November 2014-Mountain Haven Newsletter
MINISTRY AT A GLANCE
Financials: Monthly Revenue Required: $ 4,680.00 and Monthly Revenue Received: $4,202.00 Remaining Need: $ 478.00. We are still in real need of the outdoor wood boiler. At this point we are spending between $400-$500 on propane and keeping the house at 62 degrees.
Number of couples & individuals we ministered to last month: We ministered to over 45 people in the last month and started seeing three new pre-teen/teenagers.
Current ministry/ ranch projects: We have the driveway looking immaculate, and for us country folk, easy to drive on. Kevin’s working on some projects like: building a snow plow for the skid steer & plumbing in the basement kitchen.
Something Interesting or unexpected that happened last month: Well, we adopted a rescue Boston Terrier. She is six years old and had been a puppy mill puppy her whole life. The man who rescued her said she hadn’t seen the light of day for six years unless it was through a window or a time one of the breeders came in to the breeding facility. Needless to say her damage is obvious. She won’t come in the front door, is scared of Kevin, and doesn’t enjoy eye contact much. She is a ministry dog for sure and could use a lot of prayer.:)
Top Praise of the Month: It seems like there is a large child, pre-teen, and teen population that is starting to come and receive counseling, support and mentoring. It is great to see young people trying to find a way to be honoring to parents, and grow up seeking help and support. That is another step in bringing families hope.
Top Prayer Requests: 1.)Fresh vision for us and continued ideas for tools, books, and resources to share with families, individuals, and couples. 2.)Multiple couples to schedule intensives in the next year and marriages and families to be restored. 3.) Kevin to have physical strength in his broken body that has undergone three surgeries in the last four years. This place requires a lot of physical labor to upkeep. 4.) We are still in need of an outdoor wood boiler.
Looking Ahead: 1.) We have our son and his beautiful bride coming out to visit for Thanksgiving this year. It will be a wonderful celebration. 2.) Chris will be starting a Codependent No More- Rebooted. A second group that will use many of the tools developed through the codependent No More group. It will be offered for women that have completed Codependent No More one time through.
“The Beauty of Vulnerability ”
The word vulnerability has its origin from the late 17th century Latin word Vulnerare , translated “ wound” , “injure” “harm” or “damage” (from the online Latin Dictionary and Grammar Resource-Latdict). This month marks the six year anniversary of the tragic fire that destroyed every physical memory, every photo, baby book, child hood memento, every scrap of memorabilia that traced our lives for the last 20 years. That was, and still is, a wound that cuts deep.
You too have probably experienced a wound that has torn your heart in two (or more) and the wound lingers. Perhaps a divorce, a marriage ripped apart by infidelity, the abusive words of a spouse, the loss of hopefulness in your marriage, a lost and wayward child, or even the death of a child, the loss of your health, the wounding of misunderstanding in friendships, the pain of debt that is insurmountable, the loss of faith, vision or purpose. These are all wounds or injuries that cause fractures in our heart. In a sense they create a vulnerability that appears to weaken our hearts and minds. But I wonder if these wounds may serve a different purpose for us ; such as creating more space for compassion in our lives, driving us to our knees for prayer, and creating more open dialogue with others in our lives that have wounded us out of their own wounded vulnerability.
I’ve been exploring the idea of vulnerable living in my reading, my words, my attitudes, my friendships, and my poetry and I must say it is hard to integrate a wounded life with a productive, powerful life that gets things done, follows my ultra organized calendar, runs a ministry, budgets my money to a tee, and stays on top of my image.
The King James Bible In I Corinthians 1:27 has a unique way of talking to us about vulnerability and weakness. Paul tells us,
“But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty”
When I read this my heart soars because I connect with God’s way of doing life.
Gills exposition of the entire bible describes it this way:
“and God hath chosen the weak things of the world; who cannot boast of their birth and pedigree, of their ancient and illustrious families; have no titles of honor to aggrandize them, nor estates, possessions, and worldly substance to support themselves with; and this he has done, to confound the things which are mighty; as Haman was by the advancement of Mordecai. It will be to the utter confusion of the rich and mighty, to see persons of the lowest class in life made kings and priests by Christ, set among princes, and upon the throne of glory; and they themselves fleeing, and calling to the mountains to fall upon them, and cover them from the sight of him that sits on the throne, and the Lamb”
The wound that weakens us is often the very thing that will demonstrate the greatness of God in our life. It is confusing and perplexing to be in a vulnerable place. There are times we wonder where God is and if He has forgotten us. The pain of feeling weak, and even helpless, creates confusion and a sense of being a failure. I wonder what it would be like if we took God’s way of viewing the world instead of the paradigm of the “church?”.
If we truly listened to the voice of God even when it seems foolish, and we trust that His kingdom often works the opposite of our self-constructed kingdom. What if we decided to be more real about our shortcomings and our fears? And what if, in being real, others decided to embrace us instead of judge us for those shortcomings. Not just accept our sins, and allow us to continue in old ways, but to listen to our pain and allow us to process it and then keep painting the picture of a hopeful tomorrow through Christ’s redemption. What if when we didn’t have the answer, we told people that- and then cried with them, offering encouragement, comfort and hope. And what if when someone felt that their tears were ok that gave them hope to stand up and face the day again. What if we saw a person struggling to make ends meet and instead of raising an eyebrow we offered what we could to help their family eat and stay warm this winter. What if you chose to tell that person that wounded you about the pain their actions caused you- instead of harboring anger and resentment. And what if, that person embraced you because they too feel pain; and in their humanity they recognized that they hurt someone they loved as well. Two wounded, vulnerable people able to feel compassion and love towards one another. And in that exchange receive healing.
Now consider vulnerable living in marriage. A marriage based on an understanding of one another’s wounds that would allow more grace and compassion to flow. Rather than a marriage constructed of to-do lists, expectations, performance, and perpetual disappointments leading to resentment and unforgiveness. A marriage where your strengths are intended to minister to your spouse. A marriage where when weakness, pain and destructive behavior are demonstrated by your spouse you choose to lay aside your rights and love them through it. You choose to see the pain within your spouse even when it comes out distorted and angry. You put your arms around them instead and ask them if you can pray for them. You recognize how your own wounds and vulnerability make you shut down and push your spouse away and rather than push them away, you ask them to come in and help you- even when you think you can do it yourself. You recognize that your abandonment causes you to read into everything your spouse says, and you admit that to them and they hold you. There are so many ways to express your vulnerability and your wounds to your spouse and so many ways to hear and cover those with grace.
This newsletter started with a story about a tragic fire. I wish I was ending it by telling you that there is an amazing tale of redemption that came out of that destructive event. Some great financial payout, or a mysterious understanding we received about trials. But I can’t say that – because five years later Kevin still feels the ache of responsibility for not being able to stop that fire, and I still feel that a part of me was ripped away by losing those irreplaceable pictures, family heirlooms and priceless memorabilia. There is a vulnerability in that area for both of us. Vulnerability does create a weakness… but if we can look at it through God’s eyes, that weakness is redemptive and beautiful. That wound, for us, can and will be used to bring healing and hope to each other and others.
Recognize your vulnerability, name your wounds and don’t be afraid of to be confounded.
We love all the visitors we have had to Mountain Haven. Thanks for coming out to spend time with us. Share your prayer and needs with us vis email, text, or phone call. We want to walk with you through your vulnerabilities. We have been blessed with the tremendous gift of walking with many people through their wounds and healing process.
Pray about how to support this effort. Give at www.mountainhavenmarriageministry.com or mail a tax-deductible donation to 1160 Diamond Back Trail Canon City, CO 81212. We can provide you with monthly envelopes for giving upon your request. Stay in touch with praise or prayer requests as well. Thank you and we love you