Greetings from Dana from a rather hot day center!
As the temperatures climb to a rather uncomfortable triple digits outside, and our little window units are about to burn out churning away, and the house is completely full of everyone – because who wants to even sit on the porch, I am certainly asking myself why is it I live in Kansas? Hummmm? But – “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven” Ecc 3:1. And before we know it fall colors will be showing up, and students will be preparing to head back to school, so rejoice in the seasons!
Two new families joined the program this week, and are settling in. A single Mom and her 9-month old son, and a Mom, Dad, their 10 year old son, 4 year old daughter, and 2-month old son. We are once again at full capacity. There are 11 children in the program … and our air conditioners chug along! (Thank goodness!).
It always seems to be a tough first week for all involved in the program. Difficult certainly for the new families, learning the routine, meeting staff, learning the rules and schedule, filling out all the paperwork, meeting all the volunteers, adjusting to life in community, and simply coming to grips with joining the program.
But it is also difficult for the guests already in the program. If a new family has joined, that means they have had to celebrate and grieve a previous family leaving. Celebrate, because graduation is what they all desire and are working towards, grieving because they wish it was their own family moving out, and they are missing daily contact with a family that has become very important in their own life.
Again, the seasonal theme seems to fit! So what started out as a rant from me about the summer heat, can actually work as an illustration of the changes that occur in the program throughout the year. Families lives change in this program. They come into the program, usually guarded, somewhat fearful of the unknown, and certainly feelings of failure, shame, inadequacy. They work the program, they build relationships, they build confidence, they get jobs, they budget and save money, they learn and grow, and then they move out … and the season changes. In the last 2 weeks, we have had 50% turnover in our families in the program. In the next 2-3 weeks, we will have the other 50% moving on as well. Seasons. Life’s changes, life’s flow, life’s beauty.
I had another family in my office today that hopes to come into the program in the near future. We do not have room for them now. The father broke down in my office, feeling like a failure as he can’t provide for his family. I look at him through a very different lens. I see him as brave and honorable in that he has humbled himself, put pride on the shelf, and is actively looking for solutions and help for his family. And this is why Family Promise must continue to be a light to the world….through all the seasons.
Have a wonderful 4th of July to all. Blessings and fun with your own families. Celebrate and love well and please remember Lawrence Family Promise and the families that all of you serve in a myriad of ways.
…a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. Ecc 3:2-8 (NIV)
How can you help?
1. 2 New families with little ones. We need size 2 and 3 diapers, wipes and Similac formula (blue lid and orange lid). Boy’s summer clothing size 2-months and 9-months will also be greatly appreciated. 2-month and 9-month boys summer clothing will also be greatly appreciated.
2. Work projects – completing our 2 major projects – the basement and 3rd floor youth room. Both projects will be completed in July. The youth room will be created and designed by youth groups. If interested, please contact Becky at email@example.com
3. Donations to LFP through our donate now button on this website
4. Day center needs:
shampoo and conditioner