Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Does confidence matter? How about friendship?

This afternoon I spent time in one of the Martha's Way classes, visiting with the students (who are all women). Four graduated today and are about to embark on building their business, so I asked lots of questions to learn more about them and how we're impacting their lives.

It was a great conversation, and there's most definitely a sense of camaraderie among the students. One woman, who was a victim of domestic violence, said the other women gave her great support which has helped her to transition from a bad home, to a shelter, and then eventually out on her own. The program has given her the tools she needs to earn an income for herself and her two children.

Another woman said the program gave her confidence that she didn't have before. She plans to create a business with her mother and sister, and her entire being said "I am so excited to do this!"

Hearing all the stories and observing the relationships made it clear that while the class curriculum is superb, the friendships formed and subsequent mutual support are also vital to the program's success.

I drove back to my office grateful to have spent some time with these wonderful women and grateful for the friendships in my own life. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

The Holy Spirit in you, the Holy Spirit in me

I love this picture because of the little sign to the left.  How could our interactions with others be different if we saw the holy in each person?

In the last few months, I've attended several memorial services for CCSC volunteers who helped to establish and grow the organization in its early days. In nearly every service, family members would share how much their loved one enjoyed volunteering with us. The adult daughter of one said her father's time with CCSC changed his life, his perspective on the poor, and his understanding of how a life of faith is to be lived. "Because it so influenced his life," she said, "it has also influenced mine."

So whose lives do you influence, and do your actions match your values?  For most of us, narrowing the gap between values and action is a life-long journey, and in my opinion, the journey is best traveled in a faith community. If you don't have a church home, start checking out churches in your neighborhood, and then once you find the right one, jump in. Join a small group where you can get to know others as you dive deeper into the spiritual side of your life.