God’s Grace ~ Sharing from the Heart

Inspire others...share!

How often do you find yourself in a position to do an amazing thing for someone else? Maybe it’s just sharing a meal, or carrying groceries, or even taking care of a bill for someone. Whether BIG or small, all you do to show  love to someone else really matters. Countless times I’ve been the recipient of someone else making time for me. It doesn’t go unnoticed and I yearn to pay it forward and go as BIG as I can. Daring to be different and showing love pays back tenfold. I’m sharing from the heart today of God’s grace in recent days.

Dare to be Different ~ Farm Fresh Eggs Demonstrate God's Grace | prodigalpieces.com

I feel I should apologize for not making more time to do this type of post because I always have so much to share. However, in my defense, I do share on social media and am always such a busy mama to take time to write a post. So, with that, sit back, grab a cuppa, and join me in my “break” of sharing joy and love.

Well, if you’ve been following for long, I recently birthed a new program called Finding Home. It’s a furniture re-homing program provided designed to bless someone who is in need of a special reward for a service they have done or are doing, or are dealing with hardships physically and/or financially by sending them a custom-finished piece of furniture.

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Prodigal Pieces Finding Home - a furniture re-homing program for those who need it most | prodigalpieces.com

We’ve had many successful deliveries of furniture and are excited to be able to keep going. The last program post was kind of a wonky launch as the chosen recipient wasn’t able to complete the process and get a piece delivered. I was feeling frustrated as I really want to help others and prayed for direction as what to do. As per usual to God’s grace, I found an answer to my prayers.

My soul purpose was to find someone who really needed furniture. God laid on my heart to donate to a local ministry called M.A.P. – Mission to Amish People. We reside in beautiful Amish country and felt that including this local ministry in our project was perfect.

M.A.P. was created in 1999 by Joe and Ester Keim…

“who are formerly Amish, to reach out to the Amish and former Amish locally in Ashland County as well as widespread to communities across the country. The Keims created a ministry called Mission to the Amish People, or “MAP” for short. MAP helps former Amish adults get their birth records, social security numbers and driver’s license.  The ministry also provides GED classes, mentoring and discipleship sessions, and counseling; it has a goal of meeting the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of those who come for help.”

In addition, their new adventure in their Beyond Measure Market has been a great success. They built a 6,000 square foot store with the focus to serve the community as well as aid single Amish women who are leaving their culture and need help getting established in the English society.

Beyond Measure Market by MAP Ministry - Mission to Amish People | via prodigalpieces.com

Not only have they built this fantastic resource, but just last March they were also able to build New Beginnings Homestead.

“For some Amish, the call to leave their community and follow Jesus is a great risk. They leave family, friends, and the only way of life they know. They enter the “English” world and are greeted by freedom and opportunity, but most times, they only bring with them a few dollars and the clothes on their back. In addition, young Amish women can face devastating vulnerability. Sometimes, they risk it all only to get trapped in relationships or desperate measures where they are easily victimized.

We have been called as a ministry to build and provide a Homestead for these young women.  We want to give them a place they can land, feel safe, and get the training they need to succeed on their own in a short period of time. This home will also provide a small living center where a mentor family will provide counsel and will teach appropriate life skills to give those that leave the preparation needed to succeed.”

New Beginnings Homestead by MAP Ministry - Mission to Amish People | via prodigalpieces.com

So…how did we find a way to plug in? Furniture! The homestead needed some furnishings and we were able to send my antique library table and my oldest daughter sent her chest of drawers. Thanks to my guys, JC and Isaac, for making the delivery while I was under the weather.

Antique Library Table Donated to MAP Ministry New Beginnings Homestead by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

Haynes Family Donates Art Deco Chest of Drawers to MAP Ministry | prodigalpieces.com

We feel so blessed!

Now, you might think that’s the end of the story, but there’s more. Yay!

If you follow me on social media, you would have seen my excited post about JC, my husband, getting to achieve a long-time dream. Here he is on his first day of school being a TEACHER.

JC on First Day of School Teaching Greek | prodigalpieces.com

Here is what I wrote:

Can I just say how proud I am of this man? Yesterday marked his first day of school…not as a student, but a teacher…his dream. My sweet husband is a genius, at least in my mind, when it comes to languages. He ranked #1 in our entire graduating class from college with his focus in Biblical languages. Won all the awards that could be had in his field from two different schools.

However, not one day has he been able to see his dream come to reality because of taking care of us, his family, providing and working in a job nowhere near his magnitude of capabilities. It in some ways breaks my heart it took so long for him to have this day, but…it’s here. It may not be his ultimate dream, but it’s a start since he needs more graduate studies under his belt to teach graduate level.  So for now he works the day job, works for our business, and now works as a teacher.

Do you know anyone else who knows 3 dead languages, carries around Hebrew & Greek flashcards in their pocket for 18 years, studies endlessly, listens to foreign language radio as he works so he can stay on top of it? Or can test out of an graduate level oral test 13 years post-graduate never having even spoke the language AND in a book he didn’t even study? I ask God why…only He knows when JC’s time to truly shine will come. Until then, we praise Him for his goodness in all ways. Keep your dreams alive!

Although he was invited to teach months prior, the crazy, stressful part about this was we didn’t find out he would actually be teaching this fall until a few days before school started. Whew!

The kids and I threw together a quick celebration party with his favorite homemade pizza.

Celebrating JC as he begins his dream of teaching | prodigalpieces.com

All in God’s time. He is sufficient to meet all our needs and go beyond our expectations.

JC Teaching his Greek Class to Students | prodigalpieces.com

Now…as if that wasn’t enough, I’ve got more. tee hee! After we delivered the furniture to MAP, I felt an ache. Seeing all the damage happening in North Carolina from the hurricane was horrible. Back after hurricane Harvey, I found a way to make a small contribution to help those in need. You can read about that HERE.

This time around, I wasn’t sure where to plug in, until I ran across an acquaintance’s feed on my timeline on Facebook. Julie and her family of four live in Lumberton, NC and had experienced heavy loss only 16 months ago from a previous hurricane. Sadly, after being hit hard again, they had no resources to leave or to prepare for what was to come.

I dropped a comment asking how she could use help. Mind you, I’ve not really communicated with her before, but knew there’s gotta be something I can do. She messaged me telling me that they needed a water heater, towels, food, and furniture. BINGO!!

Instantly I told her I wanted to send her a buffet I recently did if she was game for it. She accepted graciously and my heart soared. Because the buffet was a long one, I knew it would have extra room to fill with other needs. I couldn’t wait to get started. My family and I have hit hard times and know what it’s like to go without. You hate to ask for help, and you feel at a low. It stinks.

Here’s where it gets even more interesting. Just a few days before this, I mapped out to my family how we could take care of another outstanding debt before the year was over if we worked hard and stayed frugal. If you’d like to hear how I celebrated my 40th birthday with a debt paid off, you can read the fun HERE.

I tend to be a little jump-the-gun style and I was nervous after I committed to send this pallet to Julie and her family. However, I had no doubt that God would take care of us and them too. On the day I was sending the monthly chunk of change to eliminate this debt, I checked our balance and decided to add an extra $100 to the amount. I had no idea where that would come from, but felt the need to do that to hit a certain dollar amount remaining. Not even two seconds after I hit “send”, a sale notification from my online shop came up on my phone that would not only cover the cost of the shipment, but also the extra $100!!

Tears flowed. I knew without a doubt this was confirmation I was doing the right thing. Trusting can be so hard, but it pays off every time!

We began to prepare the shipment and asked a few people to help us collect the much needed items. My good friend, Mandy and her family, has a ministry called Paid in Full, who helped out with some clothes and non-perishables. I called on my parents and a couple of friends to send a PayPal gift to help her out until our pallet arrived. The flooding was delaying delivery and causing frustration too. So, HUGE thanks to my mom and dad, Nancy at Artsy Chicks Rule, and Lauren at Bless’er House. You made such an impact!

JC took the buffet in with him before work and got it prepared to ship. Meanwhile, we headed to the grocery store and loaded up our truck. You could only see heads peeking out. My kids loved it!

Truck Loaded Full of Hurricane Donations | prodigalpieces.com

Gratefully, we ended up with a huge load. However, I was worried the supplies wouldn’t fit or cause the rate to go to oversize. First, JC built the pallet and set up the buffet. While he did that we boxed all the supplies hoping to squeeze it all in as best we could.

Buffet Ready to Ship | prodigalpieces.com

Amazingly enough, it all fit like a glove. {{happy dance}}

Preparing Pallet to Ship to Hurricane Victims | prodigalpieces.com

Pallet Prepared with Supplies and Gifts for Finding Home Program by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

Once we reached this point it was around 7 pm and everyone was getting hungry and tired. JC would complete the banding and wrapping the next work day. High five to my gang for getting it done lickety-split! And also huge thanks to my husband’s workplace for letting us use their facilities and supplies on a regular basis.

Haynes Family with Finding Home Gift | prodigalpieces.com

Up next is Trash to Treasure time and I can’t wait to show you what I’m going to do with this. woot!

Raw Pine Tongue and Groove Planks for DIY Antique Store Sign | prodigalpieces.com

To get these DIY tips & tricks in your inbox, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. PLUS, you will get your FREE Furniture Buying Checklist and special discount to my shop. Until next time!

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More of my stories of God’s grace:

How to Make Sense of Troubles in Life with God's Grace | Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.comMy story of determination and finding God in the hard times by Larissa Haynes of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

 


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24 Comments

  • Sheryl Danner

    This is a great post Larissa. You never cease to amaze me with your grace and faith, and I have learned so much from you through your posts. I have antique booths and am always rehabbing furniture. Your tips from the awesome Zebra brushes, to paint techniques, to the tool for removing staples have helped to make my work much easier. Congratulations to your hubby, and many thanks to you for your inspiration!

    October 4, 2018 at 8:35 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Sheryl. I’m delighted to hear your feedback and encouraging words. Hugs!

      October 4, 2018 at 8:57 am Reply
  • Betty M

    Isn’t it funny Larissa that giving to others in many cases blesses you more than them? You and your family are an inspiration to me and I plan to be more giving (and forgiving) going forward. Awesome story! Thanks for continuing to share your journey.

    October 4, 2018 at 8:39 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Yes!! So very true, Betty. What a wonderful way to hear from those I write for. Thank you!

      October 4, 2018 at 8:58 am Reply
  • Lilly

    What a blessing you have been to this family! Love hearing stories of people paying it forward. And YES, God ALWAYS provides!

    October 4, 2018 at 8:44 am Reply
    • Larissa

      We honestly wish we can do more and praying for doors to open so we can continue. Thank you so much, Lily. He sure does provide! 😀

      October 4, 2018 at 8:58 am Reply
  • Carol S

    So inspiring and so wonderful, Larissa. Thanks for sharing this story and all the God-incidences. Congratulations to your hubby, although, I don’t know how you and he juggle so much. Please remember to take care of yourselves along the way. You seem to be “under the weather” a lot. Rest is part of God’s plan too. Hugs and prayers.

    October 4, 2018 at 8:57 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you! I have been under attack from doing work for God. Not doing too much, just doing what God wants, which is what the devil hates. We’ve had many trials as we have tried to accomplish all this and are happy to say God wins again! 😀 Plus, 6 kids tend to bring much home and share. haha.

      October 4, 2018 at 9:02 am Reply
  • Cecilia

    Larissa, this brought tears to my eyes. God loves a cheerful giver, and you and your family are indeed that! May He continue to bless you and your family. And congratulations to your hubby on his teaching job too! God’s timing, that’s what it’s all about!

    October 4, 2018 at 9:36 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Just to know we can do something means the world to me. I used to always say I never wanted to be rich, but have enough to share. There were times I felt we’d never be able to, so this is an answer to prayer. Thank you, Cecilia!

      October 4, 2018 at 11:37 am Reply
  • Debra A Wise

    Larissa, you and your family are a reflection of what God wants us to be and how He wants us to help others! You continually inspire me by both your talent and sharing of God. I appreciate that you’re a Christian and share what God leads you to do! He will surely bless you for following His will. Congratulations to your hubs on his teaching job. It’s sometimes hard to wait on God’s timing but we know His is perfect for our needs.

    October 4, 2018 at 9:57 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Debra. We try and often feel like we mess up, but we focus on the trying part and feel we do what we can. He sure does know best and I’m so thankful.

      October 4, 2018 at 4:07 pm Reply
  • Lori

    Thank you for being so kind and generous. I am glad that the Lord is the center of your life.

    October 4, 2018 at 10:39 am Reply
    • Larissa

      He is my all and all, Lori. Thank you for joining us on our journey.

      October 4, 2018 at 4:08 pm Reply
  • Fran

    Amazing, inspirational and God loving post! Thank you so much for sharing your creativity, generosity, and God’s faithfulness and grace! Blessings to you and your family!!!

    October 4, 2018 at 11:28 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Wahoo!! I’m so happy to hear it, Fran. Thank you!!

      October 4, 2018 at 4:08 pm Reply
  • Linda Chancey

    So grateful to hear about your sweet husband. Your blog has always blessed me. God is so good and you reflect His heart so well. Blessed to be a blessing!

    October 5, 2018 at 9:59 am Reply
    • Larissa

      My pleasure to share, Linda. Thank you so much!

      October 5, 2018 at 9:38 pm Reply
  • Mary

    What an inspiring wonderful lady you are. And you have such a wonderful family that you and JC have raised well. God bless you Larissa and I look forward to all that the bright future hold for your family.

    October 5, 2018 at 12:01 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      You are a blessing, Mary. We feel that this is what is right and so goes along with my heart. Thank you!

      October 5, 2018 at 9:39 pm Reply
  • Kristina Austin

    Incredible story Larissa, thank you for sharing with us. You and your family are truly what God wants us to be and how He wants us to help others! You continually inspire me in so many ways by both your talent and sharing of how God touches you and your family daily in those small ways that I so often miss. You help me to look closer and be more thankful for what I do have and how He does touch me and knows I’m here. That has always been a struggle for me and it’s crazy that I started viewing your blog for art inspiration but you have become so much more in my life. Thank you for all you do and who you are.

    October 5, 2018 at 1:46 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Kristina, you have truly made my day. I could shout from the rooftops of His love, and try to also inspire others to see beauty in all things. Thank YOU for making what I do possible and worth it all. Hugs!

      October 5, 2018 at 9:41 pm Reply
  • Patty Soriano

    I believe we were put here to help each other. When I hear others say the same things, it lifts my heart. Sadly, you don’t hear it very often. On the end of our world news each evening there is usually a story of someone doing something awesome for another, and it often brings tears to our eyes. But it reinforces the job we are here to do. It’s lovely the way grace came to you in this time of another’s need.

    October 8, 2018 at 9:02 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Yes, you are so right, Patty. Hearing stories of others helping others is so empowering and refreshing. We definitely could use more. Thank you for stopping by. 😀

      October 9, 2018 at 4:29 am Reply

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