Monday, November 26, 2012

Thankful for the Mountains~

It's been two years since my family has done any sort of camping. (Torture for me! Torture for all of us, really.) This previous week, we went to the mountains for Thanksgiving. It was SO wonderful to spend five amazing days in the place I feel most relaxed and free!

We went hiking all along the cold and steep trails, then sat around the fire so much that my clothes still reek of campfire smoke. It got so cold that we stayed inside the camper most of one day, listening to the wind howl over the treetops like a stampede of whistling wolves.

I could go on and on forever about it, but it would take forever to write. ♥

It was wonderful. Let's just end it that way. =3

Friday, November 9, 2012

What Can You Do With a Shoebox?

What can you do with a shoebox? What can you REALLY do with a shoebox? Logically, things related to shoes. You can keep that very special pair of heels or loafers inside the box they came in to keep them from being scuffed up or dusty, or you can throw the box away. If you happen to be of the pack rat mindset, you could stash stuff in the box and stuff it under your bed or in your closet where you will never see or think of it again.

As I said, these are the logical choices. But ever since I was a little girl, my family has had an entirely different use for shoeboxes.

We fill them with toys, toothbrushes, and other goodies and give them to charity. Samaritan's Purse to be exact, for one of their charities called Operation Christmas Child.

Every year we delight ourselves in dashing about the store in search of toys and essentials for the potential receiver of this package, smiles on our faces at the thought of the little child opening the box to find goodies they have never seen. We hit the needed items first: toothbrushes and toothpaste, hairbrushes, ponies, and clips (for the little girls), socks, and a little folding tote bag. Then we gathered a pad of colored paper with some Christmas pencils, colored gel pens, and a puzzle for fun times. Lastly, we added in some hard candies and a tin of cookies for that extra hint of sweetness.

After the boxes are packed and ready to go, we taken them to an OCC drop-off point. In our case, it's a wonderful Baptist church in town. From there the boxes are taken to distribution centers, then shipped around the world to places in need of not only help, but also of smiles and the Word of God. Every box opens up an opportunity for the children and their families to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, therefore changing their lives forever and giving them the greatest give anyone can give.

It always brings a smile to my face and makes my heart race with nothing but the purest kind of joy. It is always exciting when shoebox packing time comes around.

So, what can you do with a shoebox?

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! ♥