Give Our Mamas a Little Love this Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day can be beautiful and it can be lame. I am pretty sure we are all agreed on that. For many, it is simply a reminder that we often find ourselves alone in life. For me, it has been an anniversary of the day my parents died. Late, late, late, on February 14th, 1998, a policeman and a priest showed up at the door to tell me that our parents had died in a car accident. It has taken all this time to begin to enjoy the day (16 years in just a few weeks). Part of my healing has come from my precious husband, David, who celebrates our love but also holds me when I cry. He has, in a word, redeemed Valentines Day for me.

Many of our mothers are loathing the celebration of love that is upon us. For some of them, they have never ever experienced a deep and satisfying love on this earth. This day is a reminder of their aloneness . . . and a broken marriage. That is how it was for me . . . for so many years. Unloved (and without another chance at love, or so I thought), I dreaded the day. I made it for my children, which was sweet. But, I was relieved when it was over.

Kelley, Dawn and I want to begin the process of redemption of the “love holiday” for our mamas. Obviously, we cannot “be their Valentine” or even begin to fill the gap . . . but we can show them just a spark, a bit, a seed of the Ultimate Love that fills our hearts as the Church . . . as His Bride. We can remind them of the deep deep love of Jesus, who IS Love by sending them a small gift this February 14th, reminding them, as always, that they are loved and cherished by us and by Christ. Will you join us?

By clicking below, you can give an inexpensive (but yummy) treat to one of 17 mamas who need to feel loved in February. If you want to give more — give more! You should know that we three ladies can take the littlest bit and turn it into something good . . . . quality . . . beauty. So, come now! Press that button! Donate!! Help us give each of “our” mamas a smile this Valentine’s Day! Go here to donate!


Christmas 2013 Recap

I’ll just be honest.  Early December is a blur.  A distant memory.  A fuzzy memory.  Things were moving quickly, and there were many times I felt swamped.  Likely that is because I was LITERALLY swamped.  Why?  Settle in, sweets… it’s story time.

There was a point way back in late August when us gals at Give Her Wings were chatting… in a Facebook chat box, of course… about how much fun our August campaign had been.  The response from our supporters was fantastic, and we loved the process of gifting small items to our mamas as much as they loved receiving them.  During that campaign, a donor had purchased a hand held video game system for one of our kiddos. Her mamma had sent us a precious thank you note, and mentioned that the gift was hidden away for Christmas because it would be a perfect gift under the tree.  And then it hit us.  So many of our mammas are struggling to pay for their electricity and food… how do they “do” Christmas?

We chatted through what Christmas might look like for one of our mammas.  When words like “lonely, difficult, cold, and struggle,” started popping up, it became immediately obvious that Christmas wouldn’t be so merry for many of them.  Combine the struggles of every day to the reality that there was likely no money in the budget for gifts for the kids, and the picture was pretty bleak.  And well, we just couldn’t have that.  While we all KNOW that Christmas is about more than gifts, most of us make that kind of statement  while nestled comfortably around our family, food, and gifts, all warm and cozy.  We could not put families back together, heal wounds, fill empty bank accounts, or change bleak situations, but maybe we COULD give a gift.  Show some love.  Put a few items under the tree that said, “You are special and we care so much about you and your family.”

The plan started very simply.  One gift per child.  A single gift for every child of our mammas.  AND, if our campaign was going splendidly, we hoped to also purchase a small gift for our mammas too.  (We knew they would want the kiddos to be provided for first, so we set our priorities accordingly.)  We laughed as we tried to guess what kind of gifts a teenage boy would want… unchartered territory for three women who have never had a teenage son!  We needed some help, so we enlisted one of our mammas!  It was such a blessing to watch her in action as she helped us choose appropriate gifts based on age, responsibilities, weather, special needs, and other factors.  Our mamma was AMAZING.  (She can be my personal shopper anytime!)  We also contacted some of the mammas individually and used their input to help put together a wish list.

From there, the concept of a “store” came to life.  Our sweet supporters could CHOOSE the gifts they wanted to give, pay for them right there in the store, and we would take care of the rest!  Dawn worked her magic on the website and the finished product was just incredible.  Even more incredible?  The IMMEDIATE response from our supporters!

I truly wish that everyone could’ve watched US as we watched the items being purchased, and flying off our shelf!  My phone was “dinging” all day with notifications as Dawn or Megan would squeal, “Someone bought the tool kit!” or “Tea Party Set is sold!”  (Confession:  this was MORE fun than watching the last hour of your eBay auction when three people get in a bidding war for an item you just want gone from your house….)

Then we had a problem.  Our items were selling out and it was still early November.  What if we added some things?  Would they sell?  I think confirmation for this came one crazy morning when I posted in our message box about how I had woken up in the middle of the night, thinking about a story I had read to the kids from the Jesus Storybook Bible.  And it was suddenly on my heart to get a Bible like that in the hands of every one of our mammas.  I told Dawn and Megan, posted pictures of the pages I had read to the kids, and we decided to just go for it!   And, as they always do, our supporters jumped in and bought them…all of them!  So, we decided that Christmas was going to get bigger and better.

Donors began stepping in with their own ideas for making this Christmas merrier.  They were offering to do things that we had not considered.  Stockings for each kiddo came into play.  “Pampering” gifts for our mammas.  Donated bags and totes to put the gifts in!  Pajamas for Christmas morning. It was growing, and growing, and growing.  (Much like the Grinch’s heart, if we’re sticking with Christmas themes here…. yes, you know the scene.  Makes you smile every time.)

Many of our “store” items had been directly shipped to the mammas… they were all hiding Christmas goodies in closets and under beds and such.  But our extras had to be delivered somewhere “neutral” to protect the names/locations of our families.  I volunteered my home.  Why?  It was simple. My favorite part of the whole Christmas gift tradition is wrapping gifts.  Seriously.  I love it.  And I love thinking about the recipient as they unwrap it, and I love boxing them and shipping them and, and, and…  so, I got to be “Give Her Wings Central” for this campaign.  Oh boy, oh boy.  I volunteered BEFORE it grew like the Grinch’s heart.  In hindsight, a large storage unit may have been needed!  I apologized to my husband when I notified him that he would see his desk (and the whole office) AFTER Christmas.  He didn’t care.

Items started arriving.  Everyday.  The FedEx and UPS men both had to ask at one point.  I really chuckled the day FedEx arrived about the same time as my husband and his employees.  You cannot imagine the blessing (and humor) in hearing my husband’s employee tell the FedEx man about Give Her Wings and the Merry Little Christmas campaign as they worked together to haul a few BIG boxes in the door.  To listen to this man talk about an American Girl doll (he is single, with no children) and where it was headed was kind of music to my ears.  These men hauled boxes, moved boxes, carried boxes to my car… and got to listen to me talk about boxes!  My point here?  This campaign was contagious!  It seemed that every time I opened my mouth to talk about it, someone wanted to help!  And they did!

(Dawn and Megan were having the same experiences, as donations and gifts were handed to us at every turn.  We were in tears one Sunday afternoon as we all hopped into our chat box to say the same thing… someone at church had handed us a donation.  That’s right.  Three different states, three different churches, three different donations… one Sunday morning.)

I have story after story about check out clerks who broke into smiles (or tears) when I told them what I was up to.  (They have to ask questions when you are buying 35 boxes of movie candy one random Thursday morning, or 17 cookie kits late at night…).  It seemed that everyone had a personal story to share about a woman in their life who could’ve used a Merry Little Christmas once upon a time.  I shed tears with a woman in a Dollar Tree.  I hugged a clerk at Big Lots.  I made friends with the postal employees.  And it was pure joy.

Yes, I was swamped.  Literally swamped.  The office area of our house was reduced to a small path for navigating through the middle.  The rest was covered.  Stacked. Consumed by the Merry Little Christmas campaign.  (I had to clean it up to take a picture!)   I fulfilled my need to wrap gifts.  And then promptly wrapped at least 50 more!   (My kids may or may not have received their own gifts in gift bags this year…. ahem.)  I cannot describe to you the happiness I felt in weeding through all these gifts that represented love and care for our mammas and children.  It was an honor to crawl over boxes and sort items and work through the insanity of making sure that each gift was in the right box for shipping!

So honestly?  Early December is a blur.  But it is a beautiful blur of joy and tears and exhaustion and giggling… and knowing that we helped HER have a Merry Little Christmas.  And if I think about it, it really helped ME to have a Merry Little Christmas.  I can speak for Dawn and Megan as well.  This campaign was a favorite.  It confirmed for us that this organization is very much needed.  That expansion is a necessity.  That a non-profit status is a must.  That clearly our supporters love our girls and will continue to care for them.  And that our Father is using these little ideas and concepts and campaigns to bless EVERYONE involved.

I did manage to capture some of “blur” of this project and I think that the pictures are worth a thousand words.  Enjoy our little video.  Revel in what YOU helped to accomplish this past Christmas.  Share it with your friends, talk about us.  Talk about our mammas.  We are growing and we want you on the journey…. thank you for walking this path with us. I cannot help but smile when I think about all that is to come.

Merriest of Little Christmases,


Looking forward to 2014

The GHW team is still completely overwhelmed with the love and generosity poured out during our Christmas campaign and for our December mama.  There’s another post on the way about that.

For now, I just want to give you a little update on what’s going on here at GHW…

First of all, Megan, Kelley and I have all enjoyed this little break with our families during the holidays.  It’s been a good time for us to get refreshed and geared up for the new year and all it will bring.

“What is it going to bring?”, you ask.

It will undoubtedly bring new mamas and children into our GHW family. It will also bring new ideas of ways for us to help (some of these we know and some we’re still working on)

The biggest news for this month is something we told you was coming…

We are beginning our journey to becoming an official 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.  We are excited about the new opportunities this will bring Give Her Wings to grow.  The credibility it gives & the tax benefits to donors will encourage more people and organizations to get involved.

We thank you in advance for any prayers for Give Her Wings and Megan, Kelley and me as we begin this process.  We’re confident that we are following God’s plan for GHW and desire to continue on that path.

Also, please consider donating this month toward the legal/accounting fees, accounting software, and any other office expenses we come upon. There is a donation button on the sidebar of this page and on the bottom of each page of the website.

Thanks again for all you do to encourage us and to lavish love on “our” mamas.  We love and appreciate all our supporters.

Our December Mother — “Courage To Soar”!

We would like to introduce our newest member of the Give Her Wings family — “Courage to Soar”. This dear mother of three took her children and herself away from a highly abusive husband/father. Courage is incredibly brave (in our book) because she left a well-respected pastor (yes, her ex husband was a pastor) in order to give her three children a healthy life.  In the process, Courage lost the support of her family and her ‘c’hurch family. Finding herself completely alone, Courage has also managed to share her story with the authorities. Her ex husband is currently being charged with criminal sexual conduct, invasion of privacy and criminal defamation. Courage’s stress level is extreme . . . but she continues to work hard and do her best to provide for her children.

Our hearts feel a deep concern for Courage because it is the holidays . . . and, when I spoke with her last week, she had only $3 in her checking account. I cannot imagine how scary life is right now for this dear lady. It is not an easy time for her. Here is a bit of her story in her words:

I’m a single mom of 3 beautiful children. I have a 14 year old autistic son, a 13 year old son and my youngest is my little 11 year old princess. I have been living in a verbally, physically and sexually abusive marriage for 15 years now and finally found the strength and courage to seek safety and freedom. I’ve been on my own with my kids for 9 months now. It’s been a struggle in every sense of the word, but yet an amazing journey! I’m learning how to trust myself and my decisions again. I’ve been learning that I will be ok! That I can be ok! I have choices! My choices have not always been popular and through my choosing to keep both myself and my children safe I’ve lost most of my family. Would I change those decisions? No! I know, in-spite of the pressure to return to the abuser to save face, that each decision I’ve made over the past 9 months have been the right ones. God has been showing HIMSELF to is in such a real way! I wouldn’t trade that! I don’t have support of my family but I have the support of people those at Give Her Wings! My heart is ever grateful for their love and support!!! I’m pressing on! Taking another step! And growing! ~Courage to Soar

We want to help our dear sister, Courage, during the month of December. This will be our last campaign before we take time off to become non-profit. We “fronted” Courage (by faith) over $300 last month to cover an electric bill and some gas money. We have also already been given $500 toward this campaign (yay!). We need to raise $1000 still. I do not think I need explain how much this will mean to our mother this Christmas season. And, as always, our goal is to remind her how much she is loved and cared about. She is not forgotten by God or by the Church.

Won’t you help us?

Why I Love “Help(ing) HER have a Merry Little Christmas”

I’m not much of one to cry when I’m happy.  I can cry a river when I’m sad, but it takes something really special to make me tear up with joy.  But, I’ve done just that several times this month.  And, every time it’s been when I was telling someone about the “Help HER have a Merry Little Christmas ‘store'” and the lovely response that it’s gotten from people.

I’m starting to figure out why that is. Although my family and my life aren’t perfect, I have to say that I’ve been blessed with many happy memories of Christmases past:

  • I remember my dad strapping a Christmas tree on the top of our car and driving from NC to MD.  By the time we got there it looked like something Charlie Brown picked out.
  • I remember my sister L peeling the stickers off of her off-brand Rubik’s cube and showing it to those of us in the other car on a trip up to grandma’s.  We so believed she solved it.
  • I remember having to go to BOTH grandparents’ houses for a Christmas meal because they wanted us there.
  • I remember baking Christmas cookies with my sisters and my mom and sometimes my grandmother
  • I remember my sister B and I licking candy canes to sharp points and sticking each other with them, probably while complaining that someone crossed the middle of the backseat.  (but your kids didn’t hear it from me)
  • I remember my now-28-year-old nephew making police car noises and telling me I had a police car stuck on my head.  In the back of a station wagon.  For 6 hours.   (He’d had a toy police car stuck in his hair a couple weeks earlier)
  • I remember our finding out my cousin was having her new boyfriend over for Christmas,  and my dad pulling out a can of tennis balls from the trunk of the car It went something like this: “We can wrap these up for him.”  “Oh, does he play tennis?”  “I have no idea”.  He didn’t play tennis.
  • I remember all the years when a family member would be trying to figure out what to get someone for Christmas.  Another family member almost always said, “why don’t you get him/her some tennis balls?”
  • I remember last year in the hospital my dad opening up the tennis ball that “Santa” left him and laughing hysterically.

But, one of the Christmases I remember the most was the one when I was 13. We were moving to a new city over Christmas break.  The house we were going to rent wasn’t going to be ready until Jan 1.  I’ll spare the details, but the reason for our move wasn’t a fun one and we had to move out of our old house the week before Christmas.   I was angry.  I was confused.  I was sad.

That Christmas, there were 5 of us in my older sister’s one-bedroom apartment with little to no heat, mattresses on the floor,  a dog, and a cat that loved to terrorize everyone.  Overnight on Christmas Eve, I developed a raging ear infection that ruptured my ear drum.  I was running a fever and was in severe pain by Christmas afternoon.  There wasn’t much room in the apartment kitchen, so we went to my older brother’s place for lunch. When we came back, we realized nobody had taken a set of apartment keys with them

Picture this… 3 adults, a college freshman, and a sick middle schooler…on the landing of a second story apartment on the main downtown street. So what was the most reasonable thing to do?  Of course…use the table knife in mom’s bag to break into the kitchen window.  Yes, my father, known as a pastor to the people in the area, was breaking into the apartment above one of the most well known florists in town.  On Christmas day.

Oh wait…it get’s better.  My mother (the pastor’s wife) then climbed through the kitchen window, across the table, and came through to open the front door.

Other than a very vivid memory of thinking I was eating a piece of candy with coconut in it while biting into a bourbon ball that one of my sister’s clients had put in her candy basket, I don’t remember much else about that day.  (I still can’t stand the smell of bourbon balls)

Little Girl Smiling

Honestly, that Christmas could have gone down on record as one of the worst Christmases ever. But, every time I think about or tell that story, I get a cheesy grin on my face, much like the one that 3-year-old me has in this picture.

I don’t remember ever having a Christmas that I would call bad.  I remember that I did get presents every year, but I don’t remember what most of them were.  Looking back, the specific presents weren’t so special by themselves.

Besides the obvious celebration Jesus’ birth, I think the reason for that cheesy grin is that I’ve always known that someone loves me.

(Ok, I’m crying again…)

I don’t know what kind of Christmases our GHW mamas and their children have had before.  But it touches me at my very core to know that THIS Christmas they will know that they are loved.   Every person that has provided a gift loves them.  Everyone that prays for them loves them.  The GHW team loves them.  God loves them.

Thank you to every one of you who has helped me have a front seat to see the miracle of love flowing out to these families.  I am blessed daily by your generosity and your kind words.

If you haven’t yet visited our “Help Her Have a Merry Little Christmas” store, and you are able, please do so and help us to show “our” mamas and children extravagant love this Christmas! If you already have, please share the link with others.  We’ll be adding even more options in the next few days.

Kat’s Story and Why She Helps

We have been blessed by some regular “givers”. But, Kat does not only help our cause, she encourages the down-trodden and uplifts the oppressed in a thousand ways. She is an inspiration. We have the privilege of being able to share her personal testimony here at our blog. Thank you, Kat. Read why Kat helps spiritual widows and orphans and be edified:

My father left my mom when I was less than one month old. She says he left when I was literally at her breast. I have two older brothers 4 and 8 years ahead of me. Mom has an amazing life story. Adventurous, educated, humorous and friendly. She’d been a teacher off and on after meeting my dad and moving to El Paso, TX, to marry him. She’d been a TV producer in San Francisco.

Her story: my dad couldn’t keep a job.

His story: she was crazy.
My story: They’re both right.

So, my mom had to go to work and find someone to care for me. My brothers were in preschool and elementary school. I was the one with the greatest needs. Thankfully, we lived on the border when it was more open than it is now. My mom couldn’t have afforded much. but we lived in a nice middle class neighborhood, anyway. She fed us rice, pasta, corn flakes ad nauseum. My mother had been raised in Virginia during the Depression. She knew how to pinch pennies, even if she didn’t know how to cook.

Back in the seventies, people would cross the border to “shop” with shopping passes. The women would board busses and go to jobs cleaning houses. The men would wait for trucks to drive downtown and offer them jobs — mowing, roofing and yard work. These people were risking it all to put food on the table at home.
We went through several maids (they’d be called housekeepers/nannies now). They’d live at our house Mon-Sat am for a whopping $70 a week (standard pay at the time).

I don’t know the total headcount. I know my middle brother was fondled in the tub by one woman as a little boy. When he innocently recounted story, my mom packed the woman up and put her on the curb. It must have been many years . . . I remember being hit in the head with brushes when I’d cry while the tangles were being yanked from my head. Another woman locked me in her bedroom with a black and white TV showing Mexican soap operas.
I can only imagine the complete horror my mom felt when I recounted those scenes at the dinner table.

Then came the angel that saved my life. Maria. She was much older than my mom (who was 41 years my senior). Her hands smelled of hand cream. Her wrinkles were deep and smooth. She sang while she scrubbed and cleaned and told me how much God loved me. She laid on my bed with me until I fell asleep. I tiptoed past my mom’s bed when I had bad dreams and into hers. She spoke only Spanish; I spoke only English. She wouldn’t correct me. It wasn’t her place, she said. So, we had our own language. It was love. Pure love. she told me how God loved me and would always love me. How much she loved me.

I got to travel over the border with her, once, when I was about 10. She must have been 75. There I was with blonde pigtails riding the busses and vans down dirt roads holding the hands of MY Maria! My protector, my Angel.

You see, she knew what I didn’t fully comprehend until after she passed away: my mother was a sick, mean woman. Constantly under the care of a psychiatrist, yet she never really understood.
She was smart and charming. And had the tongue of a viper.

I was called “Selfish Bitch” from the time I was five. My mother withdrew her love when I was less than perfect, but never gave it to me even when I was. Her tongue cut me down daily. As she drove me to church, ballet, private music lessons, etc., I endured her disdain.

Oh, we looked good from the outside! She was a whiz with money. She could provide clothes and home for us. She had a good job. She made friends everywhere we went.

But at home….sick and full of hate.

Maria loved on me. Raised me. Told me where my worth was…in Christ alone. She had to leave her 6 children to take care of me and put food on their table. She knew struggle. She knew pain. But she knew a love that surpassed all of that.

My mother remarried when I was in second grade. Cold and indifferent, he only lasted 5 years. But he wore Maria out. She was uneasy with him. And she was getting old. She “retired” a few years into that marriage. I knew she worked tirelessly at home.

We wrote each other. Maria’s nieces and nephews would write for her and translate my letters for her. I found neighbors to translate hers.
My mothers verbal and emotional abuse never ceased. Still to this day, she is volatile and unsafe. She is now almost 82 years old. When struggling with dementia, my brothers and I found out her brothers had molested her. No wonder she was sick and mean!!

I forgive her. Anything else would eat me alive. And did for years and years. But, I guard my heart and my precious family. The generational sin stops HERE. NOW.

I will not allow her around me without a friend or my husband. I will not allow her in my home. She still can swear and cut down me or my family in the blink of an eye.

Maria. She is my mother. When she died, I went to her funeral. As a senior in high school, I got to weep with her children. In her cement-floored home with no bathroom, she was laid out in the most beautiful coffin. We cried and held hands and told stories. Her youngest told me how she’d resented me as a young girl because Maria would tell her that I needed her more as she left every Monday after only being home less than 48 hours. Weeping and holding each other, she said how she came to understand that my danger was real. And that her mother had a purpose…to love me and show me the love of Christ.

She gave all she had. Her love. And I choose to do the same.

I learned how not to be from my mom. My father was not a part of my life other than miserably awkward required visits that ended when I turned 18.

I learned to love; I learned to give; I learned to trust that God has a plan…even in the murkey waters of life….to show His love to us and through us.

Maria loved me when she had nothing. How much more can you ask of a person? That, my friend, is Christ.

There are so many out there who are hurt by husbands, boyfriends, mothers, fathers. We live in a fallen world. But that doesn’t mean we fall over. We rise up…praising God and sharing the love that he gives. For without it, I would be nothing.

The end.
Or…the middle or the beginning.

“Help Her Have a Merry Little Christmas” Store – Now Open

In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve “decorated” for Christmas here on the GHW site.  We’re getting a jump on the Christmas rush.  Why?  Because our mamas and kiddos are important to us. We want them to feel the love of God in a tangible way. We want them to have gifts this Christmas.

Our “Help Her Have a Merry Little Christmas” store is now open! It will be open at least through the end of November so you can be a part of loving them in this way.

"Help Her Have a Merry Little Christmas" Store - Now Open!

The details are all over at the store, but this is the general idea…  pick an item from the store, pay for it, we’ll send it along.  You aren’t buying direct from a retailer.  You’re donating the money to GHW, and we will turn around and purchase and send the item to the intended GHW family for you.  This method keeps their privacy intact.

Besides toys and clothes, you’ll see some grown up items like work boots and tools in our shop.  That’s because there are some precious teenage boys who have had to take on responsibilities for some big chores for their mother and younger siblings.

The Give Her Wings team is continuously overwhelmed by your generosity.  Thank you for being a part of showering each of our mamas with love. Thank you in advance for Helping HER to have a Merry Little Christmas.

If you haven’t seen it over on our Facebook page, here’s just a little silliness to show you how excited we are…

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

What Christmas May Be Like for Our Mamas

The first Christmas I had alone with the children was . . . bitter-sweet. It was (by far) the most peaceful time that we had together in, well  . .  . ever. We were calm. Two nights before Christmas, I turned down all the lights except the tree and allowed the two bigger kids to sleep in the living room. I sang them Christmas carols for 30 minutes. They slept sweetly. The next morning, on the 24th, we celebrated Christmas together. The children opened their presents. My friend, April, had taken the kids shopping to allow them to get gifts for me (so sweet). We had a precious morning.

Later that day, on the 24th, we packed all our things and went and “hid” at a friend’s house. My first husband was coming to town and he was hoping to see us . . . meet with us . . . he even insisted that he STAY with us. So, we took all the kids’ new toys and left for a week or more (I cannot remember). It was not ideal. But, we were OK. The children were happy. They had no idea of the anxiety I felt during that time. The fear.

They also did not know that I was barely getting by. What money I did receive back then from my ex went to paying for food and the energy bill for the sweet little house we were borrowing in Nebraska. I was trying to work but it was very very difficult . . . I had four children. Stress was mounting.

Something that made me especially sad (and still does from time to time) is that the children lost all of their toys and books when we left. We had nothing except a week’s worth of (summer) clothes, our Bibles and one toy each child was allowed to bring.

But, that Christmas . . . something happened that I will never, ever forget. A friend in Nebraska took me shopping and we picked out four BIG gifts for the children. Then, something even more amazing happened . . . I got a letter from a long-time friend, Taryn, telling me that she and a group of friends wanted to supply the children with gifts for Christmas. This was unbelievable. Unbelievable to this mama’s ears and heart. Overwhelming. And not only did they want to supply gifts, they wanted to be SURE that they got what the children needed and wanted. She asked me to make a list of what their little hearts desired. It was not easy for me because I felt like I was asking for something. But, she was kind and gracious and I sent her the list.

That Christmas, the children were flooded with wonderful gifts that they truly loved and wanted. Those gifts are still treasured in this household.

This month, Give Her Wings wants to do something similar for all our mamas and their sweet children. We have contacted 17 mothers who are struggling greatly this Christmas. They have sweet babies who will not be getting much for Christmas this year (if anything). To make matters worse, these mamas have been abandoned by family and by church members and left to get through the holidays on their own.

When we contacted them, many of them sent us really sweet ideas for what their children want. Heart-break-ing-ly, most of them told us that their kids need warm clothes . . . or shoes . . . The team at Give Her Wings is compiling a list of what each family needs and . . . we are asking you to consider adopting some of these precious children and mamas into your hearts and purchase something for them. Some of the gifts are fun (a little girl’s tea-set or a loom bracelet maker) and some of them are necessities. I am tearing up now thinking of what one mother wrote me:

It is difficult to think of wants when they are cold.

Children at Christmas should have a list of what they want. Some of our kiddos just want to feel warm.

Please join with us. I am going to ask our entire church choir to participate. Maybe you have a group at work who would help? Or maybe a church group or even a group of families could get together to make this Christmas somewhat joyful for mamas whose hearts are broken . . . especially for their own children. Please. Watch for our “store” that is coming up soon. We want to help this Christmas season. Be generous in spirit. Join us.


Committing to the Journey — by Michael Ramsey

We celebrate when someone we love is able to escape an abusive relationship. We are relieved that such a painful part of their journey has ended, and we are optimistic about what the road ahead will look like for them.  While it may feel that they have reached the climax and resolution in their story, there are still important days ahead. In fact, the first few months after leaving an abusive relationship are critical for that person’s future relational success and satisfaction.  Remembering a couple of key facts will allow us to support and care for those we love after they have escaped a toxic relationship.

Reminder #1: We can do life with them, but never for them.

Most people who have been abused have been stripped of their sense of self-worth and significance. Establishing a relationship with them in which you constantly give and they are constantly receiving (time, advice, financial support, etc…) only worsens the problem. Persons who have faced abuse in the past have tons to offer the world, but it may take them time to rediscover what that might look like. They will need for you to give at times, but will also need you to step back and allow them to give as well.  Ask them for their advice about something going on in your life, allow them to buy lunch for you if they offer, it’s amazing how such small gestures can help rebuild someone’s confidence.

Reminder #2: They may initially be in greater pain or discomfort than they were while in their abusive relationship.

This one is easy to miss. It would seem that escaping the nightmares of abuse would immediately increase someone’s quality of life. Leaving the relationship is an incredibly healthy step, but it won’t always feel good right away. It’s not uncommon for people to experience increased anxiety and deeper depression for the first several weeks or even months after leaving a toxic relationship. A common and especially hideous lie that abusers tell their spouses is that they could never live life on their own. They are told that they are not strong or smart enough to handle life alone. These lies often sink down deep inside of an abused person, creating levels of self-doubt and fear that can feel suffocating. Over time as the lies are replaced by the truth of their worth, they will begin to experience greater relief and satisfaction.

Reminder #3: Their perception of relationships might be skewed for a while.

For those who are being worn down by loneliness and fear a new relationship to replace the old one will be incredibly tempting. This is a fragile and dangerous time for them to enter into a new relationship, however. It’s not impossible to enter a relationship that is healthy at this point, but it can be difficult and a bit tricky. The stronger they become the more ready they will be to choose relationship partners well, and to be healthy in a relationship. Strength takes time.  Be patient with them, but remind them often of the temptations of jumping into something too quickly. Some may feel a great distaste or even dread concerning a future relationship. They have been hurt before and they have determined to never allow it to happen again. This opposite reaction can be very unhealthy as well over time. They are throwing the proverbial baby out with the bathwater. Again this person needs time to heal, so tread lightly. Remind them that relationships can be beautiful. Our heart for those who have been abused is that they will have the ability to choose or not choose a relationship in the future, freely and without compulsion. Your love and support will remind them that they can be cared for, and that it is safe to care for someone else.

Above all remember that caring for someone who is hurting isn’t always easy. You are making an incredible difference even when your impact isn’t visible. Investing in others is always a good choice!


October Fundraiser for “Faithful in Trials”

We know you’ve been waiting to find out about our fundraiser for October.  Wait no longer.

In a Give Her Wings first, we have a pair of exciting fundraisers.

First up, we have three online concerts.  Three artists – Steady On, Jeremy Cain and Laura Sully – are donating the proceeds from ticket sales and tips to Give Her Wings.  The shows are Oct 14, 21, & 28 respectively at 9pm EST.

Steady On, Jeremy Cain, Laura Sully - Online Benefit Concerts for Give Her Wings

And what pairs better with concerts than T-shirts?  Nothing?  Exactly what we thought.

So, we have two designs.  One for Men.  One for Women.
$26 each (+shipping)

Give Her Wings T's.  One for Her.  One for Him.

If you’re ready to buy T’s or tickets right now, here are the links:

Ladies T
Men’s T
Steady On Concert (Oct 14)
Jeremy Cain Concert (Oct 21)
Laura Sully Concert (Oct 28) – link coming soon

For further information on both T’s and concerts, go to our Current Fundraiser page.

Stay tuned, we may even have a giveaway coming 🙂