Fruit of The Spirit Family Devotional: Week 8: Gentleness

23 Apr

fruit of the spirit verse

Read Galations 5:22-23 at least once during the week. Read it daily if you’d like! We’re wanting the kids to memorize The Fruit of The Spirit.

gentleness weekly verse

Psalm 18:35 is the memory verse this week. Read the memory verse at the beginning of each devotional time. The goal is to have each member of your family memorize this verse to the best of their ability this week. I also use the weekly memory verse in our handwriting lessons. You can print out the image above or make your own- just try to get the written verse up on your wall this week. (Image is sized to print 5×7.)

Day One: Jesus is Our Example

Read Matthew 11:28-30. Jesus says that he is gentle. Gentleness is not weakness. In fact, James Dean said, “Only the gentle are ever really strong.” Gentleness is responding to others in a kind, understanding manner. Think about how Jesus interacted with people. When the paralyzed man is brought to him in Matthew 9, Jesus doesn’t huff and puff about time. He doesn’t get upset that they are interrupting his plans. He forgives the man of his sins and makes him walk again. In Matthew 9:36, it says Jesus had compassion for the people. Jesus patiently teaches his disciples the same lesson over and over. When he meets the woman at the well, he deals with her kindly and compassionately. We need to learn to see people as Jesus does- with compassion and love. When we see people the way Jesus does, we can then treat people as Jesus did- gently. “Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength.” – Van Goethe.

“This was the method that Jesus used with the apostles. He put up with their ignorance and roughness and even their infidelity. He treated sinners with kindness and affection that caused some to be shocked, others to be scandalized, and still others to hope for God’s mercy. And so he bade us to be gentle sand humble of heart.” -St. John Bosco

Activity: Coloring Page.

 

Day Two: Seeing God In All

When we see God in everything and every person we meet, it isn’t hard to be gentle with them. Read this prayer excerpt by St. Patrick. (For an added activity, have the kids quietly “act” out the prayer as you read it with hand motions.)

“Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ within me, Christ below me, Christ above me, Christ at my right, Christ at my left, Christ in lying down, Christ in sitting, Christ in rising up, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.”

Prayer: God, help us to see you in others. Help others see You in us. Give us the strength to be gentle with others and ourselves. Amen.

Activity: Coloring Page.

Optional Activity 2: Listen to the song “Allah, Allah, Allah” by mewithoutyou. (If the title of the song bothers you, please skip it. It would only be beneficial in hearts open to hearing it.)

 

Day Three: Gentle Gardeners

“Just as he gives the gardener the skill to tend rare and delicate plants while fertilizing them himself, so he wishes to use others in his cultivation of souls.” – Sure thing.. Therese of Lisieux

Read Matthew 13:1-9

Jesus compares our work in the lives of others to being a farmer or gardener. Have you ever planted a flower? Can you be rough and throw the flower to the dirt and stomp some dirt on top? No? Oh my! That flower would certainly not make it. We must plant flowers gently, using soft hands, sometimes even singing to our flowers to make them grow. God wants us to be this way with others. He is planting things in their life right now and he needs you to be gentle with those flowers in other people and not stomp on them and crush them. Walk gently. Speak gently. Work gently.

Activity: Plant a flower! Grab a few pots, some soil, and some flowers. Practice gentleness in planting and caring for your flowers. (We usually pray over our newly planted plants and sing a song to them.)

Activity 2: Coloring Page.

 

Day Four: Gentle Servant Stephen

Read Matthew 10:16. Read Acts 7:54-60 ab0ut Stephen.

Even as Stephen was being stoned to death, he prayed for those killing him. That would take great strength! And great gentleness. Jesus said he was sending the disciples out as lambs to wolves. I don’t think the disciples had exactly this in mind. Many of those that followed Jesus in those early days died for telling others about Christ. Many today die because of their faith in Christ. And in dying, they are praying for those killing them, that they may still find Christ.

Jim Elliot was a missionary to tribal people in Equador. He went into the jungle to bring Jesus to the people. He and 4 of his friends were killed by tribal warriors in 1956. Though Jim and his friends had weapons, they did not use them. They did not want to see people die not knowing Christ. Instead, the missionaries died themselves. The children and wives of the missionaries killed continued their work and won the tribe to Christ.

“It is easy to hate. It takes strength to be gentle and kind.” -Unknown

Activity: Coloring page.

Activity 2: Let the kids choose a story, Stephen or Jim Elliot, and have them act it out. Please don’t let them throw actual rocks or spear one another.

Day 5: Make My Heart Gentle

St. Francis Cabrini prayed, “Give me a heart as big as the universe!” Take some time today to pray that the Lord would make your heart as big as the universe! That He would help you see Him in others and give you the strength and courage to be gentle. We must remember that gentleness isn’t what we say or do, but how we say or do those things.

Activity: Coloring page.

Activity 2: Game! Egg race. Grab some eggs (raw if you’re brave, boiled if you’re not) and spoons. Line everyone up and race!

Activity 3: Did you learn your memory verse this week? If so, share it!

Fruit of The Spirit Family Devotional: Week 7: Faithfulness

21 Apr faithful weekly verse

fruit of the spirit verse

Read Galations 5:22-23 at least once during the week. Read it daily if you’d like! We’re wanting the kids to memorize The Fruit of The Spirit.

faithful weekly verseLuke 16:10 is the memory verse this week. Read the memory verse at the beginning of each devotional time. The goal is to have each member of your family memorize this verse to the best of their ability this week. I also use the weekly memory verse in our handwriting lessons. You can print out the image above or make your own- just try to get the written verse up on your wall this week. (Image is sized to print 5×7.)

Day One: What is faithfulness?

True. Trustworthy. Believable. Loyal. Accurate. When we talk about faithfulness, we’re talking about someone sticking by our side, being on our team, staying loyal to us. Someone who is faithful is someone you can count on. You know they won’t tell you things that aren’t true or try to hurt you. They are on your side. On your team. In your corner. Faithfulness is belief and trust and loyalty all rolled into one ball of comfort and strength.

Activity: Walking By Faith: You’ll need a blindfold. One child is blindfolded and the other child is the faithful guide. Have them walk about and have the guide help the blindfolded overcome minor obstacles. Was the guide faithful or did the guide try to trip the blindfolded child up?

 

Day Two: The God Who Has Been Faithful

In the Old Testament (the first half of the Bible written before Jesus was born), the writer’s were constantly pointing us toward what God had done. Whenever the people faced a new dilemma, they’d list all the ways God had been there for them in the past. They’d tell of God who was a friend of Abraham, a God who rescued his people again and again, a God who gave the people what they needed. They’d talk about how God cared for the people in the desert with Moses. God had shown the people that he was their friend. He was looking out for them. And he could be trusted. “The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” -Lamentations 3:22-23

Activity: Make a list of all the ways, big and small, that God has been faithful to you and your family. Go back as far as you need to. Make the list long or short. Use pictures, use words. How has God shown you that he is on your side?

 

Day Three: The God Who Is Faithful

Keep Calm because Great is His Faithfulness! The God who was faithful IS faithful. He has always been on your side. Do you recall some of the things you listed God did for you in the past? Guess what? God is going to continue to walk right with you and will be faithful. How can we know that? Because he is faithful! Imagine you found a lizard. Imagine this lizard would bit you anytime you put your finger within a few inches of him. Imagine you invite a friend over and they meet your lizard. You’d likely say, “Be careful! He bites.” Why? Because he always bites. You know him to be a biting lizard, so you expect him to bite. We know God is a faithful God and we can trust and rely on His faithfulness.

Activity: Silly Animal Game- Each person needs to think of an animal. Just one animal. Going around the circle, each person acts like their chosen animal. Take turns guessing what animal they are acting out. Thinking of the same animal, go back around and ask each child to act their animal out again. This time, the guessing isn’t much, because everyone already knows what that person will do. Verbally relate to the children that we know God will be faithful because he has been faithful, just like we knew x child was x animal because they previously acted it out.

 

Day Four: Faithful to Others

“Be faithful in the small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” – Mother Teresa

We need to be faithful to others. You need to be someone others can trust, believe, and count on. Can you think of some ways to do that? (Answers will vary. You may want to prompt “keeping promises” and “telling the truth”.) Everywhere you go, you say something about the God your serve. Let’s show one another God’s faithfulness along with His love.

Activity: Duck, Duck, Truth?! Sit in a circle. Every close your eyes. The child tapped will tell a lie. Everyone else will tell something true. Then all the kids can guess who is being faithful and who is being unfaithful. You can switch it up and have multiple children lie. You can also have no one lie. It is up to you. For younger kids, you may have to give a prompt: “Everyone tell me what color socks you are wearing!” “Everyone tell me your favorite animal!” “Everyone tell me your name!” It doesn’t have to be complicated. Just learning what truth is and what it is not.

 

Day Five: Faithful to God

There were two children walking together along a road. One child said to the other, “I am so thirsty! I need a drink.” The friend offered a drink. The child then said, “I am so hungry! I need a snack.” The friend gave of their own snack. The child said, “I am so tired! I need you to carry me.” The friend graciously gave a much-needed piggy back ride. The friend then turns to the child and says, “I need somewhere to sleep.” The child replies, “Well, I hope you find somewhere nice.” And turns to leave.

The friend had been so faithful. Everything the child needed was supplied. But the favor was not returned. It is much the same in our relationship with God. He gives us all He has. He gave us life, His Son, health, friends, family, food. He protects us, guides us, and makes our paths straight. He asks to come live in your heart. Will you be a faithful friend of God? Or will you tell Him to go sleep somewhere else?

Activity: Pray. Pray for the Lord to soften the hearts of your family, to let them live faithful lives to God. To help us be faithful to one another. Thank Him for his faithfulness in the past and future.

Activity 2: Draw a picture of the story.

Activity 3: Did you learn your memory verse? Share it!

Easter Outfits

20 Apr

You know I go ALL out on the Easter outfits. Every year, I find myself in the fabric store searching for a fabric line that is masculine and feminine and shouts spring and, now, has at least 5 unique prints that I like. I want coordinating, not matching. Every kid unique, but blending with the group. And every year, I think, “Why am I doing this to myself again?” Every year, I tell myself that Target would have been both cheaper and easier. But that never stops me. I’m sure I’ll do it all again next year. Fancy fabric and all.

IMGP0286I found the Fox Field Fabric by Free Spirit (Westminster Fibers) fabrics at a local fabric shop. I mixed the Dusk and Shade color ways to get a unique blend that wasn’t too much of one color. (Composing outfits to coordinate is very much like making a quilt. You want them to stand well alone and with the group. Be unique but not too close to the others. There are a million ways to do it well. This Easter, two of the fabrics are from the Dusk color way and three are from the Shade color way.

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This is my favorite romper pattern ever. I have made probably a dozen or so of these. Sometimes I do snap crotch. Sometimes I don’t. I used my snap press to add snaps to the top instead of buttons. (I love my snap press.) The pattern is Simplicity #3808. (It isn’t currently in their catalogue, or I’d link it.) I skip the front pocket when I have busy fabric. It is a super roomy romper that my baby boys have loved. And I think it is stinking adorable!

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She wanted the Bloomshine by Pink Fig dress. But I didn’t have the pattern. And I’ve been holding onto the Emmaline by Violette Field Threads pattern just waiting for the right time and right fabric. I was so, so tempted to just make her a peasant dress and call it a day, but she really wanted a long maxi dress. So, I decided to go for the Emmaline, since I had that one already. (And had already paid a small fortune for the fabric.) This is without the optional extra ruffles around the bottom. The bottom ruffle ended up being 108″ around, and I just didn’t want the hem that again twice! (And honestly, I ran out of fabric and it wasn’t worth the trip and extra money for more fabric for a few more ruffles.) I might, maybe, possibly will one day make it with the full three bottom ruffles. We’ll see if I ever feel up for that. Honestly, I thought this pattern was going to take so much time. I set aside two full days to sew this dress, convinced it would take every bit of 16 sewing hours to complete. I was very surprised when it took me only 4 hours including all the cutting. 3 hours of sew time. It was so ridiculously simple. Almost makes me a little upset that I needed a pattern for it. (Like people that buy patterns for a pillowcase dress. It seemed so ridiculously stupidly easy after the fact, I was wondering why I thought it’d be so complicated.) It has two elastic casings on the back to hold the top tight. It is a halter, but doesn’t look too halter like. It looks very “little girl” to me. (Although, I will admit, she isn’t looking so “little” anymore. *sniff*sniff*) I would definitely recommend this pattern. It is easier than it looks and it is beautiful. She loves it. LOVES. IT.

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The three “big” boys did not want ties this year. They wanted me to make them button up shirts. Um. Not happening this year, boys. Dream on. They needed shorts, so I made shorts. I used this tutorial by Dana Made It to make these awesome retro racer shorts. The pattern was free on her website. It was sized a 2T/3T. I found it to be pretty much a 3T. I did a little drafting and got it sized up to a 6 very easily. (I knew how wide I needed the waist and that I needed more length, so I printed a copy of the 3, then added about 1/2″ to the sides and 2″ to the top and bottom. Easy.) I have already made another pair of these and plan to make at least 2 more. I used store bought bias tape (because I thought I was  going to be strapped for time) and each pair of shorts used almost a full package. There was extra, but not enough for another pair of shorts. These shorts were super easy to make. You can make them any length you want. I opted for longer shorts because my boys like long short. I bought 3 cheap-o tees from the local Megalomart. And we have Easter outfits that my boys LOVE.

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He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!

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