This story happened last year:

Photo caption: Four empty spaces in the boxes where my boys keep their matchbox cars.

Cars that zip and zoom around on the floors and down the hallways in our house and cars the brothers fight over and collect. Cars we find under the couch and under our feet. Cars I stash in my purse for long waiting room visits.

Toys that never get old, no matter how old the boys.

A couple of weeks ago, through friends with Arkansas Women Bloggers, we found out about a family with a young boy in Vilonia, Arkansas who had lost his home, and everything in it, in the April 2014 tornado.

We had the opportunity to gather up and give some clothes and other specific items the family needed away. My sons had seen the footage of the tornado damage that morning, and we had prayed for the victims.

And a few hours later, here was our chance to help. I mentioned that I knew about a boy who had lost his toys, and that it might be cool for him to have a few things replaced.

Like matchbox cars.

My two older boys immediately and generously pulled some cars out of their boxes to give away to this child—and they picked nice cars: cars they liked that weren’t scratched up or worn down.

I told my children how they acted were being like the good Samaritan, a story they know well from Scripture. It’s a reminder that generosity to others doesn’t have to be planned or highly organized. Service to others can happen outside of a 501 (c) organization. It should be part of our lifestyle as we reflect the love of Christ. 

A lifestyle with a weird schedule. Like a pilot’s work schedule.

Other people’s needs are often immediate, and I so love it when the Lord gives us the opportunity  to help as an everyday kindness. Right away. Which, with our kind of family schedule, is often the best way we can help. My boys helped load up the donations and we drove it to someone who was doing pick ups all over the area to collect and deliver the donations for us.

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. 

(Matthew 25:35-40 NIV)


I won’t lie. For Mother’s Day, it was fun when all three boys jumped into my bed on Sunday morning and presented me with earrings, homemade cards, and bath salts. I loved the Saturday morning we spent at our local farmer’s market and then out to eat and outside to play.

But my sons giving away precious toys to a child they haven’t met, whose name they didn’t know, whose picture they hadn’t even seen..

Best Mother’s Day gift. Ever.