Creating a Culture of Compassion

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So I had this totally cute & witty post that I typed up last night…And then it disappeared…Literally – I hit the “Save” button and then boom: gone:(

After bemoaning it for awhile (ugh, I have to type the whole thing AGAIN…I was totally hilarious <ok, probably not that hilarious) but seriously, ask my husband…I was pretty stoked about how funny my writing was…all those years of reading Shopaholic books paid off:)

So…back to the topic at hand…Creating a culture of compassion.

I really want my kids to love giving. I don’t care whether it’s money or things or time; I just want them to want to give.

If you’re just joining me and don’t actually know me, my kids are boys, ages 6 and 4. They both have different personalities. For instance, my 4 year old was so excited at his last birthday to receive a toy car that when he opened the second gift and it was a toy car he immediately cried out, “One for my brother!” It was precious! My 6 year old, on the other hand, is excited to “sell” his toys to get new toys or if encouraged to give toys away, he suggests giving them to his best friends (not a bad thing, per se, but not quite what I meant when I asked him to go through his toys to give some away:)

I’m intrigued to know what others are doing to create a culture of compassion with their kids. A few of the things we have done (truth: we have not completed the 25 days of kindness…in fact we did one…BUT it is something I’m keeping on hand to try again this December…or at various times during the year, since I’m typing this and that totally made it sound like I ONLY want to be compassionate in December).

1. 25 Days of Kindness (Actually called: 25 Days of Messages): As stated, we did the very first item on the list. It was a little awkward, but the ladies at Cracker Barrel loved it:)

2. Adopt a Compassion Child: This we really did because I wanted to do it. I NEED a daughter…and since there is not going to be a Maybean #3 anytime soon…our precious Compassion child is filling the need from afar:) Overall it’s been great for the whole family. We’ve taught the boys about Burkina Faso. We showed them where it is located on the globe and talked about the weather and living conditions of the little girl we adopted. At first Lincoln, my 6 year old, was disappointed that the little girl was not actually moving in with us BUT he was cheered up by hearing that one day we will be able to visit her. I like the fact that we are able to exchange letters and that my kids are going to be able to see a child that is their age grow in another part of the world.

3. Get out in the community: For us, this means Community Makeover which is an event our church puts on where we go to different places in our county and do various projects. My 6 year old actually saw the video of kids sliding down halls with sponges on their feet “mopping” and said, “I want to do that!” There were several projects to choose from so I picked one that was close to his elementary school – that way he’d have a personal connection to it. It’s the first time we’ve done this type of project as a family and I am extremely excited!

4. Hands On Atlanta Day: Full disclosure: I’m on the host committee for this event BUT I am so excited about doing it that I’ve already had my family and parents mark the date on their calendar! Hands on Atlanta is an organization that works to pair people and corporations that want to volunteer with projects that need volunteers. The company I work for worked with them for several years and with their anniversary this year, I was asked to assist in promoting the event. I’m thrilled to have another venue to allow my kids to serve others. This event is open to the public so talk to your friends, your family and your companies and jump on board – let me know if you have questions – I’d love to get you plugged in, especially if you live and/or work in the Atlanta area (the projects reach from Cherokee/Cobb into Fulton and Dekalb among other areas and involve a TON of local schools!!).

So what are you doing to create a culture of compassion in your home…and if you have young ones – have you even tried to touch the subject of tithing? I’d love to know what you are doing (or even things you tried and didn’t turn out the way you thought – I’ll tell you about my 6 year old’s response to tithing:)

Talk to you soon!

-Courtney

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Lizzy – the Male Lizard

So…we are the proud parents of an Eastern Fence Lizard named Lizzy. My boys found him outside and were immediately drawn to his long claws and blue and white striped underside. They thought she was a she and so named her Lizzy. They were very confident to remind us that he was a she…until my husband explained that, she was really a he….So Lizzy became Lizardo (that sounds masculine, right?) and remains Lizzy for short. For the past three days they have checked on her (ehm, him) repeatedly, making sure that he was okay. They love holding him and will gladly report “don’t worry, mom, we’ll wash our hands after”. It’s so precious to watch them love something other than a toy…I mentioned to Lincoln (6) that this was good practice for when we one day have a dog…His response, “Mom, when we have a dog, they can’t go into the playroom where Lizzy is”. I just smiled. He also said, “Mom, let’s keep Lizzy ’til he dies” (ah the thoughts of boys)…Again I laughed. I hope Lizzy sticks around for awhile…although I did read that they live about 5 years…so I’m hoping we’re in the early years!

I think it’s fun watching them get excited about something they have to take care of…Lizzy doesn’t see to mind. Thus far she’s been eating and then sleeping burying himself in the sand (it was quite shocking the first time…I thought maybe he’d died…not really thinking about the logistics of that…I mean Lizzy wouldn’t die and then bury himself in sand, right?

So our adventure into pet parenting with kids who are old enough to experience pet responsibility begins! Wish us luck:)

-Courtney

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