Friday, December 21, 2007

The Dream Center


It is Friday morning. Two of the three children are still asleep at 8:00....(I love breaks from school and the sleeping they do!) And, it's foggy and wintry looking, but a balmy 55 degrees outside!!! But, I am overcome with thoughts and emotions as I sit in my comfy bed with my laptop on lap, big giant cup of yummy coffee next to me, and Christmas is literally 4 days away!

Life is good.

But let me tell you of an amazing experience from Thursday evening where life is not so good for everyone......

Last night, our families within Children's Ministry at our church, had the opportunity to deliver "dreams" to the Dream Center here in our home town. Let me tell you what the Dream Center is first. This is a Christian facility for adults and families to live for free while they get their feet back on the ground. You see, there is no alcohol or drug addiction, they just need some help getting their feet grounded. They must have a job and go to work. As soon as they begin to make enough money and afford a place of their own, its time to move out and move on. It is truly a wonderful place for people to get the help they need, spiritually and emotionally. It is a temporary landing when they had no place to go. I LOVE IT!!

For 3 or 4 years now, our Children's Ministry families are given an opportunity to take a "dream" off our Dream Christmas tree at church. And, can I tell you when I first get this list of dreams from the center that I cry like a baby over it. There is a 23 yr old male at the center who asked for one item in particular......I thought, this is great, we can do this......and then he asked for a 2nd dream.......

A family that loves me.

Whoa! I took a deep breath and prayed right there for that boy. There is heartache in this world. There is sadness in the Dream Center. There is a desperate need for hope and love for these folks. Really, for any of us.

I could hardly get through our presentation last night of the "dreams" that we had bought, prayed over, and delivered to these families. The emotions were high in my heart and finally broke through as we sang "Silent Night" at the end.

Their dreams were very different than our dreams. They want families that love them. They want items for the center in which they live.....BASIC necessities that we just go out and buy at Walmart. They want easy, easy things. These are their dreams.

The joy from this event comes at the end of this process of picking a name off the tree, getting their dreams, wrapping the gifts, and get to actually SEE who you bought for and prayed for. To put names and faces together was awesome. We made dreams come true last night and the gratitude from their hearts and mouths was the most genuine thing I've seen in a long time.

Their faces were joyful. Their "thank you's" were straight from the heart. Their hugs were from deep within. Their dreams were met.

Thank you to all our church families who participated and who were able to come. We gave them hope. We gave them love. We came together as the body of Christ. I felt Jesus in that room last night. I was overjoyed and full of love.

I hope you have had those feelings of "Jesus in the room" and being overjoyed and full of love this Christmas season. If not, I pray your heart allows Him to do that beautiful thing that only Jesus can do........His presence can come at any moments asking. He is at His finest when He is present. Because, hearts and lives are changed forever whenever He shows up.

I love you, Jesus. I want to thank you for your birth. You were the greatest gift of all. I'm overwhelmed with gratitude.

Merry Christmas friends. I love all of you deeply. Thank you Leigh for praying.

Romans 15:13 was our scripture and it says this...."May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."



Bev Brandon said...

I am so touched by you Fran! You so remind me of that verse about the wedding banquet in Matt 22:9 that you throw open your heart and invite others in whether they are poor, sinners, righteous, needy...God must just love that about you Fran...and guess who I met on boomama's tour---more people who love you!

Dina said...

I have to tell you how awesome last night was! We took 3 of our children with us so that they could see that life isn't so bad after all. There were families at the center basically sharing one room! One room! Can any of us say we could see ourselves with our spouse and children in one room?? I can't. We are truly blessed in this day and age. So many people are facing hardships that we all get caught up in shopping and buying for others that I wanted to take the opportunity to give back, just a little. The look on our new friend's face was awesome and humbling! We were blessed with making his dreams come true. He was so thankful for such a small token of love we shared with him. I wish you all could have been there. The children were so excited that one of the youngest boys was wiping his hands over his head and sighing with such excitement and appreciation. He said "Mama, I'm gonna get Christmas this year after all!" How that was such a joyful experience, yet humbling to know that we all were going home to our cozy recliners and then off to comfy beds and this precious little boy was overjoyed to have such small things. Jesus was definitely present last night. It was an awesome feeling. Fran, you're the greatest. I really appreciate and love your enthusiasm for everything that God lays at your feet to do. You are such an inspiration. I am so thankful God sent us to FUMC.

Joanne said...

Fran, the explanation of this event touched me so. I just walked in the door from dropping of our 'angel tree' gifts at our church. We don't get to see the people we bless, I LOVED that you saw the people you prayed for and were actually able to physically touch them and hug them. The true hands and feet of Jesus...awesome.

Merry Christmas Fran, your blog blesses me so. If I never get a chance to meet you here on earth, I will be running to you for a big old hug in Heaven...

Love, Joanne

Hillary said...

Tis the season! I love this time of year for lots of reasons but mainly because people are so generous to others. I hate that it can't be like this all the time! The part of your story that touched me the most was, "There is heartache in this world." There sure is!! And sometimes I get stuck in my own little world I fail to see the condition of the world for others. Thank you for reminded me to be thankful for what I have, to pray for the needs of others, and to help meet those needs!

I hope you have a Merry Christmas!

Stephanie (Ocean Mommy) said...

WOW!!! I loved this. Sounds like an awesome place. And the dream for "a family to love", brought me to tears! We'll take him!! I'm praying for that young man.

Thanks for sharing this heart changing moment with us.

Merry Christmas!!


annie said...

Beautiful post, Fran, and a very timely reminder of what Christmas is about. I love that you fulfill dreams, and that both families are blessed by each other. I never gave anything that I wasn't more blessed than the recipient. Even in a small way, we can extend God's Grace this season. Merry, merry Christmas, Fran. love, annie

Alana said...

WOW! I love that you were able to see in person the people you helped. What a blessing!

Lindsee said...

Merry Christmas, Fran! I hope this holiday is extra special for you. Enjoy having the kiddos at home!!!!

Much love to you!!


Sunni at The Flying Mum said...

Oh goodness, what that 23 year old asked for hit me hard. As I've been shopping for frivolous things all day...I needed this. I pray his dream comes true! Merry Christmas!

Patty said...

Oh Fran this is the best idea I have heard, making their dreams come true and the 23 year old broke my heart. Your church is so giving and special! I pray they all experience a new beginning filled with surprises and delights and love today and always!

Charity said...

Fran, you are just precious! What a blessing to be able to provide those "dreams"!! That really touches me!

I hope you guys have a FABULOUS Christmas! Thanks for the comment on my blog! How do you know what I need to hear right now?! Landon really has been a "crazy man"!! And my patience really has run a little thin! I know this "terrible two" thing is a phase, but it sure is hard! Good to know it won't last!


Bev Brandon said...

Came by to double-dip cause I want my last blogging words to you to be Merry Christmas. I'm so privileged to be known and loved by you. You're one of the best things that happened to me this year, Fran, in midst of some really dark days God has brought me through. You have touched my soul deeply! Just like the 23-year-old, we all want someone to love us and your arms are open wide in midst of your own needs. And it's because you have allowed your beautiful God to invade your heart and make it His. You have unfading beauty Fran! You're a gem! Thank you for allowing your good God to pour it on us! I am deeply touched by you. Merry Christmas my darling!

connorcolesmom said...

I just love you.
God bless,

thouartloosed said...

The greatest thing is how you touched them with the love of Christ and that is the essential thing we ALL need.
Merry Christmas and God bless you.

jennyhope said...

this really got to me because I can so relate to that 23 year old guy. We truly all desire for people to love us and I cant tell you how many desperate STUPID decisions I have made out of wanting someone to love me. I even was wondering why this afternoon I can't always believe that God loves me or is taken with me and etc. I so want to believe Him. This is so precious and you are such a light for Christ. Love you Fran!!

Kelly said...

I can't believe you know where Flippin is!!!! ha!
I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas!!!

Kristin said...

Sounds like such a great place. A place where dreams truly can come true! Merry Christmas Fran!
Love ~ Kristin

Abby said...

mmm thanks for this...

i love your heart...
so glad the Lord let our paths cross..and yes, we will be hugging before must happen :)
so grateful for you...

MERRY CHRISTMAS sweet friend!!
love you!

He Knows My Name said...

fran, what a wonderful place. i wish every town had such a place. this 23 year old really touched me. i'm sure he is quite desperate for love and i know yours poured out all over.

i wish you a very merry Christmas.

thanking God above for you. ~janel

Bev Brandon said...

One more thing for you, my precious friend. You won! But again let me say...I am so deeply touched by you and can't even finds words to express my heart of gratitude to you. You have so brought God to me, Fran! Much love to you this Christmas Eve!
And here are the details of the win as Blair just picked your name
...It's Christmas Eve!
My girls are HOME for the HOLIDAYS.
Come see their picture on a quick post I put up as we just got home from the relatives' partay tonight.

You Won!

The Winners of my Post Prizes are:

DOOR #1 ... DRUM ROLL...
patty - expensive chocolates from the Sweet Shop

DOOR #2 ... DRUM ROLL...
connorcolesmom - rachael ray's cookbook 30 Minute Meals

DOOR #3 ... DRUM ROLL...
3 WINNERS behind this door:
sue@praise&coffee - ONE-YEAR SUBSCRIPTION to Domino Magazine
joyful days - ONE-YEAR SUBSCRIPTION to Domino Magazine
fran - ONE-YEAR SUBSCRIPTION to Domino Magazine

Please e-mail me your address at your convenience, and I'll mail your door prize, your POST PRIZE, to you after the holidays (January 2nd). Thanks for stopping by my BooMama's Christmas Tour of Homes. You've made blogging so much fun for me. Merry Christmas to you and yours! Bev

BethAnne said...

Fran, I pray that you and your sweet family have a wonderful Christmas filled with Joy and Jesus (those two really go together, dont they?). Thank you so much for your words of encouragement and for your witness. You are truly a blessing to me.

Sue @ Praise and Coffee said...

Have a wonderful Christmas!!!


Shonda said...

Have a Merry Christmas!!
Blessings in Christ-

I blog so you can get a glimpse into my life as wife, mom of 3 boys, and someone who simply wants to bless others along the way. Have fun and be sweet :)

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