In Her Shoes ~ A Melted Heart

In Her Shoes is a series written by readers to give us a glimpse into their lives – to see what it is like to walk in their shoes. Today I am excited to introduce you to my new friend Misty Maki from Undivided Heart. She and I became blogging buddies a few months ago, and I have been inspired by the work that she is going to tell us about today. She lives in Utah, is wife to her Mountain Man, and mother to two handsome boys. Let’s join our friend as she shares with us what it is like to walk in her shoes. ~ Love, G

In Her Shoes ~ A Melted Heart

Where to begin this journey? 14 years ago when I turned my back on my teen mama sister? OR the day my cold heart was melted? Let’s start with the day I was asked to help find a building for a new up and coming school, Kairos Academy – a charter school for Teen Mamas. Taking a holistic approach to educate these girls, we are letting them know that they are believed in and can do what ever they set their minds to.

Adrienne caught me in the middle of a pity party. God was in the middle of tearing my greedy fingers away from the things I had  treasured. He was working on opening these glazed over eyes to a world where stuff is not what matters. I was clawing at the doors that were closing. While He was opening a door I could not see.

I met these three kind souls {Kevin, Adrienne, and Patrice, the founders of Kairos} at the North end of town. Not my favorite place to be at the time. Full of buildings just off Redwood Road {considered the industrial area}. If you travel a little further north, you will find a homeless shelter. A little further south, you will find little bitty homes, that at the time I would be afraid to step foot in. A little further west and you will run into gangs, graffiti and “dirty” people. I rolled up in my 11 year old Isuzu Trooper. To be honest, I was a little ashamed. I felt I should have rolled up in my pretty little silver Mercedes. Yet, these were one of the things God said, “This is not important. Get rid of it.” I did. I watched it roll out the drive way with an ugly cry… I digress. Back to the meeting.

They let me know they were not sure what “E” occupancy was or how to meet the criteria. However, this was just the area they were looking for. They would be using the address for a charter they were writing. I remember thinking, “How exciting. These people are really using this one great life God granted us. Wish I could say the same.”

Misty hike pictures

Time went on. I thought of them often. I prayed for them often. Life continued to spin out of MY control. MountainMan suggested we change our life pace. We had always wanted a simpler life, a life where our boys could be boys. Run and have adventures. He always fantasized about living off the grid and taking care of animals. I always swore I would never go back to rural living. We put the house up for sale. Sold it… and MountainMan drug me away from my beloved favorite neighbor, to what we lovingly call The Mountain. It’s a piece of family property out in the middle of basically nowhere. The last 18 months have been nothing short of an adventure. Although, I would not change it for a thing. I could write a novel on the way God has changed us. Opened our eyes. Blessed us. Refined us. Provided for us. Broke our hearts. Taken and given.  We are not the same.

In the middle of the move, my Dad passed away. An unexpected stroke took him from us. Brought him out of pain and suffering to the Almighty Healer.  This was a tough time. I had a lot of regret. I realized very quickly that life is way too short to be bitter. To not forgive. To not have adventures.  To not say, “I am sorry.” To not say, “I love you.” To not be brave and say, “yes,” a little more. I vowed to live better. Whatever  that meant. I was going to say, “yes,” to where ever God took me.

In the midst of all this grief, Adrienne gave me a second call. She wanted to know if I wanted to be part of the school board. I had lots of mixed emotions. I went back and forth on the advice the counselor told me, “Don’t make any life altering decisions for at least the first year,” and the vow I made to myself. Of course I jumped in head first.

sun light

I met “The Team” of extraordinary people. All VERY well-educated. Then there was myself.

I was under the impression a Building Officer helped the school find a building. Not so much. There is a long explanation as to what a Building Officer’s job is. I failed to read the description. I have found this is how I operate. When Jesus said, “Follow Me,” I jumped right in. I did not count the cost, I did not read what it took to be a disciple.  Had I read either of these explanations, I would be stuck in the muck and mire of my fear.

 

Here it is, 17 months later, and I am shaking in my boots every day.  I am completely out of my comfort zone. Riding this wave of creating a school! Did you all watch the episode of Parenthood, {season5 episode 16 to be exact}, when Kristina asks, “How hard could it be to open a charter school?” I laughed until I peed my pants.

Opening date is set for August 25, 2014. At this point, we are all juggling many fire-burning sticks. The lease needs to be finished, construction started, but not first without posting a few RFP’s. Don’t know what that is? Neither did I.

We have government officials to make happy and cross walks to paint. Occupancies to change. Fire Marshals to please. Did I tell you we still need an architect? Does it seem like I am going about this all backwards? Maybe I am. This is a first for all of us. Yet, we have some incredible mentors taking our hands at various times. Some things we have just had to wing. Drop our day jobs. Forgo getting paid for the day, week, or month to get the tasks done. It’s good work. It’s hard work. It’s worth it work.

Every day I ask myself what I am doing with this group of incredible world changers. Why would they choose me? I have to remind myself that I am capable. Made capable every day. Thanks to the ONE who is always capable.

Kairos

 

The day I write this, our Enrollment went live. We are hoping, crossing fingers, and praying that we get 200 students enrolled. Will you do the same for us? Pray for us. Hope for us. Cross your fingers for us. And SPREAD the word for us.

Check us out at http://kairosacademy.org/ or like our Facebook page at  https://www.facebook.com/kairosacademy.org

You may be wondering what happened to me and sister.

In September she gave birth to her third boy. I was able to be a part of the birth. I was the first to hold him. A huge blessing that came from being a part of Kairos; I have learned about the teenage mom. How family is so important. Encouragement is essential. They need to be told that they are believed in. They CAN do this. I did none of that. I had done the opposite all of those years ago. The baby’s birth opened a door to reconciliation. I apologized to Sister. I let her know I believed in her. We are on the road to reconciliation. Something only God could have orchestrated.

To read more encouraging stories, or if you are interested in sharing your own story, please go to the In Her Shoes tab near the top of the page. I love learning about the people in this series. Connecting with others seems to make the world feel not quite as big and scary. We’re all in this together. I can’t wait to hear from you, to read your stories, and learn more of what it is like to walk in your shoes. ~ Love, Ginger

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I’m Ginger ~
I'm a wife to my Beloved, mom of three boys, bookworm, survivor of a broken heart, and Kansas Girl. It is my desire to encourage you. No matter what storm you're going through right now, you are not alone. I promise.
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