Happy Worship Wednesday, SHINE girls! If you are new to SHINE, today is the day we focus on worshiping our KING! Be intentional in praising Him, girls. He longs to hear your sweet voices lifted high to Him!
Today, not only will I worship Him in song, but I will worship Him with my heart that is overflowing with gratitude.
I don't even know how to begin this story without just straight up being real.
This past Saturday, Lem's little middle school small group had plans to feed a local homeless shelter. They were to cook a big Thanksgiving meal and serve these incredible folks.
He had told me a while back that he wanted us to do this as a family. I was excited about it!
Until Friday rolled in.
Friday rolls around and he gives me a list of things that we (more like I) need to cook to take to the meal.
Now, I really do like to cook. But for 40 people? Seriously? On my Fun Family Friday night?
My heart was wrong. Like, way wrong.
Let me back up a minute and say that Lem had said that WE would cook as a family and make it a wonderful serving and learning opportunity for our kids.
Well, guess what?
Yep, you guessed it. I was the lonesome gal cooking all that stuff on my Fun Friday night.
Me, myself and I.
Saturday rolls around and I am determined to stay home and just let he and Joseph (my son) go to serve.
My heart was pinging all over the place. The Holy Spirit was telling me I needed to go.
My flesh was telling me to stay home and clean up this messy kitchen.
I ended up going. Against my prickly flesh.
I am not going to lie. Even up to walking in the church, I was pouting.
(good grief, this is horrible, isn't it?!)
Sounds even worse as I type it.
I had a conversation with the Lord as we waited for the shelter folks to arrive. It went something like this: "Okay, are you happy God? I'm here. Against my will, but I'm here."
A few minutes later a bus pulled in and the people started coming inside the church.
My eyes met a beautiful woman holding a little boy. She smiled the BIGGEST, most beautiful smile at me. Her little boy waved and smiled as well.
My icy heart melted right there on that grey carpet.
I knew why I had come. I knew why the Lord had pushed me out the door to be here.
It was her. It was her that I needed to talk to.
I sat down beside her as she ate. Her 3 boys were at the table with her. All under 7.
Little did I know that the table behind us held the rest of her children. 5 more boys.
8 total. (all boys)
I won't go into the details of our conversation, but my life changed in that very moment.
She inspired me. She blessed me. She changed me.
Her story, which I want to know more of, forever changed my heart.
She was strong. She was humble. She was faithful. She was.....beautiful.
My eyes brimmed over with tears a few times when we were speaking.
She said that living in this shelter had made her....humble. It had also made her stronger.
I asked how her children were dealing with it. She said the older ones struggled at first, but now they were learning humility.
She said that sometimes she could not get their clothes washed so they would have to go to school with dirty clothes on.
The shelter families have to share laundry detergent and the washer and dryer.
I shuddered as I thought of how I had complained when I ran out of fabric softener.
We talked for a long time and then she introduced me to her beautiful friend. They both wanted to know all about my SHINE shirt that I was wearing.
So, I bragged about all of you SHINE girls and how you were all changing the world--one daily scripture at a time.
They listened intently and decided they wanted to be a SHINE girl too. Yay!!
Welcome our newest friends! Proud, beyond proud, to have you!!
I promised them a t-shirt, so I will be seeing them both real soon.
Here's why I am telling you this:
- Go, even when you are not feeling it. Go anyway. God has something there for you. Trust Him.
- Someone needs your ears to listen and your heart to care.
- Little things--like laundry detergent--can change someone's life.
Here is your mid-week challenge:
Donate a bottle of laundry detergent with me to this shelter. I will come and get it from you, or you can bring it to our SHINE Mission Project Clothing and Canned food drive on Sunday. Or drop it off at one of our fellow SHINE girls drop-off locations.
If you cannot spare to donate a bottle, pray. Pray for our newest SHINE girls. Pray for the Lord to protect them, and shower them with His favor and His love.
Keep your eyes open today, sweet girls. God will place someone in your path. Be ready.
No matter where you are, who you are, or how you feel....God wants to USE YOU. He is just looking for an obedient girl.
Obedience takes no special skills, no special knowledge, no special anything.
It just requires obedience.
eyes wide open,