grace's table

Moments that change you

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Yesterday our visit took place at Helen Devos Children's Hospital. We met with her primary doctor, and the neurological team. They shared that while they have been doing everything they can to ease the seizures, and Detroit Children's Hospital had done everything they could, the MRI revealed images that nobody wants to see for their child. Words like fluid on the brain, atrophy, hospice all hung heavy in the room. She silently listened, never breaking her loving gaze from her 9-month old sweet one. 

Many of you have been praying for months that the seizures would subside and health be restored and this remains our prayer. When this little family found themselves alone in Detroit, friends and family from JJ's House and Grace Christian Church  surrounded them and welcomed them into community through prayer, meals, and visits. For this I am eternally grateful. We do not know what the future holds, but Jesus remains our hope and anchor.

So much of what we do at Grace's Table is focused on new life. We celebrate births and milestones, and we cheer on the change that is taking place in our lives. We have the incredible privilege of meeting girls right where they are and learning their stories, and let me tell you that not one life that has walked through these doors, or met me for a meal or a hug on the street has left me the same. They change you. You ache with them something awful, you cry tears that do not stop, and you love them fiercely because as mentioned before, we never know how long we will have with them. And at the end of the day we find ourselves flat on our face before Jesus because the life that has been lived is too much to carry on our own. We cry out to Him, and ask for healing and peace, for answers that may never come, and we ask Him to fill the space that has been left in the hearts of these women and children that only He can fill. We pray that in the moments, the conversations, the celebration and the grieving that they would know Him. Then we ask that He fill us again so that tomorrow we can go out and do it all over again. 

Today, I ask that you will stop what you are doing and pray for this family, for miraculous healing, restoration, wisdom, and a network of people right here in Grand Rapids, Michigan to hold this family close. It is with deep and sincere gratitude that I thank you all, near and far, for keeping us in your prayers.

It Takes A Village

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If you would have been in this space tonight you would have heard and seen so much and I am convinced your heart would have burst from the beauty. It's impossible to contain the joy and love and sadness and joy that all exist within this space. 

The sounds alone are incredible. The squealing delight of little girls that is so high pitched your ears might just bleed a little. Or the cooing of a two month old little boy who has so much to say he can't possibly get it all out. A mama speaking in Spanish to her son and he responds and their conversation is seriously music to my ears, but then it is what I see that moves me to tears. 

A mama who gets down on her daughter's level to provide guidance and when she doesn't listen she redirects her out of the room to sit in another room and take a break. Not only did this mama do this one time, but three times and when patience was wearing thin, this mama chose to walk away because she needed a break and what happened next is more than I could have asked for. 

A mama follows the mama to encourage her and cheer her on. Another mama steps in to take over where one had left off and every mama in this house shifted to a new space. The space where she now needed to be. It was like everyone knew exactly what their part was in this village. In this tribe where mamas love one another and each other's children. Where nobody was threatened by anyone else helping them or their children. This was a beautiful picture of not just community, but FAMILY. 

Where encouragement amongst mamas ended in prayers for strength right there on the porch and love and community was not only sensed, but experienced. This is what we are about. This space is a foundation in the lives of many. This place represents stability. This space is love. 

 

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.

A Life Changing Experience

It takes courage to try something new. Imagine you are a teenager, pregnant, and you are walking into someone's house for dinner (someone you don't know). You would probably be dealing with competing emotions as you take that first step into the unknown. It takes bravery, strength, and courage! Week after week, we see moms display these very attributes. We asked one of our friends to share about her experience as she stepped into the unknown and got involved with Around the Table. Enjoy!

Genesis 6, the Kitchen Table & Our Name

I prayed for a long time about the name of the ministry God had placed in my heart. Not just any name would do, it had to have meaning. On March 7, 2014, I was reading Genesis 6 and when I came to verse 8 it caused me to pause, “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” As I looked up the meaning of grace I read that it meant favor. I believe that we have favor with God, and that it is because of his saving grace that we can have relationship with him. This verse made me think back to a time when my boy was small and we were just getting established in a place of our own.