Letter #16 to a Woman in Prison

Letter #16 of 30. Actually, I found out I need 36 letters. So of 36. Each woman who attends the prison ministry weekend will receive a handwritten letter from each volunteer. Please pray for us as we prepare for the weekend.
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Dear ______,

My cousin’s young daughters came to visit me this week. One is 6 and one is 12. They are very sweet. The 6-year-old has quite the personality!

Every evening before dinner, the 6-year-old volunteers to pray over the meal. She keeps her prayers short and to the point. “God, bless this food! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!”

Last night after she prayed, she piped up and said, “You know what happens when little people pray? God listens!”

Everyone at the table laughed. It was very cute. But what she said was true. God does listen. God listens not just to the little people, but also to the big people too–especially when we have the faith of a child.

Childlike faith is simple faith. It doesn’t require a lot of effort or thought. Kids just accept the truth that God is and that He loves them, and that is it.

When you pray today, remember this “God listens!”

Praying for you in Jesus’ Name,

Rachael Hartman
Matthew 18:3

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I’m raising money to help pay for this weekend. $150 will pay for one female inmate to attend the Kairos prison ministry I’m volunteering at.

If you would like to donate to the prison ministry, it needs to be in the form of a check made out to: KPMI (which stands for Kairos Prison Ministry International). In the memo put: Pulaski, GA. You can mail it to me, Rachael Hartman, at: PO Box 501, Bloomingdale, GA 31302. If you want a tax credit, include your full name and address on a note and they will mail you a tax receipt.

Thank you so much for your support and prayers! Every $5 goes to pay for a meal for one of the inmates that weekend. The meal will have a tag with your name on it. And we will have a paper chain link that will also have your names on a link to show that you have prayed for and invested into the weekend. Praise God for what He will do! Please keep me in your prayers as I will be speaking on Obstacles to Accepting God’s Grace, and sharing part of my own testimony in the process.

To add your name to the prayer chain (which will be visualized with a paper link chain – your name will be on one link) please leave a comment below. And please pray for Kairos #40 ~ Pulaski Women’s State Prison in Georgia. Kairos weekend happening August 25-28, 2016.

Letter #9 to a Woman in Prison

Letter #9 of 30. Each woman who attends the prison ministry weekend will receive a handwritten letter from each volunteer. Please pray for us as we prepare for the weekend.

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Dear ______,

Quiet times. Do you have them? What do you do with your quiet moments?

I’m a quiet person. I like being quiet. I like quiet people. I like loud people too, but I can only be around them for short periods of time because I like the quiet.

I have a family member who seems to be the exact opposite of me. She constantly has the TV going. If the TV isn’t going, she’s talking. It’s as if she doesn’t like the quiet. She even likes to sleep with the TV on.

Even when I’m quiet, sometimes my brain isn’t quiet. My brain is constantly processing everything in the past, present, and future. It’s difficult for me to turn my thoughts off. Do you ever experience that?

When things get quiet and settled down, it gives me a chance to listen to what my heart and mind need to say. It’s also a time when I can clear my thoughts from everything the world has sent my way, and take some time to listen to God and what He has to say.

In 1 Kings 19:11-12, the Bible describes the voice of God as a “still small voice.” Some people say that your conscience is the voice of God, that little voice that tells you what is wrong and what is right.

Every thought we have comes from one of three sources: God, the devil, or ourselves. If the thought we have is in line with the Bible, then it is from God or from ourselves as we seek to glorify God.

If the thought we have is a lie, or is against the Word of God, then it is from the devil. If we try to justify our thoughts or twist the Word of God to please ourselves, then we are falling into the devil’s trap of deception. Like with Eve, the devil tells us what he is saying is coming from God, but he’s lying.

When we are quiet, one of the best things we can do is meditate on the Word of God, the Bible. We can re-program our thoughts to be in-line with the Word of God.

What are your quiet thoughts saying to you today? Where are they coming from? What would God’s response be?

Praying for you in Jesus’ Name,

Rachael Hartman
1 Kings 19:11-12

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I’m raising money to help pay for the prison ministry weekend. $150 will pay for one female inmate to attend the Kairos prison ministry I’m volunteering at.

If you would like to donate to the prison ministry, it needs to be in the form of a check made out to: KPMI (which stands for Kairos Prison Ministry International). In the memo put: Pulaski, GA. You can mail it to me, Rachael Hartman, at: PO Box 501, Bloomingdale, GA 31302. If you want a tax credit, include your full name and address on a note and they will mail you a tax receipt.

Thank you so much for your support and prayers! Every $5 goes to pay for a meal for one of the inmates that weekend. The meal will have a tag with your name on it. And we will have a paper chain link that will also have your names on a link to show that you have prayed for and invested into the weekend. Praise God for what He will do! Please keep me in your prayers as I will be speaking on Obstacles to Accepting God’s Grace, and sharing part of my own testimony in the process.

To add your name to the prayer chain (which will be visualized with a paper link chain – your name will be on one link) please leave a comment below. And please pray for Kairos #40 ~ Pulaski Women’s State Prison in Georgia. Kairos weekend happening August 25-28, 2016.

Letter #8 to a Woman in Prison

Letter #8 of 30. Every woman who attends Kiaros prison ministry will receive a handwritten letter from each volunteer. Please pray for us as we prepare to go and serve these women.

piper.jpgHave you heard of the cycle of abuse? Or the cycle of addiction? Sometimes we are on the receiving end; sometimes on the giving end.

I never considered these cycles when it came to my relationship with God until today. I am always saying “I’m sorry” and going right back to the same old sin.

The book of Hosea in the Bible tells the story of a prophet (Hosea) who God called to a very unconventional life. God told Hosea to marry a prostitute named Gomer. Hosea loved Gomer, married her, and brought her into his home.

There was a problem though: the woman was restless. Bored. Gomer left her husband and went back to being a prostitute.

But Hosea didn’t stop loving Gomer. In fact, he pursued her even more. He went and bought her back out of prostitution and took her back home. He forgave her, and continued to love her even though she continued to make mistakes.

God has a reason for sending Hosea to love Gomer. The point was for Hosea’s life to be a picture of God’s love for us. God loves us with the same kind of unconditional love Hosea loved Gomer with.

That’s how God loves you. That’s how God loves me. We keep messing up, going back to old idols, and sinning. But God relentlessly pursues us. He loves us with an everlasting love.

Praying for you in Jesus’ Name,

Rachael Hartman
Jeremiah 31:3

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I’m raising $150 to pay for one female inmate to attend the Kiaros prison ministry I’m volunteering at. It may not seem like a lot of money, and you may think I should just pay it myself, but I can’t pass up this opportunity to share the blessing of having you join with me in prayer and support for this weekend. As well, if you understood the time, energy, and travel commitments of each of us volunteers, you would understand why I’m asking for help in raising the financial piece.

If you would like to donate to the prison ministry, it needs to be in the form of a check made out to: KPMI (which stands for Kairos Prison Ministry International). In the memo put: Pulaski, GA. You can mail it to me, Rachael Hartman, at: PO Box 501, Bloomingdale, GA 31302. If you want a tax credit, include your full name and address on a note and they will mail you a tax receipt.

Thank you so much for your support and prayers! Every $5 goes to pay for a meal for one of the inmates that weekend. The meal will have a tag with your name on it. And we will have a paper chain link that will also have your names on a link to show that you have prayed for and invested into the weekend. Praise God for what He will do! Please keep me in your prayers as I will be speaking on Obstacles to Accepting God’s Grace, and sharing part of my own testimony in the process.

To add your name to the prayer chain (which will be visualized with a paper link chain – your name will be on one link) please leave a comment below. And please pray for Kairos #40 ~ Pulaski Women’s State Prison in Georgia. Kairos weekend happening August 25-28, 2016.

Letter #7 to a Woman in Prison

Letter #7. In the Bible, the number 7 represents completion or perfection. Today’s topic is about quite the opposite: sin.

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Dear ______,

Do you know the definition of sin? The dictionary says it is: “an immoral act considered to be a transgression of God’s law.”

I have a definition I came up with a few years ago. I think of sin as: “anything that hurts my relationship with God, with others, or with myself.” I base my definition on The 10 Commandments, found in Exodus 20:2-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21.

  1. You shall have no other gods before Me.
  2. You shall make no idols.
  3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
  4. Keep the Sabbath day holy.
  5. Honor your father and your mother.
  6. You shall not murder.
  7. You shall not commit adultery.
  8. You shall not steal.
  9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  10. You shall not covet.

The first four Commandments are about our relationship with God. The next five Commandments are about our relationships with other people. And the last Commandment is about our relationship with ourself.

The last Commandment concerns a sin I know well: covetousness. To covet is to want something that I don’t have. When I begin to covet something or someone, I begin to create internal dissatisfaction and long for something other than what I have.

When I covet, I prevent thankfulness and contentment. I create depression. I create restlessness. I create a state of mind that makes me vulnerable to hurt, pain, and disappointment.

Philippians 4:9 tells us that God supplies ALL of our needs. Do you believe God has a provision for your needs? He does. He loves you and wants the best for you.

Today I pray you will find rest in God, contentment in His provision, and obedience to His Word.

Praying for you in Jesus’ Name,
Rachael Hartman

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I’m raising $150 to pay for one female inmate to attend the Kiaros prison ministry I’m volunteering at. It may not seem like a lot of money, and you may think I should just pay it myself, but I can’t pass up this opportunity to share the blessing of having you join with me in prayer and support for this weekend. As well, if you understood the time, energy, and travel commitments of each of us volunteers, you would understand why I’m asking for help in raising the financial piece.

If you would like to donate to the prison ministry, it needs to be in the form of a check made out to: KPMI (which stands for Kairos Prison Ministry International). In the memo put: Pulaski, GA. You can mail it to me, Rachael Hartman, at: PO Box 501, Bloomingdale, GA 31302. If you want a tax credit, include your full name and address on a note and they will mail you a tax receipt.

Thank you so much for your support and prayers! Every $5 goes to pay for a meal for one of the inmates that weekend. The meal will have a tag with your name on it. And we will have a paper chain link that will also have your names on a link to show that you have prayed for and invested into the weekend. Praise God for what He will do! Please keep me in your prayers as I will be speaking on Obstacles to Accepting God’s Grace, and sharing part of my own testimony in the process.

To add your name to the prayer chain (which will be visualized with a paper link chain – your name will be on one link) please leave a comment below. And please pray for Kairos #40 ~ Pulaski Women’s State Prison in Georgia. Kairos weekend happening August 25-28, 2016.

Letter #6 to a Woman in Prison

Letter #6 of 30. Each woman who attends the prison ministry weekend I’m volunteering at will receive a hand-written letter from each volunteer. Please pray for our ministry team meeting.
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Dear ______,

My heart is screaming for my attention. I can choose to listen, or choose to silence the cries.

If I listen, I can comfort and console my heart. I can learn the problem and find a remedy. I can learn to trust myself, building full assurance that I will not abandon my heart.

If I choose to ignore the cries of my heart, I will cause neglectful damage. When a problem goes untended to, the situation often gets worse.

If a child or a pet were to cry out in need, would I ignore the cry? Would I scream at the innocent one who is begging for my help? Slap them, and push them to the side? Would I teach them not to come to me?

Or would I respond with love, gentleness, and listening ears? Would I reach out a hand to comfort, and provide nourishment? Would I teach them to come to me?

When my heart cries, sometimes I don’t feel like dealing with the problem. But my heart is my responsibility. I’m learning to listen, to respond with love, and to bring encouragement.

I’m learning that my heart cry is not just asking for my attention. It’s asking me to bring my needs to the Lord. Instead of doing things my own way, or trying to control an outside situation, the best thing I can do is bring my heart and all of its needs to God.

When I don’t understand a situation, when I feel like responding with anger or fear, when I need love . . . It’s time to take my heart to God. He is the only One that is the ultimate answer. He provides direction, strength, peace, and comfort. All we have to do is listen to our heart cries, and bring them to God.

A heart cry is simply this: a call to prayer.

Praying for you in Jesus’ Name,
Rachael Hartman

“Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all you that hope in the LORD.” Psalm 31:24

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I’m raising $150 to pay for one female inmate to attend the Kiaros prison ministry I’m volunteering at. It may not seem like a lot of money, and you may think I should just pay it myself, but I can’t pass up this opportunity to share the blessing of having you join with me in prayer and support for this weekend. As well, if you understood the time, energy, and travel commitments of each of us volunteers, you would understand why I’m asking for help in raising the financial piece.

If you would like to donate to the prison ministry, it needs to be in the form of a check made out to: KPMI (which stands for Kairos Prison Ministry International). In the memo put: Pulaski, GA. You can mail it to me, Rachael Hartman, at: PO Box 501, Bloomingdale, GA 31302. If you want a tax credit, include your full name and address on a note and they will mail you a tax receipt.

Thank you so much for your support and prayers! Every $5 goes to pay for a meal for one of the inmates that weekend. The meal will have a tag with your name on it. And we will have a paper chain link that will also have your names on a link to show that you have prayed for and invested into the weekend. Praise God for what He will do! Please keep me in your prayers as I will be speaking on Obstacles to Accepting God’s Grace, and sharing part of my own testimony in the process.

To add your name to the prayer chain (which will be visualized with a paper link chain – your name will be on one link) please leave a comment below. And please pray for Kairos #40 ~ Pulaski Women’s State Prison in Georgia. Kairos weekend happening August 25-28, 2016.

Letter #1 to a Woman in Prison

Today I started the process of writing 30 unique letters of encouragement. Each woman who attends the prison ministry weekend I’m volunteering at will receive a letter. I’ve decided to share a letter with you. Maybe I’ll share more letters as I write them.

Dear ______,
Today was one of those days where I was around someone who put me down and said several things that made me uncomfortable. I knew in my head that she was the one with the problem. She was using words to create a skewed and fearful reality.
I kept telling myself she was the one with the issue, but my heart still struggled and I never quite felt comfortable. Later in the day, I sat outside and prayed for that woman. I prayed God would help her not to be so stressed out, and that He would give her confidence so she wouldn’t feel insecure or fearful around me.
A lot of times people take out their issues on us. And sometimes we take out our issues on them. Today, I’m praying for you that your mind and heart would be secure in who God says you are, no matter how others may try to make you feel, even unknowingly.
I also pray you wouldn’t take out your problems on other people. It’s not easy to stop taking your problems out on other people, but when we see ourselves doing it, we can have more grace and empathy when other people take their issues out on us.
I’m praying God would sustain you with His Word!
Blessings in Jesus’ Name!

Rachael Kathleen Hartman

Romans 15:7

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

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I’m raising $150 to pay for one female inmate to attend the Kiaros prison ministry I’m volunteering at. It may not seem like a lot of money, and you may think I should just pay it myself, but I can’t pass up this opportunity to share the blessing of having you join with me in prayer and support for this weekend. As well, if you understood the time, energy, and travel commitments of each of us volunteers, you would understand why I’m asking for help in raising the financial piece.

If you would like to donate to the prison ministry, it needs to be in the form of a check made out to: KPMI (which stands for Kairos Prison Ministry International). In the memo put: Pulaski, GA. You can mail it to me, Rachael Hartman, at: PO Box 501, Bloomingdale, GA 31302. If you want a tax credit, include your full name and address on a note and they will mail you a tax receipt.

Thank you so much for your support and prayers! Every $5 goes to pay for a meal for one of the inmates that weekend. The meal will have a tag with your name on it. And we will have a paper chain link that will also have your names on a link to show that you have prayed for and invested into the weekend. Praise God for what He will do! Please keep me in your prayers as I will be speaking on Obstacles to Accepting God’s Grace, and sharing part of my own testimony in the process.

To add your name to the prayer chain (which will be visualized with a paper link chain – your name will be on one link) please leave a comment below. And please pray for Kairos #40 ~ Pulaski Women’s State Prison in Georgia. Kairos weekend happening August 25-28, 2016.

Jesus, the Good Samaritan

Today was the first service in a Revival at our church. The following is what I received from the message this morning by the evangelist, Dale A. Miller, along with what the Lord spoke to my heart.

Do you remember the story of the Good Samaritan? It’s found in Luke 10:25-37.

In short, there was a man who was robbed, beaten, and left on the side of the road to die. Three men happened to see the poor man the day he was left for dead. The first one was a Priest, the second was a Levite, and the third was a Samaritan. Both the Priest and the Levite passed the man up and did not offer to help him. They weren’t moved with compassion or concern. The third man, the Samaritan, had compassion on the man and ended up saving his life.

What is significant in this story is that the Priest (a man of God) and the Levite (a Temple worker) of all people “should have been” the men who would have compassion on the hurt man. They were “church folk” after all.

In Bible times, a Samaritan was a half-Jew. They were the people that came from Jews marrying pagans. They follow their own form of Judaism and were outcasts in Jewish society. Of all people, Samaritans understood what it meant to be rejected, unwanted, unloved, and left for dead. No wonder the Good Samaritan had compassion on the dying man. The Bible says the Good Samaritan bound up the wounds of the hurting man and poured in oil and wine. He then took the man to a place where he could rest, and he paid for someone to take care of him.

The Bible says the Good Samaritan bound up the wounds of the hurting man and poured in oil and wine. He then took the man to a place where he could rest, and he paid for someone to take care of him.

In the Bible, oil represents the Spirit or presence of God. It was also used for healing. Shepherds would pour oil into the scratches on the faces of sheep in order to prevent infection, and to get rid of any fly eggs that might have been laid inside the wounds. Oil is significant. And wine. It represents the joy of the Lord that only comes from the Spirit of God.

Oil = Health & Healing. Wine = Joy.

We all need Oil and Wine from the Good Samaritan, Jesus.

I know. Jesus wasn’t the Good Samaritan. He told the story of the Good Samaritan. But I think the Good Samaritan represents Jesus. Isaiah 53 prophetically describes Jesus as “despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” 

Jesus has compassion for our sorrows and griefs. He knows what it feels like to be rejected and hurting.

The Bible describes Jesus as the Son of God and the Son of Man. His mother was a Jewish girl. His Father, the Almighty Creator.

In a sense, Jesus was a half-Jew. The result of God overshadowing humanity and manifesting Himself into His creation. I think we can say Jesus was a Spiritual Samaritan. Holy, and not of this world, yet earthy flesh.

Jesus sees you as you lie on the road of life, hurt, broken, rejected, beaten, stolen from. He saw that people passed you by, even church people, and didn’t show compassion or try to help at all. He doesn’t care what condition you are in because He cares for you. Jesus loves you, and He has oil (healing) and wine (joy) for you.

 

 

Help Send books to Missionary Kids

The following letter is from my friend Kailey Bradley, founder of Books for MKs (Missionary Kids). Please take the time to consider donating to this cause. 

Dear Friends,

For the next three days, Books for MKs is holding a fundraiser together with Usborne Books!

Books for MKs is a Protestant Christian not-for-profit organization, dedicated to donating books to Missionary Kids on the mission field. We currently mail books to over 140 missionary children! There is no cost to the missionary family at all, and the books are theirs to keep.  It is a free gift!

Help us reach our goal for donations and Usborne Books will match 50% of donations in free books for the MKs!  This offer expires on Tuesday at midnight, so we need to raise funds quickly!

You can be a part of this amazing ministry, and help send books to children in need! Donate NOW at https://www.youcaring.com/books-for-mks

We desperately need funds to cover the cost of postage and to buy more books. Help us put a smile on these MKs faces and reading material in their hands!

I grew up in Mexico as a young Missionary Kid. I was a voracious reader when I was a kid on the mission field. Of course in Mexico, there weren’t any libraries with English books where I could satisfy that appetite for the written word.

The Lord put it on my heart to donate books to kids on the mission field. It means a lot to me personally, especially from my own experiences as an MK of feeling cut off from the English-speaking world. Books help to bridge that gap, and lets MKs (and parents) know that they are not alone out there!

To find out more about Books for MKs, you can visit our website:  https:// booksformks.wordpress.com/

Receiving a package of books has a huge impact on a missionary family!  Below are some of the emails and letters I have received from MKs and missionary parents on the field.  You can see what a special and needed resource this is for them.

Please consider donating and sharing in this great cause!

God Bless,
Kailey Bradley
Founder of Books for MKs

“Not a day has gone by since that they haven’t wanted to read a book. This is so encouraging to me, especially as I worried about my son not being interested in reading or learning how to read before! They have a renewed interest in reading now, so thank you so much for that!  I think it really helps to have some new, exciting books rather than just the same, few old ones we had before.” – Missionary Mom in Colombia

“One of our sons just started reading with the books you sent and he told me: “Mum, I need to practice reading, so I can become a doctor and help the kids in Papua New Guinea who are sick.” –Missionary Mom in Papua New Guinea

“My boys danced around the books and asked me to read them to them on the same day. I wish I could show you their smiles when they opened your parcel. We are so thankful!”–Missionary in West Africa

“Wow!!!! You should have heard the squealing as they opened the box! Thank you!!!!” -Missionary in Costa Rica

“The books you have sent are their favorite books and they call them their treasures.” –Missionary Mom in Japan

“They LOVED the last books! They got them this last week. It was funny, I was just as excited as they were.  I was delivered the box, and  I saw our name on it. I said FOR ME????????? I never get packages! Thank you so much! It was an encouragement. All the kids loved them.” –Missionaries in Peru

Walk Into My Wind

When I was in Texas the Lord spoke to my heart about some situations I was praying about. I was taking a walk at a park while I was praying. I saw a dandelion—the kind that people pick up and blow the seeds into the wind and make a wish with.

The blowable dandelion is the official flower of the Military Child. It represents how a small part of our hearts are left everywhere we have ever lived (I grew up in a military family and we moved a lot).

So, I picked up the dandelion and was praying about those situations. The Lord spoke to me and said, “Walk into my wind and I will blow everything that doesn’t belong in your life out of your life.”

As I walked, the seeds of that dandelion were blowing away with the wind. The flower ended up left with just a few seeds and the core of the stem.

That’s what happens when we seek after God. A lot of our thoughts and ways will be blown away from us as we draw closer to God. He takes us to the core of who we are and says, “I’m going to make something of you. Trust me. I am going to take you places you never knew you could go. I have a plan for your life. But it takes getting down to the core of who you are.”

God bless you.

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My Annual “Single on Valentine’s Day” Post

I think I started writing a thought for singles on Valentines Day probably, I don’t know, 10 years ago? I usually share something I’ve learned about the true meaning of love, doing special things for other people, loving God, loving others, loving self. I recently saw a post about Dairy Queen honoring singles on Valentine’s Day with our own special Blizzard. Everyone is hoping on board the happily single train! And no doubt, there are a lot of things that a single can do to make Valentine’s Day special. But that’s not what I’m going to write about this year.

Last week I attended a Bible study in which a woman who has the gift of prophecy spoke a word into my life. I’m still pondering the meaning of it, and that’s what I’m going to write about this year.

She said, “You’ve outgrown your singleness.” I’ve never in my life had anyone say that.

Usually people say something about how I’m not trying hard enough, or how I am isolated where I live, or how I must be too picky, or they can’t think of anyone who is good enough to introduce to me. That’s the nice side of what is said. I’ve had some really mean things said to me too.

I’ve learned how to tune out their comments, but this new positive comment . . . I’m not quite sure what to do with it. She did clarify and say that she wasn’t meaning that I was going to get married – just that I had outgrown my singleness and that I need relationships to keep growing. She said some other spot-on things too, but I’ll keep those for another day.

What does it mean to outgrow singleness? To need relationships in order to grow?

I’ve come a long way on my own. I’ve grown as a person and I’ve grown in business. I’m still growing. I know the growth could become exponential if I had other people in my life sharing my vision, even one other person would make a huge difference in the growth.

This year I’ve officially started my Life Coaching business. I’m starting to reach out to others to share what I’ve learned. I’ve outgrown my singleness and it’s time to start reaching beyond my own growth, for the growth of others.

What about you? Whether you are single, dating, married, or in something complicated, have you outgrown you? If not, what areas do you still need to grow in? What areas do you have strength to share with the world?

We all have needs, but we all have something to give too. This Valentine’s Day, outgrow your singleness. Reach out to the world around you. Love. Be loved.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

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