Sunday, June 17, 2012


On this Father's Day let me start by saying that I didn't get to choose my father but I got to choose my children's father and that, praise God, was the best choice of all.  My husband is meant to be my greatest encourager.

That being said, sometimes I still lose perspective on this Operation Christmas Child journey and fall for one of the lies Satan really knows works well on me as he whispers, "You're in this all alone."

This weekend has been full of reminders that God has a crowd of people around me whose lives are meant to encourage me.

I was praying for 1250 stuffed animals this week and all my travels to yard sales and rummage sales netted me only 530.  But the story doesn't end there.  A bag of 20 were donated from church and on Thursday one of my former Operation Christmas Child area team members dropped off bags with 76 animals on my patio.  Another team member had 50 for me and a friend from church left 35 in bags attached to my back door on Saturday.  Best of all, I returned from yard sales to find EIGHT garbage bags full of 384 useable animals from my friend Judy Faulhaber (some were just too big).

When I left for church this morning the total stood at 1095 and I knew I needed another 155 to make the goal.  Terri Mouyard, a member of our community relations team and fellow stuffed animal safari hunter, walked up to me after the morning worship service and said, "Hey, I got 160 animals yesterday!" That answer to prayer was surely meant to encourage me.

As another added benefit I was handed a bag with 20 more new animals to give us a grand total of 1275 for the week.  Not only that but 3 other people told me they had bags of animals to bring in and asked where they could drop them off.

Another church member said she's got several people hunting for stuffed animals and Sherry, who leads a small group of high school girls, shared ideas for crafts they could make to donate for shoebox fillers.  How could this not be meant to encourage me?

I got to meet a new friend, Candace, who took home a case of paper for her children to work on stapling into packets for our boxes.  Candace directs the KidPraise children's singing ministry and we discussed the possibility of having the children perform a selection from the Operation Christmas Child musical at our large packing party and even having the children do a packing party of their own.  She may not have meant to encourage me this morning but she surely did.

Person after person spoke truth into my heart that was meant to encourage me.  Every one reminded me that I am not alone.

I Peter 5:7 says, "Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you."  And that, my friends, was meant to be the greatest encouragement of all.

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