How My Seven-Year-Old’s Perspective Changed





Can I just promise you what a blessing giving is?


Last Friday night, as I was packing for a trip, my seven-year-old snuck around our closet and came across some hidden treasures for our Operation Christmas Child Shoebox. (Remember when I found a bunch of clearance items at Target last month to give? Yup, she found it too.)


Her eyes lit up, and she was so excited because she just knew she'd hit the new-toy-jackpot. I explained to her though that the treats weren't for us, but rather for us to share with kids who might not have any Christmas without them.


Oh my. That girl was mad.


She didn't get it, and absolutely knew she was deserving of every trinket in the box. Honestly? She was a wee bit irate that none of it was for her. (And, honestly? I was a wee bit irate with her for not getting that she needed absolutely none. of. it.)


I stopped my packing, pulled her up in my arms, and tried to explain a little bit more about the program and who would be receiving those tiny gifts. (Even though we've filled Operation Christmas Child Boxes for years, she still needed the reminder.)


Then I grabbed my laptop, and we sat down in the middle of the floor of my closet and watched a few of the Operation Christmas Child videos.


My girl's heart changed. completely.


I encouraged her to separate the items into a few different boxes, and goodness, watching her expression soften and change to excitement for someone else's gift melted this momma's heart.


“They're gonna love our stuff,” she said.


“I'm glad that I'm helping this year,” came next.


And finally “My heart just feels so happy right now momma.” 


She then decided to spend a little of her own money to buy them a few extra gifts this year. 😉


Folks, I have no idea where your finances are at right now, but if you're in a place where you do have some extra to give, I encourage you to find just the right place to share this year. Whether it be packing a box with your kids for Operation Christmas Child, donating to a local food pantry, or even just giving of your time to help someone in need, you will be blessed more than the one you're giving to will. Promise.


As a family we've struggled a bit recently with gratitude, and there's nothing like giving to someone else in need to completely change our perspective. And, while I think traveling on mission trips to share the good news with others is wonderful, I also believe there are seasons in our lives when there is simply so much good we can do right here at home. With the power of the internet, our children can get a glimpse of ways to give abundantly to those who live in a completely different world than our own.


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  1. Jennifer B. says

    I’ve been waiting for this post since you mentioned it last week. Oh so true that helping others helps us too, and that having gratitude in our hearts makes such a difference.

    • Thank you so much Jennifer! It’s just amazing how quickly her heart changed, and goodness has me thinking of other ways we can do something to give to those around us. We are so incredibly (ridiculously) blessed, but easily get caught up in being ungrateful (this was such a good reminder for me!)

  2. Kathy Mann Quiram Byers says

    You are a good mom. You could have given in and let her have some of those things which she would have been tired of in a few minutes, but instead you used it as a teaching moment. So many parents take the easy way out and it is so good to see parents who know that even though it's difficult, you will reap the benefits in the end.

    • I definitely have those give-in moments too Kathy, but goodness it was such a good learning experience (and really precious time) that I don’t think I’ll ever forget. Not always easy to stop and take the time to do it, but so very worth it when we can!

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