Ohmygoodness I haven’t blogged for a decade!

11 Sep

Dear people I haven’t blogged for in a REALLY long time,

#1. I’m so sorry.

#2. Fall. Really? Can it be true that summer is over already? Well, lucky for me, I live in San Francisco and this is the beginning of the summertime weather here. No, leaves will not be changing color and yes, beaches will only be getting more packed. It can be a little disorienting being so “off” season with the rest of the nation, but that is a bit of what makes SF what it is. Different. And I like it that way.

Last summer was full of little changes, transitions and… SWEATERS. My mom came to visit and lived life with me-including doing ministry- for a week! It was so much fun to introduce her to people, all who adored her and still ask when she’s coming back. I also got to spend a week in Montana- which was salve to my soul- and frankly far too short. I cannot get enough of the quiet, the mountains and the deer. And oh, I wasn’t wearing a sweater there! August 21st I celebrated a big birthday with best sister, friends and dinner out doors; bundled up and braving the fog of course, it was summer after all.

Fall marks many new beginnings for the The Well  and for me. We are aniticpating and hoping for more staff to join Because Justice Matters in this coming season while beginning partnerships with other local business and ministries. One of which is a local handbag design company who want to provide employment to women in need in the Tenderloin.

The ministry of LindenTree (my ministry and non-profit) is also expanding in the City of San Francisco as word is getting out and many are reaching out for inner healing. I am also spending more time teaching and preparing materials to grow teams to help minister with LindenTree so we can see further renewal of broken hearts and minds.

Thank you all for staying tuned! More to come!

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Is it enough?

13 Mar

It was a down pour today, pretty much all day.

This is so good- we need this so much in California. This is so good,  this is what many have been praying for.

And while this abundant rain will, in time, bring a plentiful harvest-  if you live without shelter in this City- daily fighting for rest-  its hard to get excited about that. What it means now, to these friends of mine, is fighting for overhang’s and doorways to sleep in. It means soggy blankets, wet clothes for days. It means colder than normal cold mornings and perhaps no sleep at all.

On my way into the Tenderloin around  8 this morning I had my red rain jacket on, hood synched tight. I walked by a friend curled in a doorway to a bar under an insufficient eve. She was cocooned in a soaked blanket. Must have rained all night. I wonder if she is really sleeping.

I am dry. I am rested. My heart hits my knees as I remember being comforted last night, by the beautiful music the rain made on my window sill.

On my journey back home this evening, the storm really flexed its muscles. Heavy winds, buckets of water coming at me sideways, it was miserable. I was soaked, discouraged and really cold by the time I got to my front gate. With every stair I took up to my purple front door- I thought again about my homeless friends. I thought about how grateful I am for warm, dry things.  And I thanked God for a life I haven’t earned and certainly don’t deserve any more than my friends in the Tenderloin. And I am not ok with only giving thanks.

But right now thats all I have.  Is that enough?

Actual Now

27 Nov

Its never been my plan to join in the City’s racing current of crazy-fast-pace.  But recently I had a self intervention because honestly I’d been swept away.  It wasn’t long ago that I spent a year and a half practicing the slow way of life in the third world, sinking my fingers into the red earth and showing embarrassing gratitude for the novel refrigerated beverage. Life was simple, I was present.

So I asked myself: When did I start getting angry at the lack of free seats on the bus? When did I start spinning just to cross a task off my To-Do list? When did I start striving for the “end goal” perpetually before me but never within my grasp? I don’t remember deciding to live like this. Perform. Produce. Have the answers. Go. Go. Go. What exactly am I chasing? Who exactly is behind this pressure to “get there”? And while I’m on the subject- get WHERE exactly?!!! Ahh! I need a moment of silence.

Mmmm, yes. Silence. Maybe that is what I need.

But not the kind that comes when sleeping or when mouth stops moving. I mean the kind of silence that happens when heart and mind slow to the point of focusing on NOW. Not 5 minutes from now now, but actual now.

So I practice being in the actual now. And there is so much more here than I ever imagined! Here I notice my toes warm under a fuzzy blanket. Here umber leaves crunch beneath my boots and my face gets kissed by winter sunshine. Here I hear my sister’s giggle and drink in it’s power to heal me.

This is where my singleness is a gift of God’s favor- He has me all to Himself. This is where I’m not obsessed with the moment my homeless friend Wendy gets healed but I see the promise in exactly where she is now. And I get to be here with her.

This is where I don’t take for granted the fact that my legs are strong beneath me as I stand on the crowded muni train, which comes every 10 minutes, which I have the money to ride. Here, in the actual now, I like now. And I am grateful.

Perhaps what the City and I have been chasing is contentment, joy, little moments with God. Or perhaps these moments have been chasing us? Either way, I am finding, the actual now is where they live. And I want to live there too.

OverWELLmed

17 Sep

I’ve stood alone in our new women’s center many times this past week,  just taking it all in. I feel so small in there.  The space is beautiful and extravagant, its hard to believe. And all-of-the-sudden after what feels like forever of waiting- its here, it’s go time. It’s my time to run.

I imagined there would be some great relief after the ribbon cutting, but its mostly just overwhelming. Good overwhelming.  I imagine this is much like giving birth? Even after all the uncomfortable stretching, emotional equipping and finally the delivery you still feel unprepared.

My thoughts are full of the future of this place, the lives restored and hearts mended. There are so many plans, so much promise and so much rubber that now has to meet the road. This is when the real work begins!

But what have I done to deserve being a part of this? How do I qualify to be the person in charge of something so lovely and fragile and important? A: Nothing and I don’t. But I am here none the less. What a gift!

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                              Above: My brother-in-law and I christening the dance studio during the open house.

                              Below: Me standing in the doorway between the art room and the main living room.

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July Update

15 Jul

Work with Because Justice Matters

Hi everyone!

In my last update I mentioned that The Well , women’s center, was projected to open sometime in May. Unfortunately there have been some unexpected delays and red tape to get through. The new projected open date is mid- August. Although we know this project is entirely in God’s hands and His perfect timing please keep us in your prayers- we are excited to impact the community in deeper ways, and I am antsy to step into my new role as The Well’s Coordinator! Despite the continued delay though we have been pushing forward into some new programs and are getting things established. I have been astounded at the connections which have been forming with other healers and people with a heart for the prophetic arts. I am co-leading a new weekly Bible Study as well as offering private Inner Healing sessions and preparing a forgiveness workshop/teaching. We have 5 dedicated interns  working with us this summer which has been such a powerful experience in ministry and great fun to have more people passionate to see changed lives in this neighborhood! It is clear this is still a time of preparing- which cannot be sped-up even when we are all so excited for this next season (try as I may sometimes- haha).

Inner Healing

I have been continuing the work I’ve been doing in the South Bay at a healing room and center of Inner Healing. I am constantly grateful for the wise people I work alongside there. I am learning so much and witnessing such awesome things. The Lord has been showing up in miracles- EVERY session- dumping on us more faith and deeper insight into His constant will to HEAL and FREE His children. Some of my favorite moments…

– Witnessing God touch a woman’s barren womb with what she described as warmth and “bright light” and reestablish her trust in His promise to her about conceiving.

-Seeing a young woman’s pain of severe childhood trauma turn into peace and joy before our eyes, leaving with determination to pursue further her passion for teaching after a confirming word from God that this was her destiny.

-A man who was taught never to feel or express his emotions forgave a long legacy of emotional abuse and neglect and embraced the depth of his emotions as apart of his gifting from God.

This is my update for now, but as things move and chance in coming weeks I will keep you in the loop!

A humble and sincere THANK YOU to all of you who follow my journey and believe in what I am doing!  To support me financially visit lindentreeoutreach.org and click “support”. Bless you all!

Grumble grumble

27 May

I collapsed into my bed today, exhausted by and frustrated with life in San Francisco. This definitely happens periodically- with no fault to the people I know or the ministry I am called to.  Really its my own fault as I fumble around tying to find my most authentic self in a place with so many expectations, and options, and hurting people.

Maybe I am too much Montanan to do this city lifestyle well. It suits some people to go- go- go and I know many who get a rush exploring the overwhelming options for social activity. I can fake it for a while, but that’s just not me. Not as rule at least. I long for the simplicity of a handful of deep friendships, affordable living, gardens, a slower pace, less noise. Oh there is so much noise here.  My internal whisperings can’t fight the external roar today. I’m too tired.  And a two-hour nap just won’t fix it.

So COME Lord Jesus, COME. Show me how to do this. Show me how to be my most authentic self in a place that wants me to look like everyone else! And give me the strength to keep swimming against the current- when its so much easier to just stop moving.

 

Latest News

13 Apr

774151_517722974917342_1936620470_o Happy 2013 everyone! What a ride it has been already. I mentioned in my last newsletter my part-time involvement with a non-profit called Because Justice Matters (BJM), working with women and families in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco. This has proven to be an incredible learning experience for me over the past fall, winter and into this new year.  BJM is a YWAM ministry and has shared a physical space with the YWAM SF branch for the past 4 years. But ministry has been growing. BJM began looking for a building last fall in which to house their very own Women’s Center. They held a fundraiser in September, which I did a photography project for, where they raised enough money for a year’s rent in a new building. As of this February, a lease was signed and keys handed over! The space is still undergoing some simple renovations, but the plan is to have it up and running the end of May/ early June. The vision behind the Women’s Center is to create a space for soul healing and restoration, community and discipleship for the women in the Tenderlion: the majority of whom have experienced a life of trauma, domestic violence, homelessness, addiction and exploitation. This will be where we run our normal programs and outreach but will finally have the space and privacy to offer much more.

This vision has been one I have felt deeply passionate about and connected to. About two weeks ago the ministry’s leader approached me asking me to pray about coming on full-time with BJM to “head up” the Women’s Center! Humbled and excited I spent time in prayer though I immediately felt confirmation and peace when the offer came about. I accepted the position last week, with full confidence this where God is leading me and LindenTree for this time. I agreed to a full-time commitment of one year- starting in May.  I sense the profound impact this Center (named The Well) will have on the City and the future of God’s Kingdom in San Francisco. I am so very honored to be a focal part of pioneering this!

You may be wondering how LindenTree, my non-profit, fits into this picture. It fits in quite perfectly actually. LindenTree focuses on healing and restoration- which will be a huge chunk of what goes on at The Well. I will be heading the healing program, as a part of BJM, but growing in experience while LindenTree develops parallel. I will also continue support raising through LindenTree since this position is unpaid- same as all  BJM/YWAM staff members.

I am thrilled to be doing the work that I do! I feel I have been looking for this path all my life and there is a deep peace that has come with being here now. Doing Kingdom work comes with a lot of spiritual warfare and unexpected challenges however, so please keep me and this team in your prayers. BLESS YOU ALL for journeying with me. If you would like more frequent updates or to support me as a missionary visit www.lindentreeoutreach.org.