Morning, all. I hope you had a good weekend. I normally turn to the blog and my passion for my work as a way to help myself express emotion and cope during rough days, but the past few days I simply had to remove myself from the environment. We took the weekend to aim for “normal”. The tears still flow on occasion and it will still take awhile to feel normal without Roxy around, but this weekend did bring quite a few moments of peace, love, and clarity. I had the chance to enjoy a night surrounded by good friends at the women’s small group I co-lead on Friday night. Then, Saturday and Sunday revolved around personal time, church, and time with the kids, including spending both afternoons at the park.
Besides all that, we also aimed to return to “normal” by doing something I believe makes a huge difference – giving to others in need. Doing something in kindness for others will always uplift my own heart. So, I put together a special care package for a dear friend of mine experiencing heartache I can’t even imagine right now. Then, the kids and I spent some time with a tradition we have done the past few years – organizing a couple of Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes to donate.
Operation Christmas Child is an initiative through Samaritan’s Purse to provide children in need around the world with gifts during this time of the year. Families can fill shoe boxes with gifts and other items of need to send to children. I find it a great service project for kids and my two little ones love it.
We go to the store to stock up on various items, which I allow the kids to pick out items to send (within reason…that giant stuffed dog won’t fit in the box – sorry, Makenzie).
Here are the things we picked up for this year’s boxes:
A few basic necessities like soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, towels (aren’t those mini packed towels so perfect for this?), socks, shirts, and blankets.
Some just for fun items like books, coloring books, crayons, stickers, toys, puzzles, balls, etc.
And a little treat to eat (hard candy and non-perishable snacks only).
It will melt your heart, I tell ya, watching your four year old get so excited to help another little kid. She was going around the store pointing out everything saying, “I bet my friend would like this. I bet my friend would like this. I’m so glad we can help, Mommy.”
Even though Braedon is still a bit too young to understand what we’re doing, I always have him help as much as possible. He really likes to toss things in the boxes.
I never want them to lose sight of the blessings we have in life and sharing, no matter what, with others. I want them to truly know how to ACT OUT gratitude in a time of thanksgiving and also to remember that Christmas is about giving more so than receiving. Spending time this past week doing that really did help give us an uplift when needed.
Your Turn: Do you have a favorite service/charity project?