Sunday, January 7, 2018

I know God answers prayer.... but emails, too??

While I was picking up prom dresses donated at Lydia’s Loft, I get a message saying a bridal shop has a few dresses that they would like to donate. When I contacted them and made arrangements to pick up the dresses, I did not ask how many there were.

You see “Larry Boy” my Veggitale Jeep does not have a lot of room.  (I was kind of afraid to know how many there were.)

The volunteer who gave me the message told me later “oh by the way, they mentioned a hundred dresses.”  I thought, we can put 100 dresses inside Larry Boy, no problem.

I was in for a surprise.  I arrived at the bridal shop this morning and loaded them up. Did I mention the dresses were in boxes? Luckily I mom and I have been training by playing Tetris for years and we were able to arrange the boxes like Tetris Masters.

You are probably wondering what all this has to do with God replying to my email?

When I told the volunteers we are having our first workday I believe He just wanted to make sure we have enough work to keep us busy.

Replying in the form of 121 brand new dresses and 17 pairs of shoes!


- Aileen


Monday, October 2, 2017

Time for a Little Math Quiz

Last week, Mrs. Judy, Mrs. Penny, Wendy, Bethany and I were at the prom closet. We had 2 brides and 3 special occasion ladies trying on wedding dresses to find that special dress!  It was a blessed day!  I was beyond excited because God was putting wedding dresses and a special person together!

So here is a little math quiz:
We had 12 available dresses, 2 left the prom closet.  So how many should we have left?
We were left with 15 dresses!  Confused?

As all of us at the prom closet counted the dresses we counted 15!  If I am correct if we had 12 and 2 left the prom closet we should have 10 left.  In the war room we all looked at each other and asked “How did it happen? Where do they come from?”

As I was taking pictures of the dresses for Facebook my mind wandered to an earlier conversation with one of the volunteers.  She was worried because she was finding it harder and harder to spend time with God as she was getting busier and busier in her life.

Time for a little “God math” quiz:
It is not about subtracting time for God but adding time for God.  He adds grace, love, peace, comfort, and blessings... he takes away our sins and divides His work among His servants.  Now that is God math for sure!

At the end of the night we all left more blessed than when we started.

Does God know math? Yes He does!

Blessings
Aileen



Friday, September 8, 2017

God works for the good of those who love him

Did you ever imagine that the Prom Closet would take a turn from prom dresses to wedding dresses?  Did you ever think we would end up with 12 wedding dresses hiding in our War Room?  Have you ever thought you knew what was going to happen and you were completely wrong?

Without knowing God’s purpose, last week I put a post on Facebook looking for brides in need and several of them responded.   I went to the Prom Closet to find the 5 or 6 wedding dresses I thought we had.  The more I looked, the more I found.

I stood there staring at the 12 wedding gowns and thought “How did they all got here? We do prom dresses NOT wedding dresses?”  In my mind, I needed to remind God what we do (I will never learn.)

As brides started to reach out, one in particular was able to meet last Friday.  Again, not knowing what God purpose was,  I pulled the wedding dresses out for her.

She looked at them and said " We are having a very small wedding with just a couple of people.  Those dresses are beautiful but they might be too much.”

I took her to our prom dresses with the possibility of finding a prom dress that could be turned into a wedding gown.  She started to pull several dresses of different colors. My thought was wedding dresses but God had something else in mind.   I had failed to ask our first question “What style do you like?”

In desperation, she said " I don't have anything to wear and we are getting married next weekend."
I remembered what Tammy always says and assured her "God brought you to us.  That means the dress is somewhere in here."

She started trying dress after dress then I noticed that the dresses she was pulling were navy blue.  Yet again I failed to ask our second most important question “What color do you like?” I started pulling navy dresses from the War Room with no avail and then I did something odd - I started bringing different color dresses.

Yet again in my mind "She is a bride.  She needs a bridal gown."

God was just not understanding that! So, I brought her the only short bridal gown we had and she loved it.  It was a little big so I asked her if she knew anyone who could alter it. Sadly, she said " My grandmother could sew but she passed away a couple of months ago.  It has been a hard year but I told God that September was my month.  You have no idea how much of a blessing this is for me.  My friends keep asking me if I have anything to wear."

Again, I assured her " We have the dress in here for your special day."

After several hours of looking and trying, I brought her a flowing, soft grey dress. she tried it on and it was perfect! As soon as she looked at herself in the mirror her face lit up.  I knew we had found her dress!

She turned to me and said "I love it!  This is my dress! My husband will be wearing a blue suit and I was hoping I will find something that matched with his and this is it!"

God was not done showing me His purpose.

As I was putting her dress in a bag along with shoes and jewelry I thought I should find a Bible for her.   I went to the War Room but couldn’t find one.  Sadly, I went back to packing her items when my eyes fell on a basket full of bags.   I took the bags out and to my surprise there was one Bible in there! A blue Bible that to match her husband's suit!

She took the Bible and said " I don't know what to say, I just happened to see your post and now here I am being blessed like this! You have no idea how I feel!"

I looked at the sweet girl and said "We think we know what we need but then God shows us in the middle of our storms how He is holding us.  He blesses us beyond what we think we need."

She said " I have to tell everyone in my church what God has done. I am part of the worship team so I can tell them what a blessing this is for me.  You have taken your time to be here with me and bless me."

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:28

Now let’s go out and tell everyone that the Lord is good!

Blessings,

Aileen


Saturday, July 29, 2017

Christmas in July

Monday I got a phone call from FiFi's:

“We have a few prom dresses for you…  (pause) ... around 60." 

What?! I know I should be used to it by now but it feels like Christmas morning every time! God continues to surprise us here at the Prom Closet!

Chris and I picked up the dresses and when we brought them back to the church, we were determined to get them all in one trip.  I am glad no one was around to video us struggling to carry all those dresses, walking like ducks up to the Closet, and dropping them all along the way.

Thursday, I got a phone call from Hope House about someone who needed a dress.   As the director asked me about how the last prom season went, I told her about all the great things that had happened:  the many walk ins we had, the children's hospital, the fashion shows for the elderly and …

I knew her wheels were turning because she interrupted me by saying "Fashion show? I wish we could do that for our women at Hope House!”

(I might of have said something like "That would be a great idea! We have all the dresses they need")… OK… I did say that…

We started brain storming (and I might have said to "call me back if you want to do it")... OK… I did say that too.

She said “Yes I am going to call you for sure.  When is your down time for the season?”

My first thought was that we would want to do this all during the season.  Kind of like Chris and I trying to carry all the dresses in one trip.  It dawned on me then that God was saying “the load is too much.”  Trying to carry the load all at one time we might drop something.  We might miss the best parts!


I love how God is using this ministry to reach people during every season and from all walks of life.  The best part is He allows us to see that!

- Aileen

Friday, July 7, 2017

Surprise!

The other day I stopped by the Prom Closet to drop off some donations and stood in the doorway of the “war room” for a little “me moment.”

“How are we going to get all this done?  How many more dresses can we take?” I thought.  Staring at the piles of dresses, standing with my hands on my hips, shaking my head and wondering how we were going to do it, Christian snapped me out of it.

“Mama, I think God has many girls in mind for next year,” he said.  I turned to see his arms full of dresses and I realized that each one of them represents smiles, beauty, and tears for the girl that God has already picked out.

As usual, God put me back on track pretty quick.  All I saw was a mess and endless work.  God sees a chance to share his unending love, grace, beauty, and eternal life. 



-          Aileen

Saturday, May 27, 2017

If only you could see the faces...

This is what you look like when you see God.  For people who say "What God?" I've never seen him.  Have you?"

We can without a doubt say "Yes we have!"


Friday morning we were blessed to host the Hopewell Special Needs Prom.  Dozens of young prom goers arrived to have their picture taken, grab some refreshments (thanks McDonalds for the generous gift of hundreds of McNuggets!) and dance the morning away in true style.

For us, this event symbolized the culmination of a season full of God sightings, tearful stories, and witnesses to the generosity and compassion of God's people.


So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.  Genesis 1:27

I wish we could show you their faces.  In the smiles, the laughter, and the pure joy, you see God.  Not a God who demands from us but a God who gives to us unending love and joy.

Love demonstrated in simple things.  Joy that comes from truly feeling special.












Thank you to all the volunteers who made this Prom season so special!  Thank you to all the organizations who helped make it all possible.  Thank you God for revealing yourself to us.




Flowers always make a girl cry right?
Amen.

- Aileen and Tammy



Monday, May 22, 2017

I am glad God never takes a break. Otherwise I would be a mess!

Friday morning my mom, Mr. Kay, and I went to pick up just a few prom dresses from Lincoln Ministries for next year.  When we got back to church with our van literally crammed with dresses, there was a lady and two daughters waiting for us.

Huffing and puffing with our allergies working over time, we ran up and down the stairs unloading the dresses and helping our newest customers find their princess dresses.   Then the mom said “what a blessing this place is” and it stopped me in my tracks.

I know I have heard that before but what makes today different?  You see we are all dealing with times in life that leaves us tired and out of breath.  But God breathes life into us.

"Let all that you do be done in love" 1 Corinthians 16:14


As I talked to the lady I found she has 16 kids!  Well, not literally.  Her kids are grown but she has taken these kids on as her project - to do things for them as she can.  Talk about exhausting!

- Aileen