Monday, November 14, 2011


we have put together shoe boxes for operation christmas child for several years now. this year was no different. we loaded up in the car yesterday and headed to target to buy lots of goodies to fill our boxes.

mistake number 1: my expectations were too high.
mistake number 2: i didn't explain things, very basically, to the kids on the way there. why we do it(although they should already know), who they are going to(there has to be a video somewhere right?), etc.

we get to target and austin doesn't even want to get out of the car. um, what? we have three boxes, three kids, the third box is yours. he didn't want to. i threatened him with death if he didn't get his rear end out of the car and we finally made it into the store. i tried explaining to him who they were going to. the kids around the world that have absolutely nothing. and you know what i got from him? nothing. so box number three was mine.

we started in the dollar section and picked up a few things then went strolling through the rest of the store looking for more stuff. and before i knew it i was about ready to walk out that door and never look back. the only one who was any help was emily. if i let her get everything she wanted we would have had to pack a container and ship it ourselves. taylor was ok until we got to the pens and pencils. he wants a mechanical pencil. bad. the kid put it on his christmas list. he saw several that he liked and i repeatedly told him that we weren't there for him. he could get a pencil anytime. we were there packing boxes for needy kids. so he mumbes something under his breathe and starts sulking. austin is following us around like a lost puppy and only opens his mouth when he sees the new playstation call of duty game.

for the love of pete!

i left that store so disappointed. and it was as much in myself as it was in them. i made my children that way. i've made them self centered beings who want everything and have no idea how to give to others.

how do i fix that? how do i teach them that it's not all about them?

1 comment:

Dionna Sanchez said...

Oh Jen. It's so hard to raise our children in an American society. We only have kids once and it's so fun to bless them with things and yet then we wonder if we've given them too much. It's such a balancing act.

For me, I've noticed a positive change in my girls from taking them on the mission field. They've seen firsthand the kids who don't have any toys. They've held their hands and played games with them. They've walked into their homes and seen the tin shacks they live in. That has done more than my words could ever have done.

I think for a child (or adult for that matter) to truly understand - they have to see it, feel it, touch it. But the fact that you are trying to teach your children to give is a good thing. Don't back down on it but continue to stress the importance of it. Maybe if they don't want to buy toys at the store...the stuff in their room will do just as well. :)

And someday - maybe they will see what it is that you were trying to instill in them. Just remember, you can't make the choice of their heart for them - you can only model it.

Hugs -