Lynsey and Jackson giving to Toys for Tots
Birthday parties have started to have a different tone among our wonderful circle of friends, and I absolutely LOVE it. It began when one of my friend's daughter decided to do something for charity instead of receiving gifts at her birthday party. She had each guest bring a baby item that she could donate to the Pregnancy Help Center of the Concho Valley. I donate as many items and time as I can to this wonderful organization so Lynsey and Jack were really excited to pick out the baby item to donate. After this, another one of Lyn's and Jack's friends decided to have each of her birthday guests donate a few dollars to help build a well in an impoverished area. The kind and giving spirit among our circle of friends, especially these children, really touches my heart. I love that these children are willing to use their special day to bless others that are not as fortunate.
Soon it was time for us to plan a party for our two November babies. I was really hoping that my children would be willing to do a charity also in lieu of toys not only because they are truly blessed and have a massive amount of toys, but also because we need to reduce some of our "stuff" before we PCS overseas. However, I strongly feel that giving is an act of the heart and should not be forced. I wanted them to willingly choose to donate instead of receiving gifts. I should have known that it would not even be an issue for them because our children already have servants' hearts. In lieu of receiving birthday gifts at their party, Lynsey and Jackson requested that each family bring an unwrapped new toy for Toys for Tots. After we cleaned up the destruction left by cake, pinatas, and games, we took the kids to the BX to put the toys in the Toys for Tots bin. They were so excited, and after the last toy was placed inside Lynsey exclaimed, "Look! We almost filled it to the top!" Jackson was so happy thinking about how special the children would feel when they got to open those toys Christmas morning. The love and generosity of my children not only brought tears to my eyes(which everyone teased me for. I'm a little oversensitive lol), but it also convicted me. I know I would not have made such a choice for one of my birthdays as a child. In fact, my children made me evaluate if I even do enough now as an adult to bless others. It amazes me everyday how much I need to strive to be a little more like Lynsey and Jack:-)