Every year in December, our family prays about where we would like to give a special financial gift to a place or places where people are less fortunate than us, or to a cause we truly believe in! Not only is my sweet daughter-in-law, Rachael, involved in this ministry, but the leader and visionary founder is also a long friend of Whole Heart Ministry. I love them both! Imagine helping generations of young women finding wholeness, a call to Biblical femininity, understanding the importance of marriage and family and leading young women to Jesus!
(Today, my daughter-in-law, Rachael Lee Clarkson, is sharing about an important cause through a ministry she is a part of that is very close to her heart.)
You can find me in the center of the picture above, in my hat and giant, fuzzy jacket (this California girl was just a little chilly at a retreat in Washington a couple weeks ago). For almost two years, I have been incredibly blessed with the opportunity and privilege to be a part of Delight and Be as a mentor, big sister, and leader for young women. At age 17, I moved out to Los Angeles from Florida to pursue my career in the entertainment industry. While Hollywood is not an easy place to discover who you are as a young woman, I realize even now at age 23 that in today's culture, it isn't easy for anyone no matter where they live. Community is the glue that has held me together. Authentic, genuine accountability and friendship is an extremely rare and precious gift that has absolutely changed my life.
There is a quote from one of my favorite books, Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, that so eloquently states this truth:
“The physical presence of other Christians is a source of incomparable joy and strength to the believer.”
Wherever you find yourself on this day, I encourage you to take a moment, stop what you’re doing, and jump in your time machine. Travel back to your teenage years…specifically when you were between the ages of 13-21. Regardless of your experience, I think we can all agree that growing into the young women God designed us to be is no easy task...especially when we attempt to do this on our own.
For the past year and a half, God has transformed my life through Delight. Delight is home...Delight is family...Delight is a place where I now have hundreds of little sisters and big sisters to do life with.
Delight gives girls inspiration to get involved in developing their skills and desires to be in the arts, while teaching them about Biblical foundations upon which to build their life--and ways to live and learn about the love of God.
We are seeking to set up our ministry as a non-profit and using our house for more retreats and spreading the retreat model all over where girls can come to be inspired.
Delight is the place where creative girls, ages 13-21 can experience the unconditional love of God, growing closer to Him while simultaneously growing closer in community to hundreds of other young women who remind them that they are not alone. Being a teenager isn’t easy and it can be especially difficult when you’re a ‘creative weirdo’ that doesn’t fit the mold. But in Delight, ‘weird’ is the norm. Creatives are free to be who God created them to be: unique, quirky, silly, and fun daughters of the King.
What started as a retreat for photographers has now grown into a ministry that celebrates all areas of the creative arts. We are so excited for this upcoming year as we have plans to really focus on these seven areas : Theater/Drama, Culinary Arts, Music, Graphic Arts (graphic design, drawing, painting, etc), Photography/Videography, Dance, and Writing/Blogging.
I just got back from Washington, where we prayed and brainstormed about the future of this ministry, and knew that in order to become all that God has for it/us, we have to become a non-profit organization. But like many other things in life, the non-profit process requires funds.
We set up an indiegogo site and are already more than half way to our goal (in LESS than two weeks time! It’s been incredible to see how God provides!) but we still need more partners to come alongside us as we push on toward the vision that God has given.
Please pray about becoming a character in this story that God is writing! Skip a coffee run or two this month and invest that $10 in the next generation of Godly young women instead. Or if giving isn’t an option, please help us spread the word by sharing this post! Everything donated beyond the $10,000 mark goes toward scholarships for girls to get to these retreats, and to the Delight House, which will be a safe haven to love and care for our fellow sisters.
We want to see every single creative young lady find purpose in her God-given gifts and talents. Thank you for helping invest in the futures of these incredible young women.
Delight and Be Blog site: http://www.delightandbe.com
Delight on FB: https://www.facebook.com/delightandbe
Love, Rachael Lee Clarkson