I'm grateful for the awesome community we are and the excitement and joy myself and everyone else received at alpha yesterday! I am grateful for jury the chance we got to come together and have an awesome time!
At Solidarity we have discovered how important it is to stop and reflect on how fortunate we are to receive those little moments of love from God. In our society, everything is happening so fast that it makes it tough to really pause and take notice of what God is doing in our lives. In February of 2012, the Solidarity community took a month to write down a daily way that God showed them love. These Gratitude Journals proved to help us be a more appreciative community, a group of people who were less entitled, and more capable of loving others well.
This space, is a place to catalog God’s generosity & moments of unique love for this community at Solidarity.
You can do any of the following on this page…
1. Take a moment to write down one way that God moved in your life and share it with everyone here.
2. Read through the past entries, it is surprisingly refreshing.
- And if you want to get a little crazy, imagine that God is sitting next to you at your computer or iphone and read the story with Him. Stop and thank Him for what He did in that individual’s life and give that person credit for loving God back by recognizing His act.
- Also, the format is similar to Facebook, feel free to like a post, or reply to one, or you can even post it to your personal Facebook/twitter.
I am grateful for times of true joy. Yesterday was one of those days. We took kids from the Garnet and Maple afterschool programs to a huge indoor playground at the Rock Church. For two hours we were running around and climbing through all the inflatable bounce houses and obstacles with the kids. It was great to see them play hard and get to laugh and just be kids. Then..... at alpha, @Chris Trejo organized an epic Alpha version of the Harlem Shake. Watch it! Pure Joy! ( Watch it on the @Solidarity- Live Christ page)
Today a group of us were praying before Teen Center. And not just staff but teens as well which is already a huge prayer answered. One of our prayers before the center was that we would have a math tutor help us out. And a math tutor showed up, litterally 20 minutes after we prayed. God is so awesome, seriously in awe of how God has been answering prayers! I am so grateful for his blessing, big and small. And I am so grateful that we pray to a God who not only listens but answers!
This may sound silly to some, but I am truly grateful for our Panasonic DP-353 printer at the Palms Office! Knowing that is has a vast amount of toner and is faster than a sloth makes me happy. I stared at it for a long time and thought, "wow thanks God for providing this printer that everyone in our office uses." I remember being bummed out last week when i found out it was broken but I'm glad its back to life! Now I cant print the neighborhood newsletter for Garnet and distribute those to our neighbors.
The other day, through a myriad of really cool events, I got to be a part of God's plan with a student that I've known for a long, long time. @Bethany Anderson was going to pick up water for Alpha and on the way ran into "A". "A" used to hang out with us, go to the after school program, and was really close to her husband @Matt Anderson . "A" wasn't doing anything good that day, in fact he rolling a huge joint in the middle of the sidewalk. Beth went to ask that group of boys to do that somewhere else, and while talking to them realized that the kid with the hoddie over his face was actually "A." She made "A" go fill up the water jug with her and walk it back to Alpha. "A" was trying to make excuses why he needed to go, but some of his old friends lovingly convinced him to stay. After eating dinner, I started into the night's teaching. The night before, my fiance, @Crystal Anne Adams , prayed for my teaching. I don't remember her prayer, but later on she reminded me that she prayed that I would specifically talk to one teen if God wanted me to, and that I would be able to follow the Spirit's movement. I was teaching on lies & truth, and how if we believe lies, without someone ever telling us the truth we succumb to darkness. We were talking about how Judas believed the lie that his sin against Jesus was unforgivable and that the shame and guilt was too much to overcome, so it was better to take his own life. This is when "A" really started to lean in, and I could feel his eyes focused on what I was saying. Usually "A" would sit, half asleep, with his hoodie pulled over his head. This type of sustained attention was not common. After Alpha was done, Matt had a chance to walk him home. Matt and I did not talk about what I experienced, but from his own perspective he was telling "A" that he thought that the stuff I was sharing about Judas was God trying to speak directly to "A."
There was no crazy alter call, or a moment of crying and complete repentance...but something was different and I really felt like God used all four of us (six including the two younger students that kept "A" around) to love "A" the way he needed to be loved in that moment. It was really encouraging to know that I was just a small part of a Church family that was doing God's will. I hope this post doesn't sound cocky or anything, like "look how God's using us". I'm trying to word it in a way that doesn't, because I really do feel honored and humbled to be a part of it.
I'm grateful that I was able to end 2012 with so much family. I got to meet and spend time with some of Sergio's extended family over the holidays, and that's always fun and loud. I was also able to spend a lot of time with my family which was incredibly life giving for me. I've been missing my family a lot and I just felt overwhelmed by time with them...in a good way.
I am thankful that God provided so specifically for my parents to take the trip down. I am thankful that I got one-on-one time with my nephew. I am thankful that I was trapped in a car with my aunt, uncle, and cousins for a few hours. I am thankful I got to know my new niece. I am thankful that I got to share a meal with my grandparents and hold my baby cousin. I am thankful to be fed and loved on by my in-laws, and so thankful to finally meet the uncle that Sergio has such fond memories with.
I am really grateful for 2012. God did some amazing things for me and Crystal. He continues to provide for us financially through a car, random friends giving, and people buying us things. I've been really grateful for the team I'm working with at Solidarity: @ErinPifer @JayWu and @nataliewatson . Excited for what ever God might want to do through this team. Also I'm grateful for how I've really seen God caring for me, my family and my friends emotionally. It's not been an easy year, but He's been sooooo steady for so many people. And every time I keep hearing stories of how He repeatedly shows up for them when hope is really dim. I love that about God.
I feel grateful because I'm seeing God answer a lot of different prayers lately. I've seen him provide rent for friends, keeping people healthy when some medical complications could have gone much worse, bringing new families into the Solidarity spiritual community.
I'm also getting to see the Solidarity Prayer Team come together and that has been hugely encouraging. There are people who are praying in Missouri, Colorado, and Arizona for the teens and families in the Fullerton neighborhoods. It's really crazy, and I feel like God is answering those prayers already.
As most of you know, my roommates and I have been struggling finicially with our home. Elvia has lost her job and our other roommate is leaving in December. We do not have anyone to replace her and she can't pay for the whole month of December.
During Thanksgiving break I had a talk with my uncle about the neighborhood and how the people here are changing my life. I shared with him about Solidarity, some things God has been doing here, and my roommates. I was so encouraged by our talk because my family is hesitant about me living here.
I sent out an email to family and friends about our situation this month in hopes of prayer support. He was the first one who responded and said he wants to support us finicially and was so encouraged by our conversation as well.
Last night I was so upset and afraid of our future here in the house. I was so uncertain about where the money would come from and a roommate. I prayed that prayer: the prayer of complete surrender because I realized that there is nothing that I can do and that I am so incredibly scared.
And God provided, not only did he provide, but he worked in one of my family members to do so. I NEVER thought that would be the case. My family has been in my prayers for a very long time. And God is working His way through with simple conversations and prayer.
God is so good.
On Friday we took our Glimpse kids on a nature walk to the Fullerton Loop. One of our former students, Sabrina, who is now in 7th grade, decided to come along. While walking on the trail I noticed Sabrina was singing to herself. I asked her what she was singing because it sounded really pretty and different than what I would typically hear the kids sing. She was shy, but eventually told me it was a song called "I surrender." Assuming this was a worshipful type of song I asked more and tried to guess if I knew what the song was. I didn't. She eventually sang it for me and the lyrics were so sincere and powerful- including things like "I surrender all my hopes and dreams to you my God, my king.. I surrender my everything..." after much questioning and awe of her song she shared that she had actually written it on her own. I wasn't sure if squealing with joy or tears was the best response- but I just smiled at the faithfulness of God. Clearly, this girl who only last year was constantly struggling with anger and fear, etc, has her own very real relationship with god. One doesn't just write a song with such lyrics if not coming from a genuine heart. No one taught her- she doesn't attend church regularly... etc. We don't even have a jr. high aged program available for her to attend- but she encountered God's love and its producing fruit in her life. :) God is so good!!!! Thank you God for being real to Sabrina, thank you for being HER God!
I am so grateful for my neighbors! I was overwhelmed by the love that they showed me on Friday when they threw me a surprise baby shower during ASP. Some of the parents planned it, bought the decorations, and made a cake. They all brought food and gifts, and we played games and celebrated together. The kids all wrote encouraging notes to Matt, Ava, and me as well. I was blown away!
I am super grateful for healthy kids, being a family of 6 and having some paternity leave to just be with my family. God is so evident in the way my girls play, the questions they ask and how they are all unique in the way God has created them.
I'm grateful for a group of friends that went above and beyond my expectations. Their generous heart and love helped me to experience a greater depth of God's love and provision. Praise God for his GREAT love. He is so good in answering prayer. And His provision is perfect!
Experiencing Ephesians 3:14-21
i'm thankful for movement. for God's direction and guidance, and for the faith to trust Him. although i'm not confident all the time, i'm reminded He is faithful and makes things work together my good (romans 8:28) and that He goes before me, making the crooked places straight (isaiah 45:2). i'm thankful for dreams, even old ones and how He remembers and is recently making them come true and for new dreams, ones that feel so right and make my heart come alive like never before. i'm thankful for community, even far away, and new community to fill any gaps where ever i'm planted and that He continues to reveal Himself through those around me. i'm thankful for seasons changing, both literally and relationally and for what each new season brings.
I'm grateful for God's faithfulness to answer prayers. A few days ago I started feeling a little discouraged by some things that I was seeing in our neighborhood. Part of me started to feel like "what's the point?" when it seems like the good work we see God doing in people doesn't often stick. I recognized right away that these thoughts were lies that Satan was trying to put in my head, but my heart still felt heavy. I began praying for God to remind me of his faithfulness and give me hope and encouragement and asked my husband to pray that over me as well. The next couple days, I had two different conversations with people that started to restore some of that hope. They weren't super deep, life-changing conversations but they were reminders that God is working and moving. They also brought to mind a verse that I've heard several times from a member of our community. Isaiah 55:11 says "so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it." I'm grateful for the ways that God is always moving and that he WILL answer our prayers when we ask.
With all of this disgusting Arizonian type of heat in Fullerton, I have really been grateful for the past couple of days that have been less hot. I'm still praying that God will bring the fall and winter sooner. I would love to have some 60 degree days.
Also I'm crazy grateful for how much God provided for me and Crystal recently. With our engagement and even wedding planning, He keeps on giving us things we never expected. It's been a lot of fun to see Him working.
I am grateful for imagination. Both God's and ours. God's imagination created all the beauty on this earth and then God gave us imagination so that we could create. I love walking around cities and seeing the architecture or roaming around a museum and seeing all that people have created. He also gives us imagination to capture His beauty through pictures and painting.
I am grateful for God's faithfulness. I can't even begin to count how many prayers have been answered! Things from "healing" in my car to comfort during a time of growing in my faith. Christ has been overwhelming me with His constant love, guidance, and patience. I am so blessed to be apart of the Solidarity community because they are guiding me to a deeper relationship with Jesus. (:
Im so grateful that God has given me a community of friends and family who love and care about me and my relationship with Jesus. Im grateful that God has never given up on me. Im grateful that God is patient with me when Ive been ungrateful. Thank you Jesus for loving me ;)
I am thankful for laughter, and that God provides such wonderful people to make us laugh! So thankful for an amazing neighborhood filled with friends!! Thankful for a husband that models a life of such grace and love!
I am grateful that God cares about small things like copier machines. We have needed one for so long and our partners have always provided. Meg and Royce then prayed for one and God is bringing it Friday. God thank you for the little things.
I'm grateful for God's love and goodness towards my parents. Had a great conversation with them recently and felt God's presence during our time. We experienced healing from past hurts as well as speaking words of life and hope into each other. I know this was all by the power and leading of the Holy Spirit.
God has consistently answered prayer. I am grateful that He continues to give me the eyes to see and the ears to hear so that I can better join in with what He is doing or sometimes just sit back and enjoy His presence as He consistently answers prayers. I am grateful that I am always sitting in an answered prayer.
I am so grateful for God's provision in faithfully providing new SOLFUL volunteers each day! Keep 'em coming, Lord!
@nataliewatson That's awesome, who is the math tutor?
@nataliewatson Praise God! That's so good to hear! Thanks for sharing, Natalie!
@nataliewatson Natalie, that is awesome. So encouraging to hear that there is some help coming. It's also cool to see your family noticing that God is moving in your life and they are willing to support that even if there are some hesitations to how you are living.
@ThomasNixon I'm sure you miss your girls right now. But good to have you back!
@VanessaStricker Good stuff Vane. I feel you on the whole "good work we see God doing in people doesn't stick" I love that Isaiah 55 verse. It's perfect for this.
@nataliewatson I was there...I witnessed the healing of her car. Good stuff Nat!
@ElviaAlejandraRodriguez "Mira Que Nice" comment Elvia!!!
@ErinPifer Thanks for being the first person to write on the gratitude wall, even if you use phrases like "keep 'em coming" haha. Just kidding. I really do like this addition to the wall.