Julie in Michigan

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I care

If you’ve ever been in any kind of a therapy situation, you know the value of the ‘right’ question. I was asked one of those yesterday. I heard it coming as I was talking with a new friend and was invited to ask any questions that I had. My initial response was to reply that this wasn’t a job interview and I didn’t have a prepared list of questions, although I had recently had this assignment in a class situation and did have a few ready. I asked, “What are your goals?” knowing that as the response came, the question would likely be turned back on me. Although I was listening to the answer I was being given, my mind considered what I would reply… I planned something along the lines of the web work that I most enjoy. However, when the question came, these words fell out of my mouth: “To run a non-profit”.

Oh my, who planted those words in my mouth? Those of you who know me well will know my response is God’s plan for me. I guess maybe it is. My mind flashed back to spring and summer of 2009 as the most important thing on my mind was establishing AgeOut.org, a non-profit organization for teens who age-out of Foster Care. What happened? I wondered.

Life itself, or God as I choose to believe, needed me to physically change locations. By the end of that summer, the organization was not first and foremost on my mind, rather moving was. The next year propelled me from the east side of the state to the west. On the surface I had my reasons, blah, blah, blah. I also found another organization with the same focus, just not all my ideas. My idea was on hold until I determined whether it would be better to just support them with their organization.

This morning I have a glimmer of a reason. Complex, coincidentally, all those coincidences where God chooses to remain anonymous, but I choose to think of as Miracles. Going back into the business plan, I remembered, Western Michigan University is the location of several organizations that had sparked my interest because of their focus on teens facing homelessness based on their looming 18th birthday.

In Kalamazoo, Mich., Western Michigan University began a scholarship program last September for 51 students leaving foster care without support. Using a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, it offers free tuition, academic help and year-round housing. Foster-care teens become homeless and often hopeless, however help is available if they know about it.

Surprise, surprise, I have ‘another’ reason to go to Kalamazoo this week. I think I’ll stop by WMU and see who I might meet.

I smile as I see God’s handiwork as it all comes together.

Monday, November 8, 2010

First Snow

Last Thursday was it. I’ve heard this is an early date for the beginning of the season but the last two winters I’ve been here I’ve had other things on my mind besides recording the date and the years I grew up here are just a distant memory. So, I’ll accept local opinion and consider it an early start.

But it’s here! I actually love the first snow. Favorite memories of the first sight of those glimmering flakes make it a great day for me. Whether I’m inside by the fire, walking, driving as I was this year or leaving the grocery store, the vision always stirs me.

The image on the right is the last snow of the year, my first winter season back in Michigan after so many years. The picture was taken in April of 2009. I didn’t know, although I really expected, it would be the last snow. But it was just so beautiful I couldn’t resist.