Saturday, October 31, 2015

I Don't Even Know What To Call This Blog

There is a lot of sugah-coated-love and neighborly knocking on doors that will take place this weekend.  My little Mario is out of town.  You guys better save me a Reese's cup.

This 10/31 is different for me.  I'm doing some things.  Turning stuff down.  Clearing out space.  Here's how...

Thing 1?  (Hahaha... because that's so much better than saying, "Step 1.")

No Notifications November.

Yep.  I'm stepping away from allowing social networking to creep into our moments with a little screaming number.

I don't really know how that plays out.  I just know that it is the song we're singing right now.

I may be online.  I may see a message.  I may see notifications.  I may not answer.

It's not you.  It's me.

Really.  (Like, really... really.)  I love my online community so much.  I'm just going to be a little less available there and more available in the face to face world for a bit... particularly with my own family.

Thing 2? 

I'm making room for MIRACLES.

That's a little more basic and a little deeper than it sounds.  I might explain more later, but for now I'm looking at 2 guys that I adore... and I want to spend more time with them, for them, about them, and investing in them.

Figuratively, physically, and emotionally, I'm making room for MIRACLES.

It's kind of about beams and batons.  Walk with me for a moment down memory lane.

I used to take beam when I was in gymnastics as a child.

It terrified me to my core.  No joke.

Beams are SMALL.

Especially once you become accomplished at beam work.  The beams get smaller in width and the tricks get fancier.  I vividly remember my teacher saying, "And now you will do your back walkover on the beam... and then leap on the beam..."

Much like when she said, "And now you'll do two turns with your baton in the air" during baton class, I just wanted to cry.. and run... and never come back...

Right after we celebrated how cool it was that I could actually pull this off.

I mean, come on... the fancy, dangerous stuff wanted me.  Clearly, I had evolved, even if it wasn't the original cloth from which I was cut.

So, I tried.  And tried.  Tummy aches.  Class.  Tummy aches.  Class.  Accomplishments.  I COULD do it.  I could work harder to "be better" at something I didn't love... but I was MISERABLE doing it.

I'm not into danger, people.  I'm not into pain.  Some are.  Not me. I am a hard worker, though, by design.  Always have been.

What I'm finding is that we still have beams as adults.... and as they get smaller, the footwork still gets fancier.  We still get things to juggle and twirl in the air... but we get more of them than ever before if we aren't very careful.

Satan will absolutely twist a "good trait" into overdrive if we allow it.  He'll whisper sweet nothings from the side of "the fast, dangerous, fancy stuff wants you" side of the coin -- all the while using one of our God-given traits to get us to work harder to be better at a task to which God never called us.

Is the baton bad? 

Is the beam bad?

Not one bit.

Just not the beam or baton God had in mind for us when he made us.

As it turns out, I actually ended up teaching dance for years.  Danced in some Super Bowls and internationally for a little second.  Had the privilege of working with and dancing alongside some dance legends.  Taught some of the most precious souls on the planet as a Lead Instructor for a season. Even got to do some fancy footwork as a ballroom instructor for a bit.

I was good at what I did and excelled in the places God allowed me to dance, lead, and love.  I worked hard, but I didn't work against who He made me to be....

But I never would have known God put strength there if I stayed on that beam or kept that baton in the air over my head....

Because God called Susie to that beam...

And He called Sally to that baton...

He called Christie to fancy footwork (on the GROUND), teaching, gracing a stage, tossing other daring souls into the air (thank you, Jennifer, Kristie, and friends), and hugging hearts for a season.

I had to be willing to quit some things first, though.  I had to quit baton.  I had to quit beam.  I had to make space for the more that He had my name on... even when it looked like less.

Jen Hatmaker talks about what goes on our "beam" in life.    Whether we like it or not, we all get a figurative one. Right?  She's unapologetic about what goes on hers or doesn't make it on hers, because there is simply not much room up there. and there's a lot of loving to do.

Lysa Terkeurst talks about our "Best Yes."  Only allowing ourselves to say yes to the BEST yes answers to which God calls us.  There are a lot of GOOD Yes answers... but only a few BEST yes answers.

Turning down the notification noise is my flavor of doing both.  Making room for miracles and embracing grace.  Clearing off my beam.

Y'all, I'm so excited.

Saying NO or just getting back to things later is sometimes exactly where God opens the door for His more.  His more is always so much better than anything I can imagine.

I'll keep you posted, and I'll be peeking in-- even posting still.  I just won't be reading or replying as much.

I'm just reading the pages at this house right now with more intensity and fervor than ever before... and writing some new chapters.   10/31 holds a little more than candy and costumes this year.  I'm a little bit stoked.

I HAVE NO IDEA what to call this blog that I just wrote. :)

I do know what to call this place... GRACE.

Copyright © 2015 by Christie Aitken. All rights reserved.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Young or Old - Honor Matters

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12 I'm blessed to be surrounded by young women, via my ministry efforts and non profit work. I'm in relationship with some of the most precious sisters I could ever want to meet... and many of them are considerably younger than I am. On any given day, these young women can teach me. It's true. Age is merely an indicator that I've been blessed to suck wind in and out for a few days more than them. If I look down my nose at them through a "I'm older and wiser" tower of superiority, that's when I lose. Now, I'm nearing 40, so I'll confess and say that I am in that middle ground age. I'm not the 20-something who is just entering adulthood. I'm not the 50-something who has adult children. I'm not the 80-something with a lifetime of stories to reflect on. I'm smack dab in the middle- benefitting from the beauty of all of the ages around me. And I've learned not to categorize people because of their age.... because some of the most wise statements I have ever heard have come from the 13 year old in my home. Who am I to say that age is an indicator for how God can use someone? I'm not. God uses my beautiful younger sisters just as much as He uses me, and as much as He uses those who have experienced this world longer than I have. I need the spunk and fearlessness of some of my sisters, mixed with the wisdom and discernment of others. I need the passion and assertiveness of a few of my sisters, mixed with the peace-filled silence of others. I need what each of you have to offer. So I won't judge you for your age, and I'll you not to judge me for mine. I will only accept you at heart-value, and ask you to do the same for me. ...for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. 1 Sam. 16:7

Let's look at each other's hearts.

Yes, it's harder to look there than to just make assumptions.  But friends, assumptions are a cop out.  Let's just call them what they are.  It's easier for me to say, "Oh, she's just young... she doesn't know what's coming" than it is to actually hear someone out and take the chance that she might have something to teach me.

Lord, don't let me cop out.

Don't let me take the easier softer way.

I believe you said, "Let the little children come to me" because you believed they had something valuable to say... some increasingly beautiful commentary to add to the moment.

And let's flip that script, ladies...

Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father,younger men as brothers... 1 Timothy 5:1
Let's go a step further and take this to the ladies.... don't rebuke older women, but ENCOURAGE them as you would a mother, younger women as sisters...
The women who are our elders, be the 45 and 85, are just that.  Don't assume they are wrong simply because they may have some different ideas.

The season may have shifted, the timing may be different, but there is something to be heard in what they share.  It should never be dismissed.

God doesn't have categories of who is worth hearing, friends.

We're the ones that establish those.

Let's break the chains of assumptions today, and EMBRACE the women of God right in the season they are in.  

May we speak highly of one another, or simply not speak at all.
May we honor one another.

May we assume the best of one another.

May we seek to strengthen one another and share our gifts.
May we opt to be keenly aware of each other's spiritual gifts, and completely forgetful when it comes to each other's shortcomings.

May we be grace, regardless of age.  May we be grace.

Because young, old, or somewhere in between, we all need a heaping of grace.
Copyright © 2015 by Christie Aitken. All rights reserved.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

From Problem to Provision

So, this story is still being written, but I had to give you all an update.  It's not about this girl getting a blessing, but completely about the One who is willing to give them.  I want to always share our story, because I believe that what He will do for me, He will do for another.

If you follow my blog you know that my car died a sputter, sputter, I-Am-So-Dead kind of death on Friday.  The only chance of revival is a new engine.  One of my friends is a car pro, and he delivered the not so great news-- but only after helping me figure out how to get the car towed.  (Blessing? YES!)

My Camry was born in a good year.  The year was 1998.  Our paths were connected when a whole loaf of pregnancy-induced peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and a pregnancy test told me that my 1994 Dodge Stealth wasn't going to hold a car seat very well.

So, I stepped into the world of having a Mom Mobile.  (Face it guys.  When you leave a cherry red sports car for a Camry, it has to be parenting related.)

Anyway, here I am in 2015... and it appears that the Camry has seen it's final days in the sun.

It left me in what felt like a pinch, but as I last posted, I spent the weekend praising God with about a zillion of my sisters at #reCreate15 at Church of the Highlands.  I mean, I had the choice to cry over messed up wheels or rock about a risen Savior.  Thanks, Alex.  I'll take Door #2.

I prayed boldly most of the conference.  I believed that God was going to get me through the week with a car.  I founded a non profit that has a major worldwide event this week along with our local event, and not having a car was simply not an option.

With a Monday holiday, though, I was skeptical as to how many dots could be connected before Tuesday.

So, the Saturday afternoon session was about to close when I got a message from my friend, Sharion.

Here's what it said:

"Did you make it to reCreate?  I have access to an extra car right now if you need to borrow it.  Love you."

Friends, Charlotte Gambill was speaking when I received this message... and I just lost it.  It wasn't an emotional point in the message, either... so I was that leader wearing a blue shirt advertising Small Groups, sniffling and snotting like nobody's business.  :)  I was more like the advertisement for "A small group isn't a small group until someone breaks out the Kleenex."

See, I was sitting there praying, and quite honestly, I'm not sure how much of Charlotte's message I was getting.  Like Peter when he took his eyes off Jesus and started that sinking into the water instead of walking on it, I was tired and starting to sink a little.

My mind had been rolling to my schedule for the upcoming week.  The doctor's appointment I had to attend, the non profit event I was called to run, the Governor's committee luncheon that I needed to be in attendance at, and .. work, my school, the kids' school, the textbook I needed to pick up, the... the... the...oh LORD!!! Help!  My heart was racing as I wondered for that split second if God really realized that this single parent, single car, single income gal simply could not do this without His divine intervention... and a car.

I prayed and tried to tune back into the message, but my mind kept wandering.  So I committed the ultimate "oh my goodness you facebooked in church" sin, and I checked my messages.  :)

That's when I saw the answer from Sharion.  My message from God.  Here's your car, sweetie.  And why?  Because SHE had her eyes on Jesus when I lost my gaze and got distracted by fear, and "God told her" to let me borrow her car.

My problem had become my provision... just like the message that had been taught throughout the conference.  Everything I believed for was coming to pass, because of the One I trusted with the need.

I'll tell you, I realized in this that I'm not very humble.  I had a willingness check that brought me to my knees.  Was I willing to do whatever it took if God said, "Not right now" about a car?

Was I willing to reach out and ask for help to get the kids to school?  Was I willing to get a cab, if needed, to get me to work?

Y'all.... I balked.  I did.  I'm embarrassed to admit that I balked.  Like I'm something special.  Like I'm too good for a cab, a bus, or anything else.

I completely balked at the very thing I would have told another woman to be willing to do.  I balked and it showed me just how much growth God has to do in this heart.  I needed this lesson.  I did.

So before Sharion's message, I had to hand that egotistical nature to God and say, "Lord, I'm willing. Whatever it takes.  I'm willing.  Humble this heart... make me like you.  I'm special in your eyes, no doubt, but I never want to be terminally unique."

I got willing and He began working... almost instantly.  Sharion's message followed shortly thereafter.  She had a need for this car, and I had a need for a car.  God matched us up for a win that was so ridiculous that I still have to look in my driveway and realize, "She let you borrow her brand new car."  What a blessing to have a friend that trusts me that much!

A new-to-me car or a new engine.

That's where we are; however, LOOK AT how my Lord provided... just for this season to find the next answer.

Sometimes the answers do not come all at once, friends.  Sometimes they come in pieces.

God sees the whole puzzle, though, when we only see the pieces in our hands.

Hold on to "whole puzzle" kind of faith.  Pray over the piece in front of you.

He has so much more in store.

Copyright © 2015 by Christie Aitken. All rights reserved.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

By Our Worship

We recognize our friends.  Mine would likely describe me as "the girl with big, curly hair."

Hey... it's a thing.  You either embrace it or you go down with a flat iron in your hand as the Alabama humidity falls out of its chair laughing hysterically at you.

Sometimes we describe our friends by their characteristics.  "She's the girl with curly, big hair and she's always laughing."  (I'm going with only the best case scenario descriptions today, friends.  Notice, however, that the big hair JUST WON'T go away.  It's a staple in every description.)

Anyway, this weekend God brought me to a realization.  He did it in a really subtle, understated way.  Nonetheless, He did it.  He wants more.

I was at reCreate 2015, a women's conference that my church hosts each year.  Thousands of women journey to our church over a 3 day period to soak up all that God has for them.  It's a powerful time, and we end up seeing a LOT of people over the course of the time we are there.

Add to that the single mother's ministry that I run online at Single Mom Central, and I am likely to see many women that I e-know, but have never met in person.  I know them by heart, but may have never gotten to meet them face to face.  To some that sounds like insanity, but I promise you Jesus is so real there.  It's astounding how He works.

So, on Night #1 of the event, our seats were in the back.

The praise music started, and for some reason I looked to my left.  There was a woman there worshipping, and it was beautiful to watch her have this up close and personal encounter with the King of Kings.

She was clearly just resting in His presence and delighting in all that was His love.

I watched her for a moment.  I could not see her face.  It was dark, and the only thing I could make out was blond hair and a pony tail.  She literally could have been anyone for all that I could see of her features from where I was sitting and the way the lighting hit.

But I knew her. I knew within a moment it was my online friend, Christine.  We've met in person maybe 2 or 3 times.

We connect online nearly daily, though.  I know this precious daughter of the Most High King by HEART.  That's just God, y'all.  Only God builds those kind of friendships.

I didn't interrupt her time with our Father, but I knew.  That was my friend, and I was so blessed by her in that moment... and she had no idea.

Ladies, what does it look like if people know us by our hearts?  What if people recognize us by the way we worship instead of the way we look?

Oh, I pray that's a thing in my life.  May people see a trail of grace and love that could ONLY be the signature of my Father.  May they see it in me.  May they see it in you.  Worship that speaks so effectively that we never have to identify ourselves or say a word.

Let it be, Jesus.  Let it be.

Copyright © 2015 by Christie Aitken.
All rights reserved.

Wants and Needs

"We learned about wants and needs, Mommy."  That's what my seven year old said.

What a teachable moment!  I immediately started dialogue with my baby about how wants were things like toys and needs were things like food and a car... things we had to have for day to day life.

He agreed with me.  His toys were a want.

And then he said, "It won't make you die."

I paused.

Were we having one of those "autism language moments" where I would need to further investigate?

So, I tried to help him get to the words for which he was clearly searching.

"What won't make you die, baby?", I asked.

"A car.  It won't make you die, Mommy."


Jen Hatmaker's words (or a Christie Aitken version of the same) hit me like a ton of bricks.

"If it's not true for a single mother in Africa, it's not true."

So, a car.  It's not a need.

It won't make me die.

If I don't have one, I will not die.

Jesus, take the wheel.  Please.

Because THIS single mother who had equated my car with my very ability to take care of my children and provide...


I forgot.

That YOU are in charge of that role.  You are our provider.

My car doesn't keep us alive.  My car doesn't nourish us.

My car only puts me in a position of perceived control.... and that's not a role I want today.

My baby expounded, "Water will make you die.  Food will make you die."

What he meant?  A lack of food and water will make us die.  That is a need.

And it's true for a single mother in Africa who is fighting for the very lives of her children.

Thank you, Lord.

For seven year old teachers and cars that don't provide for us.

My car died yesterday.

On the way to a women's retreat with my church in a city about 2 hours away.

My false sense of security died... completely stripped away via the tow truck that carried it to glory.

I have no idea when God will bring the next chariot, but I know that He knows our need.

So for today, GLORY is shown through a seven year old's teachings... because He listened to his teacher at school, and because he knows that words matter.

Lord, as I drink this cup of coffee that is so not a need, but a frill that You provide, make me aware of the actual NEEDS around me.

Bring me closer to you, and let this Mama REST in the overflow of Your love.


A Mama who has EVERY Need Met... Just for Today

Copyright © 2015 by Christie Aitken. All rights reserved.


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Students as Teachers with Bibles at School

So, tomorrow is #BringYourBible to school day.

Only my oldest will not be at school tomorrow.

When I told Beau that there was a conflict, his immediate response was, "Well, I guess I take my bible to the meeting then... and hey, Mama, can we take bibles and give to everyone?" So, yes, he's taking his bible to the State Board of Education meeting tomorrow.... and he's praying on that whole having-extra-bibles-to-pass-out-at-will thing. It's a little bit amazing that the prayers of so many adults that brought Alabama to this place of "saying the D word" (dyslexia) is being wrapped up with a 13 year old speaking life over the same. I imagine that my child is not the only one. This is truly sacred ground.
This journey started formally (for us) when he was 7 years old. Tomorrow is (God willing - and I like to think He is), going to be the restart button that takes things to the next level for the next child. Only God. Only God.

So, earlier tonight Beau was telling me that when we meet with Mayor Todd Strange this month about dyslexia, he wants to talk to him about creating a business that cleans up properties around the city that "just need a little help" to get back on their feet... and that his business would "do it for free." He wants to hear Mayor Strange's thoughts about "getting this city looking so good".  

My 13 year old is completely serious, too. You need to know that. He's serious... pointing out properties along Atlanta Highway and saying how he can totally get them back in good condition.

He has this crazy huge vision that makes me feel super tiny in a big, giant world. He sees no limits and can't imagine why people wouldn't want to jump on board for the good of all mankind.

Exhibit A? A lady near my work had a wreck today. It was a parking situation and it just wasn't good. She was positioned poorly in the parking area following the wreck, and I'm afraid people were not very nice about not being able to get around her. She was distraught on top of the obvious distress of having an accident. Those people were distraught over being late for work. Beau's take? He said we should "really set up laws" that "if you CAN help, that you DO help"... and that people should just stop and do it. Legislating morality. Yes. We talked about it and how it might not have the impact for which he hoped, but that I totally love his spunk and his belief that people have goodness in them.

Oh this heart... a heart for ministry and "free business" (non profit) work. A longing to get everyone on board. A heart that is so innocent and simply sees no limitations.

I think the bible calls that childlike faith. Just believing that God is who He says He is, and why in the world would He put something on your heart if He didn't mean to help you out with it. A heart that believes if God puts someone in front of you, that you simply should stop and help... because clearly that is your role in that moment.

Oh, Lord, mold and shape this heart to the areas that YOU want him impacting. Teach him grace to know that everyone won't always want to join in, but that doesn't change the callings you place before him. Teach him that he can carry his bible and his beliefs everywhere He goes and that the change simply has to begin with him... and then others will sometimes be inspired to join with when he walks it out with YOUR JOY. And when/if they aren't inspired? Well, it's just okay. Because that's not his journey. He's just supposed to be salt and light and love. Your role, Lord, is to handle what comes from that salt, light, and love.

He told me tonight that he wants to increase our team for the work we do. He wants people working on different shifts so that I can "rest a little more." <3 I taught him about new dreams require a little more work on the front end, but how God builds amazing teams. So he's spoken our expanded team into existence tonight.

Don't you love when God gives a prophetic word to your child? The very things I've been praying for, my child cast vision for this evening. <3 He even took it further than what I could see.

A great night of worship followed by a fantastic night of the student being the teacher. Lord, I'm so in awe of you. Thank you for the blessings, my boys, and just Who you are. It truly is so very well with this soul.

Love, Christie

Copyright © 2015 by Christie Aitken. All rights reserved.

Monday, October 5, 2015

God Can. I Can't. I Think I'll Let Him.

"I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten-- the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm -- my great army that I sent among you." Joel 2:25
He didn't say, "I might make things right for you."  He said "I will repay."

He didn't say, "I'll handle the repayment of the little things for you."

He said he'd handle the great and the small things.

Our Father sees.

He does.

The world can rob and steal to great degrees, and the evidence around you will look like you have been left to battle alone.

The real deal?

There's no battle for you at all.

Ephesians 6:12 says it' like this, "
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."

The battle is not for us, but for God... and He's already won.

He continues the fight on our behalf - reminding the devil that He cannot win against royalty (pssst! That's God's kids, by the way!).  

But it's just a reminder.

The battle is already won.

I pray that we all walk in that assurance.  When the world has slapped you around and it looks like it is winning, I pray that you continue fighting the good fight.

What does that fight look like?  It looks a lot like quiet.

"He says, "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."" Ps. 46:10
So be still.  KNOW.  He's God and we don't have to be.  We don't even have to try.

God Can.  I Can't.  I Think I'll Let Him.

Copyright © 2015 by Christie Aitken.
All rights reserved.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Drinking from the Fire Hydrant and Filling Up Cups

I feel like I'm drinking from the fire hydrant.  Have you ever felt like that?

You start out hot and thirsty, standing outside in the blazing sun.  Sweating bullets.  Burning up and tired out.  Just looking for a little drink - a momentary reprieve before continuing on.

Some loving soul then sees you and hands you a hose with water flowing.... 

From a fire hydrant.

It flows and it flows.  Full blast.  Problem solved. You're not thirsty now.  Right?


Yes.  :)  Now you are simply flooded with the very answer you sought.  You're thrown back a little, but it's so amazing as you have so much of what you needed.  You're in shock. 

There's so much good that it's staggering, and you're swimming in the overflow... rushing to gather every drop to share the love.  Because this CANNOT end with you.  There is simply too much good to share and you want to....

To deliver a bucket of water to the guy down the street who had his water cut off last week....

To saturate the yard of the lady in the next town whose been living in drought conditions for years...

To pour into the life of the child in the next country who has never seen water from a hose at all. She's only seen a bucket here or there with whatever made it her way.

Welcome to my world, friends.

I'm there.  So there.

I'm drinking from the fire hydrant and swimming in the very answers for which I prayed.  
It's beautiful and the stuff that answered prayers are made of... and it can be overwhelming in the best way possible.

A little background... my house is the perfect example of an average American household.  Middle income.  Single parent. 2 kids and a dog (we added fish this year- I'm such a risk-taker, y'all.)

We're also part of a select group of families that live with learning differences and unique health care needs.  Dyslexia, ADD, and Autism (just to name a few.) are the flavors of "fearfully and wonderfully made" at my house. We also have blue eyes, dimples, curly hair, and a ridiculous amount of "you are definitely going to be 5' 9" or shorter, kid" going on around here. We're never boring, and as the Mama of this brood, I tend to think they are crazy cute, to boot.

Some of you know our story.  In short, I have 2 amazingly cool kids who needed instruction specific to their learning differences.  Why?  So that they can walk away from their school years with what every other kid receives --- a good education that will prepare them for life and help lead them to their God-given callings.

At our house, the needs were pretty clear.  Plainly put, we needed tutors.  We needed technology. We needed therapies and programs.  "Need" was and continues to be a big word in our house.  We needed help in our desert.

We needed a sip of water.

Some days the water was brought to us.  
I vividly remember the day that a friend of mine simply gifted my boys with their iPads.  It literally changed our lives.  Speech to text technology.  Social stories that my child could help create in a click.  Spell Check.  

For the love, y'all.  Spell Check. Let's talk about Spell Check.  I am convinced there are no spelling errors in heaven.  Yeah.  I'm going on record officially to say that NO ONE will give a flip about spelling one sweet day and there will be no red ink pens unless they are writing awesome words like #RedeemingRed. :)

Anyway, you get the idea.  My kids and I were given a reprieve because someone cared and helped connect needs to services.  It mattered more than they would ever know.  (High five, Mr. Stephen.)

On other days, I worked HARD to find the water.  Worked until I thought I would just collapse into a heap.  I was tired and couldn't just write a check to get to the solutions my kids needed.  Hear me when I say that I KNOW there are others of you out there going through this. I get your emails.  I see your posts.  I hear it in your voice after IEP meetings, therapy sessions, 504 meetings, and more. If you nothing else that I type here resonates, please remember this.  YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

So, one day our story changed a bit.  I thought I was just waving a white flag of surrender, and God opened the floodgates.  Too many changes to even write out here.  One day I'll share them, though.  One day. :)

Today, I'll just say that He knew we were way beyond band-aids for the educational boo boos we were facing.  He took those Ouch Years and turned them into OPPORTUNITY.  He entrusted us with the vision of our nonprofit, Roundtable Solutions.

Now my family and some amazing donors, friends, volunteers, and a beautiful Board of Directors are taking our collective experiences and passion and we're putting it to work for the good of the next.

Understand when I say that anything good that comes from this is NOT us, but all about God using us to help navigate these waters as He connects us for greater good than we can ever imagine.

Just my personal thoughts here (well, I guess that's what this whole blog is, eh?), but I don't believe we're on this journey as some kind of cosmic God-whammy where He sees if we can take the heat.

I believe with everything in my being that these journeys will be used for GOOD and not for harm, and that lives will change far beyond today because one of us looks at the next kid or set of parents and says, "I remember.  I relate.  Let's chat."

I believe one day we'll look back and say, "Ohhhhhh. Now I see. Wow."

So, as life brings us to new friends on this journey, we're building relationships with intent. We need each other.  We are intent on being that bucket of water that changes lives of our Roundtable Solutions families, the schools they are in, and the communities that love them, all by addressing their places of need.  Connecting dynamic kids who have unique learning needs with encouragement and supports - it's the purpose for which we exist.

And we're CELEBRATING, friends.  Oh, how we're celebrating theses kids and the people that love them!  Why does the celebration matter?  Does it really DO anything for them or create any change?

I'll let you ask my oldest son that question.

A child who was fairly convinced that he was not smart at all before we started lighting up buildings in red and selling a few red tee shirts around the world... yeah.  Ask him if the celebration matters.

To him, the celebration is everything.  He holds his head up high and is pretty willing to try to learn anything now.  That matters.  His story matters.
That guy down the street who had his water cut off?  His story matters.

That lady and her kids who've been living in drought conditions?  Their story matters.

That child clear across the world who doesn't even know where the water comes from because she's only seen a leftover bucket here or there?  Yeah, you guessed it.  Her story matters.

So, we celebrate where we're at and where we're going so that we can reach them and draw in new friends along the way.  We'll continue growing and we'll do more and more over time as the river of help flows so beautifully.  We'll collaborate and coordinate, learn and love.  We'll spread awareness until the whole world has an awareness tee shirt in their closet and knows exactly why it's there.

But, I'll ask for forgiveness now.  Because as I learn to balance the water from this fire hydrant that God so lovingly blessed us with, I will make mistakes.  I might be awkward.  I might be overwhelmed. I might miss an email.  I might have to say, "I don't know the answer to that question."  I'll be really, really human.... and you might shake your head a bit.

Remember Moses?  Gosh, I relate to him.  Sitting there looking up saying, "But God, I stutter.  Are you sure?"  And every time He looks back at this gal with her own learning differences and says, "Oh, yes.  Get out there.  I'll send the water.  Grab a poncho and bring some gallon buckets, sweet girl.  Let's go fill some cups to overflowing.  Do what I've asked and I'll do the rest, Christie."

So, I'm soaking wet, completely drenched, and getting sprayed by this red fire hydrant right now... and I'm pretty stoked about it.  Dancing in it, even.

And we're going to be having a few parties about it on a regular basis.  

And there are MANY more to come for friends
we haven't even met, just yet.

Our motives are clear.  To "do life" with you, and then to help connect needs with solutions.  It's what we do.  It's how we love.

If you're still out in your own personal desert, I pray you know that my family and I are praying for you, and our vision is to reach as many of you as we can through the tools God hands us.

We may not ever get to meet, but I pray for "the 1" every single day.  The one we have not met.  The one that needs help.  Every 1 that you ever see in a statistic.  Oh, how I pray for you.

Thanks for loving us and trusting us.  My family is forever changed because you let us bring water. 

Copyright © 2015 by Christie Aitken.
All rights reserved.