It was so easy, took less than an hour, and cost us $29.15.
From a simple act, will come great joy. What joy it already has brought! Let me tell you about it …
This year, as we’ve done for several years, my daughters and I headed to the store for our favorite Christmas shopping moment of the year. Our trip to the store is part of Operation Christmas Child, a ministry that brings joy and hope to children around the world through gift-filled shoe boxes.
Inside the Dollar General, I handed each of the girls — age 6 and 4 — a Rubbermaid shoe box and let them choose how to fill it. I imagined they might head straight for the Barbies, but given the freedom to decide, they displayed a rare moment of practicality and first stuffed the boxes with socks and Snoopy bandaids, toothpaste and tablets. Then, naturally, they scooped up little dolls, stuffed monkeys and Juicy Fruit gum.
They studied the hairbrushes carefully, each choosing one that they thought would best suit girls who were beginning to take form in their imaginations — with real personalities, preferences, hair color and mommies.
We headed to the cash register with two boxes weighed down with love.
When we got home, Lydia and Anna wrote letters and drew pictures for the children who will receive the gifts. We packed the boxes, filled in the gaps with Tootsie pops and mints, then decorated the lids with markers.
Somewhere, in some faraway place like Malawi or Kazakhstan, two little girls will receive the joy-filled boxes before Christmas. But in Iowa, two other girls — mine — already experienced the joy of giving.
In aisle one of Dollar General, right by the hairbrushes, Lydia turned to me and asked: “Mommy, why does this feel so good?”
… the Lord Jesus himself said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35
There’s still time for you to be a part of Operation Christmas Child. National Collection Week is November 17-24. Here are ways you can help.
PRAY: You can sign up here to commit to pray for the thousands of boys and girls who will receive shoe boxes this year. Pray that through the gifts and Gospel literature, these children and their families would come to know Jesus Christ.
GO SHOPPING: Grab your kids and head to the store to pack your own shoe box this year.
GIVE: To support Operation Christmas Child financially, you may visit their donation page.
What’s your Operation Christmas Child story? I’d love to hear. And if you’ve posted your own photos or stories on your blogs, please provide a link in the comments section here. God bless!