Monday, June 22, 2009

The JOY of the Lord is My Strength

JOY. One thing I hear often from people who know my children is the comment of what happy children they are. I usually beam a bit with pride, glade to hear the my children are facing the world with a smile on their face and some sort of random song on their heart (today it is a very disturbed version of "ABC's" that was invented at the breakfast table.). Other days I want to ask, "Really? Because that same child had a fall-down, melt-into-pieces, tantrum at the library last week and I could not locate one bit of happiness in her at all."

Despite the tantrums and the discipline issues, they certainly are happy little people.

Having them living under our roof certainly makes Tobe and me happy big people (even on the days when someone dumps large amounts of bathwater on the floor when my back is turned and another decides cereal milk is best served on the table as opposed to a bowl).

Letting your spirit be filled with joy is one of the secrets to living a content life, in my opinion. Some things that bring me joy include...

Little girls in white smocked dresses, big bows, and ruffled socks
(Can she still wear this when she is 13 because I will weep the day this look no longer works on her?)

Brother and Sister sharing Popsicles after running through the sprinkler for an hour

The impromptu games that happen on a daily basis in our living room, such as Train Ride

Evelyn's specific demands, such as, "Don't take picture of my choo-choo train"

I found teaching the Fruit of the Spirit Lesson on JOY to be quite easy, mainly because the children could relate to the concept. They understand joy when they bite into a big scoop of ice cream, when they discover a new park with friends, when they laugh together over a book, and when they have a few minutes to browse the toy aisle at Target (who doesn't experience joy at Target, i ask.)

Bible Verse: This week we used the bible verse of "The Joy of the Lord is my Strength"(Nehemiah 8:10) to remind us that the joy the Lord provides is what gives us the ability to tackle our day.
Bible Story: The story of David and Goliath. (1 Samuel 17). I opted to use this story to show joy, mainly because we had used the above verse. God gave David strength because of David's belief in the Lord. I attempt to select child-friendly bible stories (and ones my children are familiar with) that can easily make a connection between the Fruit of the Spirit and biblical learning.
Craft: JOY door hangers. I wrote the word "JOY" on large sheets of construction paper and the children water-colored them in. We then cut them out and attached the letters together with string. These make great window catchers or door-hangers. It is a good reminder of 1. to have JOY in one's heart and 2. how to spell the word "JOY."

No comments: