Posted by: minnow | December 31, 2008

Pursuing Dreams

As is often the case Kathy Escobar got me thinking when I read her The Carnival in My Head blog. (Check out her post on the potential of creativity). As I commented on her post I came face to face with the fact that I have allowed a vision for ministry to remain dormant in my life for a long, long time.

My family came west nearly six years ago with a dream to open a camp that would allow us to offer wilderness adventures to large and small groups and a B&B style retreat house to burnt and burning out ministry folks. The goal was simple–allow the outdoors, good food, prayer, and fellowship to refresh people’s spirits (heart and mind) by challenging them with physical adventure (rock climbing, whitewater rafting, backpacking etc.) and praying into their lives (to the degree they wanted such). A seemingly disconnected part of the vision had to do with providing some kind of creative outreach, as well. Getting the dream off the ground has been challenging though we have made a couple tiny steps forward. My husband had done some wilderness trips. We have hosts a few people in our home. And my husband and son have an up coming gallery exhibit.

As we have waited for doors to open and our “ministry” to grow the Lord has taken me on a personal journey of rediscovery. Recently I was asked: what produces life in you? After several years of truthfully not being able to answer that kind of question (because I have allowed so much of my life’s passion to die), I am finally able to begin to give shape to an answer.

I have always had a heart for women and I have always enjoyed being creative. As a little girl I made paper doll and Barbie doll clothes which gave way to various crafts, painting, and working in clay as I grew older. When I was in junior high and high school I imagined myself running a home for unwed mothers. I have no idea why that particular need attracted me back then but not long ago while attending a fundraiser for our local Christian pregnancy center the spirit reacquainted me with those thoughts and feelings. In college I volunteered on a crisis intervention phone line. About six months ago while reading another blog I was stirred by the need within the Church to provide a similar service, actually a spouse abuse hotline. And, I continue to desire to be creative, to paint and to work with fabric and clay.

The dream/vision that seems to be unfolding within me is to provide a space for women to be creative and use their creativity to bring healing and self determination to their lives. As I look at what are often considered “women’s issues” I am appalled by how little progress we as a society have made since the so-called women’s movement of the sixties and seventies. During the recent election season the lack of consideration for issues like equal pay for equal work, crimes against women, and childcare was disheartening. I realize that many women are concerned about the same issues as men–such as the economy, healthcare, and the war. Still, I am frustrated by our habitual neglect of issues that are predominately seen as “women’s”.

In designing a space for women at risk I do not want to over look the challenges many face. As undereducated, low income, and single parent households many women at risk need places to live that are cheap and safe. Those with children need part and full time, inexpensive or free childcare. They need access to education or job training that will help them build their security base and independence. And, they need healing, encouragement, and a sense of community along the way.

My work is cut out for me. The first step, while time consuming, is relatively easy however. I need to find out what services are already available in my community. The next step is to check out things like how to become a non-profit organization. (We can possibly use the Outer Room as a beginning point). I will need to design a proposal for the space I envision that I can use to apply for grant or faith based money. I am probably sounding like a wide-eyed dreamer that hasn’t got a clue. You know what? That is probably an adequate assessment!

I figure this year will be all about volunteering at places like the women’s shelter, the food bank, and the Christian crisis pregnancy center to get hands-on experience working with women at risk and to better assess the needs. Maybe I will discover we have enough resources we just need better access. Or maybe I will find that the vision I have been given will provide a service which is currently lacking in our community. One think I have already found is that having passion for something is invigorating.

I was going to write a New Year’s Resolution blog and I may still but it might look an awful lot like the wish list for this post. We will see. At any rate, Happy New Year, all!!

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Responses

  1. minnow – okay this made my morning 🙂 keep dreaming! let’s talk! i will be cheering you on from the sidelines! lots of love & hope, kathy

  2. Hey Kathy–Thanks. Glad to hear you’ll still be blogging in 2009.


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