It has been a very productive fall and early winter. Well, some parts have been productive, and some parts have been eventful. And, I know this blog has been a long time in coming.
The snow is deep outside and the sun is shining brightly against a blue sky. It is a cold one out there.
I ventured out in my pj's earlier to grab some thyme for my breakfast eggs, and the air had a bite to it. The neighbors are used to my strange yard-wear. It is a normal thing to see me in pj's and mud boots, traipsing around with a knife, or scissors, in hand, grabbing weeds (as my husband calls it) out of the yard.
Later today I will bundle up and saddle a horse, but for now I will write.
I can start by filling you in on the Backpacks to the Rescue! article I wrote about in a previous blog. You can read that one if you want to know about how it all started.
The saints of Apostolic Bible Church collected, donated and gave from their hearts, to the needy of our community. It was very moving to pull all the articles that had been donated and gathered through the spring and summer, then present them to the ladies prayer group.
As I talked about this project to them, I saw true compassion in their eyes toward the needs of the homeless. Tears were in their eyes, compassion was in their hearts, prayer was upon their lips, and love motivated them.
I felt invasive while taking a few pictures of these fine women giving of their hearts to the recipients of these donated goods. There were more than backpacks collected in the end. Warm winter scarves, gloves, hats in various sizes and colors that would work for the men as well as the women. We just laid them all out so the women could get behind them and pray good things to the men and women that would receive these articles of good will.
Most of all they prayed that the recipients would come to know the wonderful love of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
I would like to mention a few folks that went above and beyond to make this happen. First to my pastor, Greg Morrison, for allowing this project to be brought before the church. Also, my good friend, Cathy Wagner, for her dedication in finding and collecting these items.
Dave Goldman, our associate pastor, helped with gathering monetary donations to go toward purchasing needed items from second-hand stores and yard sales.
John Mason ensured the donated and collected articles made it to their destination, a reputable shelter, and from there into the hands that need them.
Another blessing, the Lord laid in my lap, was Operation Christmas Child. This was the first year our Church did it as a unified effort, as well as some doing it on their own.
We started collecting at the first of 2012 and finished up in late Fall, hauling them off to a drop-off location.
I could kick myself for not getting more photographs of the many toys, bandannas, coloring books and such, we had laid out while some helped fill the boxes. The smiles and excitement of some of these women while organising their boxes was contagious to others in the room.
Great care was taken in deciding what article was chosen to put in each box.
Lana Beloat, you thrilled my soul as I watched you do this. Thank you for that!
Jason and Sarah Reeves, thank you for all you did to help too, filling box after box, each with just as much care and excitement as the one before.
Our church collected and filled approximately 30 boxes to give. I cannot tell you how wonderful it felt to drive away from the drop-off location with a feeling of mission accomplished.
As my husband and I drove down the road on our way back home, we spoke of what a blessing it is to be able to bless others. It truly is better to give than receive. This is just one way to touch a life that seems beyond your reach, another way to give.
It is not a hard thing to do, just takes a little time and a little finances throughout your year. And, I must say, it is worth every penny, and every moment you apply to this gift of love. I would also like to mention that one box touches more than just the child who receives it. It touches the whole family and the whole village, because most of them share.
To finish up the year God sent snow, and more snow. I cannot tell you how thankful I am for God's blessings this year in my family's lives.
I spent the last week of 2012 out capturing God's beauty through a lens. Sledding and Squatching late at night, and drinking hot cocoa. Sitting around the fireplace, watching BRAVE, and drinking hot cocoa. Playing with the horses in the snow, and ... drinking hot cocoa!
Oh yes, and busting through snow drifts, and clearing roads so others could pass .
The last thing I did, in the early morning hours of 1/1/13, was stand out in the yard and wave goodbye to a dear friend. Then, I quietly built a snowman and a snow-bear in my front yard.
Most of all, I thought of all that Jesus has done for me. These past couple of years, He has traveled with me along some rough and treacherous roads. He never left me, and carried me when He had to, because He knew I had no strength left.
This next year I plan on giving more to my God and His Kingdom; more to my family and more to others that I may never meet in this lifetime.
I can touch their lives through prayer. I am going to push way up, over the darkness and into His marvelous light.
Following this bit of news are a few more photos that captured this last week of the year 2012, in my life. God Bless all of you who have touched my life with love, and hope this past year!!
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