My brain has been in overdrive. I’ve had so many things I wanted to blog about, but haven’t had the time to do it. All the fam is still asleep this morning, so I’m going to blog until somebody stops me. You might want to grab a snack!
The first weekend in December, the ladies from DBC went over to Atlanta to the Operation Christmas Child processing center. When I say “Atlanta”, I use that term loosely. Atlanta, to me, is Six Flags. This place is about an hour past that. That’s the only negative thing about the trip. Otherwise, it was AWESOME. I signed up for the trip because I enjoyed last year’s weekend getaway with the women, and I didn’t even really realize at first where we were going. Actually (confession time), when someone said “OCC”, my testosterone-drive self immediately thought of Orange County Choppers. Lame, yes, I know. But I’ve been worried about Junior and Senior being at odds with each other for a long time. Anyway, forget about that. Back to the *real* OCC. I wish I could remember the exact numbers, but I believe there were approximately 30,000 shoeboxes processed during our shift. Folks, that’s A LOT of shoeboxes. In nutshell, the process goes like this:
(1) Remove the postage/donation from inside the box.
(2) Inspect the box for inappropriate items and remove them. Fill up the box with “filler” items if needed.
(3) Tape the box.
(4) Scan the barcode (so the sender can track where the box goes)
(5) Pack at least 14 shoeboxes into one big box (big boxes are separated by gender and age)
Everybody has a job and everybody’s is important. The people in charge of OCC really have this thing running well. It’s very organized. Every two hours on the dot, they stop and talk a little bit about the boxes and where they’re going, and they pray over the boxes. It’s a very touching thing to witness. If you have never heard of Operation Christmas Child, please go Google it. If you know about it but have never been to a facility and processed a box, put it on your bucket list.
The next thing that I want to talk about is Milestones Recovery Ministries. It’s a 12-18 month Christian Recovery Program based here in Hartselle. I didn’t know much about them until our church invited them to share in our Thanksgiving supper. Now, confession time again, I’ve lived a pretty sheltered life. Growing up, nobody in my family had any issues with addiction. Because of that, I guess I really didn’t understand it and, to be honest, I was pretty uncompassionate about the whole idea of addiction. I just had very little patience for it. So, when I heard Milestones was coming to DBC, I didn’t really think it would affect me. Confession time again (good grief, I feel Catholic)… I walked around for a while that night and just avoided eye contact with all of them. I mean, I didn’t have anything in common with them so what could we possibly talk about? Then I noticed them all eyeballing my babies and someone told them that the new baby was a foster baby. Somehow I ended up at the table with them and we talked for a long time. I especially connected with this one sweet girl who briefly told me her story. Wow. I feel like a complete moron. This girl could be me. She could be my daughter. One bad decision, however small, can snowball and lead to a lifetime of them. I left there that night SO convicted and so touched by these women. Our entire church stepped up and we purchased gift cards for the children of these women. I think it worked out to be around 55 cards. I feel so lucky to have been able to help pass those out to these sweet, gracious ladies. One of the ladies pulled me aside, and I will keep our conversation private because I don’t know if she would want me to share it with the world, but in the end she gave her card BACK to me. I’m excited to see what God in store for these women. They’ve definitely made an impact on me and judging from the Facebook page, they’ve made the same impact on our entire area.
Little ones are stirring, so I am going to cut it off here. Stay tuned for my next blog (I’ll shoot for tomorrow). I found THE absolute coolest website yesterday and it has me so excited. I can’t wait to blog about it!!! I’m going to challenge all of you to get excited about it too, so just be ready!
Oh, this picture has nothing to do with today's blog. I was just looking up recipes and found these cute cupcakes. Don't they look GOOD?!?!