Thursday, August 11, 2011

True Greatness

A repost from the archives. As our family travels to the Philippines for our missions immersion trip, a selection from the archives will be reposted... blog posts that show a snippet of the journey God has taken us through to mold us into a family that seeks to {by His grace} live out Micah 6:8!

May 11, 2011

Yes, this blog is called Mama of 2 Great Kids! But, how is true greatness defined after all? And, what do great kids look like? How do we make sure we are raising kids to be great?!?

{My thoughts are swirling around this topic as I prepare for an interview I will be doing with the Compassion Coordinator at our church. She would like me to share why our family is involved in local and global compassion initiatives and how we involve our children with it. The blog post that follows will pretty much be the text that I will use at the interview.}

One thing that my husband and I feel strongly about is that our kids have thankful hearts. We feel that merely saying, "I am thankful." or "Thank you, God!" is not enough. We need to, as Christ-followers, express our thanksgiving to Him by pouring out and living it out.

One way to do that is to intentionally and tangibly be involved in local and global compassion initiatives, giving ourselves away in Jesus' name to people who are the last, the least, the forgotten and the forsaken in our society!

When our children learn to embrace this lifestyle of compassion and choose to call it their own, then we have successfully raised them to be truly great.
True greatness is a passionate love for God that demonstrates itself in an unquenchable love and concern for others. ~ Dr. Tim Kimmel, Raising Kids for True Greatness.
As far back as I can remember, our family has been involved in packing Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes with Samaritan's Purse and with Out of the Cold where we go to prepare and serve a meal to 100+ homeless folks during the coldest months of the year.

We went from packing 2 shoeboxes that very first year, to our kids heading up a shoebox drive at their school {a public school, I might add} this past year which resulted in over 450 shoeboxes! As for Out of the Cold, they went from just observing the action from their seat in the stroller, to stirring juice and unpacking oranges, to actually participating in making and serving the dinner this past Winter.

Our kids are now older... they are 14 and 10. Because of this, we are able to be involved with so much more such as sponsoring and corresponding with 5 children from Compassion Canada, going to sort food at the Daily Bread Food Bank, and supporting an organization called UrbanPromise at their Jane/Finch location, Camp Freedom.

Our involvement with UrbanPromise's Camp Freedom is what I would like to highlight today because it is local and it is an on-going initiative. With our kids being 14 and 10, they are still too young to be "official" volunteers at UrbanPromise. You have to be 15 to volunteer. So, we bring snacks instead.

Over the summer months for their summer day camp and during the school year for their after-school program and March Break camp, we drop by regularly to deliver snacks! At the same time, we linger for a bit to play with the kids and to get to know them {and them, us} a little better. This past Christmas, we organized an initiative to provide each child at Camp Freedom with a Christmas present and a hand-written card. That was very special!

The most memorable experience for me with our involvement at UrbanPromise is one that makes my heart smile. My son's birthday is at the beginning of September. Last year, after a whole summer of delivering snacks to UrbanPromise and interacting with the kids, he told me that for his birthday party he would like his guests to participate in a backpack drive instead of bringing him gifts.

He wanted to do this because he noticed that the kids at UrbanPromise didn't have backpacks. A number of them were using plastic grocery bags to carry their belongings. Because he was turning 10, he had a goal of 10 backpacks filled to the brim with school supplies. The day we went to put those backpacks in the hands of the 10 children was, I would say, the highlight of our Summer!

This illustrates the truth from Luke 6:38 which says: "Give away your life; you'll find life given back, but not merely given back — given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way." In giving of ourselves, we have received a blessing in return --- a boy who now knows what it means to be truly great in God's kingdom! As a parent, I've always loved this quote by C.S. Lewis: 
Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.
May we always fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith!

Unwrapping more of His love in this world. 
Act justly.  Love mercy.  Walk humbly with God!


  1. Found your blog from another.

    Thank you so much. Amazing to see how God is working!


  2. Love what you are doing with your children. Mine at 11, 9 and 5. My 11 year old went to the Dominican Republic this summer with my husband. We are starting on the same journey as you. It will be neat as they get older and we can do more. Sponsoring children is such a great way to start! It really gets the kids involved. Thanks for blogging about what you are doing, it is inspiring!