Ruby’s Wishlist

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A few months ago I decided to clean out my closet. I took my large bags of clothes to the local women’s transition house, thinking that perhaps the clothes would get better use there than at the second hand store. I didn’t know anything about this place; I literally found it in a phone book. But God had lined things up…. as He does.

When I went there I was chatting with the volunteer about the program they run. She explained that the women come to the house because they are fleeing abusive situations. They are welcome to stay at the home for about a month, after which time they move on to another home. Before they leave, they write out a “wishlist” of household items they need to set up house since they’d left all they had when they came to the transition house. The volunteer showed me an example of one of these wishlists and the name of the girl who had filled it out was “Ruby.” Now, coincidentally (or not!) my one-year-old daughter is also named Ruby, which isn’t a very common name, so it grabbed my attention. As I perused the list she’d completed, I realized Ruby from the transition house also had a baby. She needed a stroller, crib and all the paraphernalia that comes with a baby. Now the volunteer had my full attention. In a different scenario, this Ruby lady could have been me! I don’t think God could have more clearly laid things out for me: I realized this was something I simply had to get involved with. There was a need; what could I do?

A Facebook Invitation Multiplies

As I thought about it, I got the idea to put together some housewarming baskets of new items for the ladies that were leaving the transition house to start out fresh on their own. I rallied my friends through an event invitation on Facebook and many came to contribute different kitchen, bathroom and toiletry items for these baskets, as well as dozens of bags of used clothes. We filled 11 really lovely baskets brimming with new goodies for the ladies and their new homes.

For me, it was simply a small way to bless 11 girls who have had a rough go and probably needed an encouraging and beautiful gift. After this first gathering of items, our women’s ministry at church, LifeWomen, decided they wanted to partner together too, and corporately brought out hundreds of items to pass on to the women of two local transition houses … So great!

A Woman with an Open Heart

So what exactly is my point? On my windowsill in my kitchen at home I keep a framed card. This card is fun and cutesie, with a picture of a girl jumping in her green polka dot pj’s. As lovely as the picture on the card is, the quote on the card is what grabs my heart every time I read it: “There is nothing more powerful than a woman with an open heart.” I love this! It preaches to me everyday as I’m going about cooking or loading up my dishwasher. To me, living with an open heart means many things. It means allowing people into your world by opening your life, your house, your heart. It means hearing people’s stories. It means having compassion, and not only feeling, but being moved to action. And an open heart always translates into an open hand … a generous life!

I believe Jesus lived by this “open heart” life philosophy too. In Matthew 10:5-8 (NLT) Jesus is sending out his disciples and these are the instructions he gives: “Don’t go to the Gentiles or the Samaritans, but only to the people of Israel—God’s lost sheep. Go and announce to them that the Kingdom of Heaven is near. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received!” Another translation says “Freely you have received, freely give.” Now, some of those instructions may seem pretty incredible, but my personal (very loose!) translation of these verses is this: “Don’t necessarily take on the world—go to someone in your neighbourhood. Tell them that Jesus is here, that there is Grace and Forgiveness. Look for the ones who are having a rough go, who are the hurting and who are the outcasts of society. Do something—anything—for them to make their life better! Know how much you have been blessed, now turn around and be a blessing to others!”

It Doesn’t Take Much

I find these verses so inspiring. The part about giving as freely as I have received especially speaks to me. I have been blessed. I have a tremendous church, family, home and country. Beyond that I have so many spiritual blessings: salvation, grace, joy, peace and love. My heart overflows with thanks to God for the blessings I have. And if thanksgiving is where I stopped it would be good, but I don’t think it would be enough. Jesus said to give” and not only that, but “give freely.” I have been given so much, how could I simply hoard all that I’ve been given to myself? God’s intent in giving it to me was that I would in turn go and give to others …

The best part about giving is that it doesn’t take much! When we put the housewarming basket gifts together everyone brought one item to put in the baskets. One item! What I saw is that when a company of people got together and gave, the results can be life changing and maybe even world changing.

Here’s what I recommend:
· Find a place where you can make your own contribution.
· Partner together to change the world.
· Start with something small.

As you live with an open heart, I know you’ll be amazed at what God has in mind for you.

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Destiny Loeve

Destiny Loeve

Destiny is wife to Joshua and mom to Ruby. She alternates between stay-at-home mom and Pediatric/Surgical nurse. She loves the season fall, her church VCC, the show So You Think You Can Dance and meeting new friends and neighbours.
Destiny Loeve

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