Thursday, January 28, 2010

Hope that he will...

This comes from my devotion book "Grace for the Moment" by Max Lucado.

Enjoy =)

Daughter, your faith has made you well.
Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction
---Mark 5:34 NKJV

Maybe all you have is a crazy hunch and a high hope. You have nothing to give. But you are hurting. And all you have to offer him is your hurt.

Maybe that has kept you from coming to God. Oh, you've taken a step or two in his direction. But then you saw the other people around him. They seemed so clean, so neat, so trim, and fit in their faith. And when you saw them, they blocked your view of him. So you stepped back.

If that describes you, not carefully.... one person whom Christ commended....for having faith. It wasn't a wealthy giver. It wasn't a loyal follower. It wasn't an acclaimed teacher. It was a shame-struck penniless outcast- a woman who had been bleeding for twelve years- who clutched onto her hunch that he could and her hope that he would.

Which, by the way, isn't a bad definithion of faith- A confiction that he can and a hope that he will.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Filthy rags

Today has been by far the most rewarding day EVER at my job. Where to begin??

Well, I started my day this morning by attending "Advocacy Day" at the University of Montevallo, which was pretty much a 4 hour seminar on Autism Spectrum Disorders, and a focus of Asperger's. That was extremely interesting, and I learned a ton of new things regarding the disorders.

So then came work. I only had 2 visits today (which is 2 more than I usually schedule on a Friday) so I wasn't too thrilled to be out and about ALL day!

Visit #1 was with my Hispanic family. I'll give you a brief synopsis of why DHR is involved, and what I'm doing. Domestic Violence has been a problem between mom and dad for the entire 12 years that they have been together. Two boys, ages 8 and 10 have several of the same characteristics as dad such as verbal abuse and a lack of respect towards their mother. Dad is now removed from the home and is not allowed to see the children w/o DHR's supervision.
I am working on Mom's parenting skills and the kid's behavior.

So I met with them on Tuesday and developed a new family rule where the boys only play their video games 1 hour per day. Mom said she wanted this rule to be implemented, as she feels they play their games too often. So the boys reluctantly agreed after their mother told them that they either do the 1 hour per day, or she takes away the play station forever! (Go mom!)
After the rule was set, I then talked with mom about the importance of being the parent, and enforcing the rules in the home. We also talked about providing rewards and consequences to the children. The main "skill" I taught mom was the "broken record technique" which is where the parent simply keeps saying the thing he/she wants the child to do over and over and over the same, calm tone of voice. I explained to mom that this avoids arguing with the children, and keeps you from becoming upset. All she has to do is to stay calm and to keep telling the children what she needs them to do (i.e. stop playing their video games) if they try to start an argument with her. Mom said she liked he idea and that she would TRY to start doing so.

So fast forward to this afternoon. I get to the home as soon as the boys got home from school and I ask how the week has been going. Everyone says that it has been very good! Mom even says that she is very proud of herself because she has been doing the things that we talked about earlier in the week. She said "The things you told me have helped so much!" (YAY!)
She went on to say that she even is giving them 50 cents for each time they get up on time, get dressed by themselves, eat breakfast on time, and go to bed on time. (WHOO HOO!!!)

I was ecstatic!! But that's not all!!!

She ALSO said that she took the game away from one of the boys for a day because he got in trouble...... and she stuck to it I think. (couldn't understand that part, the interpreter wasn't there today, and mom's English isn't the greatest.)
So that visit was AMAZING.....behavior had improved, the skills were being used and everybody was overall much happier!!!!!!! So guess what- they get candy bars from Mrs. Heather next week!

Visit #2 was with a couple that has been on the brink of divorce. I've been meaning to write about them, and to ask for prayers but just haven't had time. The family consists of mom, dad, and 2 boys. The youngest boy has some serious behavioral problems and is in the process of begin tested for Asperger's (omg....I just went to a seminar about that!! lol) and there is just chaos in the home. Long story short-- mom and dad don't communicate AT ALL!! The 2nd time I went out to the home, mom told me that she was done. She was filing for a divorce and finished. I encouraged them both to begin improving their communication by just talking. I told them that it didn't need to be about anything serious at first, but that they needed to learn to talk again. I recommended that they read "The Love Dare" book, as well as "The 5 Love Languages." I also encouraged them to have a night to themselves without the boys and to go out or to just spend one on one time together.

(Let me add here that in the midst of this conversation, I could feel the Holy Spirit speaking through me, because I certainly would not have done that on my own!)

So now lets fast forward to today. As soon as I get to the home, mom tells me that she and dad are going out tonight and that the boys are staying home with a sitter!! YAY!!!!!!!!!!

So I ask you now to stop and pray for them. If you read this today (Friday) pray that their date goes well, and that communication is opened up and restored to them. Pray that they will begin restoring their marriage even tonight. Pray that walls of hurt, unforgiveness, and hatred will be torn down.

If you're reading this later in the week....continue to pray for their relationship. Pray for me as I go into their home twice per week, that the Holy Spirit would go with me. Pray that they somehow come to know the their lives do not show any fruits of the Spirit. And please pray for restoration and healing.

Thank you so much!!! I just couldn't wait to get home and share about how God is working in the life of this Social Worker. But let me remind is nothing I am doing, but only what HE is doing. I am best is filthy rags. HE is the one who saves, heals and restores!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Have you ever prayed and prayed for something for so long, and just when you were ready to give up, God steps in and answers it?? Of course you have if you've been a Christian for any length of time...because that it so often the way He works.
This happened in the Hicks' home today. I can't really go into much details right now, but let me just say that some BIG prayers have been answered. I have never worried so much in my life than the past week, due to a number of reasons. I told God that I know he holds tomorrow, but I don't think I really let go. Just last week in my prayer journal, I was telling God "Ok, so I know your in control and that this will happen in your time, BUT could you please hurry it up?"

And I'm sure God was saying "Okay, Heather......wait just a bit more. If you only knew..."

And our prayers have been answered. Stress has been relieved, we are at peace.....weights have been lifted off our shoulders. I'm sure you understand, don't you.

You see, my God knew exactly what was in store. He knew the exact moment in time that he would answer our prayers before we even started praying them. He knows just how much we can bare, and gives us the strength to keep holding on.

"Praise the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise Him in his mighty heavens. "
- Psalm 150:1

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.'"
- Jeremiah 29:11

"All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."
- Psalm 139:16

Isn't it great to know we are well taken care of by a God who loves us beyond measure.

Beautiful, isn't it?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Free tickets

Hey guys, I won tickets on 93.7 earlier in the week to the "Into the Fire" conference at the Sheraton Hotel in Bham. It's been going on all week, but my tickets are for tonight's session at 7:30. Michael and I won't be able to make it due to our work schedules (of course) so I was wondering if any of my blogging buddies would be interested. It is an EXTREMELY short notice, but just let me know if you are. I hate to put my cell number on here, but call/ text me if you want them or you can always Facebook me.
I'll try and keep a check on this later in the day as well.

Thanks guys!

Monday, January 11, 2010


Well it's been a while since my last blog of course, so sorry for all you who eagerly wait each day for an update from me! Lol
I have had several thoughts of different posts I have wanted to make over the past several weeks, but I just haven't made time to actually write. I did sit down and journal the following the other day. Just thoughts on 2009, and more thoughts on what I want to be/do in 2010. Hope you enjoy...

Another year has past, and I'm amazed at how quickly they each seem to come and go. A LOT has changed in my life over the past year, and I'm so excited to see what lies ahead in 2010. I want to take this time to reflect on what has happened and what God has taught me over the past year.
Let me start off by saying that 2009 was probably some of my lowest points in my Spiritual Walk with the Lord. Michael and I visited Calera Baptist Church (which we love)- but we both found it very difficult to just dive in and get involved. (We're still struggling with this.) I truely believe that this lack of involvement with other believers is one of the reasons I found it very difficult to grow spiritually. Therefore, God taught me the importance in church and having fellow believers to turn tin and to lean on.
Moving on to another event. My cousin, Sean McCune, was killed while fighting for our freedom in Iraq on January 11, 2009. (a year ago today...hmm...) Well, withouth going into much details, it was a freak accident......nothing in heroic action, but a freak accident of gun fire. But none the less, he was there sacrificing his life for us. His death changed my entire family. I am more thankful for those serving our country now ...the sacrifices they make and the freedom I have because of it.
Of course 2009 will always be known for the year Michael and I got married! From May 9th until June 6th my life was a whirlwind. May 9th was the day I graduated from Montevallo with my Bachelors degree in Social Work. The job hunt began a few months before that, and I was blessed with my 1st "big girl" job on May 18th. Once we got married, I then realized that my life would never be the same and that I had a lot of learning to do about what exactly it meant to be a wife. And I learn everyday. It definitely took a few months for me to fully adjust to all the changes that occured, but i am still certain that I wouldn't change a single thing about anything!

Another one of the things that took place in 2009 that has helped me to grow in more ways that one has been my change in friends. This actually goes back into 2008, when some of my friends began distancing themselfes from me and participating in things that I did not wish to become invovled in. Parties, drinking, and clubbing began with them in 2008 and therefore the distancing between them and me began. Countless tears were cried during this year and a half because of this, but I have now come to the point where i realized God has better people to place in my life. They have done so many things (very immature things I might add) to me to get mad and I don't even know why. I have done nothing to them to deserve anyo fthe things they did- yet they did them anyways. 2010 will certainly be the 1st year that I can say that I'm finished with them....and that's good.
I'm very thankful that the Lord has brought other friends (and especially one) into my life. He brought us closer in 2009 as she was one that I leaned on so often. Let me also add here that my dear husband has been so wonderful through all of my emotional breakdowns- helping me overcome everything and being there for me when I needed it most. He may not understand completely the things I went through, but thats okay- all he did (and all he needed to do) was be a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen.
As far as learning to be a wife- it's definitely been an adventure. i'm nowhere near where I want to be. But I know that in 2010 I will learn so much more. That is my be the best wire grow closer to the Lord, and to take it all one day at a time!!