My little girl turned six years old this week.
Watching this girl grow up and mature into a beautiful young lady has been the best blessing I could have ever imagined.
Her determination and will is going to take her to places I could never imagine. She was determined to make this veggie tray for her party and excelled at matching the picture she had!
My little daughter is growing up.
We call her our strong-willed child for a reason—and if you knew her in person, you’d understand entirely. I often find myself pondering where her heart combined with her “will” is going to take her in life. I can only imagine.
Last year we noticed that her birthday was always the same week as Operation Christmas Child Shoebox collection at our church. We began brainstorming the idea of incorporating this into her birthday party. All year long we’ve been talking about it and getting excited about how she can make a difference.
Then a few months ago we felt led to consider a local organization, so we contacted MCC in Ephrata. We learned that we could fill hygiene kits with soap, toothbrushes, a hand towel and fingernail clippers, and they’d be given to families around the world who need them.
Our hearts and our minds were unified. We were ready to make a difference.
About a week before her party, I asked my daughter what she wanted for her birthday. She looked at me somewhat dumbfounded, and as she stared into my eyes, I felt as though I could see inside her heart as she answered, “Mom you know what I want. I want hand towels, bars of soap and fingernail clippers.”
My kids have taught me so much about life and every day they continue to amaze me more. #surprisedbymotherhood
We invited the girls from her kindergarten class and in lieu of gifts, they brought hand towels, bars of soap and fingernail clippers. I weep as I think about my daughter’s selflessness and how excited she was to open each of those items and turn right back around and give them away again.
Her selflessness helped that group of little girls to fill almost seventy-five kits to be given to families who now understand they are not left alone.
Because of one little girl who had set her heart and mind to make a difference.
A birthday she will remember forever.
A birthday we will all remember forever.
To help her pack as many kits as she could, we ran alongside our daughter by supporting her with funds from a Thrivent Action Team, an initiative started by our financial organization to encourage and empower volunteers to make an impact in their communities and beyond.
We found the items in bulk and stretched the seed money as far as it could go. After digging for awhile, we came up with these items as the best deals we could find. If you’re looking to host your own Hygiene Kit Packing Party, this is a good place to start. (We checked with MCC first to be sure we were getting quality items that would be good for the kits.)
At the party we showed the MCC Hygiene Kit Video, talked about the people who would be receiving the kits and pointed to a map of where they lived. Then we walked around a table in an assembly line filling the kits, and lining them up on our couch to see how many we could fit! As we filled the kits, we talked about how we could pray for the people who would be opening and using the kits when they received them.
And of course we also did traditional birthday party activities, like decorating cupcakes and singing Happy Birthday!
Are you listening to your child’s heart and encouraging them to live it out? (Even if it might feel weird or non-traditional to us adults.)
Are you talking with your child about ways we can be intentional in living our daily lives? I challenge you to find an opportunity this week to get excited with your child about what’s on their heart!
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!