- I am not dead. I understand if you might have worried, due to my lack of blogging
- We have not quit the Cherished ministry, even though I am 3 months behind on posts. That has been somewhat purposeful.
Cherished has been going very well. In March we actually went in earlier than usual - it was a really exciting opportunity. There was a community-wide consignment sale held by one of the local churches going on that week and I was contacted by the woman running it (who is one of my favorite people that I rarely get to see - thank goodness for facebook!) who asked if we would be interested in taking vouchers for the women who work at the club. This consignment sale is exclusively for kids: clothes, shoes, books, toys, equipement, anything child-related. It was perfect. There are very few women working at the club who don't have children, and when Natalie and I went in to tell them about it, the reaction was awesome. They were SO excited. I didn't blog about it at the time because there was a chance some of them might come shop when Natalie and I went, and I really didn't want to run the risk that anyone might see someone with me and think "dancer!". None of the girls came and shopped with us, but it was at least a great gift that they really really appreciated. I love giving a gift that meets a need without it feeling too much like charity. It's always a fear of mine that any of the girls think that this is about looking down on them in any sort of condesencion or feeling of superiority. In April we took gifts of Scentsy room deoderants that had necklace charms attached to them. These were a huge hit, and we met a couple of new girls we hadn't met before. We also brought in small versions of our church's Easter flier to give them as an invitation to church. Several of them expressed interest and one acutally sent her kids! It was a really exciting week. This was another visit I postponed blogging in the hopes that some of the girls might come to church and to avoid anyone looking sideways if there was a new person with Natalie and I (although I did share with several people who pray for our ministry - I can't keep that happy of a secret to myself for long!). With all that said, however, I will be discontinuing the Cherished updates on this blog. As it becomes (or feels like it's becoming) a more and more real likelihood that we will be able to build friendships with some of these ladies outside the club, I don't want anyone surfing my facebook profile to find this blog and feel somehow betrayed or condescended to. I'll probably still give brief updates, and prayer requests, but not the detailed accounts that have been my habit. I'm so thankful to everyone for the support, and I still desperately need your prayers, but I want to make sure that no one who comes to church due to this ministry is looked at through the lens of their occupation. I'm starting to realize how much I do that myself, and I know that I would hate for anyone to look at me firstly characterized by the mistakes or decisions I made when I wasn't fully surrendered to Jesus. If that sentence makes sense. :-)
This past week was sad. TJ's Papaw Hood passed away, and we went to Ashland on Wednesday and Thursday for the viewing and funeral. Our hearts especially hurt for Mamaw. She's such a sweet lady and I hate to see her hurting. It was really great to see some of TJ's cousins we don't see often and I loved getting to know them all better, but the circumstances sucked. Also, on a more whiny note, Stella and I are suffering from allergies and it has us both a little cranky.
Church Life Update:
Another major life change has been my taking the interim worship leader position at church in March. I love worship so much, and I love leading worship, but it was a bittersweet time. It's also a much harder job than I realized, and that first month was pretty overwhelming. I'm so grateful to everyone who prayed for me and was so encouraging and helpful - and still is! I'm feeling much more comfortable now, and it's really helped me learn more about music theory and playing guitar. I really love it. Worship is my favorite thing - I really would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than anywhere else on Earth. I'm so excited for tomorrow night - we're having a Pulse, which is an evening of extended worship, communion, and baptisms. It's always so awesome and refreshing.
That was super long. I think that'll do it for now. :-)