Tuesday, November 20, 2012

thanks and giving and joy

One day earlier this week as the kids and I were driving across the bridge, we passed two slow-moving trucks, flashers on, precariously overloaded with Operation Christmas Child boxes. It was such an unexpectedly exciting moment when we realized they were on the move from the church where we had donated ours. I actually wanted to honk my horn and wave like a crazy person, "Hey! We filled some of those! It was so much fun -even when Katie threw that tantrum in the dollar store over the flashlight that she wanted to keep for herself! We dreamed about the kids that will get them and prayed for them and hoped for them and tried our best to package love for them and here you are carrying it to them by the truckload!"
Right, how exactly do you say all that with a honk and a wave?
Oh but I wanted to.
Instead I just turned down the music and listened to Tristan go on happily about his box and where it might go and how long it must take to get there. They were all smiles, my sweet kids.
Here it is Thanksgiving week, I have been bemoaning the fact that we never got around to making our thankful tree when I realize I am witnessing one of the best displays of real thanks and giving I could ask for in my kids. They relished the filling of those boxes, cheerfully choosing, giving, sharing. And to top it off? Each of them at that moment in the mini-van had a crinkled five dollar bill in his or her pocket freshly pulled from a plastic money jar in order to go Christmas shopping for cousins. They never questioned the use of their personal money to buy presents. They ran to grab those bills chattering all the way about what they would buy and how they might need to help Kate (lest poor cousin Joey end up with a Lalaloopsy doll.)
So it was with joyful hearts that we went shopping and the kids again chose to cheerfully give. We came home and made waffles for dinner and the rest of the evening was a mess of crayons and stickers and wrapping paper and curly ribbons and a tired mom trying hard not to lose her cool over grabby hands and misplaced tape -and almost missing the blessing exploding around her.
Lately, in the midst of real struggles with bad attitudes and ugly habits, I've been fretting over their little human hearts and how I might fix them when I should just be giving them the same grace that keeps falling on me and my brokenness.
I should be saying thanks more, running cheerfully towards giving and giving more.
I should be more like these little children of mine.
Oh I love them so.


  1. Love this post! I went back to the 2008 post and just couldn't believe Keanna! Such a sweetie wishing us a "Happy Giving"
    UGH - Miss you all!! I love that Joey may have ended up with a Lalaloopsy doll :) hah!

  2. This post is inspiring! Love reading your real life!

  3. loved this! so, so true. so, so wise.


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