Dream Series: Amy Soden

As you stand in the middle of the aisle, gazing at the shelves, staring at you in the face is a beautiful picture of a crystal clear lake, surrounded by wonderful fall colored leaves that are reflecting on the water.  The colors and beauty of this picture pull you into a trance and you stand there in the aisle debating with yourself.  It is a 1000 piece puzzle, the one with the microscopic pieces that never seem to find a place together or they find a hiding spot on your dining room floor never to be found again. Optimistically, you decide to buy it and plan to do it over a long wintery weekend at home.  “This will be a fun project” you convince yourself and head up to the counter.  The weekend comes and you pull out the puzzle.  The first thing you do is open the box and pour out all the pieces.  Set the box up so you can see the beautiful picture and begin to flip all the pieces over.  Once every single piece is turned over you stop, dead in your tracks, and stare at ALL THE TINY PIECES!!!  “What did I get myself into?”  If you are like me, you would’ve anxiously walked away and grabbed a cup of coffee and decide to take a short break to see what was on HGTV.  You know the rest to that story, an hour later you are sitting on your couch planning out a complete kitchen renovation, not including the puzzle!  If you want to get anything done during the day you would have to have the remote in hand, ready to push the power button as soon as the show is over.  Otherwise, if you wait just 30 seconds you are already hooked on the next episode and the puzzle becomes yesterday’s news.  With all those tiny pieces you are frustrated at how long it will take & unable to see the bigger picture.

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When I interviewed Amy I could see how God was creating this bigger picture, piece by piece.  Amy grew up in New Jersey, right outside of Philly.  One day, as she was looking at a map of the United States she laid her hand over the midwest area and said, “I don’t want to ever live anywhere under here!”  You know what happens when you say things like that right?!  Well, Amy made a spur of a moment moved to Chicago area just 1 year after making that statement!  She has been out here for 9 years now and has fallen in love with her new home.  Amy works at Compassion Mobile Experience as a tour Manager.  She is on the road for 3-5 weeks at a time and then home for one.  She works with a marketing company based out of Kentucky and represents Compassion as they bring the Experience across the U.S.  She is in a different city each week in hopes of connecting children with a sponsor.  Compassion is one of the highest rated non-profits according to Charity Navigator.  If you would like to learn more about Compassion please check them out HERE!about-compassion-experience-1

That is a dream job in itself but Amy has a bigger dream.  When I asked her about her dream this is what she said:

“For quite some time I felt as if there was a nudging, a stirring, of something to come. It just wasn’t quite a vision until this summer…when I was in the Nevada desert…stuck in the most beautiful and calm traffic jam one could ever be in! Seriously! It was a perfect sunny/partly cloudy, just the right temp and breeze, beautiful landscaped day to drive 22 miles in 4 hours. All of a sudden, in the stillness, this vision came to me.”

I love when God takes moments like these to speak to us.  It is as if he creates these moments just for us, to get us to slow down so he can have some alone time with us to talk.  It’s our job to see these moments and listen and open our hearts.  In that stillness, God showed Amy a vision, a snap shot of what He sees/hopes for her life.

Her dream? She says, “Some day, I want to open up a quality childcare center in a hurting neighborhood.”amy soden1

She would love for this childcare center to be on a sliding scale payment system that also offers parenting & vocational training or guidance.  She wants this center to invest in the community, starting at the youngest generation.  She would love to work alongside the local churches, but not necessarily in a church.

“My vision is to start this at the ground level at birth and preschool age. Start from birth with instilling value and vision and a future into the hearts and minds of kids and we may very well change a community, a city, a country, the world.”

Wow!  Doesn’t that just get you!?  I get goosebumps all over my body when I think about these children she will be raising up to change the world.  If we want to change the world we have to teach the children how be bold and not settle.  It is all about moving through the generations and little by little we will see that change.  Once piece at time.  She spent nearly 12 years in both the traditional childcare center aspect, as well as residential childcare for foster children.  She felt burnt out and eventually left that field, thinking she would never come back.  But she says,  “Thinking through this vision, and my experiences, as well as my degrees, I can see how it all matches up and completely makes sense” God is working through her life one piece at a time so that eventually we can all see this beautiful picture he has created.

I went on to ask Amy about what is standing in her way of this dream.  I love her response.

“Self doubt, though honestly at this point I believe this vision will become reality. But I’m human. And female. So self doubt, those lies, are always there. If this is something that could bring hope and break a cycle of poverty than I know the road will be bumpy because any thing worth fighting for is a battle-but it’s winnable. Good triumphs over evil. Always.
And money. It will take money to do this. Lots of funding. At this point that isn’t even a focus. But it will be. And it will be huge. But attainable.”

I love her faith.  Yes, there is doubt but she is not going to let that stand in her way of breaking a cycle and making a change.  She is going to take this dream one puzzle piece at a time and she has faith that she will see the finished product, a beautiful crystal clear lake with autumn trees reflecting in the sunlight!  She knows that it is going to take hard work and through that hard work God will do some amazing things.  P-583420-CAPMgQ1IDu-1

A dream like this doesn’t happen on its own, she needs your help.  Please be praying for her and this dream God has given her.  Pray she has the patience and perseverance to see this through and bring people into her life that will walk alongside of her!  She plans to bring this dream to life in the Chicago Land area, if you or anyone you know have any resources to help Amy, please let me know.

Keep working that puzzle.

When

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