It was another Cherished Christmas is Coming Day at our house.
I enjoyed my daily Christmas devotionals, delighted in some beautiful Christmas music played on a harp (we don't have a harp - it was on cd), read a little more of A Christmas Carol, listened to my dishwasher repair man whistle Christmas songs, and then put together a couple Operation Christmas Child boxes (suprise check off - #5). Yes, it was a day filled with cherished Christmas moments. And no, "fill Operation Christmas Child boxes" was not on my list.
Operation Christmas ChildOur family first heard about putting together shoeboxes filled with goodies for international children in need at our church when the Scientist and the Engineer were little. I fell in love with the idea the very Sunday it was introduced to the congregation.
Over the years, the boys and I have enjoyed taking a day to gather up supplies for our boxes. They enjoyed picking out things boys would like and I enjoyed shopping in the girly pink section!
We would get home, dump all of our purchases out on the living room floor and start sorting them into piles. Then we wrapped the boxes in bright Christmasy paper, marked the boxes for gender and age, and started filling them up.
I prayed over the children that would receive these gifts. I watched with gratefulness the excitement and delight my boys took in preparing these presents for others.
For a couple years, while I was teaching, I was able to help the students gather boxes to send off to Operation Christmas Child. Two years in a row, the students filled an entire van with shoeboxes. It was a great blessing to be a part of something such as that.
I remember a couple years ago, going through the boxes we had gathered at school, and finding one box filled with matchbox cars. That was all that was in it. I wasn't sure that would be ok, but a student had given it, so I sent it on to OCC.
Recently, I read a post from OCC on Facebook. The story posted told of a little boy that when given his box, told the giver, "I love cars. I hope there is a couple cars inside this box." When he opened the box, it was filled with matchbox cars. The person giving out the boxes said she had never seen a box filled with just cars. The boy was so excited! He got so much more than he expected!
When I read that story, it brought tears to my eyes. In my heart, I know exactly where and who that box came from, and I am reminded once again of the awesome, mighty, powerful God we serve! He cares about every detail. And makes amazing things happen that only He can orchestrate. The story is even more awesome, because the giver of that box was once a little orphan who had received his own OCC shoebox. He was born in another country, adopted by an American family, and one day filled a shoebox with matchbox cars that was sent to another child in need in a country far away. Isn't God good?
Now my boys are big guys, the Scientist is off at college and the Engineer is busy with high school. Although we discussed getting some shoeboxes put together, we let the deadline slip by us. So, today, I went online and for the first time put together our boxes online. It's a fun and easy way to participate. I will admit, it's not as much fun as shopping, wrapping, and filling those boxes ourselves, but at least Christmas didn't come and go, and we missed out on being a part of this wonderful project. I always feel so blessed to do a little part.
If by chance, you don't know about this wonderful organization, please go to Operation Christmas Child to learn more.
DevotionsI also have to share a little bit of what I got from my devotions today.
The gift of Jesus, the Messiah came to earth as an "in real life" human being. He didn't come to just visit us or observe us.
He came with a plan: to die on the cross for our sins. He came to save us.
The true gift of Christmas didn't just come at his birth.
It came at his death and resurrection. That we might be saved. It's true.
Only 21 days...
Have a Blessed Christmas!