So…yeah. I’ve been a little MIA the last few days because of a combination of things. But, mostly because our heater went out on Friday afternoon. You know, just in time for Central Texas’ coldest snap all season.

Don’t you Midwesterners laugh – 35, rain and fierce winds is cold here. I’m a Texas girl and I prefer my 90-degree days thankyouverymuch. Needless to say, our house was a teeny bit cold. With the help of some blankets and some awesome space heaters, donated by neighbors, we were able to stay in the house throughout the weekend until the repair was made on Monday afternoon.

Talk about perspective. It reminded me that some folks live like this all the time. Sometimes we just can’t understand what it’s really like to live without our cozy couches, our warm and plentiful food and our gaggles of friends and family until we’re inconvenienced. And really, that’s all it was. An inconvenience.

brown santa_01

On Sunday, we volunteered with Brown Santa, a charity of the Travis County Sherrif’s Office. For years, we’ve donated toys, but I never knew you could volunteer to wrap and select the presents. Many from our 4-H Club went on Saturday and a few more of us went on Sunday. We had an absolute blast. The operation was uber-organized {you know I was in heaven} and incredibly meaningful for my children. Each child from each family received five gifts (three of which the kids were able to pick out from the stuffed animal, puzzle and book stations). I loved how my kids really took the time to think about what the families would most appreciate.

It was heart-warming, really.

There were some minimal fights over who got to tape things, what wrapping paper to use or how to tie the bows, but the kids mostly impressed me. Even Luke. He didn’t unwrap a single gift! As we loaded into the van after our two-hour shift, the kids immediately began asking, “Can we do that again?”

The answer is “absolutely.”

But, I was also reminded (as my kids complained about wearing “this” coat or “that” coat), that no one event automatically makes your children gracious and thankful. Rather, as parents, we have to keep putting opportunities in front of our children to learn. To gain perspective. To empathize. To spur action. As much as we do these things to instill good values in our children, they are just as important to Scott and I.┬áNot everyone lives the way we do and this weekend reminded us of that very important lesson.

May your Thanksgiving be filled with gratitude, love, laughter, lots of turkey and a heart of service. You’re blessed and it’s time we all shared the love, don’t you think?

Happy Turkey Day!

2 Comments

  1. Elise on November 27, 2013 at 10:56 am

    What a great post, Kathryn. We are so blessed, aren’t we? I’d love to find some opportunities like this one in my community for my husband and I to do. Thanks for the inspiration…happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Amelia @ One Catholic Mama on November 27, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    That sounds like a super service project. I know my kids would love to do something like that (although they take after me and are TERRIBLE at wrapping presents)…but I know they would have a blast picking out things for other kids.

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