Do you trust?

So Ill stand with arms high and heart abandoned in awe of the one who gave it all!

So Ill stand with arms high and heart abandoned in awe of the one who gave it all!

On Monday and Tuesday I had the privilege to go to Lebanon Oregon for a intern training. It was amazing!
As we learned about what it is to be a team player and a leader God started to reveal to me several things.

I struggle with trust. That wasn’t anything new to me. As many people have come in and out of my life it has been evident that is a sore spot in my heart. What the speaker said that really hurt my heart was that God was only as close to me as the closest person in my life! As someone who is in ministry and has accepted a call on her life I instantly wanted to ignore this comment and the instant twinge of pain it caused me. The speaker just had to be wrong… or maybe I didn’t really hold people as much at arms length as I had thought.

Unfortunately I knew that the last statement was not true. Because of past hurts I have learned to let people only so far and then no further because they might hurt me, whether intentional or unintentional. It is human nature because we are all fallen, fallible beings saved only by God’s grace and mercy. I have seen it even in my moving out to Montana how I have withdrawn from my friends out East in many ways because I know that life goes on for them and in that the friendship might be lost or forgotten. In a way I disengage the friendship first so that I won’t be the one hurt when there is no call, letter, message, or response to these things. By doing this however, I end up hurting myself, I allow the thing that I feared happen because I withdraw from the friendship first and loose what very well could have never been lost in the first place.

Does this make any sense??

So when the speaker said that about Jesus and God I thought he must be crazy! I am close to God! I have given Him my life, my finances, my future, my past, my time interning… what more could He want from me?

He wants my trust!

He wants me to know that He is HOLY!

It is against His nature to be anything that would be considered unholy. So when the bible says that He will never leave you or forsake you, Its TRUE! God will never abandon me, he will never hurt me.

In the Garden when Eve was tempted she was told a lie, that God was holding out on her.

So we as women struggle with that lie throughout our life. We look at others lives and see how much God has blessed them with relationships, finances, friendships, security, blessings and we say well God my life doesn’t look like theirs so you must be holding something from me.

Its not that God is holding out on me… Its that I am not TRUSTING Him with my whole life!

God is taking me through the process of truly learning what it means to trust Him in EVERY area of my life. That looks different in each persons life so that is where when we compare we start to believe the lie. God is faithful to complete the work that He has started in my life and yours and He will show you that He is trustworthy if you seek His face.

If you too are struggling with understanding how much he wants to bless your life completely, don’t look to others as a comparison first of all. And secondly, ask God to reveal Himself to you fully and trust Him to do it!

Deuteronomy 4:29

But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.”

Yesterdays Daily Prompt

You’re given a plot of land and have the financial resources to do what you please. What’s the plan?

So I am not able to write every day due to my schedule and I just saw this post and knew I had to write about it!!

First of all let me just say this would be a dream come true!!

My dream would be a combination of many different things. If I had enough land and unlimited resources I would put a 3-4 story building on it.

The first story of the building would be an awesome comfy eclectic coffeehouse that sold only fair trade coffee and tea. This coffeehouse would have only healthy but oh so yummy baked goods from my mom’s cookbook. This coffeehouse would be decorated with local art work, have comfy sitting areas and have a large enough room for conference meeting room type accommodation. There would be a stage so that there could be mic nights for local artists. And there would be a gift shop with gifts from all over the world. The sales of the gifts would go towards an orphanage in which ever country the gift coordinated with.

On the second floor of this building would be an art studio. It would offer classes for people interested in learning a hobby and growing their gift. It would also offer after school classes to children who want to expand their artistic abilities. The art work would then be sold down in the coffeehouse area.

AND…

Last but definitely NOT least.. the third floor would be apartments and housing for women that are coming out of rehabs or transitional housing. It would be for women whose past is marked by what society would say is a red letter permanent flaw whether it be past addictions or felonies. This would give them a place to stay and offer them a job to be able to get experience  This ministry would help the women get back on their feet, dream for themselves and then help each women to fulfill their dreams.

This is a huge undertaking! But it would be a dream come true!!

Art project opportunity

“It can be coins or sports or politics or horses or music or art or faith… the saddest people I’ve ever met in life are the ones who don’t care deeply about anything at all. Passion and satisfaction go hand in hand, and without them, any happiness is only temporary, because there’s nothing to make it last.”
― Nicholas SparksDear John

I love this quote because it is so true! A person needs something in their lives that reflects their own personality, passion and uniqueness. Many people go through life just surviving the 9-5 work life, interaction with family, eat, watch some T.V. and then go to bed so they can get up and do it all again.

I look at the people in my life that have interests and passions seeing people that are more well rounded and happier when they have time to pour out their day through exercise, painting, writing and serving others in the church.

The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.
Pablo Picasso

I have the opportunity to bring this view into women’s lives that have seen the side of life that is anything but beautiful. My internship is unfolding and I am finding an awesome fit for myself and all my God given talents! It is so amazing to see all of it fall into place and how they had prayed for someone with my talents for about 6 months.

One thing I want to set up is an art and crafts program for the women who come to this rehab program. They need beauty, color, and a way to express all the things that have been bottled up for so long.

Instead of me writing my thoughts I have found tons of great famous quotes that speak exactly what I am trying to get across.

Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.
Thomas Merton
Read more at

This is so true! In this program I hope to help the women find who they are through art and also to be able to loose themselves by pouring their hurt, heartache and sadness into their art projects. By doing this it will free them up to be able to be filled with love, acceptance and freedom from addictions.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
Scott Adams
Read more at

Many of these women have had to be so hard on themselves due to life circumstances and the stresses of life. I want to inspire them to see their life as a tapestry of color weaved together by an amazing and artistic God who takes our hurts, habits and hangups and uses them for good to make a beautiful masterpiece!

The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.
Aristotle
Read more at 

Their world right now coming to this program is a mixture of the only peace some of them have known while others it may feel like total chaos. Art can be a way for them to find inner peace in the midst of the chaos their world is producing by dealing with the emotional struggles of why they used and became addicted in the first place.

The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.
Friedrich Nietzsche
Read more at 

Each women coming to the program is working through and learning many things. Most is a new relationship with God and learning to be grateful. Again many of the women have had a life that most would understand as nothing to be grateful for in all outward appearances, to this world.  However I want to help the women to be thankful in the small things in their lives. When you start thanking God for the small things it starts to build an attitude of thankfulness which can totally transform a persons world.

15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

19 Do not quench the Spirit.

When we learn to give thanks IN all circumstances, not necessarily FOR all circumstances it changes our perspective. God is not telling us to be thankful for the pain, struggle or hurdles that we have to jump. He is not telling us we have to be thankful for the people that have hurt and scarred us. He wants us to learn to be thankful during that circumstance by focusing on whatever we can find thats good, right and uplifting to get us through the circumstance. By helping the ladies to pour out their thankfulness and gratitude in their art they will be a light to others who see their work.

I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for.
Georgia O’Keeffe
Read more at

Each women is learning to deal with and process through things that up until now they have either never wanted to or known how to deal with. The need to self medicate and numb was so strong that an addiction occured to keep them in a state that they were able to at least survive life. I want to help them to put on canvas or through art projects the things in their lives that they have no words for.

So you may be wondering why I am writing about this in my blog or what this has to do with you the reader…

I need your help!

Before I present my ideas to the director I need and want to have some things put in place. At this time there are many projects and ideas that they have for the center. With each of these ideas comes a need for finances to come in to make it possible and people to come along side and offer their time and resources.

My project is no different. It costs money to buy the canvases, brushes, paint, craft items and everything needed to start this endeavor. However where I want to be unique is to have a support system already set in place of artists and people with a heart to help lives change. A group of supporters who know the importance that art plays in a persons life.

This is where I am hoping and praying that you as the reader will come in!

Whether it be a package of brushes or wanting to donate a whole box of canvases and paints.

The smallest item is sometimes the most essential so don’t underestimate the gift you can provide.

Some of the projects that I want to start are…

-painting acrylics on canvas

-painting on glass and ceramic

-drawing on gift bags.

-Doodle type art work on canvas and wood.

I have a couple of books that I have picked up and gotten ideas from and have pictures of them. I am also a Pinterest-aholic… Maybe that’s why God brought me here, to deal with my Pinterest addiction! haha… But seriously, I have so many ideas of things that we can make with the women. The ministry has a thrift store and I am excited about being able to repurpose things that come in there and sell all of the things made at the thrift store.

A goal for me is that I want to be able to have enough commitments of donations and sponsors that I will be able to present this to my director with in 2 weeks time. At that point I want to be able to get things rolling and projects to begin so that in April when they do their Annual Banquet and Silent Auction the best of the best of the women’s work can be part of the Auction. This only gives us about a month span of actual work  time.

 Another thing you could do is share this endeavor with your blog friends and work together to bless the lives of these women who are striving to overcome addictions and change their world one day at a time!

Book by Stephanie Corfee

Book by Stephanie Corfee

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One Month in Missoula!

Tomorrow marks my one month in Missoula, MT! 

 

So much has happened and yet I know it is just the beginning! I was able to sit in my first staff meeting last Wednesday and it is awesome to see how so many of the giftings and things that God has placed in me will help the ministry here. I am so excited to be heading up Ministry day for the ladies and finding volunteer opportunities for them to be a part of. I am a strong believer in reaching out to others when we are hurting because for one it takes our focus off of ourselves and the pain we are feeling. Secondly it helps you to see there are others out there who are going through difficult times also and your not alone. 

 

Another awesome opportunity my program coordinator and I just spoke about today is the opportunity to be on a planning committee to help birth some new programs and plans. The way the center is set up is that the women complete a 12 month rehabilitation program based on christian beliefs and principles. During their stay they switch off in groups who has kitchen duty and who goes to work at the Teen Challenge Thrift store. We also have a drive thru coffee shop that only 2-3 girls work at once they reach a certain level and are approved by the coffeeshop manager. These girls have to be able to work under pressure as it gets busy and be trustworthy enough to be able to work unsupervised. Only a select few girls get to that level during their stay in the program. 

 

What we are working towards is more job opportunities for the ladies while they are in the program and as they graduate to be able to work at and transition out of the home to living on their own. We want to have a christian gym here in Missoula, a dog grooming, boarding and training place along with a sit down coffee shop/ bakery and a boutique thrift store with higher end clothing. This is all a process and still in the prayer stages of existence.  Along with the job opportunities we are also praying in to existence transitional housing for the women that want to stay in the Missoula area and build a life. What that would mean is God raising up some people that would be willing to house a girl in their home or would have an apartment like area in their home already that they would be willing to rent out to a women coming out of the program. We are also hoping to expand on the land that we have our home on already and put an “apartment” like building behind that would house the interns and the “phase 5” graduates. 

 

God is doing an amazing work in this place and I am so excited to see it starting to take root and bloom! We have several women who are graduating within the next month or so! This will be the first women to graduate from this program in over a year! When the new program coordinator came in there was a huge transition from works based rehab to one that focused on the heart of the matter and it has been a process. 

 

In Isaiah 66: 9 it says~ Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

 

In the same way, I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born.”

The Lord says this: “I promise that if I cause you the pain of birth, I will not stop you from having your new nation.” Your God said this.

 

Though this is going to be a time of growing, stretching and birthing this new vision for myself and this new Teen Challenge I am confident that the above verse still holds true today! God will bring something new and I am believing that our vision for the future of the center will start out small but will grow into some of the above endeavors if not all and then some! God has a way of taking our dreams and doing something beyond what we could ask or imagine when we diligently seek His face and plan! 

 

So this is what has been going on in my life in the last month! I have also started my courses through the Teen Challenge Ministry Institute (TCMI) and am about half way through my first book. I along with about 20 students learn online via Blackboard where we answer questions for each chapter and complete discussion board questions as well. I work 40 hours a week plus have been helping out at the thrift store as they have been short staffed and have been doing my school work also. Along with this I have been trying to build a relationship with each girl and get to know them on a personal level in order for me to effectively help encourage them through the program. It has been a challenge to build relationships as they are all broken women who have a hard time trusting. I learned this the hard way a couple weeks ago. I came in and easily fit in with the women, creating a pseudo sense of connected-ness. However because I was just thrown in (they do that in TC to see who’s really going to stay and who’s not cut out for this) and since I was just treading water trying to keep my head above, it made it difficult to know what I was and wasn’t supposed to do. Me being the kind of person that unless I am sat down and trained I will try and figure out everything on my own, I didn’t call, text or ask the program coordinator anything because she was so busy and didn’t have time for me (so I thought.. lol) Fortunately she functions much the same way I do and so she could identify with what I was doing and knew that once I reached the end of myself that I would either quit or come to them for help. I did come to them and it helped shed alot of light on the way that I do things, helped me to see how I function and it helped the girls to confront me on ways that were not effective with them and what their reality of the situation was. Because I had the support and backing of the program coordinator (her nickname is Red by the way) Red was able to explain to the women that I had never been through a TC program so I wasn’t aware of all the rules and needed grace given to me because I was learning just as they were. Put all that on top of me quitting smoking cold turkey and she was very understanding of all the changes that I was attempting to work with plus all the new people and being in a leadership position. Wow! It was alot to take but God was there through the whole thing and because of the house meeting it cleared the air with the women and helped us to truly begin to build trust, not just fake masks of friendliness but the kind that the bible talks about where iron sharpens iron! I am so thankful for that!

 

So in the coming month please keep the below things in your prayers!

 

-As relationships continue to build that God will work in me and use me to help each women grow deeper in their walk with the Lord.

 

-Please keep our new girls in your prayers. We got one new girl the week after I got here and a new one today. They expect there to be 3 more by the end of the month. This can cause chaos in the home as it changes the dynamics of the home and each bedroom. 

 

-Keep the women that are graduating in your prayers as their future unfolds it is both exciting and frightening at the same time for them. Please pray that God will open doors for them as they look for housing, jobs and provisions. 

 

-Please pray for health energy and stamina to be able to do the things that God has called me to do this year. 

 

-Please also pray for the other intern and I as we go to Eugene Oregon  February 24-27 for the Intern Intensive. It is a 10 hour trip and we are driving. We are praying about possibly breaking up the trip and leaving Sat. night and staying in a hotel so that we don’t have to start the evening of Sunday tired out from the long travel.

 

I look forward to hearing back from yall if you have any extra time! 

 

God bless and thank you for your time!

 

Amanda 

Teen Challenge Intern