truly great kids

So, Mama of 2 Great Kids... 
Why *that*... you might ask. Well, it all started with these questions that hubby and I asked ourselves very early on in our parenting journey:
How is true greatness defined after all?
What do great kids look like?
How do we make sure we are raising our kids to be great?!?
February, 2001.

One thing that both Floyd and I have always felt very strongly about is that our kids have grateful hearts. Merely saying, "I am grateful." or "Thank you, God!" is not enough. We need to, as Christ-followers, express our thanksgiving to Him by pouring 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!

Christmas, 2011.

When children learn to embrace this lifestyle of compassion and choose to call it their own, only then have we 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, we have always been involved in packing Operation Christmas Child shoe-boxes 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.

Shoebox Packing Party, 2011.

We went from packing 2 shoe-boxes that very first year, to our kids heading up a campaign at their school {a public school, I might add} which resulted in over 450 shoe-boxes collected that year! As for Out of the Cold, they went from just observing the action from their seat in the stroller, to stirring juice and setting out fruit, to actually participating in making and serving the dinner.

Out of the Cold Dinner, January 2011.

Once they became older, we were able to be involved with so much more such as sponsoring and corresponding with children from Compassion International, 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 tell you more about because our involvement there resulted in a tangible example of what it means to be truly great!

When our kids were still too young to be "official" volunteers at UrbanPromise, we had to be creative in our involvement there. So, we decided to 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 dropped by regularly to deliver snacks!

My girl hanging out with the kids at UrbanPromise!

At the same time, we lingered for a bit to play with the kids and to get to know them {and them, us} a little better. One 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 still makes my heart smile to this day! My son's birthday is at the beginning of September. After a whole summer of delivering snacks to UrbanPromise and interacting with the kids, he told me that for his birthday party that year, he would like his guests to participate in a backpack drive instead of bringing him gifts.

Backpack Drive Birthday Party.

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 that year, he had a goal of 10 backpacks... each 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!

Delivering the backpacks to UrbanPromise. ♥

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 --- two amazing kids who now know what it means to be truly great in God's kingdom!

Filming True Story with Compassion, on that beach in the Philippines where oceans rise.

Sporting his Compassion shirt at speed-cubing competitions.

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.
This blog is called "A Mom on a Mission". I was *that* mom on a mission... to raise two truly great kids! Today, I am *that* proud old mama of the #twogreatsibs, whom I now learn from each day and who inspire me with how they live their lives.

May we always fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith!

:: :: ::

Related post: Missional Motherhood (July 2012).
Related video: My Ordinary Radical Interview at The Meeting House (July 2012).
Related article: A Family Who Loves Mercy (May 2014).
Related post: To Mamas Everywhere (Mother's Day 2015).
Related post: 15 Ways to Live Compassionately as a Family... from a kid who was just there (September 2015).


  1. You're doing an awesome job Aimee. Great kids indeed!

  2. Aimee--thank you for sharing your blog with me and with my website! I love seeing all the ways you are a mom on a mission and how your children have embraced your values. Thanks for connecting with me!

    1. Thanks for dropping by, Helen! Your blog and your book are great resources for families seeking to live missionally.

  3. HI Aimee
    wow, i am glad to find your site...i mean, mostly i read sites written by Caucasians (not that i am particular, it just excites me!)..i am Asian, living in Singapore...trusting God to help me be faithful and so fruitful! keep sharing!

    1. Hello Jenni. Thank you for dropping by! Hope to see you around more. :-)