Our Identity: An Acres of Hope Raw Prayer

Here I am hidden behind walls

Only to watch them fall

Cause I've been through it all

My pride keeps me standing tall

But behind closed doors

See me Broken

Choking on the past

Wondering how long a good thing will last

Never ask for what you need

To dismantle the disappointment of realizing the only one who cares about me, is me

Here I am God, trying to raise a child

When all the while

I find myself in need

My heart shed upon my sleeve

The Acres of Hope staff ask me to believe

I can be free from the chains enslaving me

Throw me a rope then

For I've been choking

On the tears that have been my food

Traumatic histories that were no good

I'm here God

Now you desire that I surrender

You promise to free me from being tossed in life's blender

Have you heard the cries to rise up and defend her

The beautiful woman inside of me

Here at Acres of Hope I'm learning to stand up on my feet

I'm learning to embrace all of me

I can see there's a jewel hidden inside

Of the beautiful person this world sought to hide

The Acres of Hope staff say I can break the cycle

Homelessness will no longer be my family's title

Here I am God, all of me, 

Please be my strength as I press on in this journey

Bring along warriors who will help us see

All we can be

As we embrace the day when the word homeless is no longer a description of our identity. 

 

Everyday behind the scenes the work of renewal is happening at Acres of Hope. The wrestling  of the mind between the old and new ways of life. The breaking off of strongholds to approach and attain true freedom and experience pure transformation. The women and children of Acres of Hope are taking the narrow road down the pathway of deeper faith, strong and healthy bonds for their family. The cycle of homelessness is breaking at Acres of Hope. 

 

You can be a part of helping to remove the word homeless from the description of our families identities.

To get involved call: 530-446-1621 or visit: acresofhopeonline.org

 

 

 

 

Freedom and Independence

Originally, July 4th was the day to celebrate America's separation from Great Britain. The founders of this great nation sought a method to part ways with King George and produce a free and industrious nation. The Continental Congress worked hard and actually approved a Resolution of Independence on July 2, 1776. That resolution was proposed by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia in June of 1776 which was a declaration to separate from England. The Declaration of Independence was the formal announcement of America's Independence and the text was approved on July 4, 1776. 

As we gather with our families, friends and communities to celebrate a free nation, a place called the "Home of the Brave" let us always remember the fight for our independence. Outside of the parades and barbecues, I hope we remember the ones who went before to pave the way. I hope we remember the sacrifices of our founders. I hope we remember the soldiers who fought for us to truly be free and independent as a nation. I hope that as we think of freedom and independence, we will remember those who are still fighting to be free today, fighting for their personal freedoms, such as the women and children of Acres of Hope. 

Each day the women and children of Acres of Hope are fighting for their personal freedom. Freedom from trauma, abuse, shame, fear, and grief. They seek independence from the destructive behaviors and cycle of homelessness that they have seen and lived. They seek a declaration of hope for a future that has the promise of renewed and transformed lives. Everyday they are doing the hard work to take back their lives, find the freedom to break the cycle of homelessness, and declare that they are women and children of HOPE. 

This 4th of July remember Freedom and Independence, and say a prayer for those fighting for the blessings of knowing personal freedom and independence from the things that have kept them bound. 

Happy Independence Day,

From Acres of Hope

 

To help the women and children of Acres of Hope know freedom and independence today:

Visit us online at acresofhopeonline.org or call 530-878-8030

 

 

 

Ripple Effects: An Acres of Hope Parable

     Once upon a time there was a young boy named Oscar who was skipping small stones gently across the water. With each stone that jumped across the water surface and briefly sink beneath, Oscar noticed the ripples that began to set off around the lake. Oscar becoming more eager to make an abundance of ripples began to gather as many smooth stones as he could find. He stood at the water's edge and one after another, Oscar sent his rocks along the water's surface. He watched as some ripples had a small effect before vanishing, but some had a larger span that sent ripples far and wide across the lake. Oscar in seeing these ripples began to wonder what other things could have an effect such as what he was seeing at the lake. 

     Later that afternoon, Oscar watched his mother as she went out to serve women and children that day. He had been watching each day how his mother's care, love and support, was softening hearts. He watched as people from churches poured in their time, effort, and money to see the lives of women and children changed. Later that weekend he watched as a women graduated from Acres of Hope into a life outside of the barriers of homelessness. Oscar began to notice how ripple effects, like those produced by a rock skipping over water, were so much more powerful when they came from people have an impact on someone else's life. Oscar got to see the good and far reaching ripple effects that people could have on a life. 

At Acres of Hope we get to see the power effects of these "ripples" everyday. When a woman and her children come through our doors we see the effects of "negative ripples" that have hardened hearts, brought forth fear and shame, and a lack of the awareness of how loved each person is. However, as time passes and families get to experience the effects of "positive ripples" through mentoring, counseling, compassion, stability, and love.  The ripples that produce strong mothers, and strong children, who all know they have value and are loved. 

You can become a part of the team creating positive ripple effects in the lives of our families. 

Learn more today about how you can be a part of breaking the cycles of trauma and homelessness for the women and children of Acres of Hope.

Call 530-878-8030  or   Visit: acresofhopeonline.org

Tell Me, Show Me: An Acres of Hope Poem

Tell me I'm loved, and I'll show you I can succeed

Show me the way, and I'll walk the path to achieve

Things beyond my wildest dreams

For it's how I'll start to believe in me

Throw me a rope and help me out of the cycles

Of brokenness, homelessness and I'll remove the labels and titles

That say I can't make it or be more than where I've been

Help me have stable ground and I'll show you we can breathe again

Then comes the moment when it's time to let go

That will be the point in time where my actions will let you know

That you told me the ways of Truth, and showed me the ways of Life

It will be the instant when I walk out of the cycle of homelessness into everlasting hope and light. 

You told me, You Showed me, and now We are set to thrive

My family is renewed, and we are joining the fight of transforming lives. 

The Transformation from Screams of Anguish, to Squeals of Joy

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."   Matthew 19:14

The transformation of sounds at Acres of Hope is a powerful set of stages to witness. For children screaming comes so naturally for young ones who are learning to form words and expand their vocabulary. For the ones who don't quite have words to say screaming becomes a way to alert another person of danger, a need unmet, or to cheer for ones ice-cream offered for good behavior. It can either reveal a sound of anguish or a sound of joy. Each scream communicates a message that is meant to be heard.

Here at Acres of Hope we love watching the transformation of when screams turn to squeals. There are the screams when children first arrive to be residents. Screams for words their young minds cannot yet formulate. Their little screams reveal that something is going on in their world. Yet as each day passes and the children begin to trust, play, learn, and see that Acres is a safe place for them the screams transform into squeals of joy. Every moment that a mother gains new tools to put into practice and shows her child they are cherished produces squeals of joy. Every walk to the park, every healthy meal served, every hug, story read, or kiss on the forehead produces the squeal of joy. 

At Acres of Hope we recognized the trauma that many of the women and children have faced. We know that the screams we hear are a light shining in on years of hurt, abuse, and addictions. We see that in order to transform a scream of anguish into a squeal of joy we must learn to identify the pain behind the screams. We must come close enough to hear the stories, sit through the tears, bring comfort into the shudders, give tissues for the red rimmed eyes. Each day that our staff and volunteers show up and reveal true love and care, renewal blossoms, and the screams that use to reveal fear, anger, or sadness, are now revealing, joy, love, and transformation. 

Learn more today about how you can be a part of breaking the cycles of trauma and homelessness for the women and children of Acres of Hope.

Call 530-878-8030  or   Visit: acresofhopeonline.org

The Wall: An Acres of Hope Series - part 2

"By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days." Hebrews 11:30

"I will build this wall around me, and those who have hurt me in the past will not be able to hurt me again. I won't let anyone close enough to be able to make me feel vulnerable. I will scream and rage, I will keep a scowl upon my face, no one will approach me, no one will hurt me. I will run from anything that threatens, I will sabotage anything that brings to much attention, or anything that could potentially make me feel loss. I will build up my wall and I will be untouchable."         a past view of an Acres of Hope Woman

The women and children that have come to Acres of Hope to break the cycle of homelessness have had many experiences of trauma in their lives. They have learned to adapt to pain and loss by building walls around themselves to keep safe from anything that could bring more harm to their lives. At Acres of Hope we see the effects of abuse, addiction, loss, and shame. We face the walls that have been built to protect those placed in our care. The child who hides behind a chair to be unseen. The mother who desires to know pure love, but fears losing it so rejects it to protect her heart. A moment of victory met with an attempt of sabotage, to prevent disappointment. All of these are bricks added to a wall built up to protect a mother or her child from future harm. Yet at Acres of Hope families are loved and supported in a way that pulls a woman and child out from behind the wall.

The moment a child experiences stability and realizes their home will last more than a month is precious. They know their cottage will be there while his or her family gets their life together. The moment a mother breathes in deep the fact that her kids are in a safe environment and have support. The day when a family is finally able to confront the truth of their identities and worth over the lies they have seen and heard. Everyday beyond the fear, beyond the rage, beyond the tears, we see Acres of Hope families stepping out from behind the old walls, and patterns they built for themselves to help them survive the world of trauma. Each day the more that staff, volunteers, and a community of wonderful people like you step in and say "we are here" to help you climb out from behind the walls of trauma into a life of Hope, the more families will continue to break the cycle of homelessness.

You can help us bring women and children out from behind the walls of trauma and homelessness. 

Learn more today about how you can be a part of breaking the cycles of trauma and homelessness for the women and children of Acres of Hope.

Call 530-878-8030  or   Visit: acresofhopeonline.org

Be sure to read next article in Stories of Hope in the Acres series called, "Sledgehammer"

Sledgehammer: An Acres of Hope Series - part 3

Is not my word like a fire the Lord's declaration like a sledgehammer that pulverizes a rock. Jeremiah 23:29

"I can now see I was always meant to be free! I don't know how I ever allowed the darkness of this world to snuff out my hope. Yet I have hope now, Acres of Hope. I can no longer dwell behind the walls of my past trauma, addictions, brokenness and fear. It is time to tear down the wall and never look back. The cycle of homelessness has been broken. My family is safe, and we can move forward into a life renewed by the transformation that has happened at Acres of Hope."                A Woman of Acres of Hope

The mother loaded with guilt and shame, silenced by fear and doubt now stands tall. The child who would duck behind a chair hoping not to be seen can no longer wait to be held and comforted in love and attention. The moment freedom sprouts forth for Acres of Hope families, is the instant they decide they don't want to return back to the patterns they have held in the past. The bricks of trauma that hardened their hearts were let go. The walls built up to protect them from the dangers of life they no longer hide behind. Now it is time to tear them down. They are tearing through the doubts and dysfunction like sledgehammers to a brick wall. Each opportunity to succeed and move forward is another swing at the pain they have faced in their lives.

The provisions supplied at Acres of Hope are multiple sledgehammer swings to the walls that hid the wonderful women and children of Acres of Hope. The cottage homes provided for 2 years to Acres of Hope families are a swing at instability. The counseling provided is a swing at emotional wounds and trauma being passed on to the next generation. The provision of quality childcare, is a swing at children being placed in unsafe circumstances or environments. A community of loving support and accountability is a swing at being surrounded by negative influences and potential dangers. Each day Acres of Hope is equipping women and children to take Spiritual, Physical, and Emotional sledgehammers to the walls that kept them in the cycle of trauma and homelessness. 

You can be a part of the change for women and children tearing down the walls. 

Visit: acresofhopeonline.org  or Call: 530-878-8030

Bricks: An Acres of Hope Series - part 1

"And I will remove the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh."   Ezekiel 36:26

When a woman and her children arrive at Acres of Hope they are leaving lives of trauma, fear, and homelessness. Each area of trauma is like a brick placed into the hands of a woman or child. Like the formation of a brick, a soft material that faces the fire to become hardened, the circumstances that these families have faced were experiences that hardened their hearts. These stone hearts allowed them to be strong through their pain as they walked through the fires of life. They have experienced feeling the heaviness that comes from a life without relief. The first slap across her face, was a brick. The child going to the empty refrigerator looking for food, was a brick. The first hand out offering drugs to an overwhelmed mother, was a brick. Each brick was stored as a memory of what hardened a flesh beating heart.

At Acres of Hope women and children are learning to put the bricks down. They are allowing their hearts to soften again. With each encouragement and hug that comes from a staff or volunteer, the warmth of love fills their hardened hearts. The more an Acres of Hope family experiences the stability and security of having a home, healthy food, and care, the more the guards began to come down.  Acres' staff is trusted inside as they know we see what has hardened their hearts. We will walk with them through the valleys of facing the traumatic experiences. We will help pull up the roots, the legacies, and scars of dysfunction and brokenness. Instead of running from those areas of pain, women and children can now face those areas with the support they need to overcome.

At Acres of Hope families are offered counseling, mentorship, accountability, and the comfort they need to walk through the darkest memories of their lives, and come out with a softened heart and a new perspective of who they are, and what they can be.  When they are ready, the mothers of Acres of Hope share the timelines of their lives with their new community of "sisters" they reveal the many areas that proved to be a traumatic moments stored up in their lives. They take responsibility for their actions, and release themselves from the shame of things out of their control. It is the point in time that they realize they can let the bricks to go, and instead give themselves the freedom to feel again. 

To learn more about the process of transformation for families at Acres of Hope

visit: acresofhopeonline.org or call: 530-878-8030

Be sure to read the next story of hope in this series called "The Wall"

 

Hope Looks Like This

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

     The seasons have been changing, and the flowers are showing their lovely petals around campus. There is hardly anything more beautiful than the sun setting between the cottages, as if Thomas Kinkade himself set his paintbrush to work right here on the Acres of Hope property. Yet, there is something so magnificent that outweighs it all. It's the moment a gleam shines through a mother's eyes. The second when her squeal reveals what hope looks like. The precious moment when a mother of Acres of Hope beams at her child in delight because she is doing the hard work of becoming a strong mother. It is the glorious glimpse of a paper waving through the air, due to a driver's license being attained. The sweetest of sounds, is the rejoicing of a mom who has done the hard work of learning skills to gain employment and lands her first job.

     Moments like these at Acres of Hope reveal the true beauty of what hope looks like. The greatest moments are when the deep love sinks into a heart who has needed it so much. The wonderful staff and volunteers who can show a heart battered by the world that there is a love that can heal. Hope looks like this.

    Each day at Acres of Hope we see the beauty of renewed and transformed lives. New families have come into Acres of Hope and the tide of renewal is set to move their transformed families into the next phase of their lives. They have left the broken road of their past lives forever and have paved a new path to their future.  As we witness another graduation, we see what hope looks like through the eyes of one of our Moms. She has done the hard work to transform. She has a great job, beautiful thriving children, and is again a part of a wonderful community of supporters. As she walks with her children across the bridge to their future, she stands strongly as a woman who has broken the cycle of homelessness. Hope looks like this!

To see what hope looks like up close and personal come for a tour of Acres of Hope

Call Acres Today: at 530-878-8030      Visit Online:  acresofhopeonline.org

The Second Time Around

"See, I am doing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland." Isaiah 43:19

        Something new has been happening at Acres of Hope. The women have a gleam in their eyes. The children squeal with glee. Morning devotion time is filled with stories of renewal. New goals are being set. Flowers are blossoming, and children are too. Kids once crawling are now taking their first steps. Kids once drinking milk are now beginning to chew. Moms once fearful are now diving deep into the process of transformation. New families have arrived, as others prepare to graduate. Graduates have already blossomed and returned to society benefiting their communities as successful women and mothers.

         Lives are transforming right before our eyes. God is producing a great harvest here at Acres of Hope. The most beautiful thing of all is our women are getting second chances. They are seeing the world from a different perspective. A woman who once craved a six pack of beer, is now bringing her child six packs of banana milk.  The mom who once thought she was alone, now has a large loving community surrounding her. The child who only could express anger is learning to use his words. Most importantly hearts that never knew God, are coming to understand who He is. 

       As our Acres of Hope families begin to face the world again through the eyes of renewal, they will approach it different. This second time around they know they have community, accountability, support and love. They have the tools they need to succeed. They have an anchor for their souls. God is doing a new thing at Acres of Hope, and the second time around will be better than before.

Acres of Hope - breaking the cycle - the last program these families will ever need.

Visit: acresofhopeonline.org

To learn about opportunities to serve call: 530-878-5030

An Acres of Hope Easter Prayer

  On this Easter day as we sit and remember,

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ and his invitation to bring us back home forever.

The Father sent his Son to be the Hope for the World.

He suffered, and He died, from what the enemy hurled.

On the third day He rose, from the stone cold tomb.

Resurrected is He, God who became flesh from the virgin's womb. .

Into a place of honor, where no more sorrows or suffering exists.

Seated at the right hand of the Father, as He continues to offer his gift. 

Each day He calls and beckons, and each day there is  a choice.

Whether we will listen to the world or follow after His voice. 

Today our prayer is earnest, for all who seek renewed lives.

We pray they would answer the invitation to meet Jesus in the sky.

We pray  for an acceptance of God's pure and perfect love. 

The source of true transformation, everyday we've been speaking of. 

Thank you for your sacrifice Lord, your grace and your love.

This is our Easter Prayer,  our Glorious Lord above. 

 

Happy Easter from Acres of Hope!! 

For more stories of Hope visit: acresofhopeonline.org

 

 

 

The Valley of Pain: The Journey out of Fight or Flight

Run faster than ever before, as far as my legs will take me!  Where I'm going, I don't know. Away from these feelings, nightmares, and fears. Am I running or am I frozen? 

Am I still breathing, or am I gasping for air?

My wounds have been reopened, my walls torn down, my open flesh beating heart has been aired out to the world, and I stand here soaked in tears.  Stricken by grief, all I want to do is feel numb again.  

Should I stay and fight or should I run?

Acres of Hope has surrounded me in love, encouragement and support. I realize that I am safe now, and encouraged that maybe this time things will be different. Perhaps, this time I can break down these walls. God help me.

As peace sweeps over me, I can see staff beckoning me on. My peers sitting with me to help slow down my quickened pace. It's time to move forward, though I am so afraid. It's time to face the areas I have left untouched. Now is the moment to put down the gloves from the places I've wanted to fight.

Stop Running, Stop Fighting. Start Breathing.

Real healing begins when a woman can learn to stop running from her pain. They begin working through issues and learn to avoid the instinctual fight and flight reactions. The women at Acres of Hope face, embrace, and walk through their sufferings with mentors and counselors who love them. In these "valleys of pain" the purest of gifts are produced. They learn to have compassion for others, gain courage, and joyous love is grown. Life is full of sunshine, happiness, rest, and peace, but there is also struggle, hardship and pain.  Don't run from it, embrace that part of your life too. There are beautiful things to be found in the Valley of Pain.

Each day at Acres of Hope lives are being renewed. Women who have been traumatized and lived in fear are breaking off old patterns to walk the path of transformation. This change happens through God's tender comfort and the workers he has sent to be his hands and feet in this physical world. 

Pray for the families of Acres of Hope as they walk through the Valley of Pain and continue on down the path of Renewal and Hope. 

For more Stories of Hope visit: acresofhopeonline.org

 

Learning to Live: An Alumni of Hope

If you were to meet strong, independent, and beautiful 34 year old Nichole today, you would never suspect that she was a graduate of Acres of Hope just a few short years ago. Nichole came to Acres of Hope in 2013 with the desire to learn to LIVE.  "If I hadn't come to Acres of Hope, I wouldn't be alive today", Nichole shared.

Before coming to the program Nichole didn't know how to raise her children. Growing up, Nichole did not have responsible parents, which left her feeling unable and ill-equipped to raise her own children.  Besides not knowing some of the basics of life, like cooking and cleaning, she didn't feel that she knew how to love her kids. She even struggled when it came to letting her children touch or even hug her. 

As Nichole went through her days at Acres of Hope, she went from looking at the calendar and saying, "Good, I made it through another day" to truly embracing life.  Nichole was being transformed and found restoration with her children. As she worked on the external things like learning to cook, clean, and be a responsible woman, she discovered things were also transforming internally.  By the time she graduated in March of 2015, she sought out the hugs, kisses, and special time spent with her children.  She learned to love as she learned to be loveable.

Today Nichole is a wonderful example of a Woman of Hope.  She has a career she enjoys working for the Auburn Journal as a Customer Service Manager. She has an amazing accountability team and a stable place to live. Best of all, she enjoys raising her two amazing boys and showering them in hugs and embracing them in love every day.  You see, at Acres of Hope she didn't just learn to live, she learned to thrive. 

Nichole did not remain feeling dead inside. She learned what it is to live and love with Hope. 

 

To get involved helping women like Nichole visit: acresofhopeonline.org or call 530-878-8030

Finding Forever: We Became A Family

Psalm 68:6 God sets the orphans into families...

      "I knew I had to be a part of her life. Especially since we had more than enough room for one more".

      Juliette Bickford had no idea that her visit to Acres of Hope would change not just her life but also the future of one of our residents as well. Juliette's first visit to Acres was with her church back in 2014. 2 years later on another visit she got to talk with a young woman named Andrea. The impact of those moments were potent upon her heart. She spoke with her husband and then her kids about Andrea. The family decided it was time to give Andrea a hopeful future in a family. Juliette committed to visiting, mentoring, most importantly being a Mom to Andrea. This is something Andrea has always wanted and needed.

      Andrea who is a recent graduate of Acres of Hope was a former foster child. When Juliette came to visit that fateful day, a staff member told her, "Andrea is a wonderful girl with a beautiful heart and all she really needs now is a family". "I have a heart that loves to help others, and I love being a mom so we welcomed her in", Juliette shared.

      The impact for the Bickford's and Andrea has been amazing. Juliette's children have learned that there are realities in the world unlike the safety and love they have known. It has made them want to make a difference in the world for kids without families. Andrea and her daughter now have family, and permanent support. Most importantly the love that has grown through the grafted family is a revelation that God truly does place the orphans into families.

       Juliette thought she was just coming for a tour and to share resources back in 2014. But God had other plans. He wanted to bring together people who would love and support one another. 

 

There are ways that you can be involved in the lives of our families at Acres of Hope

1. Become a Mentor for a Mom

2. Become an Angel Grandma or Grandpa to our youth

3. Become an Adoptive Family to our Mom's and their children

 

To learn more visit: acresofhopeonline.org  or call: 530-878-8030

Every Success Story Starts With A Dream

She opens her eyes. Like crystals glistening beneath the noon day sun, the sparkle of hope breaks through. The reality of all she can be sets itself deep within her heart. It's an anthem that her past, her former fears, and pain can no longer silence. Her transformation is apparent. Her renewal is intriguing to those still lost. She pulls out her list that she has been marking off. Education, check. Job, check.  Kids reunified, check. Record expunged, check. As she looks down at her list she releases the deepest of sighs. She has done it; she has worked the process. She has fought the good fight. She will graduate from Acres of Hope. She walks over to her bed and listens to the sounds of her children playing. Seeing their mother resting, the children run and leap into her arms. She looks at each of them and whispers with hope in her heart, our dreams are now a reality. 

 

Become a part of making dreams a reality visit: acresofhopeonline.org or call 530-878-8030

An Acres of Hope Story: Unchained, She's Free

 

The sound of the chains striking the ground
         Is the war cry of freedom from what kept her bound

                             She use to know isolation, caged in everyone's secrets
                                   Yet now she runs free, and her joy cant be depleted

Her mouth was sealed
Her heart revealed
Wounds and shadows of a life left unhealed

          Rain soaked her pillow, from storms eyes only could give
                        Her agony left her cold, as she searched for a reason to live

                                              Desperate for solace, a comfort beyond herself
                                                            She sought renewal, and transformation
                                                                     A breaking from her old self

She needed a love that she had never known
           She needed seeds of protection that had never been sown

                              She desired a place that was stable where she could grow
                                 She looked to the Rescuer, crying, tell these chains to let me go

Peace and certainty is what she found
          As the chains began to crumble and they sounded off upon the ground

                 Warriors came forth and fought at her side
            To wage war with the barriers that tried to hold her inside

                                            The barricades that had been built by her pain
                        Also from the shadows she had always known, when she was in chains

Until the day when a sweet soul brought in a light, an ax, and a rope
To cut off the strongholds, bind up her broken heart, and lead her to Acres of Hope

                                      She's free, and she will never be the same.

 

                                             acresofhopeonline.org

You're Safe: Settling In

         On Saturday the mothers here at Acres of Hope joined together for some quality time. The kids laughed and played. The chores were completed. The air was filled with the smell of brownies. Finally, the group of women gathered in the family room for an inspirational film.

         Glancing around the scene, seeing the contentment on each mother's face was bliss. They have security, warmth, and the ability to know they are safe. At Acres of Hope, mothers come in with stories of pain, abuse, and abandonment. Yet when they arrive at Acres, they receive security, commitment, community, and love. They receive a key to a home they can call their own. They have the basic necessities of life provided, thanks to amazing volunteers and donors like you. Mothers at Acres of Hope receive the support of mentors, counselors, and a staff team that does all they can to come alongside of them. They make sure our families know they are safe, supported, and loved. Accountability helps them move forward in their lives. They are given encouragement for each feat they accomplish.

       Acres of Hope is a safe place for our families to settle in. Thank you for helping Acres of Hope give our residents a hopeful future.

                                                    

 

I love you

From the first moment I could hear your heartbeat on the ultra sound

The first time I felt your little foot kick, or saw your little fingers with slobber from your mouth

The first time you smiled at me, the first time you laid on my chest

The first curl of your fingers around mine

The first time my heart raced in worry making sure you were fine

Every detail of your life, matters to me

You are my world

You bring joy into my life, 

You're the reason I'm here, the reason I fight

The reason I chose Acres of Hope

To make sure we would be alright

I love you, from the depths of my heart

With all of my being, 

I will give you my best

I love you

Your Mama Loves You

 

My Daughter Will Know, An Acres of Hope Story

No one could have known the feeling, the shock, the excitement, the realization, that her life was no longer the same. The moment a mom who has struggled, now overcomes. She wins back custody, wins back the title of full time Mom. "My daughter will know I fought for her" she utters, believing it in her core. Fear has grown silent, and now this new place, of HOPE. Acres of it. Is hope really for me. What do I do now? This is all so new to me, she thinks to herself. Then once again the shock, the shock that God answers prayers. That in doing so the lie that God doesn't care about her is extinguished. The fact that she has people fighting on her behalf and speaking of her character and integrity, overwhelms her. But she is reminded to sit back, enjoy the moment, and take it in. Hold onto the good, hold onto the truth, that God cares about his children. That she can have a Hope Unleashed. 

I believe hope, because I see the fruit of it everyday

acresofhopeonline.org

 

Common Sense

Many people say that a person may lack common sense. Usually this statement is said when something that seems so simple for a community of people is misunderstood, or lacking for a person who has never been shown. For Example:

A woman who comes in needing help tying her daughters shoes. Tying shoes? Really? However no one knows this young mother has come from a life of neglect and trauma. No one knows that she didn't get freedom until she was an adult. No one knew that she wasn't given shoes until she left the abuse. People might say that's impossible, I can tell you it's true. 

The woman who doesn't know how to file taxes, 

The one who doesn't know how to do hair,

The one who has never cooked or even made a pb and j sandwich

The one who doesn't know how to properly take care of her cycle or why it even happens

The ones who don't know how to raise a child, because they were not properly raised themselves.

The ones who don't know how to live outside of abuse because no one ever told them they were worth more.

The ones who struggle to leave drugs, because it is the only peace they've known.

The ones who return to abuse for love, because it is the only love they've felt. 

Common Sense, isn't common sense if the common reality, you come from, does not match the common reality someone else comes from.

Here at Acres of Hope, we have figured that out. 

At Acres we get to see what the world calls common sense, is not the reality for thrivers and survivors of life's hardknocks. You might look at them and think this is common sense, Yet from their viewpoint they might say the same about you, in the cases of their reality. 

 

Common Sense is defined as- good sense and sound judgment in practical matters.

These Moms have gone through the School of the Hard Knocks, their practical hasn't been the same as someone going through life with healthy relationships, stability, and strong support. It is now they are learning about the common world outside of the life of abuse, neglect, drugs, homelessness, and a lack of love. So sometime soon what we call common sense, they too will be able to say the same.