Monday, October 28, 2013
But I know that every year, I pack them with my children. Every year I cry as I pray over those boxes. I read the stories of impacted lives and my heart soars. They cross my mind when I see toys on clearance after Christmas, when the crayons are 25 cents a box each August.
If you don't know about Operation Christmas Child and the shoeboxes, you can find out a lot at the website. The basic idea is to take a shoebox and pack it full of things like school supplies, hygiene products, and toys. Send that shoebox to a child in a less fortunate area of the world. Along with the wonderful goodies in the box, each child gets the opportunity to hear the Gospel of Christ.
I've done other Christmas charities in the past - Angel tree, adopt-a-family, Toys for Tots. They're great and worthy programs and people's lives are enriched through them, but for me it's ultimately the shoeboxes.
[caption id="attachment_327" align="aligncenter" width="949"] The shoeboxes being dedicated at church this past Sunday.[/caption]
Look at those boxes. Each one represents a child. A child that probably won't get anything else for Christmas this year or even for their birthday.
The best part of each of those boxes is the amount of love crammed in amongst the pencils and candy. It fills every crevice and space, settling between the crayons and toy cars, filling the balls, and resting between the soap and the toothpaste. I know in my house, the packing of the boxes is an epic event, done with the greatest care and loving intentions.
A small bundle, a tiny container, sent with love and the hope that the receiver will accept God's ultimate gift of salvation.
I think that's why I like the shoeboxes. They help us remember that Christmas is about a very small gift given with the largest of intentions and the biggest love of all. A baby in a manger, so small, so seemingly insignificant when compared to the stacks of Christmas presents I and most of my friends are used to having.
A manger, like a shoebox, was designed to hold something basic. But God used a manger, like He uses a shoebox, to deliver a gift so precious. That's the beautiful thing about love - it's condenses so easily into tiny packages.
So many times it's the little things that have the greatest impact.
I know it's October and even mentioning the word Christmas makes a lot of people scream, but the collection date for shoeboxes is coming up soon. Not only is it an easy way to potentially change a child's life, it's a great reminder before hitting to size and busyness of the holiday season.
For me, it sometimes becomes so easy to get caught up in giving more and more to those you love because you want them to feel that love. But when I pack a shoebox, I have to pack with such care and intention because the space is limited.
I want my days to be like that. Because a day is limited. A day is small.
Pack today with love.
Thursday, October 24, 2013
1. Things that reminded me people are awesome:
- This article about Dilbert creator Scott Adams responding to a one star review for his new book. Seriously great way to keep a sense of humor in the face of haters.
- This tweet from Josh Taylor (Blimey Cow):
- This guy who broke a world record for doing two things I can't do at the same time: knitting and running a marathon. Yes. You read that right.
- These pictures (Drawn by Isaiah Stephens and seen on a tumblr post by Ashley Clements). Lots of people are drawing pictures these days and I often see them posted around tumblr. A popular subject is fictional female characters drawn with ridiculously curvy bodies and tight, scanty clothing. What makes this set different is that these really well drawn pictures manage to utilize those aspects without creating overly sexualized images. Bravo, Isaiah Stephens.
2. Things that made me go Hmmmm...
This one is from Facebook, so I left the person's name out.
3. Things that made me go hehehe
This was retweeted by someone... don't remember who. I don't actually know this person, but I applaud his idea!
Who doesn't love a grammar joke?
4. Things that made me go YEA!!!
- Sherlock US release date is announced. January 19th! Woohoo!
- The Day of the Doctor is going to be shown in theaters in 3D. Tickets weren't on sale yet when I wrote this post, so I don't know yet if I'll have tickets, but the fact that it's even happening is pretty awesome.
5. Speaking of Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Stuff...
- Okay, yes, this is actually something I posted, but still... hilarious and awesome! Walking through the mall and this is the mannequin in Express. Very little doubt who influenced that fashion selection.
- This is a pretty cool article about what makes the TARDIS different than other sci-fi ships and why that's awesome.
- Finally this image released to celebrate the 50th Anniversary. It just looks cool.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="461"] This image from Doctor Who's Official Tumblr[/caption]
What was your favorite thing this week?
Monday, October 21, 2013
Where is this awesome, magical sand from?
Originally, it's from the fictional Unpubbed Island of Seekerville fame. If you don't know, Seekerville is an awesome blog for writers, particularly those who are not yet published. The idea is that aspiring writers reside on Unpubbed Island, trying to sail off into the sea of published novels. If you're a writer you should check it out.
More importantly though, the sand came from a friend of mine. She's been a friend of the Seekerville crew for a long time. They blessed her with a bottle of sand while she was struggling to get published. It wasn't long before she sold her first book.
A few months ago, my friend gave me her Unpubbed Island sand. She told me she believed in me and my writing, asked to be my mentor, and prayed for me.
That tangible reminder that someone who is in the business and knows what they're doing believes in me and what I'm trying to do is a powerful motivator when things get tough.
Never underestimate the power of a mentor. Don't be afraid to look to those ahead of you on your journey - they've been there, done that, and learned a few things along the way. And don't be too busy to look behind, either. There's a lot of benefit in offering a helping hand.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Memorable Media Moments ~ Week of October 12
Some of my favorite Social Media shares of the past week:
1. Emma Approved
This actually started last week, but I wasn't doing roundups last week, so here it is! The long-awaited next book adaptation from Bernie Su and Hank Green (and a lot of other people, I'm not really sure who all is in on production.)
2. Doctor Who 50th Awesomeness
As November 23rd draws nearer, the Whovians are celebrating. Some of my fave moments this week:
~ The Day of the Doctor stills. Yes I got excited about pictures. John Hurt at the TARDIS controls = awesome anticipation.
~ This post about Martha. I actually liked Martha as a companion. I thought this was a good write-up about why she was awesome during her time.
3. The Things That Made Me Giggle
4. Things that Make Me Go Hmmm...
~ Also this: the most awesome customer service exchange on a live chat application ever. This is definitely a win. What if we all handled our problems with this kind of attitude?
~ Prologue and First Chapter of Julia Quinn's new book! I think this has actually been up for a while, but I just discovered it this week, so yea! Book comes out in a couple of weeks. That will be exciting as well.
~ Laurie Alice Eakes' new Regency released this week and we're partying over at Regency Reflections! Loving that the Inspiration Regency market is growing.