I have also found while praying through these calendars that the Lord uses them to inspire ideas for teaching my children. On one day, when I was praying for my children to have "A Servant's Heart" (Day 24 on the calendar), the Lord inspired this idea. Another time, the verse given on the calendar to pray through was this:
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
God graciously gave me an idea of how to illustrate this to my children. I had seen out there, in internet-land somewhere, an activity where a mom gave her children craft foam that was cut into cars. Then the kids colored on the cars and they washed the marker off. As I was praying through Psalm 51:10 for my children, God reminded me of the car wash activity and this is what grew...
- Craft foam cut into hearts
- WASHABLE markers
- Little tubs of water and dish soap
- Towels or washcloths
Here's the gist of it: The kids colored on their hearts using washable markers to represent the sin in their own hearts. We then cleaned the hearts by washing them in the soapy water. The marker comes off. I didn't really believe the marker would come off, so as any good teacher would, I tested it first. It works! The first time we did this, I did not take any pictures as I wanted to be focused on what was happening and be able to talk with my kids. The pictures you see here were taken after we did the "official" activity...more of a free play time. Underneath each picture, I have written the dialogue that I shared with my kids while we were doing the "official" thing.
|"Look! The heart is clean! Who cleans our hearts? Can we clean our hearts by ourselves? What if we try REALLY REALLY REALLY hard? Which kind of heart do you want to have? Let's thank God that He cleans our hearts."
I want to very clear that I don't believe JUST doing something like this with our kids will do anything miraculous (see this post), but I do believe that God can USE it to do something miraculous in their hearts. I am also reminded, even as I type this, that this activity took about ten minutes. That leaves a remaining 13 hours and 50 minutes of waking time in which my children see me respond to a myriad of situations. If, during that time, I do not live out loving God, ten minutes of coloring and washing is probably useless. Am I loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle and self-controlled? A big list...which is why, everyday, I am asking God to clean my own heart, allowing me to show Him to my kids by the way that I live my own life.
As a side note, it was about two months from the inception of this idea to actually doing it with my kids and then another monthish before I got around to writing about it. My kids STILL remember..."God. Clean. Arts."
|Thanks be to God!