My sweet Gracie. At the risk of sounding like I'm bragging, I just have to say that I am so proud of her! I know we're not supposed to be prideful, and I don't want to brag either, but I am so proud of my precious little girl!
Our church supports a children's home in South Carolina. One of the opportunities we have to help them is through having change cans in our homes and placing our change in them over a certain period of time. We've done this once or twice, and Gracie has always enjoyed dropping the money in and hearing it 'clink.'
We don't have the change can at home right now because it was recently time to turn it in to the lady who coordinates that effort. The other day, Gracie came to me with a handful of change and said something like, "I want to give this money to some people who don't have that much." I told her that she could take it to church and put it in the collection plate. She asked how we would know that they'll use it to help someone. I assured her that that is what they do with the money. (Of course, I didn't go into explaining salaries & other expenses, etc.) Ultimately, the money is used to help further the Lord's kingdom!
After a few minutes of thinking, I told her that we could get a jar or something and save up change that she finds and change that we give her when we have it, and she could buy something for a child at Christmas. I know they always have the Angel Tree Children and similar things and I figured this way she would actually see with her eyes what she was buying. I don't mean to take away from contributing to church at all; I just thought this would be a good way for her to really take a hands-on approach to helping someone who "doesn't have that much" as she says.
Well, right now our church is meeting in the cafeteria of an older folks' apartment building. We are in the process of building a new church building which is projected to be ready in late January. We've been meeting at this temporary location since February. It's quite obvious, even to the children, that a bunch of "old people" live in this building.
I guess it was yesterday that Gracie said something about giving money to the old people. I questioned her about it and I think she said something about them using it to buy clothes & food, etc. Well, Chris & I kind of chuckled, thinking of how many clothes these old people could buy with the little amount of pocket change a 5 year is going to collect. Then I remembered an idea that I'd tossed around awhile back.
When I was little, we would visit an older folks' apartment building, Christian Terrace, in Atlanta. Our Bible Class teachers would periodically take us over there to deliver crafts we'd made for them in class. We'd always walk across the bridge through the "woods" to go to McDonald's afterwards. so fun! The ladies who lived there in the apartments always seemed to appreciate our little pieces of artwork and just a chance to see young people.
Today, I asked our minister about an idea to buy candy canes and attach them to a little note with a Bible verse and deliver them to the residents of the building where we're currently meeting for church. He talked to the manager of the building and she said that was fine. Once we decide which night to do it (an hour or so before Wed. or Sun. evening church) we'll let the mothers of the other children know about it so they can join us if they'd like. It will probably be a good idea to split up between floors to cover more residents at one time.
When she asked for a piece of paper so she could make a sign for her jar that says she is "callecting moone for old peppol," I told her that I'd talked with "Mr. Mark" about this idea and she was happy with it. I told her she could use this money to buy the candy canes and she thinks that's great! We've talked to my dad and Chris' mom to let them know they can contribute to this cause. Of course, my dad wanted to know if the money was for him since he's an old person! I told him he's not that old! I had to tell Chris to tell his mom to only send some change, not a check! His mom is generous with gifts for the girls, but the point of this is for her to collect change from our pockets and save it up...not to cash a check from her grandmother!
Chris & I both are so happy with our little girl! I really feel like her heart is so sweet and yearning to do for others. I love her so much and pray that she continues to have this type of spirit & attitude. It is so wonderful to see our child wanting to do something like this and with so little prompting from us. We're just kind of helping her along. God has blessed us with this precious angel!
On another note, please remember Kate in your prayers. Her dad was in a bad car accident last Saturday. He is in the hospital with broken ribs, a fractured pelvis, internal bleeding and is on a ventilator because of low oxygen levels. He is scheduled for surgery Monday. Kate & her family have traveled to be with him and this is tough on her right now.
Once again, I say thank you for Gracie's sweet spirit. I pray that we will cultivate this good in her. Please help us to be the kind of parents you desire for us to be. We can't do it without You! Please comfort Kate as she is hurting for her dad. She needs You to be with her as we know You are!
In Jesus' Name,