It is important for me to teach my kids about being good stewards of the world we live in. I want them to be aware of the global disparity between the haves and the have nots. I want them to be interested in coming alongside others, empathizing with the downtrodden and doing their best to contribute to a better world for all. To me, it is not enough to sit passively and lament the issues facing our world. We need to take action, mobilize and do something about it. Clearly I have a heart for advocacy. I always knew I wanted to share this part of my life with my kids but I didn’t know how long I would have to wait to introduce it, or even how to do it in an age appropriate way. The perfect opportunity presented itself this winter. As we were shopping for Christmas presents, I had the opportunity to share with my two year old daughter about kids as young as she is who wouldn’t be able to get a Christmas present this year. She thought about it and said, “Well Mommy we should get them a present!” A week or so later, our church launched its annual hand out of the operation Christmas Child boxes. I thought, “Lord, that’s a great idea!” We were too late to get an Operation Christmas Child box (I was stuck in the nursery that day), so we decided to make our own.
Brie chose to get a gift for a little girl between the ages of 2 and 4. She was so ecstatic to go shopping for presents for her ‘friend’. When we got to the store I encouraged her to pick out things that she thought the little girl might like. Well, she’s clearly got my shopping gene because that child shopped till she was ready to drop. The next day, I wrapped a shoe box for Brie to put the gifts into and I realized we were going to need another box. She was so excited because she was going to get two of her ‘friends’ presents not just one. She joyfully packed their gifts; her little brother even tried to help. That’s when it hit me. It’s never too early to teach your kids about loving and caring for the people in their world. She learned that it is good to give. That it’s rewarding to share our resources. That she brightened someone’s day by thinking of them. When I looked at her, I saw the beatitudes manifested right there in her actions and her joy. And I learned that even a toddler can do her small yet significant part to help heal our world.