Fostering Hope with Paper Valentines

"God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land."  Psalm 68:8

Dear Friends,

I hope you all spent time with your loved ones this Valentine's Day.  This story from Peggie Balcolm, our Hope House Mom, touched my heart. I think you will enjoy it, too.

Valentine’s Day has been special to me since I was a child. Mom had us make paper Valentine’s cards for all of our classmates. I still have envelopes of hearts that my mom cut out for us in all sizes from red construction paper. We made memories. Continue forward and we do this just about every year at Hope House. We still create cards for our grown children, and each other, and we share this with the Hope House residents as well.

It was Tuesday, February 14 (my night to cook) and I made a hearty creamy chicken vegetable soup for dinner because Soup=Love.  Our new resident, Paw, helped me pick what I would make. We all sat down at the dinner table and little Adalee, who is six, asked “can I pray”? This was new. She didn’t grow up with giving thanks before a meal, but she has learned it at Hope House.  “Dear Jesus, Thank you for this food, and thank you for . . . .” she paused for a bit and I helped her with “Valentine’s Day” . . . “Yes, Valentine’s Day” she said.  “In Jesus Name, Amen”  Nicely done, Adalee.

Chelsey and Adalee had placed on the table little gifts for all of us with the money that Chelsey gets to keep from her check - she plans well for these things because 80% of every paycheck is put away to save for when she can buy a car, and for her first and last and deposit and an emergency fund for when she is ready to move out.  

After dinner I pulled out the stack of paper that waits for this event every year. Glue sticks, pens, scissors.  Adalee wanted to know how old Ken was. She put that information on her valentine to him.  Paw made cards for both of us.  In three days time she has become part of the family, and the cards tell the tale.  Ken made cards for our own kids,like he does every year,  and then one for each of the ladies in the house and Adalee.  I also made cards for our grown children and the house residents. I put in the cards all the things I like about them.  Chelsey had to pump milk for work, and take care of baby Kayden, but we all enjoyed just sitting and being creative and seeing what each other would come up with.

It is on a night like this that I am so glad I am here.  Again, the verse in Psalms that says
"God sets the lonely in families" comes to mind.  These ladies are so appreciative of what the Hope House has to offer. Not everyone who comes is gracious and appreciative in this way.  It is a perfect moment and I am feeling the love. ~Peggie

I, too, am feeling the love. I am excited to report that we now have a signed lease for our Phoenix Center!  I will pick up the keys on Saturday morning and take the Palo Verde Baptist Church ladies for a tour at the same time. We will be making arrangements to take our furniture and supplies up soon.

We are on the road to a new adventure - and it would not be possible without your support. 

Much Love, 

Lynnette Carter
Chief Executive Officer
Living Hope Centers