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    The Shoebox

    Saturday, December 27, 2014

    (Written at the time of Operation Christmas Child's annual Shoebox Drive in early December.) You see them everywhere this time of year.
    Those neat little red and green shoeboxes are passed out at churches, grocery stores, book stores and various marketplaces. All with the intention of being taken home and filled with goodies for an precious little soul on another continent far away.

    Last Sunday Tim and I worked a booth at church gathering the shoeboxes. I marveled at the large amount of people who, unlike me, are NOT procrastinators and were delivering said shoeboxes left and right to our table. The stack behind us was ever growing and by the time we went home it was almost as tall as me.

    We had our box and I was full of good intentions. We would take it home and talk about it. Then take it to the store and fill it up with goodies.

    My motivation was twofold. Not only were we blessing a beautiful child who we do not know, we were also staying a step ahead of the curve known as narcissism. I love to jump on any opportunity to serve with my children because I want them to be able to see outside their own little world.

    That thought in itself is another post for another time. Back to the shoebox and my good intentions

    Somehow Sunday turned into Monday and before I knew it we were neck deep in the busyness otherwise known as life as usual. We did make a trip to Wal-Mart and we did have a grand time filling our shoebox.

    It's just that we were hurried. I felt like we rushed it and in the end as I was taping the label to the top of the box my heart was anything but content.

    Because what good does it do if we just rush through the checklist of things to do in December and miss the whole point of the matter?

    It's not really about the gift. It's about giving.

    Nevertheless I sent our shoebox in with my boy as he got out of the car for school this morning. His class is a part of this project and he was excited to take it in. Thankfully, I don't think his little heart knew that mama was a bit disappointed in herself with this process. All he knew is that there was a football and a cool flash light in that box and from the mouth of a six year old that sounds something like:

    "Man that kid in Africa or Asia or Mexico is going to be soooo excited."

    (Oh and he was a bit regretful that we hadn't put a toothbrush in the box because apparently dental hygiene has become a priority.)

    After I ran an errand and dropped my princess of at preschool I was walking through the lobby of the church, headed to the gym. I turned a corner and heard a sweet voice say, " So tell me young man, why did YOU pack your shoebox?"

    I turned around to find about fifty kindergartners gathered together with their sweet teachers and a mission representative. She was explaining to them the process of Operation Christmas Child and they were captivated.

    I walked on. My mouth slowly turned up into a smile and tears stung my eyes. The Holy Spirit let me know that although I was disappointed in my own efforts and even though my efforts alone will never be enough, HE IS.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not making excuses for being too busy or in too much of a rush. The truth is I should have made it a point to slow down enough to take on the task of explaining this process better to my children.

    With the empowerment of the Holy Spirit I will do better next time.

    Until then, I'm so grateful to have a bridge to fill the gap that I have left empty.

    Today it is a shoebox and tomorrow or the next day I'm sure it will be something else. The truth is that according to Phillipians 2:12 I will be working out my own salvation with fear and trembling from now until I make it to Heaven.

    I will never be perfect.

    I'm just so glad I know the One who is.

    He knew where I would come up short and He took care of it. He always does.







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