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My Teenager is teaching me

My 15-year-old daughter taught me a big lesson today. Every year she puts together a shoebox full of gifts for an organization called Samaritan’s purse. One year she had each of her birthday party guests bring a box, during the party they made boxes and wrote notes to kids around the world. It’s been a fun tradition. But this year the deadline approached and Callie reminded me that the boxes were due. I was annoyed and busy, upset that she waited until the final day of collections to shop, wrap and write a note. I told her it wasn’t going to happen this year. I felt guilty. I knew she was disappointed but I was overwhelmed with work, Thanksgiving, housework, errands... typical mom stuff. I got a call on my drive home from the the station. it was Callie letting me know that she had put together a box, she needed it delivered to the church near our house. She was sick, she didn’t have much of a voice. The drop off site for the boxes was closing in 10 minutes. Again, I was annoyed. When I got home she was in bed. I saw the box sitting on the kitchen table neatly packaged with a hand written note on top. I rushed to the car and got to the church 10 minutes after they were to be closing. I took a moment to open the box. Immediately I teared up. My sweet girl had collected items from around our house and the box was full of love. It was made for a 10-15 year old girl. Hair ties, pretty soap, a teddy bear, comb, lip balm, crayons, makeup, a bracelet, necklace, stickers. She had found items any young woman would enjoy, new items unused just sitting around our house. But the kicker was the hand written note. I sat in my car sobbing. How could I have been so selfish to have not allowed my daughter the opportunity to share her heart? One life will be touched by this box. I took the box inside where an older gentleman told me I was just in time, they were about to close the doors on the truck. I told him about my daughter and he asked me if he could read the note on top of the box. He read it out loud as a half a dozen workers stood and teared up with me. Giving is about the recipient but also about the heart of the one giving. We talked about the significance of Callie’s box and all that this organization does to help kids around the world. I am so very grateful to have a daughter who reminds me to slow down. God has given her such a gift and I know that she was put on this earth to make a difference.

I hope to have a heart half her size one day.

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