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Highlands Blog: Sending Snuggles and Hugs in Little Boxes

Highlands Blog: Sending Snuggles and Hugs in Little Boxes

by Mrs. Cami Peek
Highlands Teacher &

Operation Christmas Child Coordinator at Grace & Highlands

My dad survived a massive heart attack a few years ago, but lack of oxygen during the episode robbed him of some of his knowledge and abilities. That is the reason I found myself explaining the meaning of epiphany to him one evening. [Epiphany:  a moment when you suddenly feel that you understand, or suddenly become conscious of, something that is very important to you.]

I didn’t expect the conversation to lead to an epiphany of my own that night.

In my dream, my mother was alive and in the weakened conditioned she had experienced the weeks before her death. My dream showed her sitting hunched in a wheel chair, head down. I sensed she felt sad and alone. I approached her and wrapped my arms around her, as if I were the mother, and with a full heart said, “I love you. I always have. I always will.”

And then I woke to the epiphany.

I don’t think my mom experienced many hugs as a child. She had come from a family ruled by a drill sergeant. Naturally, my own childhood was not overflowing with hugs, kisses, and “I love you’s”. As an adult, I decided I would be the one who said “I love you” first, and I would be the one to initiate the hugs. I dread hugging…my glasses get smooshed…my foundation rubs off on white clothing…I get confused as to which way normal people turn their heads. Honestly, I am self-admittedly a bad hugger. I’ve even been told I’m a terrible hugger. Pffffft. As if I didn’t know.

You might know that I am keenly interested in Operation Christmas Child. We fill shoeboxes with school supplies, hygiene items, trinkets, and toys. My favorite toy to send is a fluffy, huggable stuffed animal. I have read many stories of the child recipients. Some live in poverty, some in orphanages, and some in war zones. Many live terror-filled lives. Some do not get hugs.

That dream I had of hugging my mom made me realize how it all fits together. Each shoebox I’m packing contains a chosen stuffed animal waiting for hugging and nighttime snuggles. I realized that I was reaching out to children who need love and hugs as badly as the drill sergeant’s daughter had. I was sending a message of the Father’s love. Essentially, this terrible hugger was sending hugs all over the world!

Look Mom, God can use broken things. I love you. I always have. I always will. {{{Hugs}}}

Mrs. Peek has been packing shoeboxes full of gifts and love for a long time! As a mom, grandma, and teacher, she knows how important these gifts can be in sharing God’s love around the world. She now coordinates our annual Operation Christmas Child outreach and distribution center, and would love to chat, answer questions, or schedule you to volunteer next week. You can reach Mrs. Peek at [email protected]

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