Saturday, May 17, 2014

What About Them?

There are some things in life I will never understand like why, in an affluent society such as ours, finding help for the homeless is so difficult.  After spending hours last night talking with a homeless friend and trying through a crisis center and friend in ministry to locate resources to help her, I went to bed frustrated and hurt that I couldn't find a shelter for her even in a town as big as Memphis.  This friend simply doesn't fit in the right category or meet the criteria for many of the programs and agencies in place yet her needs are real and beyond the scope of anything Steve and I have been able to offer her.  Though we are genuinely concerned and have done what we can in the past, there is nothing we can do with our move taking place in less than two weeks.  Besides, she needs more than a blanket or a night's lodging in a cheap hotel.  She needs hope for real and lasting change.

There are many homeless people like our friend who are disabled and unable to work, who struggle understandably with bitter and skeptical attitudes after living for years on the streets as this friend has.  They reach the place where they feel as if they have been abandoned not only by God but the entire human race.  Like my friend, many call for help but are refused because preference is given to women with children rather than without, or to those who could possibly work once trained rather than to those physically disabled or mentally challenged.  Once refused they give up hope and cease trying to find a solution.  What about them?  Where can they go to get the help and find the hope they need to live?

This friend didn't choose homelessness; it was thrust upon her as a result of physical disabilities, loss, and brokenness in her family.  With no family, friends, or church to turn to, she is desperate.  Where is the hope for homeless ones like her who can offer nothing yet have such great needs?

I know the Bible says that the poor will always be among us and we can help them any time we want (Mark 14:7), but what happens to them when nobody wants to help or the help that we do provide amounts to nothing more than a band aid on a gaping wound that may never heal?

How can we turn their plight and our heartbreak over it into meaningful action that will result in real help?  Are we so wrapped up in our problems that we are simply oblivious to their desperate need?

Copyright © 2014 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved.


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Sunday, May 11, 2014

M.O.M. (Ministry of Motherhood)

Read Proverbs 31:10-31

Are you a mom, or do you have a M.O.M.?  If you are a woman, regardless of whether or not you have had children by natural birth, adopted a child, or invested your life in someone else by being a spiritual mom, please know that in the eyes of many, especially the One who called you to the "ministry of motherhood," you are honored and highly favored not merely on Mother's Day but each and every day!

Many women consider being a mom to be an often thankless and unnoticed occupation.  Yet it is one of the most important roles a woman can fulfill.  The responsibility of shaping another individual to know and be like Christ, to mature into a responsible individual, and to walk in the purposes God has for him is both difficult and daunting.  With the playground as your board room and the home as your office, you must make it your business to do whatever is necessary to not only nurture your child and ensure their success in life but to model the behaviors and teach them the life skills they will need to flourish in a world that has become increasingly hostile.  You must show them by example how to love, respect, serve, and lead their fellow man.  It is from you that they will learn about justice and the consequences of their choices, and they will look to you for wisdom to make the right ones.

No matter your age or status as a woman or the difficulties you encounter along the way, embrace the M.O.M. that God has given you.  Thank him for the "ministry of motherhood" to which you have been called and take joy in knowing that "He who calls you is faithful" (1 Thessalonians 5:24).

Copyright © 2014  by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved.


Thank you for visiting my blog! You are encouraged to post a comment and share this blog with a friend. By sharing, you are helping to encourage others with the truth of God's Word!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Trying to Picture It

The longest four months of my life are nearly over.  Shortly after Steve arrived in Virginia we began having long phone conversations as I taught him how to keep in touch and access the Internet using the tablet computer I sent him for an early anniversary gift.  I enjoyed those tutoring sessions and it felt at times like we were dating.  

As we enter the final leg of our family's relocation our conversations have turned from technology issues and the challenges of a cross-country move to the preparations he is making for our arrival in three weeks.  In our most recent conversations  my primary objective has been trying to picture our new home and determine where we will place the furnishings we are taking with us since we are downsizing and losing the equivalent of two and a half rooms.

Up until now I have felt overwhelmed by the tasks before me:  selling our home, the car, and furniture we can no longer accommodate, and cleaning out and packing our remaining belongings.  Every task has generated another, it seems, and on top of everything we have had to simultaneously work with Steve's mother and brother to get her moved into retirement housing near us by the time we make our final trip to Virginia.  Although the challenge of moving her seems insurmountable at times I am reminded that God has already accomplished so many things and provided for us at every turn.  He hasn't brought us this far to leave us languishing in frustration.  He who began a good work in our lives by calling us to our new life in Virginia will be faithful to complete it, even if it seems hopeless at times.  I know, because He promised to.

During this season of anticipation and stress I have often recited the words of Psalm 121:  
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.  My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.  He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.  Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.  The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.  The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.  The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.
As we drive through the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains on our way to "the land of the life worth living," I will carry the assurance that the One who has gone before us will be waiting on the other side of those mountains, eager to show us around the place He has already prepared.

Copyright © 2014 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved.


Thank you for visiting my blog! You are encouraged to post a comment and share this blog with a friend. By sharing, you are helping to encourage others with the truth of God's Word!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Home Stretch

This morning when I flipped the calendar to the current month I nearly panicked.  We are in the home stretch of our move to Virginia and I'm not even close to being ready!  Instead of taking the day off to celebrate May Day, I'm inclined to shout "Mayday! Mayday!" at the top of my lungs.  But I know that everything is going to be accomplished in God's perfect timing and in answer to all the prayers being offered in our behalf by friends and family.  Considering all we have come through since Steve received his job offer in January, I believe the worst is behind us.

Steve's move to Gloucester -- the first phase of our relocation -- was accomplished within twelve days of receiving his job offer, a true miracle in itself.  God couldn't have orchestrated a smoother transition for Steve.  We decided that Joy and I would stay in Collierville through the end of the school year to allow her to finish middle school with her friends and give us time to sell our home.

Less than two weeks after Steve's move his dad was hospitalized for a health issue we thought could be resolved with physical therapy, as it was last year.  We could not
not have anticipated that his condition would deteriorate rapidly, resulting in his relocation to heaven rather than Virginia.  God's grace and the love of caring friends carried us through that very difficult time.  As a result of this unanticipated change we are now working with Steve's brother to relocate their mother to Virginia so she is not left alone.  Logistically, much still needs to happen in order to get her moved by the time we leave but we know beyond the shadow of a doubt that God, who has allowed all these things, is in complete control and fully able to work all things together for our good and hers.

After the funeral Steve returned to Virginia and ramped up his search for a rental home.  Joy and I were able to visit him during Spring Break.  During that week we looked at houses and explored the area we will soon call home.  Although the house we wanted was rented before we had a chance to make an offer, Steve was able to find an even bigger one-story house just minutes from the beach!   He moves in this Saturday.  He will fly home in late May to help us finish packing, attend Joy's middle school graduation, and move us to "the land of the life worth living," where we can finally be together as a family after four and a half long months apart!

In recent weeks I have spent long hours sorting through and organizing old photos, archiving newspaper articles I have written, and cleaning out quite an accumulation of outdated and useless paperwork.  By this weekend my office should be packed and I will finally be able to move onto the rest of the house and attic.  Those areas should be much easier to deal with since I have very little emotional attachment to the things we'll be discarding.  It won't take me nearly as long to weed out clothes I no longer wear, household items I no longer use, and movies I no longer watch.  

There were items we needed to sell before our move:  our
home, furniture we have no room for, and the 1972 Cutlass Steve had hoped to someday restore.  The house sold and closed in mid-April and as God would have it, the furniture and car sold within a forty-eight hour period of each other, just in time to pay for some expenses we had not budgeted for. God is good and his timing is perfect!

One of the things I most wanted to do before our move was help grant my mom's longtime wish to fly over her property in Heber Springs, a birthday gift from her children.  As soon as Steve accepted his job offer I developed a sense of urgency to search for a pilot who could help us fulfill that wish.  On my last trip to Heber a couple of weeks ago she was able to take that flight.  It is a memory I will always cherish.  The next time she boards a plane hopefully it will be to visit us in Virginia!

My smart phone, which contains my calendar, contacts, and to-do list, has been my constant and close companion on this journey.  The wisdom of God has been my guide.  His abiding presence has been my peace.  The prayers of my friends and family have been a fragrant aroma and the wind beneath my wings.  I love you so much for praying for us.

For now -- least until the move is complete -- I bid my handful of blog readers a fond farewell.  Although this  signals the end of a season of ministry, it is just the beginning of an exciting new chapter of our lives which God has already written and will reveal to us in the months and years to come!

Copyright © 2014 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved.


Thank you for visiting my blog! You are encouraged to post a comment and share this blog with a friend. By sharing, you are helping to encourage others with the truth of God's Word!