Friday, November 14, 2008

The Lovelady Center

For awhile now, I've been trying to figure out what I could do ministry-wise to get involved in my community. Having worked fulltime all my life, this is really the first time I've had the extra time to devote to something like this and I'm happy to say that God has opened a door for me to get involved. My friend, Debbie, told me about The Lovelady Center, a faith-based ministry that helps women coming out of prison, as well as domestic abuse, homeless women, and drug addicts. The gospel is shared with them and many of them have come to know Christ as a result and they are seeing many changed lives in the 4 short years that they've been open.

This is certainly not to pat myself on the back. I've never actively sought out getting invoved in anything like this before, nor did I really want to get out of my comfort zone, but when I walked in and heard their presentation on what the Lovelady Center is all about, my heartstrings were tugged and next thing I knew, I had signed up to be a volunteer. I'm going to use my talents to teach a class to these women, Trash to Treasure Decorating. This will be an ongoing class and I imagine that I'll get many more signing up for the 6-week class after the first session is over with. We have just started this in the last week and I can't wait to see what God is going to do with these ladies. I also can't wait to how this is going to impact my life as well. I am so excited about this ministry and how Debbie and I can open our lives up to these women. We're going to teach a Bible study together too and Debbie will help me with my decorating class.
So, this is where I'll be every Friday afternoon. I'm going to drag some of my projects up there and show these ladies how to do things on a budget, from covering lampshades to decoupage and painting. Hopefully, one of these days they will have a home of their own. I know for a fact that all women want a home and they want to make it their own, so that's what I hope to teach them. Many of them have never had a home. So, we want to show them hope...through God's love and what He can do in their lives.

I had 13 ladies at the first class and expect a few more next time. We are also going to sponsor a table for the women's Christmas party. We'll be decorating the table, providing the food and also giving each lady a special gift. I've got some ladies in my Bible study group who I hope will help me with my table and we will look forward to pampering these ladies for an evening. If you've ever thought about getting involved in a center like this, take a look around your city and see what is out there. You have to actively look for it, it's not going to just jump in your lap. I think this might be one of the most rewarding things I've ever gotten involved in. I'll keep you posted on it all.

We're going out of town again. Back to the beach in Florida this time! I'll tell you all about it tomorrow on the next post and boy, will you be surprised! It's a fun story.

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Stacey said...

Rhoda, I just bet that ladies will flock to your class. They are probably just dying for something fun! It will be easy for you to incorporate many blessings into that class. Way to go!!

Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

This looks like a worthy cause Rhoda, and you have the talent for it!

Have fun at the beach.
Diane

Tonja said...

What a great way to minister in the community! When God gives us talents, it is because we are to use them to help show His love to others. You are doing this in such a great way. Best of luck...I am sure they will love you and your class.

Adrienne said...

Hi Rhoda -
How will this ministry impact your life? I'm positive you will never be the same again. You will find that you are the one who is truly blessed as you give yourself and your talents to the ladies there. I'm sure as you get to know them and they come to love and trust you, you will leave each week feeling that they have touched and blessed your life in ways you never imagined possible. That's what happens when God leads us to the ministry where HE wants us - our lives are richer because of it. Thanks for sharing this ministry with us. I will be praying that you will have lots of opportunity to love the ladies and show them Christ's love through practical ways they can take with them to their homes.
~Adrienne~

Cathy said...

Rhoda--your class title is perfect and I wonder if you could tie the title of the class into the Bible studies?! "Trash to Treasure"...eg even though sometimes we all feel like trash, the Truth is that we're a Treasure to God. Plenty of women in the Bible (Rahab, Mary Magdalene) to use as illustrations. Plus the whole idea of Christ's bride...God's kingdom and we're royalty...oh the ideas! Exciting new God-adventure you're on :)

Anonymous said...

Rhoda good for you, I am sure you will get just as much out of it as those your helping.

So are you the mystery dog-sitter for Kat in Fl ???

Have fun,
Kathy :)

Vanessa Greenway said...

That's is great! Have a Blessed day, :) Vanessa

Judy said...

I love the idea of this type of "prison ministry" which is how I think of it.

I bet I know your secret Fla. destination....sh-h-h, I won't tell (can a sweet little dog be in the picture?)

Judy

Courtney said...

good for you, Rhoda! what a great idea, and a great way to combine your God-given talents and your desire to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

Mary said...

This is a fabulous idea. As you say, all women want a real home. These ladies will have so much fun at your classes as what you will teach is certainly something new and special for them. Bringing beauty, and hope, into their lives will assist them in following the right path. You are a special person to give of your time Rhoda.

Bonita said...

Rhoda, what a perfect fit for you! And what a blessing you will be to those ladies! I think this will truly give them hope for the future. What woman doesn't want to add beauty to her life in any way she can? I'm so glad God led you there and I hope you will continue to update us on your new ministry.

Lady Katherine said...

What a wonderful gift you are giving to these ladies, Sometimes it is just the thing that could turn someone life around. I have helped a lady that, had got an office job, but had no clothes, shoes, ect, after being in prison. I gave her 3 hate to say trash bags full. But they were great clothes for office, dinner, home, ect. I still hear from her through a third party, and she is doing well. I never met her, but it touched my heart, I am glad she has her life on the good road. You are doing a wonderful gift of love.

Wanita said...

Rhoda, I know you'll be blessed by your new ministry. I believe, too, that others want to have a lovely home, but they have no idea how to do it on a budget. With your talent, you'll be able to teach them how to do that.

Blessings,
Wanita

Connie said...

My very best wishes for this wonderful project! I think all women are nesters, and I know these women will love your class.

Valarie said...

This is so awesome!

Mrs. Trixi said...

Rhoda, that is a wonderful thing you are getting involved in. You will reap many rewards.

the pleasures of homemaking said...

Rhoda, this sounds like a wonderful opportunity to use all your talents. What a wonderful organization!

Manuela

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Rhoda, this is so wonderful! I have always wanted to be involved with prison ministry, and what you're doing is great! I had thought about trying to teach (if they needed it) some sort of life skills semniar like writing a resume or public speaking, but I had never thought about decorating. What a fun thing to offer at the center, and the fact that you had so many sign up is proof positive.

This is well worth some prayerful considertation. The Lord is very specific about us not foretting those who are in prison along with widows and orphans, so I commend you highly.

This is my favorite thead on your blog! :-)

XO,

Sheila

Goldielocks said...

Hi, Rhoda! WHAT AN AWESOME MINISTRY!!! Not only do you get to do what you LOVE to do, but you get to show people the love of Christ THRU you! My dad is a director for Prison Ministry and i know he would be so thrilled and the after care these ladies are recieving after getting out of prison. If you wish to have more ladies who are just released come to this wonderful place, i am more than happy to get you the name of my dad who works for Prison Fellowship Ministries and he can get ahold of someone in your area who could direct these ladies to you! Bless you for blessing others! - Kat

Goldielocks said...

Ps. - i only wish i could attend your classes! but i'll just blog stalk you instead ;) Love the black and white room btw
-kat

Stacey @ The Blessed Nest said...

How great that you're using your gifts to help other women! Fantastic things happen when we follow God's leading :)!! I'm sure these women will be eager to learn your tips, and will be grateful for the Christ-like love you and the others show them! I'm sure you'll be ministered to as well!! :)
Hope you have fun at the beach!!!

If you don't mind, I've got a decorating advise question on my blog & I'd love to get your opinion!

Blessings,
Stacey

Every Day Blessings said...

I think this is an awesome opportunity to help someone and in such a very practical way! This is using your spiritual gift of hospitality to enrich the life of another.
The ladies are going to love the class and the things that you will teach them.
Blessings to you!

Sher's Creative Expressions said...

God bless you Rhoda!! You will be blessed by serving as much as your guest will be blessed learning from you!!

I'm sure with all your thrifty ideas, yard sale/garage sale shopping and tips you will be able to provide a wealth of information to these ladies.

May God bless you in your new endeavor as well.

Blessings,

Sher

Darlene - Our Creative Life said...

That is very sweet of you Rhoda! You will be a blessing to all of the ladies! God is in control! Have a great trip to the beach!

Sheila said...

Rhoda what a great ministry to work with. Being female and being blessed beyond measure gives us an oportunity to reach out to others in their time of need. God bless you.
I figured out earlier you are Kat's mystery guest....lol
Have fun with sweet Miss Daisy.
:)
Sheila

Natalie said...

Fantastic cause!

I'd love to attend one of those classes.

You bring a lot of beauty into this world in many ways :)

Anonymous said...

Hi
I just found your blog through a blog of a blog of a blog, you get the idea. Although this may be the wrong place to post this question to you I hope you will still answer.
It is wonderful that you are so willing to help others as a Christian but since you have always worked full time isn't there another benefit you could provide to others in need? Professionally I mean, since you were a professional for so many years. Like how to shop for professional clothing on a budget, or how to take shorthand, or how to interview or fill out applications? Some-thing of that nature?
I mean decorating is important and comforting but I am sure it's not the first thing on their list of prioritys, even though it is comforting they have to afford it! Do you remember the days of counting every penny? I am sure you have other really important and beneficial things you could teach. I, also being Christian, can appreciate your effort but feel you having been a "professional" have more important qualitys and expertise to offer these women than how to paint a pumpkin, as many will have to eat it, not decorate it.
Since you have just decided to do this after you have opened your own business, one can't help wonder if this is a bit "self promoting."
As This will no doubt be in the paper too.

Congratulations on your business. Did it take you long to get your LLC? I am considering dong a catering and would love to hear the details.

Strawberry Blonde said...

Oh, this sounds like SO MUCH FUN!!! My husband has played there with Kevin Derryberry a couple times and he loves the place. Scott really enjoyed seeing all of the kids running around. You'll have a blast there. If you see a tall girl named Brandy tell her Brandi says Hi. She is a resident there and we met her at Lifetech in Wetumpka.
-- Brandi

Ms. Tee said...

Hi Rhoda - what a fun thing to teach them & such a sweet way to give the ladies hope for their future homes. Have a wonderful weekend at the beach! :)

Cathleen Farrell said...

Fabulous! Wishing you much success and blessings.
:-)

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

I believe you will find this work, particularly rewarding, Rhoda.

For a number of years I did various volunteer work. The last was at a Sheltered Workshop, Earthwise Industries. Developmentally diabled people are employed at Earthwise. I helped my sister in law set up and run a resale shop, to benefit the organization. I can tell you, truthfully, it was one of the most rewarding "jobs" I ever had.

Best of luck with this new adventure.

salmagundi said...

Your class sounds like fun - oh how wonderful that you are giving them some hope. Sometimes that is the best present! Sally

Lisa said...

Rhoda,
I think it's wonderful that you have found a way to use the special gift the Lord has blessed you with. I can understand how others may feel that these women may have more "immediate needs", however I truly believe that when the Lord pricks "Your Heart" in a certain area, that is the way He is guiding YOU. Believe me, He will send someone to address ther other needs.
I am pleased to say that I have had the exact same calling. The Charity in my area is called Sister Care and I feel blessed knowing that I can use the gifts He has blessed me with also not only to show them how to decorate their homes, but how to keep home. I also would like to have "sharing sessions", where we can all share recipes, childrearing ideas such as how to keep their children safe and other household safety issues. There will be many oppurtunities I'm sure to minister to these women.
Blessings
Lisa

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Dear Anon: I'm getting ready to go out of town, but have to address your note. First of all, you are brand new to my blog it sounds like, so you really know nothing about what I've been talking about for the past almost 2 years on here. Second, there are many other teachers at the center who cover various classes & topics and those ladies go through computer classes, dressing for interviews, & lots of job skill classes as well. I will only be one of several teachers/volunteers at the center. They are required to take a certain amount of Bible classes, as well as "fun" classes. When I mentioned doing a decorating class, the Development Director was all for it & thought the ladies would love it. And they do! We've had 2 classes so far & they are really enjoying learning some domestic skills that maybe they've not had a lot of opportunity to think about in a long time. So, that to me is a much needed thing for them to get into right now. They need some fun things too, not just work or Bible related topics.

As far as this being self-serving & me being in the paper, no there are no plans for anything like that. I'm really offended that you would even say that. This has nothing to do with my decorating business, but everything to do with trying to help a group of women who are down & out & hopefully will one day be on their feet again. Like I said, I know that all women want to make a nice home for themselves & by teaching them some of these fun decorating things, I hope that they will take it with them to wherever they may end up. Debbie & I are also doing a Bible study right after the decorating class and they are enjoying that too. They are both needed and welcomed.

I will teach them decorating and maybe next month or so we might even do a cooking class or a "how to dress" class. We've mulled over several topics that we could get into...life skills that are much needed by these ladies. So, decorating is just one thing that I'm doing right now, but it could be something else in a couple of months. I'm dedicated to doing whatever I can to help out this group of ladies right where they are right now and if I can help them have a little fun along the way, then nothing will bless me more. And yes, I have pinched pennies before, so I know how to do it very well.

Melissa Wertz said...

Rhoda, you are going to love it! And you will see God move in a mighty way.

BTW, I was at Goodwill on Greensprings today. You might want to check it out if you run out of projects in your basement.

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

Yay, Rhoda! What a great thing to do. I have a local charity that I am totally in love with...in fact I'm doing a post about them next week to mark my 100th blog post (whoo hoo!). I'm a big fan of giving back to your community so thank you for giving back to yours. :-) These ladies are lucky to have you.

Jules from "The Roost" said...

THAT IS WONERFUL. I KNOW THOSE LADIES WILL BE BLESSED BY YOU AND YOU BY THEM :)

Rose said...

Oh my goodness, this is so weird!! You're just not going to believe this! Well first off, I didn't say anything about it when you posted about the beachy bedroom redo, but I just gotta say something now. Ok for a few months now I have been talking about my beachy bedroom re-do on my blog. I haven't gotten mine done yet like you have though. Mine requires a bit more work I think. And now you're talking about this womens ministry. I just recently found out about a place near me called Jacob's Well and they are also Christ centered and is for addictions. I was thinking the other day what a blessing it would be to work or help out in something like that. They have thrift stores where they take donations from folks to help with this center. In my case though I'm not sure if I CAN get involved in this center but sure was thinking about HOW I could help that's for sure. I KNOW I can help by donations of money and itmes to donate which I have already done just a little of. But just had to share how we're thinking soooo much alike! lol Congrats on yours and I know you will help these ladies loads and loads! I'm SO EXCITED for you!!!!

Blissful Nikki said...

I think that is amazing that God has opened this opportunity for you!!

By the way, I am having a giveaway on my blog! I would love for your to stop by and check it out! :)

Stacey @ The Blessed Nest said...

Rhoda,
Thanks for your advice!!! :)
As far as my blog signature, I had my fairy blogmother Darcy of Graphically Designing do it when she did my blog design. Maybe yours could add one on for you too? That's too bad that companies are willing to have inappropriate things on their sites.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend :)!!!

Blessings,
Stacey

Linda/ "Mom..." said...

DEAR RHODA~ I just KNEW you were an "Angel on Earth"! What a blessed joy to be able to share your knowledge, & the greatest gift of all, your T-I-M-E, w/ these gals. I know you aren't ASKING for it, but please, may I send MY "kudos" to you for just "doing what's right, even when nobody's looking"? What a warm feeling each time for YOU, too, and you KNOW they appreciate it SOOO MUCH!!!~~~~~ The BOOK arrived in yesterday's mail ~~~ THANKS SOOO MUCH!!! I was going thru it last night, so MY DH got to watch WHATEVER he wanted on TV while I read... NIFTY for BOTH of us!!! Thank you for such a DELIGHTFUL gift ~~~ It will go into my ever-growing & much-beloved "collection" AFTER I finish reading/viewing it! It's MUCHO APPRECIATED, and SOOOO fun to receive "something special" in the mail (Yes, other than a BILL!)... doesn't happen much anymore THESE days, does it??? SOOOO, I sincerely THANK YOU, RHODA!!! Warmest blessings, Linda

Buzzings of a Queen Bee! said...

Wow, Rhoda, I love this! I bet those women just love your style, and what a blessing (for you and for them!)
Carrie

Terri and Bob said...

Rhoda, what a perfect thing to do. I am so grateful to know people like you through blogging. God bless you!

Janera said...

Look at you! Look at God! I love that you're using your gifts to bless others and can't wait to see how those blessings flow both ways, Rhoda.

I'm so very excited for you and for those ladies. This is the very kind of thing we're supposed to do with that which we're given.

You Go, Girl.

jerseygirl211 said...

Hi Rhoda,

I got involved with a Mentoring Program here in De. and it is very rewarding, I know you'll love passing on your talent to others. I'm sure the young girl I mentored, could have used help in other directions, but those things were taken care of by teachers, and teachers aids, as they should have been. I too wanted to teach things to others that I love doing, and try to pass this pleasure of creating on to them. I'm afraid some people just don't understand that, and how it can benefit people in life.

Wishing you the very best, GOD BLESS.

((((((HUGS)))))))

'D'

jerseygirl211 said...

Ohhhhh,remember.....

You can please some of the people some of the time. And please some of the people all of the time. But you can't please all of the people all of the time.

I'm so sorry that one of those people hurt your feelings. I loved your reply. ;)

Double ((((((HUGS)))))

Robin said...

Rhoda, it is so great to hear about what you are doing at the Lovelady Center. The pastor and staff of my church, Bridge Christian Fellowship in Irondale, lead the Sunday evening service there once a month and several members of my church teach classes there regularly! I think the world of Melinda who is the founder's daughter and a former member of our church. Make sure you meet her! I pray God will richly bless you as you minister to these women.

abbinormyl@yahoo.com said...

I am a resident at the Lovelady Center. It's so refreshing to see people wanting to get involved. This is a wonderful place and it's done amazing things for me spiritually. I did not truely know God before coming here and I honestly do not know of a more deserving place for whatever and whoever wants to help these women. I will graduate this week, but this place will forever be in my heart. I can't thank you enough for giving your time!

Kathysue said...

rhoda, You are my kindred spirit .I came to you via, Susan,moonlight and magnolias.I am a faithful follower of Eddie Ross, I also love black and white with touches of green.But this post really is pulling at my heart.I have recently found out about a home for elderly women that literally have nothing but the clothes on their backs.They are provided with a room, similar to an assisted living facility.they get donations and I want to volunteer to take the donations and decorate some rooms for them.For whatever reason Life has taken a lot from these ladies and I feel everyone deserves a nice enviroment they can call home.I am also a Christian and the journey my life has taken me on to get me to this spot is interesting.I would love to be able to share it with you someday.If it is possible for emailing??? Anyhow I have not yet started this process,so I believe you post is the impetus for me to make a call, Thank you, You see how God is using you yet again. Kathysue/Micasastyle.com