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Reservations

March 3, 2021 in Accountability, Caregiving Tips, Crisis Hosting, Empower, Learn, Listen, Need, Relationships, Social Isolation, Wrap Around Care
By Ericka Byer, TFG Host Mom

Reservations – let’s be honest, we all have them.

What will hosting a child in our home be like? What will the child eat? What will they wear? Do they need diapers, wipes, formula? Are they potty trained? What is the child’s schedule like? Will they get along with our kids? Are they afraid of dogs? The list goes on and on.

It is perfectly normal to have reservations before jumping in to be a host family. I had them. We’ve been at this for years, and I still have them when we host a new kiddo in our home.

When I have the opportunity to talk with a family who is interested in hosting children in their home, I tell them that they can ask me anything. I reiterate…ANYTHING.

I tell them that nothing is off limits in questioning what it is like to host children in our home.

It is natural to have questions.

More often than not, when I have the opportunity to talk to another mom who is considering hosting a child in her family’s home, I get to hear how the Holy Spirit is nudging her – just like the Holy Spirit nudged me (again and again) years ago before stepping into the adventures that this ministry brings.

Don’t ignore the nudging, friends.

God is looking for our obedience, and when God is planning on shifting and changing our hearts to be in better alignment with Him, he calls us into the uncomfortable.

Uncomfortable is scary, but the work God will do in our hearts far outweighs the fear.

 

Prayer for the unborn

January 22, 2021 in Accountability, Crisis Hosting, Empower, Learn, Listen, Need, Relationships, Social Isolation, Wrap Around Care

Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children

Today is a very important day of prayer for the unborn. Please join us to pray that these little ones and their mothers would be protected by God in mind, body, soul and spirit. 

Lord Jesus, we know how precious each child is to you.

You say in your Word to let the little children come to you and not to hinder them, for to such belongs the Kingdom of God. (Luke 18:16)

We pray for their protection while they are in their mother’s womb. You intricately craft each child while they are in the secret place. (Psalm 139:15)

Each child is formed in Your image, God. They are Your masterpiece.

We ask that mothers, fathers, families, doctors, counselors and governments would receive fresh understanding of the sanctity of life and see how precious each of your sons and daughters is to You.

God, we know you create every life on purpose and with a purpose.

From the unborn babies in their mothers’ wombs to children living in vulnerable situations to adults living in poverty, may the Church rise up and take sacrificial, gospel-motivated action to come alongside every life – to live out the truth that every single life is valuable and God-created.

Please surround those experiencing an unplanned pregnancy right now. We pray that their family and friends would come alongside them.

Let these beautiful mothers know how fiercely You love them.

We pray all shame, guilt and fear would break off of them in Jesus’ name.

Share with them that by Your grace You will give them the strength, wisdom and capacity they need to be a wonderful mother.

Awaken the church to see the needs of mothers and families experiencing unplanned pregnancies.

Cause the church to step out in generosity and carry Jesus’ extravagant love, to care for mothers and families from the moment their baby is conceived to the day that precious little one is born and throughout all that their life brings.

We pray for legal protection for each child. May our government recognize the sanctity of every life and commit to protect the unborn. We pray mothers receive the wrap-around care and resources they need.

We know in this world we will have trouble, but we also take heart because we know You have overcome. (John 16:33)

We trust that you are on the move on behalf of each unborn child and their mothers. We commit them into Your care, Jesus. Thank you for making a way. Thank you for showing us how to follow You. Thank you for loving each of us so deeply.

Thank you for leaning close, being with us and for hearing and answering our prayers.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

Matthew 19:14

Building faith muscles

January 20, 2021 in Other
By Jess Eischens, Communications/Marketing

I was recently processing 2020 and the best way I can describe it is that this past year, we’ve been building muscle.

If you work out, you know that building muscle is painful. Not just that, but strengthening what is weak can be excruciating. 

Building faith muscles

We either need to build up what is weak or we need to re-train what hasn’t been used in the right way.

Either way, it’s painful because you have to break down what is weak and this takes time.

But this training in 2020 has been necessary for a strengthening within the body of Christ – it’s a strengthening of where we get our final say from…where we get our rest from…where we get our truth from.

Who’s opinion really matters?

We’ve been re-learning that God readily comes to our aid, even when it doesn’t feel like it. We’ve seen Him spring to response to strengthen us, give us what we need in that exact moment and walk through the fire with us.

Like Shadrach, Mesach and Abednego when they stood up to Nebuchadnezzar, God has been in the fire with us. (Daniel 3:16-28)

He’s let us walk through it so we’ll be purified and come out stronger in faith and ready to stand for him in anything…not worried about what others think, but courageous and bold witnesses of His love, justice and forgiveness.

We all know we’re not quite there yet, but if you’re like me, you can look back on 2020 and see how you’ve grown stronger this past year.

Building faith muscles

Hebrews 12 shares in detail what we’ve been going through, for our strengthening and our ultimate good and for His honor as pure vessels He can pour His Spirit into:

“As for us, we have all of these great witnesses who encircle us like clouds.

So we must let go of every wound that has pierced us and the sin we so easily fall into.

Then we will be able to run life’s marathon race with passion and determination, for the path has been already marked out before us.

We look away from the natural realm and we fasten our gaze onto Jesus who birthed faith within us and who leads us forward into faith’s perfection.

His example is this: Because his heart was focused on the joy of knowing that you would be his, he endured the agony of the cross and conquered its humiliation, and now sits exalted at the right hand of the throne of God!

So consider carefully how Jesus faced such intense opposition from sinners who opposed their own souls, so that you won’t become worn down and cave in under life’s pressures.

After all, you have not yet reached the point of sweating blood in your opposition to sin. And have you forgotten his encouraging words spoken to you as his children?

He said, “My child, don’t underestimate the value of the discipline and training of the Lord God, or get depressed when he has to correct you. For the Lord’s training of your life is the evidence of his faithful love. And when he draws you to himself, it proves you are his delightful child.”

Fully embrace God’s correction as part of your training, for he is doing what any loving father does for his children.

For who has ever heard of a child who never had to be corrected?

We all should welcome God’s discipline as the validation of authentic sonship.

For if we have never once endured his correction it only proves we are strangers and not sons.

And isn’t it true that we respect our earthly fathers even though they corrected and disciplined us?

Then we should demonstrate an even greater respect for God, our spiritual Father, as we submit to his life-giving discipline.

Our parents corrected us for the short time of our childhood as it seemed good to them.

But God corrects us throughout our lives for our own good, giving us an invitation to share his holiness.

Now all discipline seems to be more pain than pleasure at the time, yet later it will produce a transformation of character, bringing a harvest of righteousness and peace to those who yield to it.

So be made strong even in your weakness by lifting up your tired hands in prayer and worship.

And strengthen your weak knees, for as you keep walking forward on God’s paths all your stumbling ways will be divinely healed!

In every relationship be swift to choose peace over competition, and run swiftly toward holiness, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.

Watch over each other to make sure that no one misses the revelation of God’s grace.

And make sure no one lives with a root of bitterness sprouting within them which will only cause trouble and poison the hearts of many.”

Hebrews 12:1-15 (TPT)

———

I could see all of that happening inside of me in 2020.

He corrected me.
He strengthened me.
I lifted up my tired hands in prayer and worship.
He made a way for me.
He proved Himself as my provider and loving father.

———

And in all of this that we walk through…God promises to be with us.

Isaiah 41:10 says

“fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

In Psalm 10:17, the psalmist writes,

“Lord, you know and understand all the hopes of the humble and will hear their cries and comfort their hearts, helping them all!”

And in one final Bible passage, consider what God did for Paul in 2 Timothy when everyone around him abandoned him:

“At first there was no one I could count on to faithfully stand with me—they all ran off and abandoned me—but don’t hold this against them. For in spite of this, my Lord himself stood with me, empowering me to complete my ministry of preaching to all the non-Jewish nations so they all could hear the message and be delivered from the mouth of the lion! And my Lord will continue to deliver me from every form of evil and give me life in his heavenly kingdom. May all the glory go to him alone for all the ages of eternity!”

– 2 Timothy 4:16-18 (TPT)

This is what happens when we encounter a year like 2020.
We learn where we run to.
We learn who actually helps us.
We learn Who stands beside us always.

Like Paul and Shadrach, Mesach, Abednego, and the psalmist, I know I’m so grateful for this new strength and these new muscles.

Building faith muscles

Now it’s my turn to ask you:

– How did God strengthen your muscles in 2020?

– What were some struggles you experienced and in what ways did you see God provide for you this past year?

– What area of your life is stronger because you walked through the fire last year?

– Have you praised Him for walking with you this whole time?

I’m grateful for a strengthened faith.

I trust that He is working in the midst of the seeming chaos.

He’s really faithful to provide for our needs, stand with us in the flames, and protect and prosper us even when it seems like impossible odds.

He’s proven Himself so very trustworthy in this season.

Let’s continue to trust Him to strengthen us and walk beside us in this new year.

He is faithful!

Daniel 3:28

Honoring a brave mother’s choice

January 18, 2021 in Accountability, Crisis Hosting, Empower, Learn, Listen, Need, Relationships, Social Isolation, Wrap Around Care

“I just so happened to stop by to visit,” said Veria, our Program Director.

Ashley,* a young mom of 3, had recently called and sounded very sad and troubled. Veria asked if she could stop by for a short visit.

When she arrived, Ashley told her, “I feel so alone and overwhelmed. I just found out that I am pregnant.”

The weight of parenting, even in the best of times, can feel isolating and overwhelming. The realities of little sleep and no energy or time to recharge, can be difficult. Even with the help of family and friends, this road is not easy. Covid-19 has made life especially difficult for single moms.

In Ashley’s case, her loneliness led to an unplanned pregnancy.

On this particular day, as Ashley was feeling the weight of another baby on the way, Veria “just happened” to stop by.

There Ashley sat, vulnerable, alone and hopeless. She was thinking through ways to escape this “mistake” she had created. Abortion suddenly seemed like a real and possible option.

Veria knew her impromptu visit was no coincidence. God had brought her there to be a comfort and encouragement to Ashley.

Veria began to share stories about other women who had contemplated the same life or death decision in their own moments of great despair.

Ashley listened intently to story after story of God’s intervention and provision in each of these “unexpected pregnancies.” As Veria reminded her the TFG community was also there to support her, that families would wrap around her during this time, Ashley’s faith and hope were renewed.

She realized that with God’s help and the support of volunteer families from Together for Good, she could make it through this pregnancy.

Dear friends, YOU helped save a life. At the end of December, a precious baby boy was born to Ashley (see picture below with his proud older sister 😍).

Honoring a mother’s brave choice

This is the power of one choice.

Ashley’s choice gave her son the gift of life.

Your choice to share your hearts, homes and resources to make this ministry possible means that moms like Ashley won’t face life alone.

The church’s choice to come alongside those who are hurting, overwhelmed and in need of comfort and a gentle helping hand makes a powerful difference.

Ashley says, “I feel like I actually have a support system now and you made that happen. I feel so much better…I have hope and I feel better knowing I have people like you that care!”

Don’t ever doubt your place in this ministry. God is at work through you. Thank you for being a part of this miracle.


At Together for Good, we believe every life matters.

We honor the choices of moms like Ashley and are committed to be with them for the long haul.

It is our job to come alongside and support parents to be all that God created them to be, so that their children can grow into their God-given potential.

We dream of a world where children will grow up confident they are loved, where families will live confidently knowing they are supported and where each person believes they are made for a powerful purpose.

Our Creator God makes no mistakes.

Thank you for standing alongside moms like Ashley. Together we step into the gap to empower life and provide wrap-around support, until all families are whole, healed and together for good.

Support more moms like Ashley: give today

 

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