Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Volunteer and Mentoring-make a difference in this world series

What I am going to share today is very personal.
A lot of us have done things in our lives that we might be ashamed of. 

Some are small things, and some of us have some pretty big and devastating things. 
Personal "junk" that we keep to ourselves so we don't have to deal with it. 

Mostly because we don't know how to deal with it. 
Do we? 
We are somewhat afraid that if we try it's just going to make everything worse. 
We are afraid of what others might think "if they only knew".

Truth is, no matter how big our junk is, no matter how much what we've done has impacted the way other people feel about us or how we feel about ourselves, it hasn't changed how 

God feels about us. 
God loves us, he always has and always will, and there's nothing we can do to change that!

So there goes the shame out of the door.
Now you are free.

I knew my past was going to bring others to freedom, it was going to be used to encourage and support many others.
And that's when volunteering with 
came along.

About 15 years ago I found freedom from a 7 years eating disorder addiction.

Now, you might think that people have to be "diagnose" to have certain addiction, 
but that is not true.

An alcoholic is simply a person who abuses alcohol, who cannot put limits on themselves and does not "know" when to stop...on a regular basis. 
You can be sober on weekdays and get smashed on the weekends...that is still an alcoholic path.

A person with eating disorder is anyone who does not have an healthy relationship with food, either by not eating or overeating. 

Self-hatred can manifest by physically cutting yourself and/or constantly making comments about not being pretty/good enough, aka low self esteem, comparing ourselves to others and worry what others might think about us or what we do.

So unfortunately, all this "addictions" and conditions are not as rare as someone might think.

When I started to volunteer with Mercy
I knew it had potential to make a big difference.

What I do is to mentor younger ladies (who have been through sexual abuse, eating disorders, cutting, addictions, unplanned pregnancy, sex trafficking and more) when they are back into the real world, by encouraging and supporting them.

I am there for them, I listen, I love, I hug, I cry, I pray, and I keep them accountable.
It does not cost me anything, but it truly is a great way to impact the world, one girl at a time.

And the truth is that when people experience unconditional love and acceptance, they will be the ones showing unconditional love and acceptance to others.
The snowball effect.

The key is to first love and accept yourself, your past.
I believe each one of us has a story to tell.
I believe that our culture has lost the "passing" down from older women.

I remember spending time with my grandmother, listening to her stories, her wisdom and her life.

So my goal in the last few years has been to really love and embrace younger women.

My desire is to speak life and truth into their lives. 
Bring the best out of them.
This is something we can all do.
It's never too late to start.

Money is not an issue.
Age is not an issue.
Time is not an issue.

The average American over the age of two spends more than 34 hours a week(5 hours a day) watching live television.
Meanwhile, the average person spends 3-5 hours a day trolling the Internet on a computer — though that number rises to more than 7 hours for people 35 to 49. source here


The real issue is: are we willing to?

Volunteer our time and invest in others.
It's free and it's life changing.
...and if people are "not your thing", how about volunteer at an animal shelter?

***there are many organizations and programs that you can find locally to your area, nursing homes, women shelters, after school programs, pregnancy centers (like Heartbeat Haven), sex trafficking rescue agencies (like End slavery TN)...there are also many other ways that do not involve a program, people are all around us.***

I love this quote:
"You don't get to control the story people tell about you, 
you only get to control the story you live." 
-Jon Acuff

So be encouraged, you have so much to give.
You are a world changer.
Yes, you.

Stay Frugal,
Daniela

These are local ministries that I personally know about:

19 comments:

Kelly said...

That is wonderful that you do that! I never knew that! I knew you were a very deep caring person and a devoted Christian, but didn't realize the length to which you used yourself with others. Gosh, with your busy life, I'm impressed that you have the time to do that. I guess we all have room to improve then. I didn't know about your eating disorder either. You live a very healthy life now, so it must be under control then. You shared some deep personal things, and I appreciate your honesty. It's helpful to know that noone is perfect and we should never judge each other because we ALL have junk in our closet!

Lena said...

You are doing a wonderful thing! I volunteer in our Church every week teaching little children. But even if you are not religious, there are so many ways to serve and help others, especially during this season.

Daphne Bryson said...

Good Afternoon Daniela, Firstly can I say, what a wonderful inspiration you are to young women. To help, listen and to be there for girls who have not had a good start in life is such a lovely thing to do.
I find, when I am able to offer help, no matter how small the offer is, I feel a great deal of happiness inside. I cannot do volunteer work as we care for my husband's mother, but maybe that could be seen as volunteer work, although the caring is done out of love for her.
I think everyone who reads this post will feel inspired to follow in your footsteps.
With very best wishes to you,
Daphne

Heather @ The Beating Hearth said...

I think this was a beautiful post. I love that you are bettering your's and others lives by performing service. I am a selfish person by nature, so I'm grateful that my husband is truly a giver of himself. He teaches me to be a better person, and reading posts like this remind me to get over myself and help others.

Revi said...

You're so right...how is it said, "God takes our mess and makes it our message?" He uses our past for the good of others - lemonade from lemons. Sorry for all the cliches, but they are true! Thank you for the reminder, and for your honesty. We all have SOMETHING.
-Revi

Gypsy Heart said...

There is no greater gift than to give of yourself...especially to these young women that have or are in horrible circumstances. I so admire you!! I know God will bring many blessings to you and to the girls.

I really didn't know of a resource like this. I am going to be looking in my area.

Thanks so much for sharing your story and your heart!

xo
Pat

NanaDiana said...

Dani- I always suspected that you went deeper than just being a good blogger. You have the heart and soul for people and you are using your experience to help others. God bless you- You are in my prayers that you continue your work with others. You are amazing and I am proud to know you through blogging- xo Diana

Patty Rumaker said...

This is a lovely post. Thank you so much for sharing. I think one who mentors to others has a strong belief in herself that she is worthy and she is of value and therefore she can help others. Such confidence in oneself can be hard to find.
Patty

Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder said...

Dearest Daniela,
What a warm post about your inner side. You are a very warm and giving person and an excellent educator! May God bless you and those that are fortunate knowing you.
Hugs,
Mariette

Butterfly 8)(8 Bungalow said...

Nicely expressed...

Danni@SiloHillFarm said...

Powerful post and very well said! I spent many years as a foster parent. There is a serious shortage of foster parents in every state in the union. I wish it weren't so. I wish it weren't necessary to have foster homes, but of course it is. Thank you for the work you do.

Dee @ A Lapin Life said...

Super post Daniela!
I am a volunteer for many years in Scouts.

Debbie Lynne Malison said...

Wonderful, wonderful post. You are an amazing women, we need more like you.

Kerry Moody said...

Amen. You truly have a servant's heart!

Junkchiccottage said...

Beautiful Dani.
Kris

LittleMyoo said...

Wow...what a beautiful post! Thank you so much. I love the sign, "You are not the mistakes you have made." I must continue to drill that into my head...

xoxo
-andi

living-simply-free.com said...

Daniela, this was one of your best posts. I love your diy but this subject is very important. I too have volunteered over the years, for Muscular Dystrophy Assn., PTO and school functions when my boys went to school, and many more. But the one I tried and couldn't continue to do was rape counseling. I couldn't leave the issues I heard about at the office, so to say, and found myself depressed and lost in a world of all the ugly life has to offer. You have my deepest respect for being able to give of yourself in this work without losing a piece of yourself in the process.

living-simply-free.com said...

Daniela, this was one of your best posts. I love your diy but this subject is very important. I too have volunteered over the years, for Muscular Dystrophy Assn., PTO and school functions when my boys went to school, and many more. But the one I tried and couldn't continue to do was rape counseling. I couldn't leave the issues I heard about at the office, so to say, and found myself depressed and lost in a world of all the ugly life has to offer. You have my deepest respect for being able to give of yourself in this work without losing a piece of yourself in the process.

Devon Barlettano said...

I love you, Daniela! :) Blessed by your friendship!