Brown. That is the color of my thumbs. Every plant in my home usually ends up in the compost. It's tragic. I want so badly to be surrounded by beautiful plants in and around my home. The ones on the outside do pretty well because that's my husband's territory. However, there is one garden where I cannot afford to fail. My children. I recently told Irene over at Bloesem: Kids that I want my boys to be "forever brothers." If I am to succeed in grounding and rooting their love for one another, they must first understand the love of their heavenly father. That is where today's craft comes in.
I'm a relatively new Mom. Everyday I am faced with new challenges and wonder if I will ever get this Mom thing right. So I seek help. Twice a month our church has an event called Building Blocks, with speakers offering wisdom and insight from all that they have learned through their own journey and God's word. It's awesome. I can't begin to tell you how much I have learned. A couple of weeks ago the topic was Siblings. Millye and Alex (the speakers) shared their wisdom and insight in Purposeful Planting. I have turned the discussion into not one, but two crafts.
Materials for kids:
clear drinking glass
Materials for Mom:
small photos of kids (their face mainly)
green paint or marker
scripture printed on paper (your favorite verses for your kids/family)
I told my boys that we were planting a garden and asked them what we needed. My oldest shouts, "Water! Sun!" He was right. But I told him we also needed seeds and dirt with good nutrients.
seeds (chocolate chips)
mud (pudding) and dirt (cookies)
we also put worms in their dirt and mixed it all up
Now, I didn't plan what happened next and to be honest, I got really mad when it happened, but God works all things for our good and His glory. Because my boys are pretty young (5 and 2) I thought I would let them eat their "garden" while we made our "family garden." My youngest couldn't eat it fast enough. My oldest threw a huge fit and started crying because he didn't like his worms "with all that stuff." It should be noted that he never gets gummy worms or anything else that sticks in teeth, but he loves them. I began to throw a fit too. Luckily he left the room and we both had some time to calm down. Upon his return, God gave me some wisdom. I asked him if his garden that wasn't cared for and was left alone without love and nutrients produced any flowers or fruit? He replied, "no." We then went on to talk about how when we let God take care of us, provide for us and guide us through his words and deeds, then we produce the fruits of the spirit. We both talked about his garden yielding the weeds of anger, frustration and selfishness (in both of us).
We went on to make our "family garden."
pour coffee beans (dirt) into your vase
add nutrients i.e. food and water (scripture) by rolling up the verses and putting them in the soil
paint/color popcicle sticks
cut leaves and flowers out of construction paper
cut out children's faces from picture
put flowers into vase
We did a little pretend watering as well. We also talked about God creating each child uniquely with their own special purpose and gifts. And while my oldest meticulously cut out the flowers (he's learning to use scissors) and glued them, I would like to say we talked about how God cares for us daily and provides everything we need, but their attentions spans are that of gnats! Maybe we'll do this again once they are older.
If you would like to listen to this talk about Siblings online, go here. It's Amazing. You will not regret it!
Millye and Alex talked about preparing the soil - "intentionally creating a richness where each person feels valued and respected by all." "Planting in the right environment." You've got to follow the plant tags: full sun - 6 hours, water, afternoon shade, etc. What are your kids telling you they need? Are you treating each child as the same plant or are you giving them exactly what he or she needs as an individual? And on and on it goes. This is good stuff! I apologize for the extremely long post, but there was so much to share. I didn't want you to miss a drop! I pray that this craft and this talk on Siblings blesses you as much as it did and will my family. xo