One of the greatest gifts in moving to Tennessee has been quickly finding a new church home. We’ve been challenged, inspired, uplifted, and spiritually fed each week through the preaching, as well as being blessed by the people and their warm hospitality and hearts for the Lord.
During the Christmas season, our church has been encouraging families to adopt a theme of “Less Under Our Tree, More For the World.”
While the adults in our church have been encouraged to give and make a difference, I’ve loved the strong emphasis they’ve placed upon encouraging the children to give, too. They have given the kids specific needs and ways that they can help with their coins and dollars.
These specific needs and dollar amounts have been a huge inspiration to our girls and they’ve been spending time doing chores, emptying their piggy banks, counting change, and soliciting donations from us for the special Global Christmas Offering on Sunday.
Earlier this week, I discovered this sign that they had put in our hallway as a reminder for us all to keep contributing any loose change this week.
As I’ve observed my girls being so passionate about finding ways they can contribute and impact other children around the world, it’s motivated me to look for ways to be more of a giver in my own life.
And Kathrynne and Kaitlynn’s desire to give is rubbing off on Silas, too.
Last week, I took the kids to the The Greatest Christmas event here in Nashville. Ann Voskamp was one of the main presenters, along with Ellie Holcomb and Amena Brown. This event was sponsored by Compassion, so halfway through, Ann shared about the opportunity to sponsor a child and how it could make such an impact.
When Ann finished sharing, my kids all looked at me, eager to do something about it. I quickly leaned over and reminded our kids about the girls we write notes to/support and the moms & babies we support through our CSP.
I want to be able to regularly write notes to our Compassion girls as I know this is so important to them, so we’ve opted to only sponsor two girls (plus our CSP) so that we could be more faithful about writing to them.
And honestly, I was feeling like that was enough. Or so I had told myself.
But then, 5-year-old Silas looks at me intently and said, “But what about the boys? We need to support the boys, too.”
I was speechless. There was no quick comeback for that plea.
So, I sat there for a moment and then said, “You’re right. We need to do something for the boys, too.”
I hesitated before I responded, “Would you like to pick a boy for us to sponsor?”
His eyes lit up and he excitedly responded “Yes!”
The next day, Silas and Jesse looked through all the children waiting to be sponsored on Compassion’s site and finally chose 6-year-old Gerald from the DR.
Silas instantly felt a connection to Gerald because they are almost the same age and they both love baseball. Watching his enthusiasm over making a difference in Gerald’s life reminds me that giving our children opportunities to be involved in impacting others’ lives is one of the greatest gifts we can pass on to them.
We don’t have much figured out as parents — other than that we have so much left to learn! — and every day, we struggle with attitude issues and character issues. There are days when it feels like nothing we are trying to teach or live before them is sticking.
But then there are moments like this past week, when we realize that they are watching and learning. And I’m so grateful for these hearts and their desires and willingness to have less under our tree so we can give more to the world.
If our kids can someday leave home knowing that there are a world of needs around them, that money will never buy happiness, that there is so much fulfillment that comes from giving, and that money is just a tool to be used to change lives, they will be well on their way to living contented, rich lives — no matter their income level or career.