Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Ring In The New

The Bible commands us to "rejoice always."  I certainly wasn't perfect at obeying that command in 2013 but there was plenty to rejoice about.

Last night I couldn't fall asleep so I spent some time reading over some of my journal entries from 2013.  By now I should be used to God's provision but I never take it for granted.

On 1/18/13 I wrote, "I was praying again last night as I tried to fall asleep for God's provision for these shoe boxes this year.  Father, I can't see how You'll do it yet, but I'm waiting on You to fill these boxes and do what only You can do."

And, of course, He did.  He provided all the items we needed to pack 22,491 gift-filled shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child at our community-wide packing party.  Then He blew past our area team goal of 45,000 boxes to give us  an unprecedented 47,604.

I have reveled in these miracles for some weeks now and pondered them in my heart.  

I have also rehearsed God's wonderful goodness in my personal life and the lives of my family.  Two of our daughters became engaged this year and one was married.  Our youngest also finished her residency and started private practice as an obstetrician/gynecologist.  We helped my mother celebrate her 100th birthday.  And I watched our faithful God get me through the hardest four months of my work career.

Now, though, it's time to ring in the new.  New year.  New goals.  New faith.

As I look back, I see that at this time in 2013 God had already provided thousands of items for our boxes.

That's not the case this year.  The storage container is nearly empty.  I haven't found any great deals--neither online nor at after-Christmas sales.

So I wait for God to do a new thing.  I don't know how He will provide for our shoe boxes this year--only that He will.

I don't know how many boxes God will give us or even what our goal should be--but I know that our unchanging God has new mercies for us in 2014.

Ring in 2014--a new year of blessings.


  1. Happy New Year, Kathy!! You are such an inspiration to me. I went back and read ALL your blog postings. I have several questions for you: 1) Can we pack candy canes? Will they melt? 2) How do you wash stuff animals in the washing machine? 3) When you shop, do you use your own money or the church or monetary donations? 4) How do you deal with shipping costs?

  2. Wow--that's a lot of questions for one comment. As of now, you can pack candy canes. They do need to be double bagged in plastic bags to prevent them damaging anything else in the box in case they get sticky. Here's a link to a blog I wrote about washing stuffed animals
    I generally use my own money when I shop but have occasionally received donations. Ultimately it is all GOD'S money and He always is the One who provides. As for shipping costs, this is a huge matter of prayer. I donate what I can to Samaritan's Purse on a monthly basis and others donate as well. I and our prayer team pray regularly for all the needs of Samaritan's Purse to be met.

  3. Thanks for the reply. I'm the OCC program coordinator for my church of 100+ weekly attendees. Our 2014 goal is 500 boxes. I read your blog for inspiration and encouragement. I know you pack your personal boxes and obviously use your own money. But when you buy thousands of soap, pens, crayons, etc. for the packing party, who finance that? For your community-wide packing party, what percentage of the items are donated (individuals, businesses, companies) and what do you have to purchase? To be honest, I'm feeling stressed out and overwhelmed, but constantly praying for God's provision. I want us to pack the best boxes for the kids who will receive them. Any advice, suggestions, tips would be appreciated. Thanks in advance. I'm a SAHM of two small kids and shopping with them is a challenge!!