I started working at For the Sake of One at the end of November and now I am writing a blog over how working here has... changed me? changed my perspective? changed my outlook on life? I will start by saying that I didn’t know I was capable of learning so much in such a short amount of time…
Back in October, I had a really good friend reach out to me, tell me a little bit about the job, and that I would just be perfect for it! So, after some thought, prayer, and talking with Angela, (the Executive Director) I thought “why not”!? See, I met Angela about four years ago when our boys started playing soccer together. She and my husband coached the team together, so I got to know her pretty well! I remember standing in my driveway one day talking to her and just asking her why? What made her decide to start all this? Her answer sent chills down my arms when she said that she “just listened to God”. It was laid on her heart and she listened…That simple. So when this opportunity was presented to me, I listened to God, stepped out of my comfort zone, and applied. I had been a stay-at-home mom for the last 9.5 years and was very comfortable in that role. So to say I was a nervous wreck during my interview is putting it lightly! I remember constantly reassuring everyone that I was a fast learner…I was also convincing myself. I'm so glad that they saw through that nervousness and saw that my heart is in it because I love that I am able to help out in some sort of way.
Specifically, I am the scheduler for our supervised visitation center. We offer supervised visits through the court system in order to give families a safe and friendly environment to reunite and visit however often they are able. This position has been very challenging to learn because every family is so different.
As I said before, I started working at the end of November. So, if you know anything about For the Sake of One around Christmas time, you know that it is a madhouse! There are black trash bags as far as the eye can see full of presents for foster and struggling families. When I say that the community shows up for this, I mean it! My mind is blown! Last year, I volunteered on the day of the Christmas party when they passed out all the presents, so I was involved a little bit previously, but nothing like this year. Making sure that all the lists are checked and everything is in place for the big day is so important! This year I helped get everything in order and then on the day of the actual Christmas party, I brought my kids with me to help. That was a special day for us, because it showed my kids that helping others is super important. Also, knowing how much love goes into every package made it much more meaningful.
The most exciting thing that I have been able to do since I started working here was getting to go to Austin for a couple days. It was so great just being with Angela, Alyssa, and Lauren and getting to know them a little bit better. This was my first time going to Austin, ever, so I was just excited in general. Our first stop was the capital where we met with Senator Nathan Johnson and Representative Mihaela Plesa’s teams, and with Senator Brian Hughes. Again, my nerves almost got the best of me, but I powered through. It was such a neat experience and to listen to Angela speak the truth. This woman speaks directly from her heart, and when I say they listen, I mean it! I'm so happy the four of us were able to go and let them know what is happening locally.
For lunch, we met up with a group called Restore Texas Families, which is made up of organizations (like For the Sake of One) from across Texas who are doing work similar to us. Later that night, we all went over to Julie Kouri’s (founder of Fostering Hope Austin) house for dinner and fellowship. The house was full of like-minded Christian families that all have the same goal. Bruce, the Director of Life Initiatives at Watermark Community Church, had a whole presentation he shared that started off with a lot of numbers…including child abuse\neglect victims, children waiting on adoption, children in care, and beds that are needed…just to name a few. It's sad. And even though that room was full of people who care and want what is best for children, there's still not enough people doing what God has told us to do. God tells us to take care of his children.
This position has been such a blessing in my life. I enjoy helping families in our community. I have always believed that God has called His children to love one another and we can not do that when we are busy judging others for the mistakes that they have made. All we can do is love them, support them, and do what is best for the families.
Since I have been working on this blog for over a month, new things have come up. I was recently presented with an opportunity to start a CarePortal (an online platform that connects churches with kids and families in crisis) committee for my home church, Heritage. I feel so honored to be trusted in that way and this is a great opportunity to make a difference for people right here in our community. Our neighbors need our help. “Love your neighbor” is mentioned in the Bible 9 times…it is important to God! I feel like this is giving me a way to act on my faith and step outside of my comfort zone to follow God. My husband and I pray daily that God will guide us in the right direction and I’m so thankful that He has led me to For the Sake of One. Angela, Alyssa and Lauren are phenomenal at what they do, and they put their whole heart into it. The fact that they have welcomed me with open arms, and answered every single question with patience and kindness means more to me than they’ll ever know!
I can not wait to see what exciting and wonderful things are to come. I will say that Angela just got back from her second trip to Austin to speak over a very important bill, I will let her tell you about that though!!