Archive for the ‘Hope’ Category

The Anchor of My Soul (On Hope)

August 9th, 2011

Hope.

 

“Hope” is one of my most favorite words (next to Boursin cheese and coffee, of course).

Hope. Hope.

Man, I love it. I love that there is always hope…always something more than meets the eye…always something to look forward to (even if we don’t know it). Hope keeps my spirit strong when it feels weak, it keeps my heart alive, and my vision focused. Hope carries my life; I cling to it.

My hope is in the One who gives it. He is my anchor; my soul cannot slide away. I thank God for hope.

And I hope for all of you. In the inner places, the wounded places, the dark places, I’m hoping for you. In the good places, I’m hoping for you, that you cling to the joy and tuck it safely in your heart for when you need to hope again. And for you, who thinks the ball is going to drop because life is going well, I’m hoping that you remember that God holds the ball, and He is good and kind.

Hold on to hope, friends. Never let it go.

“Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for and hope for and expect the Lord!” Psalm 31:24 

“But I will hope continually, and will praise You yet more and more.” Psalm 41:14 

“May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing with hope.” Romans 15:13

“Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.” Isaiah 40:31

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Photo Credit: Hope

She Got Dentures

May 7th, 2011

My mom doesn’t live with us anymore.

She moved out on April 14th. She flew to Florida to swim and soak up warm weather and save for dentures (she lost almost all of her teeth during the time she stayed with us).

Out of hospice…released. It never happens (so they say), but she happened. She survived.

And she got her dentures.

To be continued…

Related: Alcoholism (the journey with my mom)

The Good Kind of Gluttony

April 17th, 2011

Oil Lamp

Burning the midnight oil…that’s when the fears come.

Alone with the computer, searching for affirmation; searching for “good enough.” The wired wireless draws me in and offers me life. But it’s empty and it gnaws at my heart like an unfed belly.

Trying to find life in something other than my Jesus always fails me. I’m thankful it does because in my starvation I crawl to Him, the only One who can feed me life.

So I take a seat at His full banquet table and I sense He is telling me to take what I need. I take. And I eat and I swallow life down into my spirit where His meets mine and I am nestled and nourished. I can’t get enough.

I want more, and He offers more, and He offers drink and it is all so good. This is the kind of gluttony that results in a fattened spirit so I’m taking all the calories I can cram in.

He is better than ice cream.

And there is always enough to go around.

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Photo Credit: Oil Lamp

He Recognized His Mission

October 2nd, 2010

Lou with his son

Every six minutes in the United States of America a child is sexually abused. 240 children. Everyday. -Binova child Advocacy Center

Today I am honored to have a guest post by a man I respect very much – Lou Bivona. He is a man who has recognized his mission in life and is pursuing it with all passion.  Please take a few minutes to read his story…

Life presents us many opportunities.

Some we see clearly and embrace, others we let go because it takes us out of our comfort zone. It won’t make us money or popular, but maybe it is the right thing to do. Trust me, I never had, nor do I have, thoughts of grandeur. But when a young boy, Adam Walsh, went missing, something his father, John Walsh, said stayed with me. “Adam is the victim,” he said, “his mother and I are the heart- broken parents left behind.

Adam Walsh

Brent, my son, and Adam were the same age, and to this very day, John Walsh always asks first how’s my boy Brent is doing.

Little did I know about missing children other than the Lindbergh’s.  What I did know was that for some reason, I always felt totally detached and had an empty pit in me most of the time. I had a video that never stopped playing in my head of my own sexual abuse, and it played 50 times a day. That video was a blessing from God, for he led me to never want other children to be haunted by the post tarmac stress of abuse. It is not always the act, but the aftermath that takes over the rest of your life. Once I understood that,

I recognized my mission, and there was no turning back.

Did I have a plan? No! Did I have a vision? No! What I found were people who were willing to help and had a direction. The tough part was that parents of missing children or sexual-abuse survivors wanted nothing to do with the charity that addressed these issues. The pain was too great. Today that is changing as we understand that the child is not to blame for his/her abuse. I believe we are all here to protect and nurture our next generation. Each one of us has the choice to participate in making a difference. Making a financial contribution is good; giving part of yourself is even better.  It will enrich you and give you and the ones around you a sense of purpose, a truer meaning, and a reward greater than you can imagine.

We all have the chance to change another life for the good.

I established Tavern Direct as a philanthropic motivated venture to help support the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). This organization has been close to my heart for more than twenty eight years, and establishing Tavern Direct as a support vehicle was an opportunity I could not pass up. For every product sold, .50 is donated to NCMEC

Perhaps this opportunity has turned into a bit of an obsession, but only because I have spent many years working to help reverse the devastating physical and emotional effects of exploited and sexually abused children. In 1982, I started the Adam Walsh Center of New York. Then in 1984 that became part of NCMEC and shortly thereafter was faced with an unmet need I could not ignore. Abused children were not only the victims of their abusers, but also of the very system that tried to help them and punish their abusers. With the help of several individuals who were visionaries and committed to the cause, I developed the Bivona Child Advocacy Center. The Center creates a team approach to helping the children; bringing child protective social service workers, law enforcement, prosecutors, medical professionals, therapists, and child advocates all under one roof. The goal is to streamline the process, fast-track the child to those who can help, and minimize any trauma associated with the process of bringing the abuser to justice. Whenever possible, the child participates in only one forensic interview and one medical exam. The team will support the child and family all the way through the process to trial and beyond.

The Bivona Child Advocacy Center is one of my proudest achievements in life. Today the advocacy center operates 24/7 supporting the children and effecting dramatic increases in the conviction rate of abusers.

Now that you know my passion for NCMEC and the Bivona Child Advocacy Center, you will see why I “jumped at the opportunity” to develop Tavern Direct. Not only is it a high-quality product, but the success of the company helps secure the success of the charity. Now…that’s being in the right place at the right time!

How YOU can help

Purchase a gift basket through my OpenSky shop and not only will 25% of the purchase will go to the NCMEC, but an additional $5 and the profit that I will make from the sale.

Why purchase the gift basket? You will not only be helping a much needed cause, but you will be able to give someone a delicious gift (have you seen some of the yummy?) of superb marinades and sauces. Look at all the mouth-watering goodness you can make with the sauces…

Or you could help by…

Donating directly to the NCMEC  here or to the Bivona Child Advocacy Center here.

Educating yourself on child abuse – here are some resources. Also this: What to Do If Your Child Goes Missing

Thank you so much for considering being a part of this good good good work! Oh, and the winner of the gift basket is Jessica from Living Each Day for God! (Jessica, please email me your snail mail addy!)



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    I'm Sarah Mae. I'm figuring out how to fit perfect into fallen skin. Stick around for the stretching...your soul is welcome here.

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