Wow!!! What a day!! To say that I am excited and energized about my job with Samaritan's Purse would be an understatement!! So many emotions and thoughts are jumbled in my head right now. I've been trying to process it all and it's so overwhelming.....in a good way!!!
Today was the best workday I have ever had.
Our first day of training was lots and lots of information about how our position fits into the flow of Operation Christmas Child. To meet the staff and hear how passionate they are about their mission to share the gospel with children around the world was amazing.
To hear the VP of OCC share stories of children who came to Christ through The Greatest Journey booklet and are now sharing Jesus with their communities makes me realize the true impact of a simple shoebox gift.
And even though there have been 100,000,000 shoeboxes delivered there are still so many children who have not been blessed to receive one.
For example in the country of Uganda there are 16 million children 14 yrs and under and since 1996 there have been 791,000 shoeboxes delivered. That means that roughly 5% of the children of Uganda have received a shoebox!!! There is still definitely a great need to pack those boxes and spread the gospel in a powerful way.
We got to tour the processing facility and hear more amazing stories about the impact of OCC. I love how God sends just the right box to just the right child. Only He could bring adoptive parents to a child through a shoebox or tube socks to a boy who had badly burned his feet and couldn't afford bandages.
I am so humbled to have the opportunity to join this staff and be a part of bringing the good news of Jesus to the world.
I'm so excited for training day #2 and hearing from more of the staff of OCC. I'm just hoping that I can shut down my brain and get some sleep tonight.
Today as we celebrate fathers, we are so blessed to celebrate
you. But our celebration isn’t with cards or presents or grand gestures of
appreciation. Those are great but we want to give you something different. I hope you feel like today was just another day with the Carlson crew. I pray that you felt the same love and gratefulness today as you did yesterday and last week and last month. Now before you think that we don’t care, let me explain.
I don’t want to celebrate you and your role as a father just one day out of the year. I don’t want our children to think that if they show love and respect on Father’s Day then it’s not important to do it the other 364 days!! I want them to celebrate your love and appreciate everything that you do for our family EVERY SINGLE DAY of their lives.
I want our sons to see what it means to be a humble servant of God and how that is vital to being a godly man. I want them to see that being a man of God requires daily choices that honor God and his authority.
I want our daughter to see the importance of finding a godly husband to lead her own family one day.
Thank you for showing them how to love others and to share God’s
love with the difficult people. As I watch you humbly serve at camps and on missions trips, I am in awe of how you have allowed God to redeem your past hurt and pain. You are living out Romans 8:28.
You are taking the painful parts of your childhood and teen years
and using them to bring others to Christ. You are allowing God to use your story to reach the hardened hearts of some really angry kids. Your
story has impacted so many lives…..I’m sure more lives than we’ll ever know this side of heaven.
You could choose to focus on doing what makes you happy and what
makes you successful by the world’s standards. You could choose to be angry with God and not share your story. But you aren’t. You let God use your story over and over again to bring glory to Him and Him alone.
We are so blessed to be in ministry with you and I look forward to celebrating God’s amazing love and grace each and every day!!
We love you and I’m so thankful that our children have you as
Twelve years ago I became a mom for the 3rd time. But that time it was different. Different because I became mom to a 6 lb 15 oz brown-eyed baby girl. She was spoiled from the moment she entered the world.
She was sweet and feisty and knew how to get what she wanted from her brothers. She never had to ask for anything. She just pointed and grunted and they would figure out what she wanted.
She didn't start walking until she was about 15 months old because they carried her everywhere!! She was definitely the princess of the house. Her brothers treated her like royalty. But somewhere along the way, things changed.
She was no longer the cute little princess. She became the "annoying little sister" and then the "drama queen". She started expressing her feisty Latina side and began telling her brothers what she thought...usually with attitude.
As I listen to their conversations, arguments & discussions, I can see a very strong young woman emerging. And it makes me smile just a little bit.
As she continues to get older, my wish is that she keeps that spunk and
feistiness and doesn't feel like she has to change who she is to fit in. I want her to be confident in who she is....a daughter of the King.
I want her to stand up for what is right and to always seek to honor God first. I want her to be complete in Christ and not try to fill her life with material things or relationships. I want her significance and worth to be found in Christ alone.
And one day when she's older, my wish if for God to reveal His calling for her life. To show her why he put her here on this earth. And for me to accept that calling, wherever it may take her.
In the meantime, I want to show her how real God is and how much He cares for her. I want her to be exposed to the great needs all around the world and how God has called each of us to play a part in meeting those needs.
I want her to enter her teen years knowing that no matter what happens her parents love her and will fight for her heart. We will fight against the destructiveness of this world and will not allow the influence of others to destroy her innocence and purity.
My wish is for her to one day stand before her groom, pure, whole and guilt-free, knowing that she honored God and herself in all her relationships leading up to that day. Guiding her through the next stage in her life with that goal in mind is the best gift I could ever give her.
So today on her 12th birthday, I thank God for blessing me with one very special Madison Hermenia Carlson. I'm excited to see how God uses her and impacts her life this summer as we serve kids in Dayton, Oneida & Nicaragua.
Oh, and last night her brothers once again gave her the royal treatment with special gifts they bought with their own money!!! Way to go boys!!!!
I am a Christian, a wife, a mom, a VBS crafter, a coupon clipper, a thrift store shopper, a football fan, a cook, a student of the Bible and an avid reader.