Saturday, July 9, 2011

Air Mattress Giveaway!

I know I haven't written in a while, but I wanted to make sure to let you know about an amazing giveaway at my friend's blog...the Reluctant Renovator.
She will be giving away a Kelty Sleep Eazy Air Mattress on July 15th.  So hurry here to enter today!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Extreme Couponing for Donations

On Sunday, June 5th, Family Harvest Church sponsored a Widow's Luncheon.  It was a lovely time.  The gym was decorated to look like an indoor garden, and the luncheon was lovely.  Carrot soup was served in adorable ceramic plant pots, and Linda Thompson's superb chicken salad was the lovely and light main course. The meal was concluded with strawberry ice cream and sugar cookies decorated like pastel spring flowers.

The Proverbial Shopper was allowed to share it's bounty of drug store products with the ladies at the conclusion of the meeting.  We were able to give away over $1000.00 worth of product!  Thanks to those of you who donated items or coupons!

Many of the dental products will be going to Guatemala for an upcoming missions trip, and many of the ladies were excited about sharing their coupons with us so that we can do even more.

If you are interested in sharing your coupons and you attend Family Harvest Church, you can drop off your coupon donations to the information booth.  If you're interested in helping with the shopping, please contact Kim Sullivan by commenting here or e-mailing @

Lastly, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Family Harvest Church and Linda Thompson for allowing us to contribute to True Religion, the widow's ministry at FHC.  Also I'd like to thank Colin at for all of her hard work making those shopping lists for all of us who follow her!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

April Giving - Causing the Widow's Heart To Sing For Joy

Because of your generous coupon donations, we were able to donate over $270.00 worth of product to the widows and single moms pantry in the month of April!  Thank you so much for your giving.  A special shout out to Betty..thanks for all the paper goods!

Job 29:13 says, The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me: and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy.

True Religion will be hosting a widow's luncheon at Family Harvest Church on June 5, and we will be distributing the goods then.  There is still time to donate either coupons or items...(no food items please).  If you have any questions, contact Kim @ (708)639-5504.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Miracle Trip To Disney World

Single moms often don't get to go on vacation.  I know that in the natural, a full blown vacation was an absolute impossibility for me.

My son was about 4 at the time, and in his prayers each night, he began to ask God for a Disney World vacation.  Thank goodness I didn't squelch his faith, or tell him that he shouldn't be asking for such things, but I quietly pleaded with God to answer his prayer.  It wasn't so much that I wanted to go to Disney World, as it was that I wanted my son to experience a personal God and Father, who cared about not only his needs, but also his dreams as well.

A few months after his first prayer, a couple from church approached me.  They said, "We hear that your son has been asking God for a Disney World vacation."  I still don't know how they found that out, but I told them that it was true.  "We'd like to help you make that happen," they said.  My walk of faith began then.  I was too shy to ask them what they meant exactly by that offer.  They ended up generously paying for Amtrack tickets and our hotel.  Now I needed to trust God for the hopper passes and food, which of course, God supplied as well.

I'll never forget what it felt like to be on a vacation planned by God, for the heart's cry of a little boy.  Tears welled up in my eyes more than a few times, and I felt I needed to pinch myself to make sure I was really there.  If there was ever any question of the goodness of God and His passion to give us the desire of our hearts, it was arrested then.To this day, whether my son has to purchase a high dollar item, or pay for college, I remind him of his trip to Disney World.  It is a point of contact for the two of us to remember for always...Wow!  God is good.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Exciting News!

Thanks to Center31, Linda Thompson and FHC for including two posts from this blog on their website Center31.  Check the posts out as well as plenty of other interesting articles!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Old Woman And the Song - Guest Post By Barbara Dalberg

This is a story my mother wrote about having become a recent widow.  I pray that it blesses you as much as it blessed me...

The Old Woman and the Song
It was 3:30 in the morning but the old woman didn’t seem to care. She stumbled
from her cozy bed and walked on bare concrete floors into the living room to
see the full moon shining in through the western windows. It was a cloudless, starfilled
sky and the moon was round and framed between towering slender tree
trunks. She stood awestruck. “Madeleine says we are the creatures that know,
and know that we know.” A tear ran down her wrinkled face.
The floors were cool and her bare feet felt the chill. “I simply won’t budge from
this window to satisfy my toes.” She had to see it all, the full moon shining and
the wind dancing with the tops of the trees. The night sky reminded her that
there is something even bigger than the lovely ball of Earth .....there is a larger
galaxy in an even larger universe and a Good Maker of it all. The moon shone
on her like a spotlight and she smiled, “If it ‘knew’ as we humans did, it would see
me framed as my window. It would say, “There’s a woman down there
looking up at me. Her hair hangs long down her back and it is streaked with
grey. She wears green pajamas and is barefoot. She has a tear running down
her cheek.”
She remembered the star gazing rock under the tree branch from which the
wind chime dangled. “I could sit there and observe the stars, feel the wind upon
my face, and not be this discontented human window observer. Dare I? At 3:30
in the morning? There’s no one to talk me out of it. There’s no one to know, to
worry. Perhaps it is there I will discover what it is I know”. The recent warm spell
had caused the snow to recede and the rock had become visible after months
of being a lump under many inches of snow. “If I act quickly before talking
myself out of it, put my coat on over my pajamas, slip boots on bare feet, (after
all it’s probably muddy), I would find myself outside in a matter of moments! But I
must hurry!”
Rushing to the closet the old woman outfitted herself for this unexpected
nocturnal journey and was out the door before she could wipe the tears from her
face or blow her nose.
She quietly shut the door behind her, even though in this rural area she was far
enough away from any neighbor to be a disturber of their peace. She took small
cautious steps because her eyesight wasn’t very good and she hadn’t
remembered to grab her glasses. She wished now that she had, for everything
looked a bit unclear and she was hesitant to put one booted foot in front of the
As she approached the end of the patio she realized that if she were to turn back
she should probably do so now, for beyond the patio there would be the stepping
stones, the bumpy terrain, and the dark that would make a quick retreat back to
the front door more arduous. She hesitated, weighed the possibility of danger
against the pure joy of the wind upon her wrinkled brow and made her decision.
She turned to look at the house one last time before proceeding into the
darkness. With no lights left on inside she could still see through the curtainless
windows because of the moonshine. “It’s so beautiful.....I miss him”, she sighed,
and the wind grabbed her words and tossed them around the trees and up
toward the moon and beyond the stars to where all words go when uttered from
the heart. She turned toward her destination and throwing all caution to the wind
stepped off the patio and made her way to the star gazing rock while the wind
whipped her very long grey hair straight up and out, standing on end in every
“I will face down my fears just this once and let my heart have it’s way.” Her lips
quivered as she continued to reassure herself while walking further and further
away from the house that had become her place of refuge.
The rock was cold and hard and not very accommodating to an old derriere.
And there she sat, under an evergreen branch, overlooking a farmer’s field in
February. She had no way of knowing how much time had passed since she had
ventured out into the darkness. At first she tried to relax and smell the pine and
hear the wind making melody with the chime. But after a while her thoughts
began to wander and she continually glanced back at the house, as if making
sure it was still there. She could see it from where she sat and could feel his love
wrap around her like the wind.
They had walked this land together in the time before the house, when it was
uncleared and tangled wildness. He had showed her how it would be and she
rejoiced to see him full of dreams and ideas. He walked with her in June wearing
his safari jacket, his eyes matching the blue of the sky. And they were happy. In
time, the dream became reality. The house now stands in the moonlight, but
without him. For after a few months living in the house, one day he said, “I feel
dizzy”......and he died in the house. “We were old when we built our house,” she
spoke outloud to no one. She recalled saying to him, “An architect should build
himself a house. It’s your chance to do it as you please, it’s your house.” His
response was always a gentle, “It’s our house.” “Now it is ‘my’ house alone,
without him to share it with.” She tried to redirect her thoughts as the tears flowed
from her eyes and she reached into her coat pocket to find his handkerchief that
was kept there to remind her of him.
Overcome by her grief she quickly stood to her feet, crying out with a firm voice,
“It’s enough now, you’ve been gone too long. Come home, I miss you.” But of
course her words did not fly off with the wind to beyond the stars but rather
dropped heavily at her feet because of their selfishness.
Thoughts of retreating back to the house and being the discontented window
observer filled her tired mind. But she remembered Madeline’s words about
emotions and how they could “.....let loose a storm”. She didn’t have the strength
to allow this “....violence of a waterfall to pour through her.” Not here, not now.
She called upon the Good Maker for peace and peace came, along with an
urgency to hear the Song the stars were singing and the wind was carrying to her
very spot under the tree branch. There were no more thoughts of the house or of
the sudden separation that had caused such great grief, for nothing mattered
much in comparison to the hearing of the Song, “......when the morning stars sang
together and all the angels shouted for joy.”
The Song was ancient; much older than the horizon, much older than the dawn.
Somewhere in the singing of it the old woman would begin to remember what it
was she knew and what the mist of her sorrow had almost extinguished, the
heaviness of her grief had almost smothered. She had not forgotten the existence
of the Song, but the joy of hearing it. She had not forgotten the Story, but the life
and healing of it’s knowing.
It was with the faintest whisper that she became aware of melody, hidden in the
wind of “ and was and is to come”. The lovely light sound came from such a
great distance that she strained to hear the sparkling voices. The wind was now
violently blowing through her and in her, so that she no longer needed to strain to
hear, for it had blown away the misty, heavy covering she had placed on the fire
of her heart. It was there she was surprised to find, in this place of inward peace,
that the Song had been waiting for her.
Once upon a time, the Story had seemed too big for the Old Woman, for there is
no beginning or ending to it’s telling. She was relieved to know that we were
allowed to hear and know only the part of the Story that concerns our small
world. At the start, Good Maker Architect began with foundations and
measurements, lines, bases and cornerstones, and the loud proclamation, “You
shall not pass!” But the Song wasn’t really about those things. The Song was very
simply about Love. A great Love. The singing stars and angels had observed the
Good Maker’s Love and shouted for joy in response to “I Am” and the outpouring
of His creative Self. After all......they had witnessed, “It is good”.
The Song was so lovely that the Old Woman became cemented in her stance,
lest she miss a single word. She was refreshed in remembrance of when the
earth was young and the Good Maker and His children walked in a lovely
garden, and all was as it should have been. But in a dark and catastrophic
moment in space and time, all of what was meant to be was changed, for a
serpent deceived the children to trust in his wisdom and to doubt the Goodness
of their Maker. And with the shifting of their allegiance came fear, and the
children hid themselves from the One who had made them. They would be
forced with drawn, flaming swords to leave the beloved Garden, clinging
desperately to a promise that there would come a day when the woman’s seed
would crush the head of the serpent who had deceived them.
For thousands of years the Story was filled with adventures and miracles, floods
and rainbows, wheels in the middle of wheels, giants and slingshots. There would
be plagues and blood on door lintels, manna and tablets of stone. But for many,
history became legend and legend became myth and things that should not
have been forgotten, were.
It seemed all hope had vanished concerning the promised Seed, when
astronomers followed a Star to a lowly stable where a Baby lay in a manger. The
Promise was enfleshed and called, Emmanuel, “God with us”.....born with Jewish
skin and bone. This same Child grew into manhood proclaiming, “I am the Way,
the Truth, and the Life and no man goes to the Father except through Me.”
There would be a night to remember when He would consecrate bread and
wine, and institute humility with a towel and a basin. The Promise was then
mocked, spat upon, beaten and crucified, until He uttered, “It is finished”, and
the serpent’s head was crushed. And then a most remarkable thing happened.
His tomb was found empty because He had defeated death itself. This victory
ushered in a new age, one of grace and faith. His followers stood looking up into
the sky as they watched Lord Jesus rise up into the clouds. “.....remember, I am
with you always, to the end of the age.”
What a sight the old woman was to behold as she stood listening under her
branch, her eyes closed and her smiling face lifted up toward the stars with the
moon shining down upon her. Her coat had flapped open and her green
pajamas had ballooned with the wind as if she were ready for “take off”.....and
all the while her hair continued to be tossed to and fro in the wild winter wind of
“Lord Jesus is with me,” she whispered in awe of the renewed revelation. She sat
down in reverence for the moment while a great comfort enveloped her. She
and her beloved had lived during this glorious age of grace and faith and had
placed Lord Jesus in the center of the time they had been given.
It was then that she saw in her minds’ eye two single figures moving toward one
another on a crowded dance floor. These two had eyes only for one another as
they sought each other out, dodging other dancers along the way. He was a
blonde, tanned Swede wearing an earth-toned jacket, and she a frail, young
Bohemian girl wearing a green sweater that matched the color of her eyes. They
were at the same place at the same time because of a....mistake, which
miraculously determined the course for the rest of their lives. They made their
way through the crowd until their arms reached out for the other, and so began
the dance that would be uniquely theirs and would continue for forty-three
The two became three with the birth of a tiny, beautiful daughter when they lived
near the Big Lake. She also entered the dance for she loved the Good Maker
and His Song. She hung on tightly to Mama’s twirling skirt, or hid in the safety of
Daddy’s arms when the dance became risky and adventurous, knowing he
would protect her. In these early years they danced in the ghetto of the Windy
City when times were turbulent and the serpent had put fear in the hearts of
God’s people. Courage was needed and courage arrived, dressed as a lovely
Salvation Army “Sallie”, who reminded the dancers that love was much stronger
than fear.
They danced in the Suburbs where a blue Night Light announced the excitement
of belonging to God’s family and encouraged His artisans to express His glory.
And all the while the obvious was taking place, the dance involved the
designing of buildings that would help others, and the turning of “places” into
homes... that were always golden oak in color. Early in the morning during these
years the young architect rode a subway into the Big City, as he purposed in his
heart to make a difference wherever he was. And the young mother strummed
a guitar on a Suburban porch and sang of the Good Maker’s greatness for all
who had ears to hear.
In their later years they danced in a place called “Terra” where young Disciples
came to experience Christ in their midst....and to share the bread and the cup.
“We get up, we walk, we fall down and meanwhile....we keep dancing.” She
remembered how much he loved these words, and that indeed there were
times when the dance floor had been strewn with obstacles and they had
faltered in their step and perhaps even missed a beat or two. Their dance was
not perfect, nor without flaw, but it was danced joyfully and wholeheartedly until
death did part. There were times in the weeks before the great grief, when she
would nestle up to his ear and whisper, “You’re the love of my life.” And for a
moment in earth time, eternity was experienced in the eyes of the beholder as
arms held on to the other.
And now, she could see him take a step away from her, bow to the waist, look
her in the eye, and say with that sweet, gentle voice, “Thank you Barbara, for the
dance of a lifetime.” A tear slipped down her face as she saw herself curtsey
and reply, “My dear Paul, it has been my delight.”
As the sun began to break over the horizon, the Old Woman became aware of
her surroundings and with a full and grateful heart she made her way back to the
lovely house, knowing she was after all a creature who “knew”. She knew that
the Lord Jesus was with her and that because death had been defeated, she
would see her beloved again.
“I stand up, I walk, I fall down and meanwhile....I keep dancing

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Weekly Update!

This past week, I was able to purchase $71.70 worth of product for about $10 with the help your those coupon donations!  A large portion of this week's donations went to giving six Easter baskets and two board games to some needy children.  In addition, we were able to purchase 5 Similac formula for $.50 each! Thanks for your help!!