We just finished month two of our family mission to do a better job of sharing God's love to the world "out there" through giving. (If you missed our introduction to this family journey read here.)
Last month we prayed and gave financially to an organization that supports orphans. This month, I wanted to give more tangible items.
To kick off month two of giving we decided to participate in the food drive at our church. I fully planned on taking my kids grocery shopping so we would have bags of food; however, the food drive snuck up on me and it seemed like in a blink of an eye the day was here and we had not shopped. Ugh. I thought about not worrying about it and letting others do the giving. I can wrestle with the "give big or don't give at all" mentality. But I promised myself I wasn't going to stress about this. I want intentionally giving more to become gently integrated into our lives. Then, hopefully thinking of others will become inherently ingrained in our hearts so that while we are shopping we think, "I'll just grab a couple more items for those in need," instead of not doing anything at all because we think we can't give enough to really make a significant difference. So, I shook off my feelings of failure so early in this journey and told the kids to look through the pantry for food.
It all went smoothly except for my kids trying to give already opened boxes and my youngest crying, screaming and chasing my middle son around the house demanding the chocolate chips because he wanted to eat them. My middle son was running at high speed from his brother, the chocolate chips raised high above his head, shouting: "But...they are for the orphans!"
I guess I didn't do a good enough job explaining who the food was for.
Also this month, we wanted our kids to feel giving a little deeper. So we decided they were going give away some of their toys. Can you feel their pain?
Our church takes donation for kids items. Twice a year, our church opens our doors to the community to come shop for free used kids clothes, toys, diapers, strollers...you name it.
We gave each kid a bag and told them to fill it with toys.
After some whining on their end and coaxing on our end, their bags were filled. Then when my kids weren't looking my husband and I filled up quite a few more bags and we dropped them off at church.
Giving seems to go hand-in-hand with also receiving. We are all enjoying our gift of a de-cluttered home and less toys to pick up.
Next month is Christmas, the season of giving...that should be an easy month.