Saturday, November 19, 2011

Practicing Generosity

I want my boys to behave.  I want them to listen.  I want them to do well in school.  I want them to be a good friend.

But more than that, I want them to be generous.  I want them to see how much they have, and how little so many others have.  I want them to know they can make a difference, they can do the right thing, they can be the light to what is a dark and depressing world to so many others.

In order to teach generosity, we must practice generosity.  And I'm not gonna's not always easy.  Sometimes it's easier than other times, depending on what is asked of me or what someone else needs me to sacrifice in order to bring joy to another's life.  It's hard to think beyond myself, and it's often times harder to teach such a virtue to the boys.

They don't get it yet.  At their age, they are still very self-centered, and that's okay.  They need to be children, and not forced to reason beyond their age.  But they also need exposure, in a non-scary, and non-guilt inducing way, that not everyone is as blessed as we are.  So we participated in something this year we hadn't yet - Operation Christmas Child through Samaritan's Purse.  It's an organization and Christmas operation that collects shoeboxes full of goodies to send to poor and disadvantaged children throughout the world.  For most, these shoeboxes will be their only present this year for Christmas.

We attempted to explain to the boys what we were going to do, and why.  They didn't really get it, and that's okay.  Drew asked a couple good questions (like, "Why won't they get presents?" and "Where do they live?") but he also reverted back to, "But I want this stuff."

We watched this video before heading out to the dollar store to pick up a few things.  The boys did okay, but were enthralled with all the goodies in the store and, as expected, were difficult to redirect to picking items out for the shoebox.  Again, that's totally okay.  They're kids.  They did what they're supposed to do.

But I hope that they slowly will begin to get it.  That there is need in our world, and that they can help.  We are blessed, so we bless others.  It really is as simple as that.

 Examining the contents of our box.

 Ready to pack the box.

 The boys chose to pack a shoebox for a boy, aged 2-4.
We packed a variety of toys, art supplies, and personal hygiene needs.

 Making sure everything works before we pack it up. :)

And getting it all ready.

{The boys also included two Christmas pictures that they colored, and we'll register our box online so we can find out exactly where it ends up.}

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