Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Surprised But Not Surprised...

Yowzers...25 days since I've updated here.  So sorry that life just keeps sliding by without documentation. But I'm not surprised.

My usual morning routine is to start the day with kneeling by our couch to pray. Even though I love it, I also have to make myself do it sometimes. The pull of the computer and jumping into the day can be so strong, but I know how much I need that time of prayer, how much it blesses me, and how easy it is to let it slip away if it isn't the FIRST thing in my day.

As a retiree who isn't great about planning and scheduling, when I start my day I'm often not sure exactly what it will hold. But I know God knows, so I ask Him to fulfill His promise to work in me to "will and to do His good pleasure." Some days seem routine, and some, like today, are just downright amazing.

I was expecting a delivery of a donation of 70 cartons of jump rope handles today.  I've been praying about this delivery for several weeks and when I found out it was scheduled for Wednesday I had a few conflicts.  After lots of prayer, though, God cleared my schedule so I could be there for the delivery.  Thunderstorms were predicted today, but they never materialized. God cleared the weather, too.  My husband cleared his schedule to help and the servant-hearted man who drove the truck helped us unload also.  Best of all, God cleared a place for us to store them in an alternate warehouse space.

Right after the delivery I headed out for a 20-mile drive to a thrift store.  By God's grace I got a donation of 188 stuffed animals.  We've been praying for stuffed animals week by week.  Last week we prayed for 500 and God blessed us with 1,150.  This week we've been praying for 750 and with today's haul God's provided a total of 822 already.  We're still about 5,000-6,000 animals behind where we were at this time last year, but God's faithfully bringing them in--two (hundred) by two (hundred).  We need about 20,300 more before September 15th, I think.

I got home to start the animal sorting process and got a text message from a new team member.  She made a previous contact with a local screen printing company about possibly donating some items for our packing party.  Well, it seems she was surprised today when FOUR PALLETS of items were brought to her business.

Wow!  I have no idea what all these boxes hold, but I know they are prayed-for blessings.  My constant prayer is that God will give us all the items we need to adequately fill 30,000 boxes at our packing party and that each one will bless the child who receives it.  It's always a surprise how they come but never a surprise that He provides.  It's going to be fun investigating these! good is God to allow them to be delivered and stored (at least temporarily) in another space.  Exceedingly, abundantly beyond what I could ask or think.

Then I got another message from a dedicated volunteer who wanted to pick up more boxes of items to work on processing for the packing party.  We agreed to meet before our special church worship service tonight and it was wonderful to see 14 more cases of items moved out to be prepped by hard-working hands.

Which brings us to the close of this amazing evening full of stories of God's work in the lives of people in our church interspersed with crazy-great worship.  It was capped with a challenge and invitation for those who want to see God do something new in their lives.

Me! Me! I want new wine in my life. Jesus, do something fresh in my our our ministry through these simple Operation Christmas Child boxes.  Do something unexpected...something extraordinary...something SURPRISING.

I know You will.  And, really, I won't be surprised. Because You are a God who "makes all things new."

Just do it again.

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