Grand Rapids

For months I prayed over this day...

The day had come, it was the Grace's Table Christmas Celebration.

Volunteers gathered and we prayed that Jesus would be known and that the girls would walk away from this night knowing more about their value, and we left it in His hands.

We took family pictures and checked little ones into childcare, and then the mamas gathered in front of a special door. A door that led to a fine dining experience and so much more.

The door was opened, and there were squeals of delight, gasps for air, and hands flung to cover their faces, because it really was a site to behold. And then she asked...

"Is this really for us?"

Yes, sweet girl, this is all for you. 

And the tone for the evening was set. From family pictures and amazing childcare, to a 4-course meals that is still being talked about, to a portion of the night where we affirmed value - these mamas know they are loved!

Later in the evening each of the girls were given a gift of a mirror. Ms. Karla, one of our volunteers shares the following...

"My favorite part was when we gave each girl, one-by-one, a mirror to look into and then told them all the magnificent things about them and their unlimited potential."

Many of the words they heard that night had been shared by their peers. We collected them and added some affirmations and then had the privilege of speaking truth into their lives.

How did the moms feel about this? One mama shares...

“I’ve never felt so loved and appreciated before in my life until last night”

Thank you to our Christmas Angels, Partners, Sponsors, and Volunteers. You made this night possible and our hearts are filled with gratitude!

Merry Christmas!

Lisa E. Anderson
Founder of Grace's Table

P.S. If you are celebrating the Twelve Days of Christmas with us - You have helped us raise One Partridge in a Pear Tree, Two Turtle Doves, and Three French Hens. THANK YOU! Today is Four Calling Birds ($600), almost the equivalent of a month of Life Skills Courses. Grab some friends and see if you can help us reach today's goal.

Because of you

Last week during dinner a young lady began sharing her story of becoming a mama at fifteen and what that journey has looked like over the past four years.

You see our table presented a safe space for this precious mama to begin sharing about the tragedies, traumas, and deep wounds she carries with her each and every day. This table where meals are shared was a place that she felt free to exhale. This family she has said yes to was a place where she could begin sharing her story. A place where she chose vulnerability and offered us her sacred story in exchange for being known and I believe the hope of healing to begin taking place. 

Each week families come through our doors searching for something to connect to, something to call their own, a safe place in the midst of the chaos where the noise can be dimmed and they can experience peace and love in a family environment. 

This is possible because of you. The meals that you lovingly prepare, the donations gifted and connections you have helped us forge are the things that make it possible for us to gather our family together into community and we want to say THANK YOU!! Thank you for helping us create the space to love families well. We are truly bursting with gratitude for each of you.

Something Holy

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This morning a friend posted a blog entry from A Holy Experience and the words on family gripped my heart. Somehow they put pen to paper and described my heartbeat for this family we are building Around the Table. 

And we aren’t merely born into families, families are born out of our reaching out and holding on and serving anyways and giving always. Giving always.

That’s what family means: People love you & keep on holding on to you especially when you’re not lovable.

It’s not only the blood in our veins that make us family — it’s the blood and sacrifice in our days that makes us a family.

Every time we make time for each other, we make family.

Family is a verb. Family is not just what we are, it’s something that we actively keep on making.

Something holy is happening in this space at 835. Family is being built and when we talk about putting other's needs before our own it is happening: you to teen mom, me to you, teen mom to teen mom, and teen mom to me. This beautiful family is learning what it means to be family. It is not easy, it is not always fun, but oh to be known and come home to a space where you know your family is waiting for you and welcoming you with great anticipation. I pray that you would know this love, this family that breaks our heart and also makes it beat strong. There is so much beauty here.