Unless The Lord Builds The House

I thought it was appropriate this morning in my devotion time to encounter this familiar verse:

Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.” Psalms 127:1)

To say it another way, if God wants to build something — He causes the builder’s efforts to be fruitful and productive.

If you had been a fly on my wall during last couple of weeks, you would have heard a lot of “Can you believe this?! Did you see what God did? Did this really just happen?“

I feel like I arrive at the end of each day more amazed at the Lord’s provision and faithfulness than the day before. He is taking humble efforts and multiplying them into something I never dreamed would happen.

He is definitely building something here.

And I can hardly wait to wake up each day and watch Him accomplish the impossible.

Here are just a few of the many things the Lord has accomplished in the last few weeks:

We’ve raised $1,000 on our YouCaring page!

We pulled the trigger a little over a month ago and launched a YouCaring page to help us cover the cost of legal fees to set up Homes & Havens as a nonprofit. In just a couple of weeks we’ve already raised $1,000!

I’m amazed.

We have started working with an attorney in Cleveland, TN, and the paperwork is started. Sometimes I have to pinch myself because this all feels so surreal.

Acceptance into The Generosity Trust’s Alpha Fund!

I’ve been meeting with several local nonprofit founders here in Chattanooga and I couldn’t believe how often The Generosity Trust was mentioned with raving reviews. After being encouraged by multiple people to apply for their start-up program, I finally met with Dr. Jim Barber and started my application. These guys are so life-giving, especially in the muddy waters of trying to fundraise, give tax-credit to donors, apply for grants, and basic stuff like obeying all the laws, ha!

I was contacted earlier this week with the news that Homes & Havens was accepted into The Alpha Fund! You can now make a tax-deductible donation to Homes & Havens through The Generosity Trust — just make sure to specify that it is for Homes & Havens. You can even set up a recurring monthly gift, if you’d like. I’m so thankful for wise, generous, inspiring friends at The Generosity Trust!

Homes & Havens won a $3,000 grant from The UNFoundation!

After being encouraged by my friends to apply for this local grant, I completed an grant request for The UNFoundation. I had originally applied for $2,400, but when I got the call that I won the grant, they casually asked if I could use $3,000 instead. UH, YAS.

I couldn’t believe it. I’ve been almost dizzy with joy! This will help fill so many homes with beauty.

Guys. Is God faithful or what?

Every time I begin to feel twinges of anxiety about how I’m going to do everything that’s necessary to run this organization, Jesus sweetly reminds me that HE is building this house and therefore, HE will cause my labors to be fruitful and productive.

And there are so many more stories and open doors I haven’t disclosed yet — incredible potential partnerships, storage units of donations, divine conversations, and a steady peace during it all, even when we hit bumps in the road.

I stand amazed … amazed at this divine Builder who is laying a foundation for something I can’t wait to see.

In the meantime, I’ll be over here taking the next step in front of me and praying prayers that make me a little uncomfortable.

Thank you to anyone still following along on this journey with me. And if you wouldn’t mind praying for these next things specifically:

  • A truck — phew, we are desperate for some kind of vehicle to transport furniture! Our growth really hangs on this piece of equipment.
  • Storage — there are so many incredible people who are stepping up with furniture donations and honestly, we are BUSTING at the seams at our house. We have a (leaky) open air carport that I really hate to leave furniture underneath, but we are making due with tarps and such. In order to keep growing, we will need some sort of storage facility, but right now we don’t have much in the budget to cover this expense.
  • Donations — now that we are set up with The Generosity Trust, we are ready to have people financially partner with us to continue filling these women’s homes with beauty. On average, it takes about $800 to lovingly furnish one women’s space and we are gaining more and more ministry clients per month.

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. (1 John 5:14)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)