Sunday, December 27, 2015

-Breaking Bread & The Silence-

   I've been thinking a lot about helping others when I'm in the position I'm in. Finding the balance between draining myself dry & walking away from the cries. 
   My intentions today are helping & sharing. Sometimes it's introducing Hope, which can seem like ForceFeeding at times, Sharing Doubts, Weaknesses & a lot about having Faith... Some people I know didn't even know the meaning. If you're continuing to Chase a Dream, not knowing the struggles or understanding the destination, to me = Faith. 
    I've come across a lot of conversations here lately with some of my girls, acknowledging that there's always going to be Obstacles in Life. Sometimes today's are greater than yesterday's. The only thing we can do is Embrace them & try our best to get the message ((There's A Lesson in there somewhere,LearnIt)) You've got to practice keeping your MindOpen & staying  Honest with yourself.
    Today there's a lot of Women out here that are exactly like me, wanting to better themselves but have no Guidance to do so, other than The System. They want a personal Bond with someone that can help repair the damage, the help of ReBUILDING. They absolutely need Positive in their lives, they're hungry for the SoulRepair, if you will. We've seeked the Approval in all the wrong places, not knowing what we were doing to ourselves. Dedicating our lives to The Selfish, Self Righteous, the Feeding Demons, the Little Hitlers, only seeking Control. Our lives have been Lied, Cheated, Betrayed, We were BrainWashed into thinking, this is just the Real World, only because they're the majority of the population we see Everywhere, Everyday, Waiting for Us, WANTing Us. Today it's People Against People, Like They Forgot We Were Equal.
    All I'm trying to get at is, if we're not introduced to the Lord we'll never see the tunnel out of the Wreckage of Evil we're Surrounded by. Physically walking through life with someone who Truely Walks with the Lord everyday, through every Word & intention awakens Our Soul, whispering Deep Within Us that We Are Worthy. In the Bible, Titus says to Appoint Elders Who Love What Is Good. We are StrongWilled Woman, Loyal & Empty... But Emptiness has its advantage, if you look Closely at it. We've gotta Acknowledge the Negative & Cut the Cord. For Me, that's where the Battle began with Self Honesty, & to ReFill on Postives.  But I have a Guidance, I have the Lord in my Heart & a Friend by side. Teaching me Good, Self Worth, Self Respect & helping me Right My Wrongs. I have Great Faith in Renee, without her I'd never know this Life I have today. I have Great Trust that she'll never turn her back on me. I have Great Faith in Renee because she listening to my Cries, hears My Pain, she has Planted The Seed In Me. She is Truely one of Gods Children, greatest example I know. & she found me 3 years ago @ a Homeless Shelter ... Hasn't let go since - Not for One Second.
  Share Your Faith, Your Love... The People Are Starving!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Middle of the Night Thoughts

It's 1:40am and I'm laying in bed desperate for sleep. Without sleep I am intolerable to be around. Yet tonight it's not coming. Usually when I can't sleep i scroll through Pinterest for some mindless activity, but tonight my mind is much heavier. We had our Thanksgiving Dinner at ReBUILD tonight (our outreach center). We spent two hours feeding people & visiting with them and trying to do our best to love on them. I'm reminded of the needs. They are overwhelming. We deliver food to a friend. She has no heat. Winter is coming. I meet new neighbors who need diapers for their baby. I'm reminded of the needs. These are people that God loves just as much as He loves me. Bad decisions may have been made in the past, I don't know. Should those bad decisions be held over their heads forever? Do I want my bad decisions held against me forever? No! Do I want grace shown to me? YES! So I will lay here tonight and I will pray myself to sleep. I will pray that I take advantage of each opportunity that God gives me to show His loves to others! 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

I Love You....the real kind!

love that TV show. 
I love these new shoes. 
I love cupcakes. 
I love diet Pepsi. 
I love you. 

We throw that LOVE word around a lot. I wonder though, if we when we say it, do we mean it? Especially when we say I love you to another person. Do we mean it as a from the depths of our soul kind of love? I want to! I am all about love. Grace and love trumps law and rules any day for me. If I'm going to err on one side or the other please let it be on the love and grace side. 

I was leaving a friends house yesterday and as I was leaving she said "I love you....the real kind." Oh yes! The real kind! That's how I want to live. That's not just how I want to love I believe that's how God has called me to love! Love people with a real kind of love. There's so much hurt going on all around us...
In our city. 
In our country. 
In our world. 

Are we showing those people in our city, our country, our world the real kind of love? We are living in difficult times. Times when a REAL kind of love is so needed. People need to not just hear the words. They need to see the words put into actions. The real kind of love put into action! 

Look around you today. Ask God who and how you can love. And not just flippantly say words to, but to truly, really, deeply love...the real kind! 
Renee ❤️

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Made New Night




Hello friends! I just wanted to share some photos from Made New night and Story Hour last night! It was a great time! Our project this week was to make a rug.  I wanted to make the rug for the rebuild buildings, specifically for our future class space.  I also wanted to make a rug because it is a cost effective way for the women to make rugs for their homes.  The project cost around ten dollars to make and it is a fairly large rug.  My favorite part of the evening was when the kids from story hour came and in and wanted to help with the rug as well.  We all had a great time.  We didn't get the rug finished, as it is fairly large, but we have a project to work on in the coming weeks in our spare time, which will create a one of a kind rug that each of us put our heart into.

- Kayla H

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

"Have it your way!"

From fast food, to clothes, to phones, to cars, to jobs we are told, have it your way. We have become a society focused on ME. How I want things. If things don't go our way, we fuss, we yell, we complain, we take our business elsewhere, we honk our horns and we tell the world. After all it's my life and I want it my way! 
Stop to consider the pressure that goes with that feeling. The unending search for joy. The disappointment. The anxiety. 
I was there not long ago. I wanted the perfect house, a nice car, I wanted to get married, and have kids. I wanted to start ministry AFTER all those things. When it was MY way. Over the years though my way didn't happen, no matter how I fussed. You see, this is life, not a Burger King commercial! We don't always get our way. We don't get to pick and choose what we want in our life. I'll have extra blessings and hold the strife! We don't get to choose what to follow in the Bible either. I'll take some Jesus, a heaping side of heaven, and a life more abundant. Hold the giving, the orphans and the least of these. 
When my life ran into the intersection of my way and His way most often I picked my way. So, I'd try that and fail and find myself back at the same intersection.  This time I decided I wanted HIS way. I want to live a life that matches both the Bible I say I believe and the Bible I live. I don't want to pick and choose what parts I highlight. Yes, that's going to mean giving up some things that are MINE. Some things I WANT. It means loving orphans and widows and the least of these. It means going into the high ways and by ways and bringing them in. It means giving. It means loving. It means doing. 
I don't want a life where I have it my way. I want a life His way. 
I'm excited to walk this road; I'm excited your coming along too! 


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Gotta Love 'Em

The world could use a little more love in my opinion. I have been thinking so much about what it really means to love you neighbor...and I mean really love your neighbors....

Growing up, in fact up until pretty recently, loving my neighbor meant loving the 'pretty people'.  I was supposed to love the little old lady next door, the family at my church, the kids in the neighborhood.  It was always easy to love my neighbors, because my neighbors were well...loveable. It's funny how that works isn't it.  It is only recently that I have come to realize and embrace the fact that my neighbors...are everyone.  It's that guy who you locked your car doors for, it's the inmate in jail, it's the woman who made some bad choices along the way and is now paying the consequences. Everyone is your neighbor, so the question is, how do we practically love them like Jesus does.

The way that I have come to practically learn how to love my neighbor is through a very simple idea:
If you wouldn't say it about yourself, 
don't say it so someone else...

If you wouldn't say it about someone else, 
don't say it about yourself. 

It's a very simple way to think about how to love your neighbor.  I have found it to be a useful standard for how to treat others, and how to treat yourself.  If you would want someone to grant you a kindness and grace in a situation, can't you lend that kindness to someone else.  It's a practical twist on the golden rule.  I mean, we were granted immeasurable grace by the creator of the universe, so I think we could all stand to extend just a fraction of that grace to those around us.  This world and our neighborhood is broken and hurting.  I believe that love is the greatest resource we have, and we need to use it.  There is so much hate in this world, and in my opinion, it can't hurt to at least try spreading a little love.  

One of the hardest parts of loving those around us is that many of our neighbors are difficult to love, and yet, we are called to love all of our neighbors.  We have to love that little old lady around the corner....but we also have to love the criminal, we have to love the neighbor spewing hate from behind their computer screen.  The man standing on the corner spewing hate from behind a picket sign is your neighbor too (I know, I know I don't like it any more that you do, but we have to love them anyways).  We can't judge people based on how they appear.  It's like see a puppy and growling angry dog.  It's obviously going to be so much easier to love the puppy. However, consider the fact that maybe the angry dog is protecting you from an intruder....and that adorable little guy just ate all the family photos (a high crime in the puppy community).  My point is, is that the people that you have trouble loving, may not be who you think they are.  We can't know them for sure until we get to know their story, and we can do that by listening to them.  Listening to people, and truly seeing them how God sees them, that is the face of loving your neighbor.  We don't have to approve of everything our neighbors do, we are never going to approve of everyone, but we have to show kindness to them anyways.  This world has enough hatred and judgement in it already, it can't hurt to try treating others the way that we would want to be treated.  

-Kayla H 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

More Than A Bowl Of Chili

We had chili night at ReBUILD on Saturday evening. I love those nights. I love going down and hanging out with the neighbors. Some of them have been coming to events since we first started hosting them. Some are new friends that we haven’t known for very long. What’s so great is that we get to spend the time just talking to them, getting to know them and building relationships with them. I never want to go down as some type of scary church person. I go down as the completely, messed up person that I am. I don’t wear a mask. I certainly don’t pretend that I have anything all together. I try and just be a non-judgmental friend to someone who may be struggling. Someone who needs to know that no matter what they have done or what they may be currently doing God still loves them!

ReBUILD is about relationships. We are about building trust. We about valuing each person’s life. We are about meeting spiritual needs as well as meeting physical needs. It takes both to make it in this world. I have seen strong truth spoken into people’s lives at one of our cookouts (that’s a night I’ll never forget). I have been prayed over by a man in the community who just wants to support what we are trying to do. I saw people on Saturday come back through the chili line 3 or 4 times because they were hungry and needed to be physically fed. It’s when they come through the line and you are filling their bowl that you get a chance to lock eyes. The eyes tell a lot. They tell about past pain and more often they tell about current pain. When you are serving them you get a chance to greet them with a smile. You can acknowledge that they are a real person, with real feelings and that no matter what they just want to be loved. That’s what we try and do. Just love them….but the cool thing is that while we are “just” loving them they begin to see us as “normal” (although I KNOW there is nothing normal about me) that’s when the relationship begins. That’s when we’re driving down the street and see a friend walking we can roll the window down and yell “ Hey! What’s up?” And yes, I have done that many times.

We are not just about a bowl of chili. The bowl of chili is just a tool. A tool to say we love you! To say you are valuable to us, but more importantly you are valuable to God!

Sunday, October 11, 2015


     I'm going to begin this with FairWarning: This is apart of my journal entries while I was in treatment @ the Wonderful Pinecrest 28 day Program... June 26, 2015.
      -Today I've been wanting to figure out a way to Unscramble all the Chaos going on in my head. I'm really wanting to just shut the world out for a while and just go with my thoughts and wisdom, but the people here say that's not safe. In my head I think "these people don't know me, they couldn't possibly know what my life outside of these walls are like". I wanna figure out Kayla, not the addict. Do I have the disease of addiction? Ab-So-Lutely! Better Believe It... I am willing to be open for suggestions to better myself. I acknowledge the fact that I am an addict & everything about my life is Unmanageable. I want/crave a quick result of order & control of my life, but I know that its a process. I don't want this Journey to be easy, if I see that's its easy I'll think I can repeat. I need complicated in my life, struggle. Crazy writing it, but it's true. If I'm not fighting through or for something... I wouldn't know what to do with myself. I set goals and watch myself achieve and grow from the process of each and every one of them. I just thought of the word Fear for some reason... First & Worst is Abandonment.-

      After I got out of treatment I didn't know what to expect out of myself. I wanted of course to stay clean, but meetings are only an hour long and they don't really help me deal with me. I know all I had to do was ask someone for advice, but I don't open up well with anyone... So there's apart of me that wanted to do things to continue learning Life on Life terms. Cause I don't care what anyone says, it doesn't stop. I never made a true friend let alone get myself a sponsor. I needed something alittle more. I wanted to be included in the NA atmosphere, but not revolve my Life or Recovery around it. I knew I, myself, can not depend on a program or another person to order my life around. To me, that's a setup in itself... I have to learn to cope, depend & deal with Me for My sake. My struggle today isn't staying clean & sober, it's more like...." What do I do now?" I've got Oppoturnity now, to find Meaning. Purpose. Cause. Today I'm Bending With The Wind. I'm Living & Learning at the same damn time! How exciting is that?! 

      So I had the idea of just sharing a bit of what went through my mind in early recovery & it hasn't changed a bit! I've learned that we're not supposed to Change... We're suppose to Learn. Today I'm always looking for that Instant Gratification of Fix.Manage & Control. I love instant results! But I've admitted that I was powerless almost 7 months ago. I can no longer live on Self-Control & Self-Will. - Running on Gods-Will- I do believe God has all the power so there's no sense in burning energy on thinking I can control the situation. However, I have control of my reactions. I'm very grateful for every bump in the road & every painful memory, that's what has made me who I am today... Take It Or Leave It. I know alot of people, who want a slice of the "GoodLife" but no one's mentioned the Dedication of the pain-staking process of Earning it. I mean if it was easy we'd all have it. NoWorries. That's what seperates the people who Talk&Walk from Talk&Talk. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Made New Night - 10/6/15

Hello friends! Kayla H here! I just wanted to share some of the photos from our Made New Co class this past week.  This week we worked on learning how to hem a basic pair of pants.  Our goal in teaching this was to not only teach a valuable skill, but to also eventually be able to provide a service.  Everyone was able to get an introduction into hemming.  One of our good friends brought us several pairs of her pants and I showed everyone a step by step process and then each person hemmed a leg.  We worked both with hand stitching and on the machines that were so generously donated to us by another friend.  Outside, the children had story time.  It was a great time of fellowship and learning. We were so pleased to have some of our friends back who had been missing for awhile, as well as some new faces.  





Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Called To Adventure

Hello! My name is Kayla H.  I am terrible at talking about myself, but I am going to give this a try anyways.  I came into working with Rebuild through teaching craft classes.  I have always been 'crafty' and I have always been making things.  It is one of the things that makes my soul come alive.  I have my own business, and I have been making and selling things for years, and it is something that I have always enjoyed.  Earlier this year, Renee approached me about teaching craft classes to some of the women at Rebuild, and it was an idea that I was completely in love with.  Now, I teach classes to the women at Rebuild every other week.  Then, I help them to sell the items, we sell both on Etsy and locally, at craft fairs and such (Shameless plug: You can check out our Etsy shop in the sidebar of this blog)  For every item that the women make and sell, they get sixty percent of the profit.  These classes allow us time to fellowship and talk, but it is also a time for these women to make money with dignity.  It is something that they made with their hands, and they can make money from it.  It is also a time of teaching new skills.  Teaching these classes and being involved in other events at Rebuild is something that I loved from the very moment I started doing it.

In the beginning of this, when I was first approached with the idea by Renee.   I loved the idea, and I wanted to do it, but in the back of my mind I thought that it was meant for someone else.  I was going through some things in my life, and I felt that I couldn't help anyone because of all the things that I had been through and done.  I thought that in order to help people and to work on something this amazing, I had to have my life completely together, and to have everything figured out.  I have dealt with anxiety for most of my life, and it has caused some real problems for me.  I didn't think that I had enough wisdom, experience, or be involved in something that helped other people. I thought that my mess was too big to be of help to anyone else.  However, I decided to jump headfirst and do it anyways. When something is meant for you, you can feel it in your your bones.  Teaching these classes just felt right from the moment I heard it, so I went for it.  It has been a crazy ride ever since, and I have loved every second of it.  It was a real walking by faith moment for me.

I have never really talked about it before, but Renee approaching me with this idea came at just the right time in my life.  I have learned more from working at Rebuild than I ever thought I would.  The women who come to these classes are teaching me more about hope, faith, and second chances than I could ever teach them.  I have also learned so much working with the other people who work at Rebuild.  They have taught me about faith and what it looks like to truly have a heart for other people.  They have taught me what it looks like to be the hands and feet of Christ.  I have also learned something vitally important about God. He doesn't need me to be perfect to be used.  I am far from perfect (far far from perfect), and I get to be used to do something that is not only amazing, but something that makes me feel alive.  God does not need you to have everything together in your life to use you, it's actually sometimes the complete opposite.  That is one of the most valuable lessons I have learned so far on this adventure.  I have learned that I don't need all the answers, I just have to be there for people.  We all need other people.   You need other people, and you need to be that person to somebody else.  I don't think that this is such a radical idea, to just love other people right where they are, and to be open to being loved in the same way.  No one has it all together, God can still use you, and He still needs you to stick around.  I like to think of it that the hands and feet of Jesus were probably far from perfect.  His hands scarred from the work, and feet callused and blistered.  In the same way, in order to be the hands and feet of Christ in this world, sometimes we have scars, but those scars can be used to create beautiful things.  The scars are proof of battles fought, of victories won. I have learned that I don't have to have it all together to do something of worth.  I am still far from perfect, and I never will be perfect, but I get to be involved in something unbelievable.  I have heard it before, but now I truly understand that God is in the business of redemption.

I chose the name for our business as Made New for many reasons.  The first being the obvious that we would be making things.  The second being that the people who come to our classes are being made new.  They are growing.  The third being much more personal, in that I am growing and I am being made new every day, because some people in my life never gave up on me and because God never gave up on me.  I think that if I were God I would have given up on me years ago, but He never did.  My one and only main goal in everything I do, is to show people the same things I was given.  I want to show them hope, and that second chances are real.  I want to show them that I will never give up on them, and neither will God.  He will take whatever mess we throw at Him, and he will make it new.

2 Corinthians 5: 17 - This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person.  The old life is gone; a new life has begun.  

Monday, October 5, 2015

I Follow Messages:

        "My Name Is Kayla & I'm A Recovering Addict"... 
 That was as much as My Story I've ever told. Not because I didn't want to, just never felt right. I'm a firm believer in reaching out to the sick and suffering & the addict who still struggles with Active Addiction. But I always still felt "sick", not because I wanted to use or drink. I didn't know what to do with my life after I put the Toxins down. 
   I come from a long line of Alcoholic & Addiction, Personality Disorders, Wel-Fare Recipients on both sides of my family- I'm a product of Mass Destruction. I picked up my first alcoholic beverage when I was 8 years old & was Cheered On to Chug. My parents raised me until I was 10 yrs old, my grades were slipping because I was sleeping in school. My parents, Love'em. Through a party at our home every single night of the week. My sister was also removed from the home. 

    My first drug I used was an Opiate by the lovely name of Loracets 7.5, I was 13 years old. I was abusing Cold Medicines. Self - Mutilation. All of this I hide from two beautiful, loving, honest working people, My  Grandparents. I lived with them for about 4 years, until they noticed pills were missing & I admitted to taking them. The next day I was removed from school & returned back home to Mommas. I went through RiverPark where they couldn't believe I was alive because of the Cold Medicines I'd taken raised my blood pressure so high I should've been on a slab. 

    Three years later, at the age of 15, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl who changed my World. Mind you I was smoking pot. Some things happened in my life that I had to start taking Drug Screens. I could no longer smoke pot because that took too long to get out of your system, so in my mind I realized I could still have fun & pass my Scheduled Drug Screens, if I just do a couple pills every now & again. That method only played out for about 5 years I abused pain pills, huffed duster, tripped acid, hallucinated shrooms. I had my son in May of 2011, during my pregnancy I was addicted to Opana. He was born healthy and I was still Toxic to both of my children. 

     My son was about 4 months old when me & my family finally had our own place, Marcum Terrace. We only made it there about 2 weeks and we were smoking crack & using needles. We fought constantly and honestly alot of the 4 months we lived there is a blur. I don't remember taking care of my son, myself or my daughter. I don't recall feeding them, helping my daughter with Homework. We couldnt afford the habit we were chasing so we decided as Husband & Wife to allow some men from Ohio to come into our home & sale their product, just as long as they were feeding our addiction. 

   January 10, 2012 I was arrested for Possession of 3 ounces of Crack Cocaine. I sit at the Western Regional Jail for alittle over 2 months were I was bonded out and released on Home Confinement at my Grand Parents house. At this time I knew I had a problem and I promise myself that I would Never Ever do this to myself or my kids again. My daughter was living with me again, my son didn't know me, his grand mother on his dads side had kept him. I was staying clean, going to meetings, working. I thought I could just live with my grand parents forever, one big happy family. Until I met someone that peeked my interest. Someone that was on my side, voting for My Team. Someone that saw the broken me and promised to only help. Understood what I had been through and just wanted to be apart of my life, for me & my kids... Flaws & All. -Relapsed-

   I was released off of Home Confinement and put on Day Report. Still using and dodging bullets, thinking I was just one of the lucky ones. Come to find out, they were testing for Suboxone. I was using Heroin soon after. Needle. Once there was no way I could've walked into their office, the bruises, my eyes, just Me. When Im using I wear it... Loud. I quit reporting and the "someone" skipped town while I was on the run. I was left with no place to go, until I started to mingle. I was living at a motorcycle clubhouse. My "Friends". I was drinking like a fish, pity party, wondering what I could've done to deserve everything that has happened to me in my life. My mom, since she's quit drinking has always been more of a sister than anything and she would tell me that I'm Strong & deserve better than the life of Chasing Chaos. I loved it, I really did at the time. I was home, I was Me. I loved Danger, Thrill, Violence. Anything really that would take me out of the present, out of my head, I didn't want to acknowledge anything.

   My sons birthday I turned myself in after visiting with them. I was drunk at the time, hugging so tightly and crying... them not knowing what was going on. I don't even remember Honestly. I found myself again at the Western Regional Jail. I was there for 56 days, I was sentenced and released again thinking I have done it all, that's it. I'm over the partying, wasting time, being a WalkingDead. I went to a 28 day program & directly into a Homeless Shelter and really got on my feet. I was working again, I had my kids every week... I lived there for 10 months. I was drinking on my weekend passes but never did I pick up a substance. I was amazing in the eyes of the courts and progressing in the program I was in. I finally got my Own Place, just me. For the hard work, the willingness, hope, confidence that was my goal and I had finally succeeded! 

   I didn't know what to do with myself after that. I continued to go to work, meetings the whole Shabang. About 3 months into this routine of awesomeness I was in. "Someone" came back to town and ended up on my door step... just wanting to talk. I took him in and he lived there with me and shared all the glory I worked so hard for while he was away. In my eyes, it was the way it was supposed to be. I had everything I wanted... my kids were planning to move in. Things were at the best for me, at the moment. So, why not Celebrate? I began drinking and slowly went back to my drug of choice, Heroin. I once again, quit talking to the people that only wanted to watch me grow and I through it all back in their face. I drank & picked up again not only because of the People I allowed to co-sign but because I didn't how to continue my success. I mean granted I wasn't worried about growing after I again, failed my kids, dodging cops and thinking this is just the way life is meant to be. No one understands that I have given my all in my recovery and I still come out a loser. With Nothing. NoOne. But 1 person... That person is a treasure to me that I hold real close to my heart, her name is Renee.

    That's all I've ever needed is just one person, that'll take me as I am & say... You are not Destined for Doom, you don't have to be afraid anymore. You Do Not Have To Live This Life Any Longer. One person silenced my demons and I allowed God inside. That's when I saw the light, my world that seemed so Hopelessly Lost, UnWorthly, Possessed. I did not understand at first, I saw light, a way out. But my addiction was not letting me go so easy. I continued to use Heroin, this round was my worst. I was going through Hell & taking everyone with me. One person stayed in my life and continued to preach the gospel of the Loving Lord. Mind You, I've never in my life, ever, considered God as my savior, my Father, my friend. Always the opposite. I was the Low Class that the High Class stick their nose up at. The Devil that had his hold on my Mind, Heart & Soul was in for a Battle that the Good Lord Fought with US.I was never welcomed into a Christians arms like I was with Renee. Renee was an answer to prayer from the Unknown. I hold her high up, because without her in my life today... or the day I asked for Forgiveness and she dropped to her knees and prayed for me. Like I've never seen before. EVER. I felt like I was watching a miracle, an angel... that's what she said about me. 

     I will fight this battle for anyone Willing to step in the Ring. I understand it's different, hard, confusing, scary ... but those are all good signs of Change. We build our own Prison, but with Courage, Strength & Knowledge, we break free. Stand Tall... & ReBUILD!

--- Changing the way you Live means Changing the way you Think, Changing how you Think means Changing what you Believe about Life. --- When We Make Our Own Misery, We Cling To It Even When We Want So Bad To Change, Because The Misery Is Something We Know, The Misery Is Comfortable---

How I came Home.

How did I come to ReBuild? This is a story only God could write. I hope it brings insight to how I came home, how it was just the right time, and who I am. 

I was born and raised in this area. I grew up in a safe, loving, Christian home. My dad owned and operated a business and my mom was a homemaker. I have two brothers; one older, one younger. By all accounts it was an all American family. 

In 1996 my dad was diagnosed with cancer and our world changed forever. In the fall of that year, in search of a cure, we traveled to Omaha Nebraska. For three months we lived in an apartment in the heart of the city. Late one night I looked out my window to the park across the street. There I saw a man curled up under some newspaper on a park bench. It was the first time I had ever seen this, somehow in my world that only happened in the movies. This image has stayed in my mind as clear today as it was then. But even then, this happened in big cities. Not home. 
Through the years I went on missions trips to other countries and was moved by the struggle that people faced. Again I felt a deep moving in my heart to reach people that were the "least of these", again it was a far away place. Not home.  

When I was 18, I moved to TN to attend school, I ended up staying in TN for 14 years. There I held some challenging but rewarding jobs as a manager. I gave to missions. I supported that cause, and still do today. I lived a fairly comfortable life.  I had zero desire to come back to Huntington except for holidays. I would give to far away places, that's where the need was. Not home. 

In March of 2013 God began to work on my heart. Home began to be the only place I wanted to be. I began to feel strongly about what would my life stand for? In the end, being great at my job was not enough to live a life for, it wouldn't matter. I wanted to be more than to have more. I still had no idea where this was leading and I was willing go anywhere, but repeatedly questioned, home? 

In the fall, after a lot of prayer God opened the door for me to move back home. I got involved in a street ministry, handing out food to prostitutes. For the first time in my life I was down town, in the heart of Huntington, at night. To say God opened my eyes would be an understatement. 

Just blocks over from our well lit park, there were broken, hurting, lonely and searching people. They were not just in big cities or in other countries. They were right here, at home. They lived and struggled in the shadow of our 100 plus churches. 

Over time I talked with Renee about ReBuild. It was clear to me that God wanted me to do something but I still wasn't sure how or what. One day clear as anything God impressed on my heart to start a story hour. Two months ago I started going down and reading to the kids once a week. This is where God further confirmed to me, He brought me home for this reason. To reach these children. A few weeks ago, I officially became the children's director. 

God absolutely called me to work in the heart of our city. I firmly believe God called believers to reach out to our orphans, widows, afflicted, and what society calls "the least of these". He has given me a specific burden for the children in our city. 

My story could go into a great deal more detail, through time I'm sure it will, I hope this gives you a glimpse of who I am, and how I came to ReBuild. God brought me home. He gave me a heart for our city. 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Here We Go!

How do I even begin this introductory blog? I wish you all could have been walking through the past 3 years with me and see how this came to be. Maybe in future pieces I will delve deeper into it. Trust me it's been a work that only God Himself could have orchestrated. Only God could have brought you to abandoned, boarded up buildings and have you pray over them. Lead you, through a random situation, to the owner of said buildings. Get you into the buildings and then have all four buildings, that have been poured over in prayer, donated to you to use to reach the people of your city. That's exactly what He did for us. My husband and I (along with 2 other couples) began a non-profit (ReBUILD) in Huntington, West Virginia to reach the least reached of our city. We want to reach out in a very simple way: LOVE THEM LIKE JESUS LOVED! A team has been brought together (again completely by God) to dive head first into this work. We are all flawed human beings, who are no where near perfect, but who love Jesus and want to pour out ourselves on loving others. Our mission through this blog is make others aware of the needs in our city. We have extremely high rates of drug use, drug overdoses, Hepatitis C and  babies born addicted to drugs. It's easy to get frustrated and judge others, but they are people too. Jesus died for them just like He did for EVERY.SINGLE.PERSON. And they need to be loved just like everyone else does. I don't want others judging me for my sin, so what business of mine is it to judge anyone else.  

We are each going to be writing and sharing who we are and what we do. You will hear from Kayla (ReBUILD Advocate), Becky (ReBUILD Children's Director) and Kayla (ReBUILD Women's Growth & Development Director). These women are very near and dear to my heart. I can't wait for you to meet each of them. 

Let me start the introductions with myself. I am Renee. I am legally the president of ReBUILD, but that title makes me really uncomfortable because all I really want to do is love on people. My man (Paul) has been beside me for 25 years! That is a freaking long time! We've got three adult children (how the heck did that happen). Meg (& Mike), Jake (& Tori) and Sydney. We also have two more that God has placed in our home right now. We are bit on the spicy side and sometimes a little inappropriate. Whatever we do, we do loudly and passionately. We should definitely come with a warning. My life has been all about the man and the kids (and the bakery that I owned and operated for a year). About 3 years ago I got involved in street ministry. I'm ashamed to say that I've lived in this city all but about a year of my life and I had no idea what was going on 20 minutes from my house. You see, when my kids were growing up we did what we were "supposed" to do. We went to church three times a week and that's it. Everything in our lives was centered around a building. That is all well and good. My kids all love Jesus and are actively involved in local churches, but the part that we missed was that while we were doing our church thing and living in our nice, comfy houses there was a city falling apart. That meant that people were falling apart and I was doing nothing to help them. My life was forever changed the day I first walked the streets handing out food. I could no longer pretend that everything was ok. It was definitely NOT ok! People were hurting and and just needed to be loved. They were not going to come to a church building because they've been judged and hurt by those church people. They were looked down upon and treated like their lives didn't matter. So I (dragging along my poor husband, who now is as passionate as I am) decided to go to them. Go spend time with them. Get to know them. Show them that just because we are Christians and go to a church building doesn't mean that we are without sin. I am a self-proclaimed disaster most of the time. I am anxiety and fear ridden. I've had to give those sins to Jesus over and over again. I am a shopping addict. It's caused more problems then I can write right now. I am working now to leave that behind along with the anxiety and fear. I am not flawless. I will not wear a mask in church or anywhere else. What I will do is use my imperfections to try and show that we all struggle, but we are all worthy of love! What I will NOT do is judge or hate on anyone....because LOVE > hate ALWAYS!!! 

Thanks for coming on this journey with us! It's the scariest thing I've, personally, ever done. But I love my city and I love our people and I am ready to share that love!