Tuesday, April 19, 2016

What I'm doing this Summer and How You Can Help - Zikomo! (Please and Thank You!)

  Dear Friends and Family,

An exciting opportunity has come up for me to return to Malawi, Africa with a missions team from June 14 to July 3, 2016  

I was first there in 2009, where I met Alinafe (left) and later sponsored her.  In addition to seeing her again, now as a young woman, this year I’m very excited to meet and personally interview every single child in our programs as we update their sponsorship information.  This is right around 800 kids that I have been praying for and giving general support to every month – but it’s about to become very personal . 
 Maybe they will share with me their hopes and dreams, their favorite colors, games they play and prayers they pray.  Then I share the information with the world in hopes of raising support for programs that serve to enrich each of their lives - physically, economically & spiritually.

Malawi is one of the 4 poorest countries in the world.  Circle of Hope International provides care to around 800 children through programs in partnership with Grace Alliance Church near Salima, Malawi. 
  • Education - We are committed to educating children so that they can reach their fullest potential and be instrumental in reviving the economy and raising the standard of living for all Malawians. 
  • Economic Development - One of the major contributions Circle of Hope is making to the community is the opportunity for employment and the growth of our farming industry.  In this hungry season, the number of people fed daily by Circle of Hope has swelled to around 1000 people, much of that food has been produced on our very own farms!  Income from the mill, Hands of Grace Textiles and the farms in addition to our sponsorship donations, we are employing more than 120 people who in turn support the local economy and lift the entire region.
  • Health Care - Good Health is the foundational piece of Africa's restoration. Healthy people can care for their families, learn new ways of caring for the land, take advantage of available education, and develop their communities to step out of poverty.  We are committed to advancing the health of this community through home care for people with AIDS, nutrition, healing prayer, maternal health and infant feeding programs.

Many times people are very concerned about what they will “DO” on a mission trip. We can’t wait to see what Jesus would have us “BECOME” on a mission trip. During this trip we will explore together the faith of Malawians, their incredible strength in the face of poverty, their amazing love for Jesus and for the children He has brought to the Grace Center.  What will we do? We are going to pray with Malawians, we are going to play with and care for children, we are going to minister to the sick and hurting – all at the feet of Jesus. We are available to be used by Jesus, to be His hands, His feet, His voice wherever He may lead us.
We’ll be staying in the village with the children of Timothy’s and Patricia’s Homes.  These children have been rescued from very difficult situations, some were abandoned, some abused.   After years of praying for them, I’m excited for a personal connection with some really awesome kids.

The total cost of this trip is $3500.  Would you be willing to help me raise the money?  The money will be used to cover airfare, in-country expenses such as travel, food and lodging.  A portion of the money goes directly to the project to help the children.  Your gift is tax-deductible and will be receipted by Circle of Hope International.  

You can read more about Circle of Hope on their website:  www.cohcommunity.org.

Send your gift to: 
Circle of Hope International,
PO Box 132, Wilmore KY 40390. 

On a separate piece of paper, please mark your gift clearly:  Sara Dailey.   
Do not put my name on the memo line of your check
You can also give online at www.cohcommunity.org/donate
Please put my name in the dedication box of your donation.

Even more than money, though, I need your prayers.
Please send a message saradailey@me.com to receive email updates on the trip and ways to pray for us.  
  • Please pray for our Malawian partners at the Grace Center.  
  • Pray for our team as we travel and minister in Malawi, June 14 – July 3.  
  • Please pray for me.  As I am not only gathering information, but giving them a voice and hopefully connecting them to a sponsor that will pray and provide for their future!  
  • Pray for all the orphaned children in Malawi.  
  • Pray for the individuals and families we will be sharing the gospel with that they may come to know Jesus as their Savior. 
  •  And finally please pray for my girls,  Annie and Gracie.  I wish they could come too, but I have to leave them behind on this trip.  They will each be spending time with friends.  Annie in Lexington, KY and Gracie in Santa Cruz, Ca.  Pray that they have safe trips and make some very happy memories.

Thank you so much for your love, support, prayers and generosity,

Sara Dailey


Yes, I want to support Sara Dailey on her Circle of Hope mission trip to Malawi, Africa!

I want to pray for the team. My email address is _________________________________

Enclosed please find my check for $___________________________________________

Name: __________________________________________________________________


City, State, Zip:____________________________________________________________

All donations are tax-deductible. Please do not write the name of your team member on the check. Mail your check to: Circle of Hope International, PO Box 132, Wilmore KY 40390

Friday, February 28, 2014

Going Out

I have decided that I'm going out on a date this weekend.  Except there isn't anybody to take me out - so I'm going by myself.  Does anybody else do this?  I used to, before I met my husband - concerts, restaurants, parks, even the zoo, by myself.  Not to try to meet someone, but just to get out enjoy the world.

ALL MY LIFE, I have wanted to go see the ballet, symphony or opera, and haven't gotten to do it as a spectator EVER. As a member of the May Festival Youth Chorus in high school, I was honored to get to sing with the symphony and pops orchestra.  I've been to the ballet, to sing carols in the halls at intermission, and a gorgeous music festival with another symphony, but just to sit and just enjoy it... never. 

So I will do that.  I'm going to dress up, do my hair.  Put on earrings and a pretty necklace and shoes that hurt my feet.  I'm going to wear perfume.  And I'm going to sit and drink in Verdi's Requiem. It's a funeral mass, and it's very intense.  I will probably be the one crying in that super cheap seat in the front orchestra section, on the end.  It's probably behind a pole, but heck, it's only $12 and not that far from the seats that people pay 50-100 bucks for.  Maybe I will take myself out for a nice dinner too.  I'm not embarrassed to sit at table by myself.   Maybe not, because I can’t really afford it, but if I could – I would.

I have wanted this too long.  I never asked my husband to take me to something like that, in fact we never really got to go on dates, just a few dinners out here and there and a movie a couple of times.  And I was with him almost 10 years!  So many reasons why, all of them stupid.  If I thought really hard, I could probably count maybe 5 actual dates he took me on, where we went out, without a kid and did something as a couple.  Even our “honeymoon” was enjoyed with our 2 year daughter.   I feel sad that we never took the time to enjoy a nice adult evening out.

In the years since he has died, I have prayed and hoped for a relationship, excited about the prospect of getting to know someone and falling in love, but also getting to have the experience of “date night”.   Dressing up, feeling fancy, and beautiful.    And nothing ever seems to work out.  I get my hopes up only to be rejected. 

Well, there is no reason I have to wait for a man who will take me to the symphony.  I will take myself out.  Especially when there are $12.00 seats available – glad I am a cheap date!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

*I'm thinking of blogging again, and found this draft from 12/2012 that I never published.  Here you go world... just an interesting experience I had.

Edgar Allan Poe spoke of a unique class of "fancies" -'thoughts that were not really thoughts and described it as follows...

 "only at its epochs of most intense tranquillity–when the bodily and mental health are in perfection–and at those mere points of time where the confines of the waking world blend with those of the world of dreams. I am aware of these "fancies" only when I am upon the very brink of sleep, with the consciousness that I am so. I have satisfied myself that this condition exists but for an inappreciable point of time–yet it is crowded with these "shadows of shadows" 

I had an experience like this today. Sights that could not really be seen. I drifted off while reading and awoke peacefully with my eyes closed. Before I opened my eyes I realized that I could see something beautiful. Colors and patterns moving and swirling about, mostly green and blue, ebbing and flowing in three dimensions. I "focused" on what I could "see" trying to decide what it was. Perhaps the blood vessels of my eyelids or retina? I was most assuredly awake. I turned my head a little and everything got a little darker, so I turned it back. Then I covered each eye to see if it would have an effect. When I covered my left eye with my hand nothing happened, but when I covered my right eye with my hand (without applying pressure) there was darkness that flowed in, and out again when I removed my hand. It is so difficult to put down in words what I saw. I opened my eyes, and closed them again, and the scene was gone.

 I decided to Google "seeing with your eyes closed" and found a lovely wiki article that gives an explanation of this phenomenon, "closed eye visualization" (or hallucination) What I experienced was Level 3, just a step below actually seeing and conversing with unicorns (kidding), also known as a type of phosphene. There is a small gif that shows an example, but what I saw was much more beautiful, dimensional and dynamic. And although the wiki associates this mainly with LSD use, I assure you I have never dropped acid. I read a little more about this... it is a fascinating subject! I wonder what this from? Random nerve firing? Strange! Anybody else experience this? I also have struggled with sleep paralysis which is linked to on the wiki page.

Monday, December 19, 2011

We had such a crazy full weekend.

Saturday each of the girls had a dance recital, we had pizza together at Mellow Mushroom and Gracie got to show off her moves at her last ballet class of this session.

My dad and our friend Kaelan were there to cheer them on and bring them flowers.  This is such a big deal to me for two reasons.

First, it was not easy for either one to come.  Dad works 12 hour night shifts and Kaelan has to push through the pain of being in the late stages of cancer to traipse all over town with us.

Secondly...  I hate that my children are fatherless.  I really wish they had a man who would invest in them... show them fatherly love in the ways only a man can do.  It was huge to me that both my dad and friend would cheer for my girls on their big day.  (Although it's hard for me to hold it together with the knowledge that sooner or later Kaelan will get to tell the girls' daddy all about their recital - right after he meets Jesus face to face... and that will probably be sooner rather than later.)  

After the dancing we got to be honored guests at a party for single moms and their children AND then some wonderful worship at Quest with a fantastic message about the faithfulness of God to fulfill his promises - a fresh reminder for me in a difficult season.

In the middle of all that - I took some quiet time to pray for my friends in Malawi who are really suffering right now - and maybe had a glimpse of something in the future for me.

Sunday we got to celebrate 9 years with my littlest Princess Grace.  She got a tiara to remind her that she is royalty, a Christmas puppet show, yummy fried chicken lunch with dear friends and new friends, pierced ears at the mall, froyo from orange leaf, a hilarious night of fun at life group and a long conversation with Grandma Judy.

Is life perfect? No - but it's pretty dang good.

I could dwell on the things that are hard - like the fact that my children's father is G O N E.  But why?

I know that my God is faithful.   He promises beauty from ashes, and that my grief will be turned to joy.   There will be dancing.

Psalm 68:4-6

Sing praises to him who rides the clouds
His name is the Lord --
Father to the fatherless, defender of widows --
this is God whose dwelling is holy.
God places the lonely in families;
he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy.

Oh God - please I beg this of you -  be a father to my fatherless girls, Annie and Grace. Defend me.  You are the Lord of Heaven's Army; protect me those who would hurt me.   Give me wisdom to lead them to your lap Jesus, I want you to be their father, the everlasting Father who never will fail them.   I confess that I was putting my hope in others to step forward to help me and I need to trust YOU Jesus.  You would never hand me a stone after promising bread.  I trust you Jesus when you say, "If sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.

OK... I'm drifting off to sleep... any more writing would cease to be coherent.

Good Night,

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

One Day at a Time

Last week, I sought advice from a very wise woman, about something I was struggling with in my heart. 

I decided, about a month ago, that I wanted to give dating another try.  It's not that I was feeling lonely, actually, I've not felt lonely in a while.  I think it's just been on my mind, and I felt like I was ready.

(I haven't told my family any of this yet, so if any of you are reading this and finding out for the first time... I'm Sorry.  Thank You for reading.  Read on.)

So,  I sort of felt guilty about wanting to meet somebody.  The battle in my heart was this: I wondered if wanting a husband was the same as saying that Jesus is just not enough for me.  Oh, that sounds ugly.  I didn't want to fall into a trap needing Jesus and [fill in the blank] to be satisfied.
Jesus, if I could just 
get married again, 
start school,
lose weight,
have more money,
have more friends, 
go on trips..... 
then I'll be happy.

It's such an easy place to go, after all we grow up asking God to bless us.  But I didn't want to hang my happiness on the chance that finding a good man would make me happy, and then pour my energy into having a relationship - thanking God for blessing me and leaving him in the dust as I ride off into the sunset with Prince Charming.

My wise woman challenged me to be very intentional about spending time with Jesus and commit to 30 min a day, not just the haphazard moments I have with him.  To soak in the word and lean on him.  I've done this, and I can't believe how this past week I feel like I'm simply filled to overflowing with His love.  I have a confidence and joy that is hard to describe.  Even when I came up against a place that stirred up negative thoughts and disappointment,  I was able to rest with confidence that Jesus is ALWAYS faithful.

I might not know the details and the timing, but the one who created time is in control. 
In this past year I finally discovered what I believe to be my calling to the medical field, and then delay after delay.  I asked a word from God about going back to Africa with my girls, and received the answer of "Yes, but not now."

But God has been so faithful, giving me little gifts that I didn't even realize I was praying for.  He's making it obvious to me that I CAN trust him with everything and he will care for my heart, so I don't have to be afraid of anything.  Jesus freed me from the bitterness of unforgiveness, and now he is freeing me of other things like resentment, entitlement, and expectations. 

I just keep telling myself that I can't even imagine how glorious his plans are for my life.  Better than a fairy tale, his story for me is on the shelf next to THE Book of Life.  How awesome is that??!!

I hesitate to admit publicly that I have met a man, but I have.  I didn't find him, he found me.  And I immediately threw a cold bucket of water at him.  Awesome.  But I didn't scare him off... not yet anyway.

This is when I reached out to my wise woman for advice... I was worried that I would hop off down a rabbit trail away from Jesus, toward this man.  I realized that I wasn't taking my relationship with Jesus as serious as I could.  So instead of losing myself in the prospect of a new romance, it's actually driving me to become more intimate with Jesus.  That has to be a good thing!  I'm praying, I'm reading the Bible with new determination, I'm seeking God's will and turning my will over to him.  I'm getting my hopes up, but not hanging my hope on this relationship, rather trusting that whatever happens, God has me in the palm of his hand.

This man I've met likes to say "One Day at a Time."  Such wisdom.  It's now been 11 "One 
Day"s since we first met.  And I'm grateful for the chance to get to know this wonderful man and at the same time get to know Jesus more deeply.  I don't have to worry that this relationship might not work out.  If it doesn't work out, I still win, because I've come to experience the faithfulness of my Savior and he's filled me with the certainty that he has everything under control.  "Just trust me, I got this." He says.

So there you go... One Day at a Time.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A day in the life

Woke up early, but exhausted after a long day yesterday (rode bike to work, worked, got a ride home and realized I had to work at the swim meet... 3 hours in the concession stand!)

Started laundry since I didn't have anything to wear to work.

Watered the garden (also known as Widow's Hill Farm from here on out)

I called Boss since my commute is much longer when I walk over a mile to the bus stop, then ride 40 minutes... and I was already running late.

He kindly suggested I take the day off to try and get the car fixed... good idea.

Took the clothes out of the dryer and hung them on the clothesline instead.

Called my bud Loralee to see if she and her hubby would help me figure out what's wrong.

Tried to jump start it... let it charge... it finally started and the motor clattered and clanged and grumbled very badly... something it had NOT been doing before it died on the highway Monday.


Maybe the battery is just shot, and it's throwing the timing off...

Dropped over $100 on new battery... nope that's not it.

Picked up Loralee's dog.... see Twitpic

Came home.

Set up my online account with BCTC
Today is the first day I was able to register for my summer class, because I'm a new student.

All sections of my class are full :(  I need to take this class this session or have to wait until Jan. 2013 to start nursing school.

Fired off a note to the instructor asking for permission to add the class (per the registrars suggestion)

Called to see if I could get a ride up to camp to pick up my kids.... I can, but there's not enough room to bring us back!  That's OK... I'll get a ride back with someone else... no worries.

Called another friend to see if she can bring us back... she's full... still need a ride. 
But I got to have a great talk with her.

Thought the cat looked dirty, so I wet him down with some no rinse cat shampoo and toweled him off...

Now I'm covered in cat fur.

Upside: the cat didn't seem to mind much.  He's soft and smells good now.

Walked out to the garden to put a bunch of cat fur in the compost heap and realized that our yellow squash seeds sprouted today while all this was going on.

I sat on the ground and looked at this for a long time.
Bare ground this morning.
Sprouts this evening.
Widow's Hill Farm is growing.
Let the orphans eat!

Watered the garden again... thankful for all the good things in life. 

I still don't know what's wrong with my car, or how I'm going to pay for it. 
I may not be able to take that class... thus delaying my start date for nursing school.
But I have a feeling everything is going to work out just fine.

Just another day in life of this widowed single mom. 

Thanks for reading this far.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Short Version of a Long Plan

In response to what I'll call a 'Holy Dissatisfaction" with the status quo, I spent some time praying.  I stopped looking out and started looking in.  I believe in the quiet of a moment, God whispered a "Yes you can, It's not too late" when I shot an idea down.  He told me this idea that I have that seems impossible really is possible with him.
I'm going to Nursing School.
As soon as I can.
It's what I never knew I always wanted to with my life.
I'm working on getting my transcripts from the college where I got my BBA - already encountered a roadblock. Apparently I still owe them $450 - oops.
Then I can meet with advisors to start the application process.
I want to take a few pre-reqs, and misc classes either this summer or fall, and try to start full time in a BSN program in Jan. 2012

Work part-time as a tax collector.

Work my butt off as a nursing student, and widowed mother of 2.

Graduate in spring of 2014

Get a job in critical care, surgery unit or whatever will prepare me the best to.... wait for it....
Publish Post
Go back to school again in 2 years to become a CRNA.

Work my butt off some more with my girls in high school and middle school.

Graduate before my oldest finishes high school.

Get a job where I can work hard, but have free time to travel with surgical teams to care medically for the worlds poor.

Do it all while leaning on Jesus - because I know I CANNOT do this by myself - humanly speaking, it's impossible but with God all things are possible.  He will equip me for everything he's called me to do.

Thanks for listening.