Day 7- Blessings Bags
I had sort of seen this idea before, but didn’t know exactly what it was. I think having some bags, bottled water and gift cards available in your vehicle is a wonderful idea but I didn’t do those exactly. The kids and I did our own kind of blessings bags- we filled shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child.
This year I asked the kids if they wanted to do them or not. One little boy ran to his room to find something of his to put in as his answer. That decided it.
Last year, I did the shopping myself but was told I was a lame shopper, so this year all. three. came. If you were in the Ames Wal-Mart on Sunday afternoon, heh. Yes, I let the kids play with a few toys. Yes, there were a few wrestling moves made. Yes, a little boy crashed right into a center of the aisle Stove Top Stuffing display because he insisted on having a turn pushing the car. But also… yes, the kids did do a better job shopping than me. They picked out just the right things… They need a plastic shoe box so they can use it longer than a cardboard one. They need a full-size tube of toothpaste because this has to last all year. They need stickers. They need a motorcycle toy. They need pretty hairbands.
When we got home, we dumped out everything and began
packing stuffing the boxes to the brim! One of the highlights for them is seeing how much candy they can jam into every nook and crevice. It went from “Aw, do we have to share our Halloween candy?” to setting a candy cramming record! My girl grabbed the Sharpie markers and took to decorating her box with her own love messages. In the end, those boxes were heavy and full and my heart was fuller.
As I tucked them into bed, I took their box into them. I told them I saw them loving others as they love themselves. And I reminded them that God loves us that same way. He loves Himself. He loves his son, Jesus. So when it says in John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave His one and only Son”. He was loving us in the manner He loved himself. In Jesus, just like in their boxes, God packed and stuffed every good thing, every delight, goodie and treasure.
This is the national collection week for Operation Christmas Child. If your church doesn’t do this, don’t let that stop you. Drop one off at our church, Cornerstone Church of Ames (no one will mind one bit). Go online to www.samaritanspurse.org or just click the words Operation Christmas Child and it will take you to everything you need to know- labels, packing instructions, etc. I’d encourage you to watch the videos also. They are beautiful stories and very tangible evidences that the kids receiving (and giving) shoeboxes feel the love of Jesus.