Sometimes they’re one and the same aren’t they? Or, so tangled up together it is hard to see where one ends and the other begins. I am so tired today, having trouble getting started (in spite of a rich coffee infusion;-)). The past few days/weeks have been so busy – exciting, but exhaustingly busy just the same. With all our jobs, work is always a major factor in the busy-ness, but it is the ministry activities that add the spice. Thursdays through Saturdays are filled with receiving abundance from several sources like Divine Resourcing (thanks David, Julia, and Mike!!!) and Bald Ridge Boys Lodge (thanks John!) and The Place (thanks Ashley, Sandy, and our delivery teams!!). Then on Sundays we spend the day focusing on preparing and then distributing the abundance we have received.
Some weeks the joy of the weekend leaks over into the week, like yesterday. Probably the most precious gift God has given me over the past 2 years is the gift of new friends – people I would have never met, not gotten to know under the old circumstances of my life. This desert, this wilderness, He brought us to is filled with oasises (I don’t think that’s a word… hmmm… oasi? oasis’? – work with me here, you know what I mean right?) As we find our way through this new, unfamiliar territory God has placed precious souls, like mini pools of refreshment along our paths to give us a place to rest and gain relief from the sometimes seemingly constant heat and pressures of life. You see, these folks are fellow sojourners, in the same wilderness as we are, struggling along just like us, but we’re all traveling the same path! A path God has lead us all to, a path of love and compassion for others who need help – how awesome that He allows us to receive refreshment (hugs! ) from Him through each other as we work to relieve the pain and suffering of those we find beaten down and lying in the ditches along our path. Ahhhh, but I speak in riddles, yes? Get on with the story, no? Sorry .
Yesterday evening was just such an oasis. A precious young sister had a fabulous idea, she shared it with several other young sisters and a plan was created. Last night was the initial party (for how could I think of it any other way – it fits the description perfectly: fun, food, faith, fellowship) – Christel hosted this first (hopefully of many) “events” at her beautiful home where it seemed a dozen or so cottage business vendors all gathered to share their passions and help raise funds for Meals by Grace! We had a WONDERFUL time!!!! I had no idea so many were so gifted – makes me wish I were “crafty” but, alas, that was NOT one of God’s gifts to me! Ha! My husband would say my idea of “crafty” is to create a unique recipe out of my innocent inability to follow the directions of an existing recipe. Okay, maybe not so innocent – I LIKE seeing how little changes and tweaks can make it better (or at least different)! About half way through the evening we took a break to watch Meals by Grace’s new music video (thanks Bruce, we LOVE it) and to view the Informational Interview Adam Pendleton put together for us — now there’s a gifted man!!! What a videographer!!!!! After that I told the ladies assembled a bit more about Meals by Grace and fielded a few questions. It was no accident what-so-ever that a representative of Backpacks of Love was there, and a sweet friend of Christel’s whose husband is a chef (we’re needed a few more to help us on occassion to give Bill a few days off!). I was also able to reveal and share a few copies of the Atlanta Community Food Bank’s “hot-off-the-presses” new magazine called, “FoodSharing” where Meals by Grace is on the cover, the cover story, and mentioned in Bill Bolling’s Editorial as well. Here’s a link to the on-line version of the magazine: http://www.acfb.org/communications/newsletters/Archive/Foodsharing_Summer_2012.pdf
What love, encouragement, and support came from these ladies – and more than a few donations!!! Christel’s table was full of toilet paper and toiletries they brought to share with the needy in Forsyth County (did you know you can’t buy toiletries, feminine products, or toilet paper with food stamps?). We know several committed to come and didn’t make it so I’m hesitant to share the “final” amount since I’m sure their donations will still be added to our count, but let’s just say the amount is very close to $500!!!! – Oh, and the raffle of gifts was such fun too!!! Apparently some of these ladies were ‘horse traders’ in a former life because lots of fun trading went on as the gifts were drawn – reminded me of those Christmas party white elephant games. But these were no white elephant gifts but real nice items!!! If you were there and contributed in ANY way I cannot thank you enough for the support and love. If you missed it, feel free to jump on the train come along – you’ll NEVER regret the choice!!!!!
Okay, dear ones, gotta’ run I’ve ‘miles to go before I sleep’ as someone once said… HUGS!!!