starsinhereye

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But Life is for Leading~Audrey

“We can celebrate the highlight”
“Lost And Found”, Train

1. Writing/blog

This hasn’t been going well. But IU had a major depression. You read more about it in my blog “Sloth”.  I am still doing book reviews and I am contemplating changing my movie review blog into a book review blog. That might be better for me

2. Exercise

This one isn’t going as well either. I have been a dark period and having extra issues with my health. I have to get in the mind set that I can do exercise that fits into my days.

3. Be Myself

I have been better at this. While, there are some subjects that shouldn’t be broached, I am trying to be myself., Me a nerd. Let out my weird sense of humor. I am also actively working on my self confidence which will help me immensely in this goal.

“Lord, restore the joy I had”
“Soul On Fire”, Third Day

4. Spiritual

I have been reading my Bible, focusing on Psalms this year. But I take a time each night to read my bible and study other books to grow in knowledge. I have tried to be more in the moment. I have when I pray I end up in Stage 1 &2 sleep, so now I am looking into meditation with my eyes open to counter act this. I want to be in the moment, not fall asleep

5. Take A Leap Of Faith

My life is pretty much a leap of faith. All kidding aside, I have not presented with such a scenario. I think I need to pray for the opportunity more.

“Always whispering, “It’s all your fault””
“Learn to Let Go”, Kesha

6. Forgive Myself

Coming out of last year’s depression was a big help in this area. When I finally saw clearly, I brushed aside what I did and started over. I forgave myself for being in that place. It has help me move and do better. So knowing I can forgive myself for something that just happened, gives me hop I can forgive myself for something that happen a long time ago.

7.Spread the Love

I’ve been wrapped up a lot in myself and not been there so much to reach out to others that don’t live close to me. I am natural very loving and have done small and big things for others just because they needed it so at least I am being an example on how to love those close to you physically. But I’ve dropped the ball on my distance friends.

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Sloth~Audrey

My deadly sin? Sloth.
Let me make something clear: fatigue isn’t the same as sloth. Depression isn’t the same as sloth. Sloth is letting things get nasty and being lazy without reason. It becomes apathy with no excuse.
I just realize that I have transitioned out of depression into sloth. The orphans aren’t here. I don’t feel bad. I am just lazy.
So I prayed and got off my butt. For about three days, I had energy, participating in my hobbies and cleaning my house! I made sure to pace myself and was doing great.
Then a flare came, and it all went away. I made myself color and read so I would be doing something and to keep my brain off my pain. But it upset me because I was doing so well fighting sloth. Now I was possibly getting back into the habit..
I am feeling better than I was but I’m not back to normal but the fact that it frustrated me meant that I was still in the spirit to fight sloth. So I am not using this flare as an excuse.
I will pull myself of our deadly sin and keep honoring the Lord!

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Seeing My Work Come Back to Me~Audrey

Each time child come to Bridgestone, something magical always happens. This time it was the night of the Ukrainian dinner. Each Saturday before the children leave, we host an authentic Ukrainian Dinner with borscht and pelmeni. We invite everyone to join especially post-orphans and their families.IMG_6564
At the dinner I got to spend time with a special post orphan named Vadym. He had come to Bridges of Faith two Decembers. You may remember that I wrote about him because he and God made him a special place in my heart. He was adopted by a wonder family and I keep up with his goings on Facebook.
The day of the dinner they came early to help with other activities. I was so excited to see him. He was also very excited to show me a new way to read comic books for free. We sat down and he walked me through on my phone on how to read them. It was pretty awesome and I love that we had bounded over being nerds.
We had dinner and I sat with the current children and a friend that I knew. I was trying to make sure that I didn’t hog Vadym all night. Plus, I enjoy seeing the kids eat their native foods. They always enjoy the night and get all dressed up.
After dinner, we headed to the chapel for a little service so we could pray for the children plus we got to hear from them their favorite part of the trip. This is always a special moment. I did sit with Vadym and his family and it was interesting to be on the other side with him. He knew how these children felt; he had bene there and done that. When it was time for me to leave, he begged, very quietly, for me not to leave (or so his mom says). So I stayed a little longer just to spend time with him. It was an honor to spend time with this child who we brought over and helped find a forever family.
The point of this story is to show that my work has meaning. This boy’s life was changed forever because of this program and my work with it. These children don’t disappear from our lives. I see a majority of them quite IMG_3290often. In fact, God brings them into my life and changes both of us. He doesn’t just make this a quick relationship; many I get to be in their loves for so much more than just thirty days.
Children like Vadym are why I do what I do. I watch him grow in a local school and see him loved by parents who would (and have) done anything for him.

If you would like to find out more about Bridges of Faith please visits: http://www.bridgesoffaith.com/
And if you are interested in making a tax-deductible donation to BOF in my name to continue my domestic ministry work , please contact audrey@bridgesoffaith.com, donate on-line (mention my name) or send checks to 302 County Road 383, Billingsley, AL 36006. Thank you for your support!

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Hope~Audrey

Over the weekend, Hurrian Nate hit the Gulf Coast. Ahead of that, thunder storms roared into Central Alabama. At about 8 p.m., my phone alerted me to a tornado warming. When I looked into it further, I learned that there was rotation in my area. I sat by the table watching a movie on my lap top in case I needed to duck under it with my cats. By 8:30 all was clear and I was back in my bed. I thanked God for safety and didn’t think much more about it.
The next t day, I saw that there was so much more than my little house out there. The nonprofit I live and work at was building a brand new gymatorium. The tornadic winds lifted the pots out of the ground and then plopped it back down, leaving the supports shattered and a tree through the roof.
But the building was so much more than a gymatorium; it is also a memorial. Sasha came to Bridges of Faith as part of the August 2016 group of orphans. He arrived as a fifteen-year-old, shy young man. As time progressed, Sasha emerged from his shell. Several families expressed interest in adopting Sasha, but nothing ever worked out. Four months later, while visiting his biological mother, Sasha was killed when alcohol and anger made a deadly combination. Sasha is why Bridges of Faith exists–to help the 100,000 orphans in Ukraine whose life consists of violence, crime and sexual trafficking. By giving them a chance to net worked with families and experience a new culture, BOF gives hope to these poor souls. The gymatorium will stand as a reembrace of Sasha and an icon of the work the organization does.
I was devastated. I couldn’t save the boy and now his building was in shambles. I thought it was a horrible omen; I thought all was lost. I felt the same guilt that I first felt when Sasha was killed.
But there is so much hope. This is a building. We can and will rebuild. Sasha’s memory will live on. We can’t give up. We don’t stop brining children because we lost one and we won’t stop with the building.
Thanks to volunteers from the area (especially those in Birmingham), we have already begun cleaning up. In fact, cleanup is going faster than we could ever imagine. The response of hope and love has overwhelmed us.
I am no longer devastated. I am centered and focused. I won’t back down.

 

If you would like to find out more about Bridges of Faith please visits: http://www.bridgesoffaith.com/
And if you are interested in making a tax-deductible donation to BOF in my name to continue my domestic ministry work , please contact audrey@bridgesoffaith.com, donate on-line (mention my name) or send checks to 302 County Road 383, Billingsley, AL 36006. Thank you for your support!

 

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Baptism~Audrey

As I think back on my two years at Bridges of Faith, I often think of specific children and how they changed my heart. The second group of orphans I worked with was special; it was mostly teenagers and God showed me that, despite my misgivings, I can work with teenagers. But I wasn’t the only one changed that month. In July I was honored to be part of a milestone in on of these orphans life; I saw one of the girls become baptized
This is what I said about her two years ago:
“The second teen’s effect on me was more subtle. She did have a drama streak, but she wanted so much to connect with people, to be included and loved. She would help me up and down stars. If she missed helping me, she would be sad and apologize. She loved freely and laughed often. She wasn’t afraid of tears. She totally changed my mind that all teens were all self-centered. She realized to be loved, she had to give love.”
Since then, she has been adopted and is living a very American life in Tennessee. She speaks English very well and has even been back to volunteer with the orphans. In July, Lena was baptized by BOF founder Rev. Tom Benz in our pool at Bridgestone.
I talked to her before her baptism and she confided in me that she was nervous. When I inquired why she told me she was scared that she would break her promise and she would sin. I told her baptism was a promise that we believe that Jesus was our Savior. Jesus knows we will sin. It is our job to try not to and when we fail ask forgiveness. She would not fail her savior just because she would sin at some point.
I was one of just a few people there to watch her make her commitment to Jesus. It brought tears to my eyes. I had seen her mature and grow into a Christian and I thanked God for allowing me to be able to be a part of this.

 

If you would like to find out more about Bridges of Faith please visits: http://www.bridgesoffaith.com/
And if you are interested in making a tax-deductible donation to BOF in my name to continue my domestic ministry work , please contact audrey@bridgesoffaith.com, donate on-line (mention my name) or send checks to 302 County Road 383, Billingsley, AL 36006. Thank you for your support!

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I’m Not Afraid, I’m Not~Audrey

 

“Making Everyday a Holiday”

Kids-OneRepublic

I was sitting at the table the other day thinking about the best times of my life. And I quickly saw that I was so happy right now. I might have finical issues but I am happy emotionally and physically, I’m at a great point in my life. I think knowing that is really the whole goal here; to not just think back on the past years on the bad or that that those years were better than now.

“And God Knows I’m Not Dying But I Breath Now”

My Blood- Ellie Goulding

My health has improved a hundred fold since I started my treatments. But I’m still not doing good enough with my exercise. I am trying to get back to my walks. I had a port put in in July and have been under a lot of stress and I’ve had a body collapse. I spent the last weekend sick. I tried hard to take care of myself but sometimes there are flare si cannot fight and I have to remember that there will be these times and I can’t change them. 

“I Know You Hear Me Now”

Hear Me Now-Five

My friends are huge to me. It depresses me that my high school best friend has fallen off the radar. But I remember that I  haven’t lost my best college friend. No matter how far away she is, she is still with me ibn my heart. I tried to contact some friend and they didn’t respond. Instead of getting said, I tried to understand their situation and what is going on with their lives. I will welcome them with open arms if they ever come back.

 

“Let’s Destroy Each Mistake That We Made”

Fake It, Bastille

I have done well here I think. I have et the Lord led he way and to second guessed who I was, what this relationship was doing, I was happy with what I experienced. I saw that I can do so much and am not stuck. I don’t give into peer pressure and I have been so much happier because of it.

“I Always Thought That Things Would Change But They Never Did”

Lonely Town- Brandon Flowers

Depression is an interesting beast. I have worked on techniques to help me when I got in those moments. And though some lasted longer than others, I have come put the other side happier. I have also worked hard this year with being an advocated. Celebrity suicides have been made public and I have tried to portray a real picture of what depression is and bbeing someone who will be there for others.

 “Treat Her Better”

Send My Love- Adele

I still have dreams of my exes and I don’t understand why. But I don’t think of them and get angry anymore. I have worked on myself and this has been a release. But it’s not perfect. Someone texted me that one was having a baby an di blew it off. I still have trouble understanding how they can be so happy and I am still single. But I remember I am where I am suppose to be. So even though I can’t say it, I do hope they are happy and that they have changed enough to make their spouse happy.

“You Let The Whole Wide World See”

The Veil- Peter Gabriel

I am me. I piss people off, but I am honestly me. I try to treat people with respect for their ideas and opinions so often I am quite. But I am fighting; fighting for freedom for all, freedom to be myself with out peer pressure getting to me. I am showing my true colors more and more each day and I am happy with who I am,

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Send Me

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying,
“Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
Isaiah 6:8

I graduated in 2005 with a degree in psychology and a desire to help children. One of my biggest interests in school was developmental psychology and helping children grow up well-adjusted so they need less help as an adult. I believe in the cliché that children are our future and if we can get them on even footing as they grow up, they can be happy, stable adults. IMG_2405
That same year I was introduced to therapeutic horseback riding. Using horses, I could help those with physical and emotional disabilities thrive in a world that doesn’t take the time to get to know them. I helped one be able to walk across the stage at graduation as well as helped those with Asperger’s find confidence and self-esteem. My niche was those with low functioning autism and developmental delays and helping them blossom. I’ve heard first words, seen first steps, and had first hugs. And I LOVED it!
Then I started getting really unwell. I’ve had health issues and reoccurring infections my entire life. But then abscessed tooth pushed my body over its limit. Struggling to find help and a diagnosis, my whole life changed. I couldn’t live my life as I had. I was stuck. But then Bridges of Faith happened.
My history has been really helpful especially when we have children from special needs orphanages like we did this time. Their chaperon and Alona worked really hard with two of the kids to help them transition to another culture and have a great time. No one asked me in particular to do this. I saw that these kids needed some who knew how to work with their special needs and stepped up to the plate.
The Lord sent me here once I was open with him about needing a change in my life and wanting to follow his ways. He has rewarded me not just in my health but by allowing me to work with these sweet precious children. The orphanages are bleak places. One in ten will commit suicide before they hit 21, one will be in jail and three in five girls are sexually traffic. Since the program began, we have seen 110 orphans be adopted. Being part of that has been magical and amazing. I said send me and he showed me what I could do!
In the Mary Poppins picture are Ilona and Bogdon. Bogdon falls in the developmental delay category but if it’s because of abuse and neglect or other issues, I could not tell you. What I can tell you is he wants someone to love and to love him. He needed someone who could love him but discipline him as well. Bogdon doesn’t respond to yelling and running after him. This makes him happy; he has your attention and he loves that you are paying attention. I pulled out some Applied Behavioral Analysis therapy tricks that helped him see he could get love and attention without acting out. Was it easy? Not at all. Was it worth it? Yes; to see that smile on his face and have him hug me knowing he felt safe loved meant everything to me.
IMG_1898Another young girl named Luyba (Russian for love) had some similar issues. While she didn’t run off, she would hug you too tightly or squeeze too hard. She had so much love inside she didn’t know how to express it at all. She and I spent a lot of time together. She saw she was loved but I didn’t fool around with unwanted behavior. The last day, while they waited at the airport for them to go home, she gripped my hand hard. She didn’t want to leave someone who didn’t just yell at her like they are prone to in orphaned (if they get any attention at all);she wanted someone who loved her for who she was, who she knew loved her even as she corrected the behavior.
God knew where I was needed, where my gift would fit perfectly. Because I let him send me so many people are happy and have had their lives changed. It’s more than just about me. It’s about our world, or brothers and sisters in Christ.

If you would like to find out more about Bridges of Faith please visits: http://www.bridgesoffaith.com/

And if you are interested in making a tax-deductible donation to BOF in my name to continue my domestic ministry work , please contact audrey@bridgesoffaith.com, donate on-line (mention my name) or send checks to 302 County Road 383, Billingsley, AL 36006. Thank you for your support!

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