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Sunday, December 6, 2015

Hope For When You Feel Like You’re Not Doing Enough

It’s that time of year again….

When we as women, wives and mothers feel guilty.

It doesn’t matter if we have created an entire magical winter wonderland in our living room…

Beautiful Christmas tree decorating inspiration to bring out the magic of the holidays in your home.:

…we’re still going to beat ourselves up over not making the hand painted wrapping paper…

How To Make Handpainted Wrapping Paper That’s So Simple It’s Stupid by Homepolish Los Angeles

…or baking five dozen of the most delicious and beautifully frosted cookies on the entire planet.

snowflake sugar cookies from annies eats (click through to the tutorial for royal icing):

Yes, there is always something we can find to feel that we’ve failed.  

But the truth is the wrapping paper is going to end up in the trash and the cookies….well you know.

So what if we instead concentrate on what really matters?

For many years I packed two shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child.

One box for a boy and one for a girl. Each of my kids helped in putting together a box to send off.

But once the shoebox was sent it was sort of the end of it.

It can be like that when we give.

In our media obsessed society it is no longer 15 minutes of fame but 1 second of instant gratification and then we move on, still searching….

Often still feeling empty.

But there is a lasting, loving answer. The rewards are perhaps not immediate, more long-term.

Last Sunday I sat in church and listened to a 20 something young woman from Honduras talk about how a shoebox changed her life.

Yudi grew up in an orphanage where 25 little girls shared one toothbrush.

She was given one pencil at the start of the school and it had to last all year.

She talked about how she had begun to feel helpless. Worthless.

Then a shoebox changed all that.

For the first time in her life she had her very own toothbrush.

She wasn’t sure what “bubblegum toothpaste” was since she had only used salt to scrub her teeth but she made sure to eat it all. In one sitting.

She felt rich for now having 10 pencils.

But the priceless gift was that she felt loved.

She had hope.

This is Yudi.


We have the power to change lives everyday.

We perhaps just don’t know it.

A smile or kind word could save a life.

Just by sharing a wee bit of love.

This is the second week of Advent. Tonight the Bethlehem candle, also known as the Love candle, will be lit.

Share love, give hope, shine bright!


“Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth.” ~ Luke 2:4-6


Michele @ The Nest at Finch Rest said...

Amen, sister- great post and perfect timing for us all.

Great reminder, and I am heading to Mass right now to see the 2nd candle lit.
I had better get going, am in choir and we need to warm up on this foggy and cold morning! It was difficult gettingout of bed today! : - )

God bless.

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Oh what a perfect Christmas Story. I love the shoebox gifts. We do them every year and they mean so much.

The Boston Lady said...

Lovely, heartfelt post with excellent advice and reminders. I especially enjoyed hearing about Yuri. Ann

The Primitique said...

What wonderful words to read. Thank you for sharing. ~Mindy

Lori @ Dining Delight said...

Thanks for sharing Yuri's story. For years, we also gave the shoebox gifts through our church but sadly, as my own kids grew up, I discontinued this. Your post has made me think that even if I don't do a shoebox, I can still make a donation to Samaritan's Purse. We have so much when others have so little...

Bonnie said...

So many touching stories from those that received shoe boxes. I will never forget a thirty something man sharing about the shoe box he received having a teddy bear inside. His shoebox was given the first year OCC gave out shoeboxes and he is a dad now. He touched my heart saying even boys need something soft to cuddle and hug. I have tried for the last three years since I heard that story to stuff a teddy bear in my boxes. I have received a huge blessing by increasing the number of boxes I do each year. It is a very worthwhile project to participate in.
I know your post will encourage others to participate in Operation Christmas Child.

Harold Emery said...

This is a lovely story. We never stop giving all year round ... we stay in touch with many 'giving' events to bring a smile to the face & heart of others. Giving is such a joy.

THANK YOU for sharing this story, Laura.
TTFN ~ Marydon

Linda said...

Love this, Laura. Thank you for sharing it.
My December newspaper column got pushed back one week due to space constraints, but the topic is a quiet, simpler Christmas. My husband's outdoor display is not exactly quiet, but it's what he wanted, and I have done what I wanted this year - saying no easily to anything that would make extra work for me and not feeling guilty in the least. I cut out some traditions (like cards) and again, I don't feel bad about any of that because as you shared, Christmas isn't really about all of those things. Instead, I'm doing some sharing in other ways that I won't write about, but spreading some cheer in my own way.

Linda @ Life and Linda said...

Beautiful post Laura. You are so right about those things. We cannot be perfect, but doing something for others is gratifying. Especially for those less fortunate.
This Christmas season has been crazy and I am beating myself up for not doing enough. Your post comes at a perfect time. Happy holidays to you and yours.