Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Faith on the Go

Over the last month, I've started creating "Faith on the Go" activities for families to do together.  These activities are short, but also offer a way for families to practice faith together and share intentional conversation in the midst of all their other summer activities.

When the dandelions started to go to seed recently, Esme got a huge kick out of blowing the soft, white circles off the top of their stems.  As she was doing it, I was reminded of this activity, called Blown Over With Hope.

As Julie Filby writes in the intro to this activity, "Pairing a feeling of discouragement with one of happiness in this activity may help to demonstrate how even when a person feels overwhelmed or hopeless, Jesus is there to help. Sometimes this encouragement comes in very simple ways."

Blown Over With Hope (from: 
"But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. Wonder together about how praying these words might improve a person's outlook on life each day.” Psalm 86:15

Activity Plan

Gather around a table and begin by inviting family members to tell what they are most thankful for today.

Give each person an index card and a pencil. Ask each one to write or draw about a time of day or daily activity that is often discouraging, an activity that makes him or her feel hopeless or "at odds" with the world. (i.e., getting up in the morning, doing homework, cooking a meal, running errands, commuting to job.) Be ready to help younger children with spelling.

Next, have family members flip their cards over and write or draw about a favorite time of day or daily activity that makes them feel relaxed, happy, or confident. (i.e., playing with friends, reading a story, working in the garden, eating a meal with the family.) Again, be ready to help younger children with spelling.

Once finished with both sides, have family members gently fold their index cards with the favorite time of day facing out. Set the folded cards on the table.

Have each person try to flip over his or her card by blowing on it. (It sounds easy, but it's not.) Even when blowing above or below the card, it shouldn't flip.
Invite family members to think about what lesson they might take from this activity: What might this exercise say about living each day? (For example: Even when we feel frustrated or overwhelmed, it is temporary. The "bright side" of life can't be blown away. Jesus provides hope in many different ways, including in the form of everyday activities that we enjoy—times when we feel happy, confident, and hopeful.) 
Pray: God, thank you for helping us with things that are difficult and giving us things to do that are fun. Help us see you in all of it.  Amen.

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