Every once in a while, I get to visit other Velvet Ashes women in our community, and my heart soars. The women I visited recently live in a context that makes it difficult to share their life online, and that can make them feel forgotten.
Honestly, their season of life is a tough one in which to feel forgotten (life with littles can be challenging no matter the culture you live in). Taxis won’t take more than three so this mom of 4 must walk everywhere, pushing a stroller with a baby Ergo-strapped oh so comfortably to her front. Add 2 more mobile wanderers and she treks up and down stairs and through crowded streets, trying to keep everyone safely moving toward home (school, the market, a friend’s home, a bathroom!); all the while, trying to be relational along the way.
Women all over the world share this struggle… and they add in language school, home keeping, team life, cooking, and dishes (dishes-the worst part of any day in my opinion). Exhaustion is the thief that wraps itself around them and steals the hours of quiet reflection and filling up on life-giving things. In this season, some days focusing on accomplishing just one thing is the only way they can reach the end of the day. If they see the line of things begging for their energy, they might not ever start the next day.
We must keep moving. If you can’t fly, run; if you can’t run, walk; if you can’t walk, crawl; but by all means keep moving.”- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
I read this quote this week and I thought, “if those words could have a meme it would be this woman trying to get her kids to school.”
Just one thing. Just keep doing the one thing. I know that overwhelming challenges are not just handed out to moms on the field. They come in different forms for our community all over the world. “Team stress means that if I go to that meeting it may be my one thing.” “My national friends have betrayed me and this tea to discuss what happened may very well be the one thing I can do today”. “If someone else says ‘We’ve lost your paperwork’ I’m afraid of the one thing I will throw” (J/K…kind of).
We know that our community is so beautifully diverse. Introverts, extroverts, singles, grandmas, and ALL the enneagram numbers. Those who live with fear of being asked to leave their country and those that live out their faith openly. All have different needs and the encouraging thing is that sometimes it just takes one thing to give them the strength to keep going. It is our hope that with all that Velvet Ashes offers now, and all we hope to add in the future, our community finds one thing that gives them hope and courage to thrive in whatever unlikely place they find themselves.
A story that someone shares lifts them from a crawl to a walk. A Connection Group friend whose check-in is at the perfect time and instead of crawling they are walking. A book that can’t be read fast enough because it is like water to a thirsty soul and now, they’re running. The retreat where He meets them and now…flying.
What about those of us that want to help? What if our giving up one thing could do that? A one thing that when we miss it, it would remind us to pray for these women who are struggling today as they put one foot in front of the other. What if your support of Velvet Ashes helped us develop the one thing that would make a difference in their day? What if your sacrifice meant we could offer the best to women who are sometimes forgotten?
As I write this, I am sitting in a room with a window that overlooks a city as darkness settles in. I wondered what it would look like if the only lights shining came from those believers in this city. I am then struck by the realization that these women are a part of a team that may be the only light here. The significance of their decision each day to trudge ahead with that next step is sobering. If that step stopped, how dark it would be here?
So, I will ask…for your one thing. Will your one thing allow you to make a monthly difference with Velvet Ashes? Will giving up your one thing allow you to partner with us for $25 a month? Follow the link below to make it happen. I can’t wait for you to hear the story someday of how your one thing provided the encouragement that changed the face of heaven.