Saturday, September 26, 2009

He Did It!

I am amazed at all God has done. A week ago all the items to pack the shoe boxes were still in the loft area at Grace Church or in the basement at Wesley Church. Now, just seven days later, they're all packed into shoe boxes and ready to be transported to children around the world.

Last night I wrote about how I tossed in bed crying out for God to do what only He could do.

And today He did it!

The packing started a bit after 9:00 am and by 1:00 pm we were past the 5,000 goal. Streams of volunteers--around 150 of them--piled items into boxes as I prowled the perimeter and tried to stay out of the chaos. If there were complaints, I didn't hear them. God likely closed my ears to keep my sanity. I only spent a few minutes in a corner of a dark room praying about whether to send my husband on a one-hour trip to pick up more notebooks from our old church where some of the supplies were stored.

Interesting about the supplies--the toothpaste I thought we'd never run out of because I had so much extra was the first thing to deplete. Well, right after the pencils. We started to divide the 24-packs of crayons into bags of 8 to make them stretch and then ended up with extra. And the clothing items? By my count we didn't have enough to do 5,000 boxes but we ended up packing 5,577 and still had some left over. Unexplainable. The notebooks I sent my husband to get weren't really needed in the end but the bagged candy he got there was.

After the packing party was over, Heather, Elizabeth, Kristin and I went back to Wesley Church and packed another 126 boxes to bring the total there to 4,126. We'll meet there tomorrow at 2:00 pm and hopefully have enough volunteers to move those boxes upstairs, cartonize them, and truck them to Grace Church to put them on the semi.

5,577 plus 4,126 plus 318 boxes brought in by individuals at Grace Church= 10,021 boxes to put on the truck so far. Why did I have those moments of doubt in the night?

Only You, God. Only You.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Commit Your Way

I've been tossing in bed on this eve of the giant packing party. Sleep eludes me. Earlier this evening I was feeling excitement but now I feel like a condemned prisoner--no turning back.

I wish I could just stand on a balcony and watch the packing party happen instead of having to be in the middle of the chaos and deal with questions and complaints and feel my lack of leadership skills slapping me over and over again.

As we worked today to organize items on tables, all I could think was that it just doesn't look like enough to nicely fill 5,000 boxes. I know I have the basics but there just aren't enough filler items and the stacks of stuffed animals look slim.

Jesus, take what we have just like you took that little boy's lunch so many centuries ago and multiply it. Make it last. Make it fill the corners of those boxes. Make it bless children in Your name. Give us baskets left over.

I've been clinging to Psalm 37:5 that promises, "Commit your way to the Lord. Trust also in Him and He will do this."

Do it, Lord, or it won't be done.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


'sufficient' is sort of an antiquated word. We don't use it all that much anymore except in the context of 'self-sufficient'--being able to take care of yourself. I'm not feeling self-sufficient right now. Not hardly.

I should be sleeping. But I'm not. I'm thinking. I'm not worrying, mind you, I'm just thinking. My thoughts bounce around from anticipation to consternation when I think about this giant packing party for Operation Christmas Child on September 26th and realize it will all be over in three weeks. We're asking God to let us pack 5,000 gift-filled boxes in one day for needy children around the world. Will I be sorry that I didn't do more to prepare?

I've been doing an inventory of items for the boxes and calculating what we could run out of first. I think we need more than another 1,500 stuffed animals. From where will they appear?

I bought and hauled another 1,176 notebooks from Target in the last two days. Will we have enough?

It's all still pretty much a mystery. Some of the details are coming together but a lot remains undecided and uncharted. As I tossed in bed minutes ago, Paul's words in 2 Corinthians 12:9 kept running through my head. Paul said that God told him, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness." I don't know how God told him that, but Paul writes it as a quote from God and he passed it on to us.

God says His grace is sufficient and an online definition of 'sufficient' is "as much as is needed." I've sure got the weakness to make His power show up for the perfection it is and He's got the sufficient grace to meet every need. By the time September 27th comes around and the semi trailer's loaded with thousands of boxes and ready to roll this will all be just another story of God's sufficiency.

Sufficient. Yeah, it's gonna be more than okay.