We finally got our joy day(s) done! Wahoo! I don't know why that one felt like it took forever. Could have been I wasn't feeling all too joyful some days. Sinus infections, colds, and the dreaded pink eye took their toll on our little family and I'll be the first to admit my focus was not always on joy, though it should have been.
Anyway, we had SO much fun when we started learning about joy. Back before the sickness hit we painted with kool-aid! Super fun but beware - it is messy! Definitely should use painters smocks or old tee shirts. The paint smelled so yummy that it was hard not to be joyful!
And of course we added to our chalkboard wall Bible verse! I can't wait to see it all finished. By adding the words to it each time we go I'm hoping that the entire verse will sink in all the more for Lauren, and for myself!
We started with a simple conversation about the word joy. What does it mean? What does it look like? Lauren and I decided that joy looked like being happy. But, we talked about how unlike happiness, joy doesn't depend on circumstances. We have joy because God gives it to us. Because we have been saved by the blood of his son Jesus Christ! We talked about how we can be joyful even when we are hurt, when someone is mean, or when we are sad. (Side note: I know that Lauren doesn't understand all of this and half the time while I'm talking to her about it I know that I am going over her head, but I don't want to miss an opportunity to share the gospel truth with her, ever. I pray that God uses my simple words to plant seeds in her heart that will one day result in her turning her little heart to him!)
And here is her precious joy face. I admit...this sweet face brings me tremendous joy every day!
We learned the verse Proverbs 22:17a, A joyful heart is good medicine, to help us understand what joy looks like in our lives and what having joy in our lives does to help us. This verse was great because Lauren is very interested in all things "doctor" right now, so a verse about joy being medicine to our hearts was perfect for her right now! It was fairly easy to explain how just as a doctor uses medicine to help us feel better when we are sick, joy from God helps our hearts feel better when it is feeling sick (or cranky, or sad, or angry).
(bandaid graphic source)
You can find the free verse printables here and here! And below is a sweet video of how we put our verse to music. :) Sorry for my singing. It's a joyful noise to God, right?
We also spent a lot of time singing the Joy Down in my Heart song. You can find the youtube video we watched here.
As we talked about what joy looks like in our lives, we talked about showing joy to others as well. One idea I have seen around the blog world and pinterest is to write a thank you note for the mailman! Lauren and I thought that would be a great way to spread a little joy and brighten his day! It was precious to me how Lauren worked so hard on his card!
Obviously that is the mailman (by Lauren) and his mail (by me). :)
She was so excited to put it in the mailbox for him to get!
We decided to include some yummy Easter candy we had with our thank you note. Luckily for us it was a cooler day so hopefully the chocolate didn't melt!
And, finally, we started work on our fruit of the Spirit tree! This was a super simple craft we made using an old paper towel roll, brown paint, green construction paper, the printables from here, a piece of sturdy cardboard, green tissue paper, and a glue gun.
Painting the tree trunk was fun because Lauren loves to paint, however I don't think it is a necessary step...after all the paper towel roll is already a shade of brown!
I cut out enough big green leaves for each fruit of the Spirit and Lauren glued the two we have learned about onto their leaves.
To make the base of the tree I just cut the roll on the bottom and hot glued it to the cardstock covered in tissue paper. It's grass. Can't you tell? ;)
Then I just hot glued the leaves down into the opening at the top of the toilet paper roll and let them hang over! It looks a tad bit bare right now, but we will continue to add more leaves and fruit to it as we work through our study! I love that this will serve as a visual reminder of being rooted in God's love and producing fruit from the Holy Spirit in our lives!
This week's parent challenge is a little different. I've created a simple little worksheet for you (the teacher in me, haha!) and you can download it here. I've printed my own off, have filled it in, and am praying that God will reveal to me with fresh eyes how to show the joy that only comes from him in my life. :) I pray that it will help you to pair back and focus on showing the fruit of joy in your life as well!