Monday, April 08, 2013

Glory to God!

How do I fit all of my emotions about this into mere words in a blog post? I'll give it my best shot and just share from my heart as always...

In recent weeks, I got numerous emails about a praise service in Orlando celebrating the 100 Millionth Shoebox delivered through Samaritan's Purse. Every time I got the email, I would have a little quickening in my heart and really want to go. I deleted the first few just not thinking it would be possible - but finally voiced my desire to go to David. He was very supportive and we quickly had it worked out that the girls and I would go and stay with some of his family near by and he and Samuel would stay home.

It also fell the weekend of my 31st {yesterday} and Emily's 3rd {today} Christian birthdays and I thought this would be such a neat and sweet way to celebrate together.

Driving up, it was emotional for me to see signs hanging outside the convention center that said, "Glory to God!" and to see such a lengthy line of people waiting to get in - all to praise God for what He has accomplished. It was one of those moments where I knew that was where I was supposed to be that night and I had such an heart of anticipation for the evening.

We found seats and I think I was just sitting nearly on the edge of mine. I had come with an eager heart to hear from God because feeling so strongly that it was right where I was supposed to be - there must be some great revelation I was going to hear or know in my heart. I found myself almost tense at one moment not wanting the evening to be over before I knew what I was supposed to learn that night. And, almost in that moment it hit me - I was thinking about me.

God, what do You want to say to me?
What do You want me to hear?
me ...
me ...
me ...

And, I realized exactly what I needed to be reminded of. It is not about me I really did have good intentions, but I was reminded that instead of thinking about myself, I need to be focusing on God.

This was by far, the prevalent theme of the night and the entire evening was designed to glorify, praise, honor and give thanks to GOD! I did not catch even a hint of anything other - truly it was a very God-honoring and God-focused evening.

Tears were in my eyes numerous times throughout this special evening as we heard testimonies from people who had received shoe boxes in their childhood when they lived in an orphanage. When I heard testimony after testimony about just the right box getting to just the child that needed that box. How one couple put together over one thousand shoe boxes and didn't even have any boxes, they made a template and made their own out of boxes from a dumpster. To hear a precious twelve year old girl on the stage who was chosen as the ambassador for the 100 Millionth Shoe Box. To hear how God has provided in so many amazing ways that it makes it clear it could only be Him who accomplished these things.

That. That is what I want in and visible through my life. That it would be obvious God accomplished _______ {fill in the blank} because only He could.

Bringing it home even more, it has really been on my heart about how to create humble learners in our children. We are learning a lot of great things, but not so that we can rattle off the Presidents of the United States at age four and have everyone think that is so amazing - so we can praise God by the things He has allowed and enabled us to learn. So we can clearly and effectively share Him with others. We have to be educated in certain things to do that in a credible, clear, respectful way.

In my heart, I know that one reason I wanted to go was so that my children would see the reality of thanking and praising God publicly for the work He has done through Operation Christmas Child. To show them that children can do big things for God and packing a Shoe Box is something my children can do {and love to do!} that furthers the Gospel. I am so thankful that they heard Franklin Graham remind all of us that when approached by children, the disciples tried to keep them away from Jesus and Jesus rebuked them and proceeded to give great value to children. I want their hearts to be open and way open to what God puts there for them to accomplish.

After all of that, I don't know how to close - God was there - big time. And, I was reminded that even in my daily Bible reading - it is not wrong to say, "God what do you want to say to me?" but when I am frantically searching for some profound word from Him each day, I think my focus is off. Instead, I should be seeking His Word for how I can glorify Him.

" that people may see and know, may consider and understand, 
that the hand of the Lord has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it."
Isaiah 41:20


Wendi said...

Well, this post made me tear up. So many times I was shaking my head yes! I can't put my thoughts into adequate words.

I am so happy you were able to share this experience with your girls!

Mrs. U said...

Beautiful post.

"That is what I want in and visible through my life. That it would be obvious God accomplished _______ {fill in the blank} because only He could."


Mrs. U

Lisa @ Simply Things Family said...

Monica, Thanks for sharing this. I too received the literature about this event. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend (St. Louis to Orlando is 12 hours!). I feel like I was blessed by your experience. So wonderful for your girls, too.

*carrie* said...

So cool, Monica. Thankful you got to attend with the girls, and that it was a meaningful experience!

angie said...

It is wonderful that you were able to heed God's prodding that you attend this event. I would have loved to go. We are going to try to sign up to help at their NC processing facility in November. So glad to hear that the emphasis was on giving glory to God, not lauding SP's efforts.

Sara said...

Beautiful, Monica! I'm so glad you didn't quiet that inner voice that was urging you to go! God gives us experiences like that!

Mana Laura said...

Hello from Mozambique! This may be the first time I've posted but I've been reading your blog for awhile now.
I am a missionary at a children's center in Mozambique and wanted to share that we have received many of those 100 million precious boxes over the years. What a blessing they are! I never cease to be amazed at the generosity of people.
I'm glad Samaritan's Purse has celebrated this milestone.
Thank you to all those who participate in this wonderful ministry, it really does bless the kids more than you can imagine!
Blessings, Laura

flyonthewall said...

Amen. I hope that the Lord through His Holy Spirit continues to enable you and your husband to intentionally encourage your children to pursue those "godly desires" - to be seeking after Him to glorify Him. Your post has been an encouragement to me!

Mom said...

Thanks for sharing your report and photos of this special event for those of us unable to attend. I'm so glad you got to do this with your girls! :) What an impact these shoeboxes have on the givers as well as the receivers! Love you -- Mom