Bless this House

Sunday, March 23rd marked a milestone for Lydia’s House, a day which many of us will hold in our hearts for a long time.  With the last glasses stored on the shelves, the final touches of paint drying on our chairs, and the last pictures hung on the walls, we opened our doors to the entire community for our house dedication.

To be honest, we weren’t quite sure what to expect.  We knew many of our supporters would come, and we hoped some of our neighbors would as well.  But none of us were prepared for the response.  Our house, empty for so long, was packed full for our dedication service–at one point, guests were sitting on our porch, trying to listen through the wall, there was such little space inside the house!

The service, led by Vineyard Central’s Josh Stoxen, was beautiful.  Everyone crammed into the rooms on the ground floor, and even the stairs leading up to the second floor, as the community, the board, founders and workers pledged our dedication to Lydia’s House, it’s mission, and the women and children who will soon call 2024 Mills their home.  Looking around the room, you could see the inspirational tapestry of dedication, hard work and passion manifest itself not only in the physical space of the house, but in the people who attended: one body striving together to make a difference.  Not one of us had anything but pride in what has been accomplished and excitement in continuing the work that is to be done.

While Lydia’s House staffers have returned to their normal work day, we can’t help but reflect on the blessings evident in yesterday’s service: the hands that helped build our home, the lives we’ve touched and that have touched us, and the love and grace abundantly poured into and onto our work.  We have come a long way since we bought this house over a year ago, and we are endlessly thankful for every one who has helped us in this journey.  We cannot wait to provide a fresh start for the women and children who will join the Lydia’s House family.

As Josh led yesterday, we pray:

God of blessing, teach us to care for all that has been entrusted to us.  Help us to share with others that which you have abundantly given us.  Lead us to see what is possible when all seems impossible.  Enable us to stand up for justice when all seems to oppress.  Help us to love generously and give unconditionally.  Give us hope and joy so that we can keep walking this Christian road less travelled. Amen.

Miss the event? Please enjoy some of the photographs taken during the dedication, courtesy of Elizabeth Shanklin.

House Dedication

Some images from the dedication service, March 23, 2014.

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Making This House a Home

The birds are chirping, and sun is shining (well, most of the time), and we at Lydia’s House are traveling full-steam-ahead in preparations for accepting our first guests around the second week of April.  Those who have adopted rooms are putting the final touches on their spaces, and all three of us (Mary Ellen, Meridith, and Hilary the Intern) have commented on how beautiful the transformation of the house has been.  Mary Ellen and Hilary the Intern have also expressed how we wish this house was our own home, and subsequently how great it is that Meridith gets to live here!

To help make the house ready for its new inhabitants, Sandra Murphy and Kathy Aerni generously hosted a House Warming Shower for us on March 9th.  Included in the invites were links to our Target and Amazon wish lists in case any of the attendees wanted to contribute.

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 2.56.11 PMOur beautiful hosts

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 2.58.11 PMSome of the wonderful contributions

We were  surprised to see some new faces amongst the crowd.  Most of you will know that we cannot say enough how much appreciate our Lydia’s House family, those who continually go above and beyond to help in any way they can.  We also love expanding this family and talking about our mission to others, and we couldn’t have been happier to have the opportunity to share our story with so many new people.

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Our friends, new and old

All in all, it was a wonderful afternoon, one which we’ve added to our ever-growing list of blessings.  We are so thankful for the abundance of support and generosity continually shown to our cause, and are more excited that the numbers of those sharing this journey with us are growing.

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A special ‘thank you’ to Kathy and Sandra for putting together this wonderful event!

After the event, Kathy and Sandra spent the generous donations from the shower on items Lydia’s House still needed.  We documented part of their shopping trip!


Checking the list to see what is needed


Filling the carts


A job well-done!

Thanks to your generosity, our shelves are stocked and our house is ready for our new guests!


Support Lydia’s House by Going Grocery Shopping

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Want to support Lydia’s House while you complete your weekly grocery shopping?  You can contribute your Kroger Rewards from your Kroger Plus Card by signing up in your profile.

Hilary the intern just signed herself up, so she will give you the step-by-step process!

1. Go to

2. Sign in to your account.

3. Click “Enroll Now” on the community rewards screen (which you should be taken to once you sign in).

4. Enter the Lydia’s House organization number, 83657

5. Choose Lydia’s House, Inc at 9756 Courtland Ave in Cincinnati, click “Enroll.”

You’re all set!

Once you enroll, your Plus Card savings that you acquire through shopping with your Kroger Plus Card will be sent to Lydia’s House as a donation.  You don’t need to send any checks or deal with any paperwork–Kroger does all the work for you, and you enjoy all of the benefits of knowing you are supporting a great cause.