratitude daily! I am also thankful that God has shown up so boldly in my life! It isn't easy to step out in faith but if we follow God's lead, it will definitely be worth it! I cannot wait to see how God uses this ministry in the years to come! 

Say Hello to Maggie!

Over the weekend we added this adorable ball of fur to our family! I know, I know, we must be crazy!  Honestly, our life is pretty chaoti...