We’ve all heard the song/story of the Christmas Shoes. Well, I have a story for you.
You’ve all read stories of my crazy kids. Raising the three of them on my own has been trying, painful, and joyful all in one breath. Each day brings new adventures, new trials, and new stories. Several years ago we were heading into the Summer months and it was time to get sandals for the kids. I was breaking a sweat just thinking of the dollars signs attached to each pair.
So we’re off to Wal-mart. The kids were excited and bouncing to the roof of the mini-van as we pulled into the parking lot. Through the sliding doors we go and they’re off to find the best pair…the coolest pair of sandals known to elementary school kids across the nation. (No doubt the most expensive pair known to single moms everywhere.)
We had to have spent the better part of an hour roaming up and down every…single….aisle of the Wal-mart shoe department. I’m secretly hiding in the women’s section counting my dollars and digging to the bottom of my Mary Poppin’s purse searching for every last dime I can conjure up..not to mention offering a few prayers to find a quarter on the ground somewhere.
“All right, we’re ready.” The announcement came in unison as my three little ones lined up with the biggest and most precious grins I’ve ever seen on them. Not that devilish grin they usually bare that means there’s a blood stain in the carpet somewhere. But a sweet..sweet smile of satisfaction. With great pride, they each held out their sandals. Much to my surprise, there were no flashing lights, no sounds and no holograms. Just plain, ordinary velcro sandals with the lowest price tag any each of them could find.
I cried all the way to the check out line. I didn’t have to give them the speech on “we don’t have a lot of money”…they understood that I’m doing the best I can with what I have and everything that glitters is not gold. They saved me enough money that we even stopped by McDonald’s to scour their dollar menu and tour the play-land for a bit.
It is one of most memorable times with my children. It was the moment I realized they had values and were selfless when it most counted. I’ve since seen those very values displayed among the holidays as my children have pooled their allowances together to give to someone less fortunate (since my children have somehow failed to catch on that we are among the ‘poor’.)
This year they have made the commitment to carry out such compassion and charity throughout an entire year to a ministry known as the Shiloh Lighthouse Ministry and their Project 2000. I hope you’ll take the time to check it out and see how this charity can fit into your holiday giving. Teaching our children the concept of giving is one of the most valuable lessons we can give them. The one concept my children and I live by is Matthew 25:45. Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, whatever you do for the least of my people, you do also unto me.”