Surface Level: Why we haven't found a solution to the homeless crisis

No one knows me better than those who have lived with me. My parents, sister, college roommates, the family that lived with us last year, my husband, and my children know me best. They know me best because the facade I show to the outside world can only be held for so long. Once inside my home, the smile fades, the frustrations show, and my feelings bleed through my shaky exterior. The people who live(d) with me know that I clean obsessively when I am stressed, have a weird (and kind of gross habit) of pulling out my hair when I am bored, and can binge watch the Office like no one's business.

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On Weather

It’s February, and it’s snowing. 

Did you know that winter doesn’t end until March 20th? March 20th is the last day of winter. Right now it is February, and by my very premature calculations, we are smack dab in the middle of winter. But from the information I am gathering from the grocery store checkout line, from Facebook, and from that one person I always see at church - it is supposed to be Spring. 

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On Reading

I am a reader. And that is my Papa's fault.

From my later elementary years on, every time I would see my Papa the first question he would ask me was, "What book are you reading?" It honestly never occurred to me that my answer could be, "I am not reading anything." And so I read. Sometimes I read because I enjoyed it. Sometimes I read just so I could have an answer to give to my Papa. Along the way, though, I fell in love with reading.

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These walls: a prayer

Have you heard the song above? I thought, prayed, and cried the words of this song in a tough season. The family was living with us and I was so broken. I prayed for redemption and for healing over the family but I also often felt angry with them. I felt angry over having to share my space, my home, my things, my money, and my time. Even though it was something I offered and they had not requested - I often felt trapped in my own house and in my circumstances.

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Jennie Heideman
On Fear and the Different

As a little girl, I often thought about traveling. I thought about going to India or China or the Middle East. I liked to think about these places because they are so unfamiliar and to be perfectly honest these places scared me a little bit. However, they scared me in a good way - like the type of nervousness you feel before setting out of a great adventure.

That said, two things have always held me back from actually traveling…

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On Intentional Learning

Do you have educational “goals” for your children? Things that you want them to leave your house knowing? I do, and in the realm of education, I filter everything through these long-term goals. They are as follows: 1.) I want them to become life-long learners, 2.) I want them to learn to respect themselves and authority, and 3.) I want them to know how to work hard.

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The Plan: practical tools we used to help a homeless family find permanent housing

Welcome to part four of the homeless series where I recount the story of how we had a homeless family of four (two adults and two children) live with us for eight months and worked with them to get them into permanent housing. In my last post, I told the whole story of having the homeless family live with us - including some of the tools we used to help this family get into permanent housing. Today I am going to narrow in on the tools we used to help this family.

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A Vignette: Papa

A few years before my papa died, we were sitting together one summer in the living room at his lake place on Lake Pend Oreille in Idaho. The room was bright as the sun gleamed in through the windows and, to my recollection, there was no other sound in the room except for that of our voices.

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The Whole Story

Time. We live in a culture that values “me time.” And that is fine. However, how do we react when “our” time is taken away? Having this family live with us challenged me and what I view as “mine.” The truth is that as Christians, we are not our own. The question then remains, can we trust Christ with our time and our mental stability when we are stretched so thin we become transparent?

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A Prepared Heart

I know that hosting a homeless family for eight months because I saw a Facebook post may appear impulsive, but in actuality, I feel like God had been preparing to say "yes" to that post for years beforehand. When I spend time reflecting on our decision to host the family, I realize that the reason for hosting this family was all due to a book. 

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The Good Old Days

In the early days I just never believe that it would end. The days were hard and long and I just couldn't see past them. But quite suddenly I am standing here, saying goodbye to good friends as we all move on to other things and I realize, a sweet, hard, and beautiful season is coming to an end. 

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Jennie Heideman
Tell the Bees

It was upon hearing that question, as a 12-year-old girl, that I realized the beautiful, horrible reality. Our naivety cannot last forever and there is a time when we are told about or learn of the hurt of the world. As much as our keepers try to protect us, there comes a time when even they must slowly, gently, and carefully expose us to the truth that this world is incomparably broken. 

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