Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Sisterhood - Why We Exist

For months now I have had it on my mind to simplify The Sisterhood, figure out where its going, put some organisation in place so it runs a lot more efficiently and smoothly. And most of all, figure out why we exist.

I know, I say it all the time, "we exist to bring smiles to an otherwise bleak day". But theres more to it than that.

Let me take you back to that night when The Sisterhood began in my bedroom, around midnight on a Friday, amongst tears and anguish as I blogged my heart out. I was angry with the world, with God, with life, my own brother had gone for days that week without any food to eat. He had the flu as well. Life is hard for him and I was furious. Life is hard. Theres a lot of people doing life very tough out there.

Then my anger lingered onto other situations, the ones who are doing it hard but dont say a word, they just get on with life - they balance kids, work, family, sickness, study, dreams. They balance it all and dont ask for anything in return.

Yes. Those people. The quiet ones. I love those ones. I wanted to know about them, I wanted to love on them, to tell them they were noticed, to let them know they were valued, appreciated, loved. I could think of countless women in my life who needed to be intentionally noticed and appreciated.

I heard God say yes. An audible YES in my room. It was urging, positive, Yeesss...

I have heard two audible words from God before, words so loud I can't help but stop in my tracks and know they weren't from my own head.

The first, I was driving to pick up a friend and heard an audible "SAFETY" being yelled at me, I almost died. I was scared, and started praying over and over and over for safety, I didn't know why, I just asked for Gods protection. After I picked up my friend I didn't mention it to her, half an hour later we were in a car accident. A man on drugs ran a red light as we were going through our green, at full speed, and hit the side of my car. We were supposed to have passengers in the back but 5 minutes before hand plans fell through, they didn't come with us, I was told there would have been death had we had back seat passengers. Safety. I thanked God. Seriously. I honestly with all of my being know that was Gods voice. Not my own.

So when I heard YESS. I knew. An out of this world YES. A heavenly YES.

The Sisterhood was born. Since then, God has spoken to me regularly through prayer, scripture and general "knowing" regarding The Sisterhood.

I'll be honest, I can't do this without him. In fact, I don't want to. Without God, The Sisterhood is just works based. Its just chocolate in the mail. And while thats cool, that can get boring, tired, unfulfilling. I really believe that what makes it successful is whats behind the chocolate. A load of prayers, a word of encouragement, a prophetic word of Hope, a Holy Spirit inspired poem, a vision of heaven.

One of my most fulfilling moments in running The Sisterhood was when I was preparing our first round of multiple LOVE BOMBs. A blogging friend, Simone, had sent me a mix CD in the mail, she urged me to listen to it, I put it on as I assembled the love bombs in their piles, took photos of them, boxed them up and addressed them. The CD was filled with beautiful happy songs. And worship songs. As I photographed and boxed I sang my heart out, I thanked God for caring and loving and saving me, and for caring and loving all of these women. I prayed for each of them and for each member of The Sisterhood.

In that moment I truly felt like I was doing exactly what I was called to do. 

Over time I have come to realise that what we do at The Sisterhood is really what God has done for us. 

Its us, knowing of someone. We are a stranger to them, but we know them, we know of their struggles (well, I do) and we want to help. We go out of our way, we reach out, we join together everything we have to say "here, take this, we love you, even if you dont know us" Loving despite geography, knowledge or circumstances; just because.

The Sisterhood is here to show LOVE, just like Jesus does for us. Just in a more earthly, physical, chocolatey way.

And you know, deep down, its really Jesus showing the love anyway. 

I really have to think about these things (The Sisterhood). When you are in charge of something as awesome as The Sisterhood its important to be clear as to why you're doing it.

When I get emails from women saying their sons needs an ipad, and then sending constant emails asking why I haven't sent one yet, its gets a little stressful. Or emails from I dont know how many women saying they have no money for groceries, their husbands in jail, winz has cut off their benefits..

Its a little stressful.

I have to think about these things because when I get an email every week asking if someone can start their own Sisterhood I need to know why they're doing it. For glory? Riches? God?

Its important to be clear. Who are we helping here, why are we helping. We have to know these things.

(I really dont mean to sound unhelpful, these stories break my heart, but I get these emails everyday, I'm realistic, I know we can't help them all so its important to know who we can help)

I know most of you are strangers to me, you "signed up" because a friend told you you could get free stuff, or you could do some baking, or they told you that The Sisterhood is the best thing to ever happen, ever.

I love that they told you something about the sisterhood, but they might not have told you why we're doing it. So I need you to know. I need that bridge between us to be broken down and replaced with reality: I am doing this because I heard GOD say YES. (If you've been around here for a little while this wont be news to you.)

I don't believe God has called us to buy ipads or groceries or to pay for someones internet bill.

He has called us to love those who are doing life well, the hard workers, the women with their heads down bums up, taking care of life. This hard life. He has called us to notice them, to flex our generosity muscles and to tell them that we notice them, just like he notices us. 

We will send gifts to people of all backgrounds, and people of all faiths can donate. 

The Sisterhood is a collection of different women all over New Zealand with different world views, religious beliefs, skills and circumstances all joining together to create something amazing.

Some of you may not like this God stuff at all, I'm thinking if thats you you have probably already stopped reading and removed yourself from our email list (but not before sending me an opinionated email) I'm okay with that. Feel free to do whatever it is you need to do.

Some of you may disagree but still put up with my God babble and will continue to join in. If thats you, I really like you. Thank you for still liking me and being here, even though you aren't into what I am but can see the bigger picture ;)

Others will get this God Thing. Thank you for being here. I really want your help.

Throughout this journey its important that I stay true to who I am, The Sisterhood was started because I heard YES from God, not because I thought it was a good idea or I might get more Facebook friends. Because of that, I'm not too worried about losing Facebook friends, but I AM worried about losing sight of God in this.

Therefore, I will continue to be me, and The Sisterhood will continue as usual, not growing The Sisterhood for the numbers or reputation, but continuing to share the love that God has to offer by way of chocolates and treats and loving on those unappreciated hardworking women.

Just needed you to know that, kay?

I love you all, whoever you are. Thank you for being here, and if you still want to do this journey with us, well, I think you just became my new best friend :)

xx

p.s - I am currently working on documents that will help us and help those overseas wanting to expand The Sisterhood. We all need to be reading off the same page.

If you would like to talk to me about anything I have mentioned here please email me on sophieslim@moo2.co.nz - I will respond to every email, even the nasty ones.

43 comments:

  1. *smiling* you REALLY like me xxx and I'm your new best friend

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    1. Yuss! I have a friend!! <3 Thanks for all your support Cat xx

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  2. You know I see the bigger picture.

    If anyone can't see the bigger picture then I'm going with the "they're not that nice anyway" thought!

    You keep doing what you do, it's what's needed in the world. Regardless of the source of motivation, it's important. :P

    LJxxx

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    1. Too right LJ! Thanks for your support, regardless of beliefs xxx

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  3. PS: I think you're so right with THIS

    They balance it all and dont ask for anything in return.
    The quiet ones.

    YES YES YES xxx

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  4. Just wrote a bigggg reply only to delete it . Grrr anywho u are a beautiful person doing a beautiful thing. Thank you for that and I,smiled that u like people like me. Regardless of beliefs :-) :-) (excuse my spelling, im still not tech savy with smart phones a whole year later )

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    1. Well thank you for your original reply Anon! And for this one! Thank you for being here and being so supportive xx

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  5. Wonderfully written Sophie. I'm in when I get to NZ :)

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    1. The best overseas supporter we have! Thank you for all of your blog comments and encouraging emails! x

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  6. Well Said! And well led by the true and Amazing God that loves unconditionally!With you all the way, I knew there was something about this when I saw it and got involved!

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  7. Stick to the vision He's given you and don't be swayed :)
    I imagine it's hard and heartbreaking sometimes to say no, but there are other places and people to help the one's you can't.
    Col 1:9-12, Ps 126:5-7

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    1. Lee. thats like super secretive bible code.

      I like it.

      ;)

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  8. Yes! You're doing great! Love & strength to the wonderful things you're achieving. God Bless. Xx
    gena72@windowslive.com

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  9. Good work Sophie - keep on the journey of nailing this stuff down, it's the season to do so and it's worthwhile effort that will see fruit. Love you girl xx

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    1. Thank you for all of the wisdom and support Miriam! You're a treasure!

      x

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  10. Keep on with what you are doing Sophie, I agree with what you've said. Be true to Gods call on your life, even if it gets difficult at times. What you do is blessing those who just get on with life with no fanfare regardless of what is happening.

    Blessings to you and yours,
    Diana

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    1. Thank you Diana! Thank you for being here and seeing that vision!

      x

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  11. I cried as I read this. I understand. You are doing so well. Keep focusing on God, he will do mighty things through you. I know that people are so appreciative of what you are doing and that God is proud that you heard and responded.

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    1. Hi Rachel, thanks so much for this comment, and for the tear! Thank you for having a soft heart that can be shaped and used by God <3

      xx

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  12. I think its really important to speak your truth with integrity and grace. It can be hard some times and you worry about how others will take it, but that shouldn't mean that you apologise for loving God, praising him and acknowledging his hand in your undertaking. There is power in your idea Sophie - stick with it (and perhaps you need to look into a virtual secretary who can help you take on the load of "please send my husband an i-Pad" etc....emails!)

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    1. A public thank you Nin! I have so enjoyed our emails back and forth today!

      ... Heck, I would like an ipad! Who wouldn't!? ;) xxxx

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  13. Well done, what you're doing is amazing and it must be hard at times to keep focus on what's important and behind it all. Your vision is why 99% 0f us are here, I always feel like its a beautiful extension of the old value of delivering baking or a meal to a neighbour in need of a boost - only this time its nationwide and inspired by God. Have you considered sending a link to this post to anyone who joins, so they know what its about from the beginning? x

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    1. Thank you for being here Bella and for your encouraging comment! Old values, with modern technology and networking skill! isn't that a wonderful thought!

      I have considered so, and as I said, am working on a document of the likes, perhaps a bit shorter ;)

      x

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  14. Agree agree agree!!! :)

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  15. I think you're doing an amazing thing and I'm just happy to help where I can - even if I am in the camp that is decidedly uncomfortable about 'the god thing'. I love that good people are being recognised when they need it and I think a fellowship of women is a very powerful thing indeed.

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    1. Thank you for being in that camp and still being here! You are one of my new friends! ;)

      I totally agree, SO important to support and thank / recognised the goodies too!!

      Us girls have to stick together, we were made for relationships and thrive when we're connected! xx

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  16. :) :) :) bless you and God Sophie :)
    Ive heard Gods voice in the past too :)

    Id LOVE to see the Sisterhood expanded I have a friend whose been through so much in Ozzie she and her daughter so need a Love Bomb

    thinking and speaking of Love Bombs whens our next one
    I want to send some stuff :)
    Although I was signed up the Big Bake Off was my first time being actively involved and I want to give again

    love u Sophie keep it up girl xoxo

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    1. Thanks Jen! We have had a Sisterhood in Western Aus start up - I'm hoping to make it easier for me / others to expand while still keeping the initial vision and integrity

      We'll be doing a big round of love bombs in Nov, and then a special xmas mission, similar to the baking drop in that it will be individuals doing something special in their own communities (but shhhh, I haven't told anyone this yet!! ;) )

      x

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    2. Im praying that there will be sisters in Melbourne soon

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  17. Beautiful, Sophie. I was seeking direction with my dream and He sent you to me, through someone's blog who was talking about you. It wasn't even a blog I normally read...I had been searching for answers for 7 months and you helped tie the pieces together. Thank you and know that while we are separate, we were inspired by you and have modeled ourselves after you and stay true to your purpose and vision.

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  18. Regardless of our individual beliefs, we're all here because we want to do something good. And regardless of how the idea was formed, and whether people agree with your philosophy or not, the idea WAS formed, and it is truly awesome!

    Personally, I couldn't care less why everyone else is part of this; I simply care that they ARE :) Not everyone will share your beliefs, Soph, but we all share your desire to do good and love on people who deserve it, and I know that we all respect where that desire comes from in you xxx

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    1. Thank you for sticking around for so long Ange! You are one of the most genuine, generous people I know :)

      xxxx

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  19. Love this Sophie. Well said, all of it.

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    1. Thank you for being here Jamie!

      Besties?

      x

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  20. That was great...I love that God was the in spirier of it all and I love that he chose someone who listened and has had the passion to run with it. x Look ofrward to seeing what you guys do next. x

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  21. Hi Sophie, you have started a wonderful thing - Bless you in all your endeavors and thanks for blessing me xx

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