Nine! Op Christmas Child Countdown: A Strainer of Shopping Decisions

Operation Christmas Child 9

Last week we talked about tea and love and shoeboxes, and the all-important strainer of bitter leaves: love. This week, I’m sharing how love offers a practical guide to our Operation Christmas Child shoebox shopping.

A Practical Guide to Straining Our Shoebox Shopping

God’s love – in us, for us and for others – helps us shop for our shoeboxes.

Tea Leaf Strainer_Practical Guide for Shoebox ShoppingOur culture and our personal experiences tempt us to fill our baskets – and our shoeboxes – with items that are less than loving in the long run.

Samaritan’s Purse’s Do Not Add list, gives us a strainer of shopping decisions, so that everything that goes into the box is a gift of love.

 Because we love, shoebox packers do not include:

  • Used or damaged items;
  • War-related items, such as toy guns, knives or military figures
  • Chocolate or food
  • Out-of-date candy
  • Liquids or lotions
  • Medications or vitamins
  • Breakable items such as snow globes or glass containers
  • Aerosol cans

Why We’re Tempted to Include the DO NOTS

We all have personal reasons why we’d like to include these items:

  • Our little boys played with little green army men.
  • Children love chocolate and need food.
  • Leftover candy will just get thrown away.
  • It’s just a little bottle of bubbles – and bubbles are so fun!
  • Children need health supplies.
  • Snow globes are so engaging.
  • It’s just a small aerosol can of silly string.

Why We Must Not Include the DO NOTS

We must run our reasons through the sieve of love.

Leaving these items out of the box is love:

  • Army men may bring back harsh memories or incite trouble.
  • Chocolate melts and spoils the rest of the gifts.
  • Critters get to the food – and leave their droppings in the box.
  • Expired candy can make kids sick.
  • Bubble bottles leak and ruin the rest of their gifts.
  • We don’t know what the child recipients’ health needs are. We might make a bad situation worse.
  • Glass shards are no gift in a shoebox of hope.
  • Leaking – or exploding – aerosols can ruin more than one child’s box.

Love Means Limits, Limits Mean Love

When God puts limits on acceptable behavior, His motive is always love.

His love is the infusion we desire to share.

And there are plenty of truly loving goodies to fill our shoeboxes with! Smile


REALITY CHECK: My daughter and I just had a college-level discussion about reality. And perception. And truth. I love it that she comes home and talks about such things.  It’s real, man!  (She says no one says that, but I just did! Winking smile )


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