Finding Eden Part III
I'm writing this post because I want to remember this day forever. I want a tangible place, idk if the internet counts as tangible, but whatever...just a place to look back on this day in 30, 50, 90 years and be like that was the day it happened.
If you're thinking that thing that has happened is me finding out I'm pregnant - think again. Although, I have seriously been entertaining the thought of surrogacy lately. Seriously, my hormones are pulling for a pregnancy, no matter where it comes from. I was at a birth recently and literally was having LABOR PAINS with the mom; I needed my own doula or something. Idk, am I crazy? I just feel like a double hip squeeze would've been nice. The whole time I'm thinking if this continues I'm likely to have a full on let down when this baby gets here. SOS. I've never even breastfed. And clearly I'm losing it. It all just feels so close in those moments. But back to the point.
Well, you know I love a good story so let me rewind just a bit and fill you in on the thoughts and happenings leading up to today. So grab your coffee and enjoy this little taste of Eden.
Earlier this year, I had decided to dedicate most of my focus towards aspects of Eden House that I fully understood (those being the Birth Services and Shop). Knowing I was going to be entering midwifery school in the fall helped make that a pretty logical pursuit. So I naturally placed the "bigger picture" of Eden House on the back burner and concluded that I would pick it back up when I was finished with school and had my degree. Plus, the "bigger picture" at the time was incredibly vague. And some people were already confused with the small part of Eden House I had shared with the world in January. I had all the questions, from all the people; usually asking something like this, “Soooooo what is all this Eden stuff? You’re doing yoga in gardens? Can men take prenatal yoga? What’s soap got to do with babies? Do you have anything for this rash? Like you’re a doula, but do all doulas make soaps? Are you saying “doo-yuh” or “doo-luh”? Oh, so you’re like a midwife who doesn’t deliver babies, right?”
Ya. Holding off was a no brainer. Stick with this. Let people adjust. Go to school. Dive into “bigger picture” in a few years. Sounds golden.
I was pretty content with the pace of life and the choice to set that "bigger picture" to the side. Until one day I was driving home from work letting my mind wonder away as it does; a Blake Shelton song, or two, or three, was probably involved...just me and my mind falling into an oblivion of pointless thoughts. Then I heard or thought or whatever you want to call it (I call it the voice of the Holy Spirit), say, "What if you took all this empty time you spend on things like this and put it into the Kingdom and the calling on your life." LOL. Then choked on my daily intake of overpriced organic kombucha that I need a shock collar to keep me away from. Jk. I didn't choke. I do need a shock collar though. I knew it wasn’t me talking to me. I was in the middle of singing that sappy small town man I lived it song. So yeah, no way my mind just naturally would’ve landed on that. I knew it was the still small whisper of God. And I was convicted. Not of crying to Blake Shelton songs. I like him. But of postponing that "bigger picture”, the entirety of what I know of my calling, to later season.
I got out of the car knowing that the time was now. Not 3 years from now when I'm a midwife. I wasn't ever supposed to press pause, or dissect what I know of my calling in my own timing, and my own seasons. It’s all His. I wasn't supposed to set it to the side. I was supposed to go for it.
In all. Not in part.
That meant a few things. I needed clarity and vision on the “bigger picture.” I knew a few dim things. Serving and empowering women through the love and power of Jesus. Restoration-ish program happening on a piece of land. Pregnancy, birth, motherhood. Pretty vague. (You can read more about that in my first post about Finding Eden: HERE)
All I knew to do was what God had told me. Take all this empty time and put it into the kingdom He was building in the earth. My car rides became a lot less country, and lot more brainstorm-y, prayerful, aware. Diving into my wildest imaginations. Taking them to God, asking questions. Asking for divine alignment. Step by step orders. Searching out God’s heart. Making phone calls with people and companies that I felt led to call. Etc. You get the picture.
It worked. And this “bigger picture” has been getting more clear ever since. Here’s the low down. The future of Eden House:
- is a tangible place on a piece of land. We are thinking 30+ acres.
- is a non-profit organization that exists to nourish, empower, and restore mothers seeking refuge and healing from abuse, exploitation, and/or other life threatening circumstances.
- will be working along side drug rehabs, women’s shelters, hospitals, court systems, school systems, community resource centers, and other community programs.
- will include “Eden Houses” (small and individual housing units) on the land that will serve as each mother’s residency during her time at Eden House. With houses for mothers with or without custody of her children.
- will include a residential program for mothers currently pregnant up through 3 months postpartum. This program would involve a true model of prenatal care, individualized counseling, childbirth education, and motherhood preparedness. This program will involve a doula consortium that will help to serve the mothers body, soul, and spirit throughout her childbearing year. This program would bleed into the long term residential program of 1-3 years.
- will seek to restore the mothers at Eden House through a long term residential program of 1-3 years where they will be immersed in the Love of Christ, the only place that true freedom can be found; along side an individualized plan of action of counseling, rehabilitation, education, life skills training, and employment placement to prepare them for living their lives in the fullness of it’s creative and miraculous design — speicifically in life after Eden House.
- involves a home off of the land and in the community that’s function will be multi-purposed. Home to the Eden House Shop, a mother-friendly coffee shop, and several rooms that will serve as creative spaces for the community to use. These rooms could be used for workshops and classes in things that share the values of Eden House. This house would also seek to employ the mothers who are residents of Eden House.
- will take a village, lots of time, patience, effort, and rest, and Heaven only knows what else. I’m just along for the ride.
That’s the short version. Like the mini-version of the short version, actually. But eeeeeek. It’s happening.
Here’s where we are in the process! Michael and I are currently saving money to be able to purchase the amount of land necessary. Maybe even believing that someone will just give us some land. Anything is possible. And I’m up for it. You knew this already though. So moving on.
I’m currently building a team of doulas (the future doula consortium) that will flow under the umbrella of Eden House. I’ve got two lovely ladies involved so far. But if you’re a doula or future doula and share my heart and feel interested, HMU. I would love to chat and dream.
I’ve been getting a board together the past few months. It’s been fun. I cried when the people I felt led to ask said yes. And I cry thinking about crying when they said yes. Incredible people.
And this next part is the reason I’m so excited today. Making Eden House an official corporation within the State and obtaining non-profit status. (!!!!!!!) Does anybody else love talking legal?? So fetch. But seriously, that right there. Eden House being noticed by the state as an official nonprofit corporation with a legal mission statement, legal purpose, a president, a VP, a secretary, and a treasurer. I feel like my middle name should be changed to Obama. Jk. I don’t talk politics. Butttttt you guys, all of that become official TO flipping DAY. Turned in all the paperwork and filing of this and that and bippity boppitty boo a few weeks later I have a signed document proving it all is real from the Secretary of State, himself. Praises. Glory! Now moving on to finishing the bylaws and applying for grants/funding and lots more.
That’s all for now. And I’m just going to leave this here. For decades to come, so I when I need a little joy or pep in my step. I’ll remember this day and how I felt. And how faithful and consuming and wild God is. That He finishes what He starts. And He’ll do it here.
I’ll keep ya posted. Enjoy the ride!
Until next time,