Posted in From The Altar

Fruit of The Spirit Family Devotional: Week 8: Gentleness

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!

Posted in From The Altar, Out Of My Head, With The Kids

Fruit of The Spirit Family Devotional: Week Six: Goodness

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.

goodness weekly erse

Psalm 23:6 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: Goodness Today

Everyday may not be good, but there is something good in each day. Even on our worst days, we can find something good in that day. Think about your day. Was today the very best day of your life so far? Chances are, it wasn’t. What good has happened today? If you woke up, that is the first grace given to you today- and  very good thing! Every cloud has a silver lining. And rain is not all bad, in fact, it can be very good.

Activity: On a paper plate, glue cotton balls and make clouds. Clouds often represent trouble in our lives. Add some silver glitter to your clouds to remind you that there is good, even on our cloudy days.

Activity 2: Make a list of all the good things that have been in your life today. When the bad days come, it helps to remember the good around you, too.

Day Two: Be the Good

“The deeds you do  may be the only sermon some people hear today.” – St. Francis of Assisi

When someone does something good for you, it makes you feel bright and hopeful. It makes you think, not necessarily of that person, but of the goodness that exists. These things can point us and others to God. We can do good for others and give them light and hope. In the first Willy Wonka movie (the old one, with Gene Wilder), Charlie Bucket gives back his everlasting gobstopper, refusing to sell Willy Wonka out to Slugworth, despite seeing that Wonka isn’t the man Charlie thought he was. Willy Wonka says, “So shines a good deed in a weary world.” Charlie did something good, despite the circumstances. Willy Wonka saw hope for the future of his life’s work. Good deeds never go unnoticed, even if not rewarded now. So, be the good for someone else.

Activity: Think of something good you can do for someone today. Now do it! Be the good!

Image to print if you’d like.

Day Three: Good People

Good people bring out the good in people. Have you ever encountered someone who was mean and nasty? Have you ever done a good deed, or shown kindness to that person? Sometimes mean people just needed to be reminded of the good in the world. You want to be a friend who makes your friends better people, not worse. You want to be the sister or brother who makes their brothers and sisters better. You want to be the partner that makes the other person better. So be good to people, remind them of the goodness of God, and help them become good people themselves. Read Proverbs 12:25.

Activity:  Copy me! Make someone “it” and everyone else has to copy what they do. Take turns being “it”. Talk about how you can copy good deeds.

Day Four: Why Be Good?

So why should I pursue goodness? What makes something good? Books could be written answering those questions, and they have been, but to answer simply, we pursue goodness because God is good. We were created to be like Him. Remember back in the garden, when God made man in His image and then breathed His life in them and called them good? Then remember that pesky snake coming along and Eve taking that forbidden fruit and sin entering the world? Things just haven’t been the same since. Our world is a bent and twisted place, and we’re in in trying to live straight like God. We’re letting God transform us into those people He created us to be, when He breathed His life in us and said we were good. He’s bringing us back there. Back to being like Him. He is good, so we strive for goodness. But what if I’m not good enough? C.S. Lewis said, “The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good, because He loves us.”

Activity: Coloring page 1 and 2.

Day Five: The Lord is My Shepherd

Read Psalm 23. Listen to “The House of God Forever” by Jon Foreman

Activity: Did you learn your memory verse? Share it! What did you learn about Goodness?

Posted in From The Altar, Out Of My Head, With The Kids

Fruit of The Spirit Family Devotional: Week Five: Kindness

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.

kindness weekly verse

Proverbs 21:21 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: Recalling Kindness

Do you remember a time someone was particularly kind to you? Go ahead and take turns sharing those stories now. Those memories of kindness usually stick with us for a long time. People remember the kindness you show them. You remember the kindness shown to you. When you share your toys, that person you shared with remembers and will share their toys in the future, offering the same kindness to someone else. Mother Teresa said, “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”

Activity: We like to play the “3 Nice Things” game in our house. We pick a person, and we go around the table, each saying 3 kind things about that person. The little ones beam with pride and love as they are edified and the grown people often have their hearts melt at the sweet things the little people say. This is a good activity not just for today, but for any day in your family. Sometimes when the littles are having a hard time getting along, we’ll play the “3 Nice Things” game and bring the smiles and full hearts back.

Day Two: Mephibosheth

Read 2 Samuel 9. This is the story of King David and Mephibosheth. Mephibosheth is the son of David’s friend, Jonathan. Usually, when a new king took over, the old king’s family was killed. (Less uprisings, you know?) But David, who loved his friend Jonathan, did not seek to destroy Saul’s family. (Jonathan is Saul’s son.) Instead, David begins searching for members of Saul’s family to show kindness to. Mephibosheth, I’m sure, was frightened at the king’s request to see him. I’m sure he was expecting David to kill him. But David was planning no such thing. David showed great kindness to Mephibosheth. He gave Mephibosheth land and gave him an unlimited dining pass at the king’s table. David treated Mephibosheth like he was of his own family. Mephibosheth was granted the life of a prince!

“Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.” – Henry James

Activity: Coloring Page

Day Three: Smiling’s My Favorite!

“I just like to smile. Smiling’s my favorite!”- Buddy the Elf. Smile. Do it. Smile. Isn’t it nice to have someone smile at you? (Oh! And aren’t baby smiles the best?!) It doesn’t take much effort to smile, does it? But that one little thing can really impact someone else’s day. There are days when you are in a bad mood and someone just smiles at you and your day gets a little brighter. Brighten someone else’s day and smile. Mother Teresa said, “Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”

Activity: Making smiles! Grab some paper bags, construction paper, glue, googly eyes, glitter, markers, etc. and get to work making smiling paper bag puppets! Make the smiles as big and goofy as possible! (You can also print some smiling mouths off the computer and add them to your puppet.)

Day Four: Leave People Better

“Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.” – Mother Teresa

There are no neutral interactions. Your interactions with people will either leave them better or worse. What kind of things would make someone better and happier? (Take a moment to name things and talk about kind interactions.) Let’s focus on showing others the kindness of God. What is the kindness of God? (Take a moment to answer. Grab a pad of paper and compile a list. List your blessings.) God has shown us great kindness, kindness we don’t deserve. And that makes us better. Let’s take that kindness and show it to others.

Activity: Be Kind Grapevine! Play the game Grapevine (or Telephone). Pick a beginning person, and an end person. The beginning person says something kind about the end person to the person next to him, who turns and shares with the next person, who turns and shares with the next person, until the message (or something like it) end up with the end person.

Alternate Activity: Be Kind Tag On Game- pick a person you’re going to say kind things about. Now, take turns saying something kind. But each new person has to say the kind things from the previous people and add their own. Keep going as long as possible! (Example: Mom says, “Emery is a good friend.” Aidan then says, “Emery is a good friend. Emery is good at building Legos.” Imogene then says, “Emery is a good friend. Emery is good at building Legos. I like to hear Emery tell stories.” Etc.)

Day 5: Good Samaritan

Read Luke 10: 30-35 (if you want the whole context, read verses 25-37). Who showed the robbed, beaten man kindness? Of all the men he encountered that day, which man do you suppose the beaten man will remember the most? I read a quote once, no clue who to credit, that said, “An act of kindness can cause ripples of healing.” And in the story of the Good Samaritan, this is certainly true. The beaten man would have likely been very angry, had no one stopped to help him. (That is, if he lived at all.) But because one man stopped and showed him kindness, he will, instead, marvel at the kindness of a stranger, instead of the wickedness of the robbers. Kindness has a lot of power, doesn’t it?

Activity: Think & Pray. How can you show more kindness to others? Pray for God to send you opportunities to be kind, and to give you the wisdom to both see and take advantage of those opportunities.

Alternate Activity: (Or Bonus Activity) Coloring Page.

Don’t forget you’re memory verse! Did you learn it? Share!

Posted in Uncategorized

Fruit of The Spirit Family Devotional: Week Four: Patience

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.

patience weekly verse

Romans 8:25 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: We Wait

“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” – Aristotle

Waiting is hard work. Not very many people wait well. It seems we are all born wanting what we want right now. No waiting. Waiting is hard work. But when we wait, we get more in the end. If you are making a cake, and you don’t wait long enough, you just end up with a hot mess. But if you wait, you get a wonderful cake! Patience isn’t simply waiting. It is waiting without getting angry or upset. It isn’t really patience to wait while tapping your foot. Take a deep breath, and wait with patience, in peace.

Activity: Let’s play a game! Red light, green light is a great game to practice patience.

Day Two: The Farmer

In James 5:7, the Bible tells us to be patient like a farmer. Have you ever planted seeds? Did they sprout immediately? You had to wait to see the seed sprout. And then, you had to wait even longer to see the flower. And then, if it was a vegetable, you had to wait even longer to see the vegetables. You don’t get angry at the plant for not growing fast enough. You don’t try to rush it along saying, “Hurry, plant! Hurry!!!” You just wait. And when the plant produces the vegetable, you pick it and you’re thankful that it grew. If we tried to apply the same calm waiting, or patience, in our lives a little more, we’d see more fruit and be a little more thankful.

Activity: Coloring page.

Optional Activity: Grab some small pots and plant some seeds. Clover and beans tend to grow fairly quickly and pretty well. Plant them with the kids, say a prayer asking God to help them grow, and then wait. You’ll need to water them, of course, but mostly you just wait. You could make a show of yelling at the plant and trying to make it grow right now this instance to show that you really do just have to wait.

Day Three: What I Had In Mind

“Let nothing perturb you, nothing frighten you. All things pass. God does not change. Patience achieves everything.” – Teresa of Avila

Sometimes patience means letting things work out how they are going to work out. It is hard for us not to get our way sometimes. We wanted to go to the zoo, but it rained. We wanted to go to the park, but it was too cold. And sometimes we want things to work out a certain way. We want things in a particular order. We pray and ask God for things. What happens if He answers us in a way we did not expect? Well, usually, we either get upset or we don’t even recognize He answered. Let us pray, and wait with patience for God to answer us. Let us keep our mind open to His working, it may not be what we expected, but God is working and He does answer us.

Activity: Play charades. Everyone put a word into a hat. Think about how YOU would act out the word you put in. Take turns drawing a word out of the hat. If you get your own, put it back and draw again. After the word has been guessed, ask who put the word in and ask if that was EXACTLY what they had in mind.

Printable.

Day Four: Praise Him In The Hallway

Have you ever heard the phrase, “When one door closes, another one opens.”? What do you think that means? Sometimes in life, we sit in front of a door, praying God will open that door. It might be that the door is the door to a new job, a new school, a new friend. Sometimes the door is the door to healing, getting something we think we need, or help in a hard time. Those doors don’t always open right away. And sometimes we sit in front of the door we think will open, and miss the wide open door down the hall. If we don’t have patience, we don’t sit in front of the door at all. We pray that God will open the door, then we walk off to something else. How would you ever know if the door opened if you walked off? But while we’re waiting for God to open doors, we can praise Him in the hallway. While we’re waiting for Him to answer prayers, we can thank Him for what He is doing in our life today.

Printable Image.

Activity: What big things are we praying for? They can be family prayers (a new home, a new baby, a new job) or individual prayers (a new friend, healing, individual opportunities). What are you thankful for right now?

Grab a piece of paper and some construction paper. Cut out a door with the construction paper. (Just a rectangle you can glue one strip down so it opens and closes like a door.) Draw one of those big things on the paper, glue the door on top, and then draw something you’re thankful for right now outside the door. Thank God for the thing outside the door and pray for the door to open, too.

Day Five: No Hurry

“Without peace, we will learn less in life. We will see less. We will feel less. We will hear less. Ironically, rush and more usually mean less.” – Mother Teresa

If we hurry through life, we’ll miss most of it. Let’s take a walk, watch a movie as a family, read a book together, something to slow down and not hurry through life. Take the time to listen and see the world around us. Take the time to listen and enjoy each other. Memories are made today.

Activity: Go on a walk, watch a movie, read a book- slow down and spend some time as a family. Try to take in as much as your senses can handle.

Activity 2: Did you learn your memory verse? Share it!

Posted in Among The Homeschool, From The Altar, With The Kids

Fruit of The Spirit Family Devotional: Week Three: Peace

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.

peace weekly verseHebrews 12:14 is our 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 this verse in our handwriting lessons for the week to really get it to sink in. 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: At Peace with Everyone

In Hebrews 12:14, we read that we should strive for peace with everyone. But what is peace? Peace is freedom from war and violence. Peace is also freedom from disturbance. Peace is quiet and tranquil. How can we strive to be at peace with everyone? We can avoid violence; don’t hit, bite, push, etc. We can avoid disturbing others; not provoking or aggravating them, not yelling at them, etc. Peace isn’t easy. It isn’t easy to not hit when we are frustrated. It isn’t easy to not yell when we are angry. It is something we have to work on. It is something we need God’s help in doing. Pray for God to help you strive for peace. Mother Teresa said, “Peace begins with a smile.”

Activity: Smiling faces coloring page. And pray for peace.

Day Two: Peace In My Heart

Read John 14:27. What kind of peace is this? Peace in my heart? St. Francis said, “While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it more fully in your heart.” But what does that mean? How can I have peace in my heart? Peace in your heart means that even when you are faced with trouble, you can still find quiet in your heart. When we have Jesus, we have peace in our innermost parts because we know He is for us and with us. With Jesus in our hearts, we need not be afraid of the troubles that surround us, He is our comfort. Our hearts can be at rest in Him. Do you feel quiet in your soul? Think about the love Jesus has for you, now sit quietly and feel His peace inside you. When trouble surrounds you, you can close your eyes and feel this peace no matter where you are.

Activity: Make a calm jar! Grab a jar for each family member. Fill it with water. Add some glitter glue (or glitter and glue) and some food coloring. Put the lid on the jar very tightly! Now, you can shake the jar and watch the glitter fall. Encourage your kids to use this time to feel the peace inside them- to calm their minds and center their souls. You’d be amazed at how wonderfully this works for finding some inner peace. Make one for yourself, too, and try it out. Watch the glitter fall and let go of the weights and worries in your mind, calm your mind, center your soul, and feel the peace of Christ in your heart.

Day Three: Jesus Overcomes!

“Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.” – Victor Hugo. Do you ever feel overwhelmed at the bad things around you? Do you ever feel scared and sad? Jesus told his disciples in John 16:32-33 that they could be at peace, because He overcame the world. The disciples were about to face the worst things they’d ever faced in their lives. Their Savior, Jesus, would be crucified. A time of persecution would begin. But Jesus said, have peace in your heart, I’ve already overcome the world. Whatever you face, know that Jesus has overcome. You can go to sleep at night in peace, for He is awake.

Activity: Coloring mandalas. Mandalas are repetitive, circular images that are peaceful to color. You can look up free ones on the internet like this, this, or this. Or you can create your own. Listen to music while coloring for an even more peaceful experience.

Day Four: We Belong to Each Other

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” – Mother Teresa

Colossian 3:15 tells us to let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts, to which we were called in one body. There is something about unity, about being a team, that makes us act kinder toward one another. When we remember that as a family, we’re in this life together, it makes it easier for us to get along with one another. When we remember that we as humans are all here for one another, it makes striving for peace a little easier. Mother Teresa also said, “What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.” If we, as a family, were to love one another and deal peacefully with one another, we’d find it easier to be peaceful people beyond our family. Let’s strive to be a peaceful family- to bear with one another, to be thankful together, and to strive for peace with those around us. Let’s make peace a priority. Instead of fighting, let us show love and peace.

Activity: Play a game! Grab two squares of cardboard (big enough to stand on with one foot). Your goal is to get our entire family from one location in your house to another (kitchen to couch; dining room chairs to couch; living room to kitchen) without stepping on the floor. All you have is each other and two squares of cardboard. Make sure each member of the family is working to get everyone to the safe spot!

Day Five: At All Times, In Every Way

“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.” – 2 Thessalonians 3:16

This week, we talked a lot about peace. We talked about what peace is and how we can have peace in our hearts. We talked about loving one another and having peace as a family. Today, we’re going to pray a simple prayer by St. Francis of Assissi. “Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love.” The world is full of troubles and strife. Let’s take the love and peace of Jesus out to our world and make it a little brighter of a place to live at all times and in every way we can.

Activity: Coloring page. Pray as a family. And be sure to review your memory verse!

 

Posted in Among The Homeschool, From The Altar, With The Kids

Fruit of The Spirit Family Devotional: Week Two: Joy

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.

joy verse of the week Romans 15:13 is our 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. We’ll also be using the memory verse in our handwriting lessons. You can print out the image above or make your own- just make an effort to put this verse up in your house somewhere. (Image is sized to be printed 5×7)

Day One: What is joy?

Sometimes the simplest things are the hardest to describe. If we look the word “joy” up in the dictionary, we’ll find the following definition: a feeling of great pleasure or happiness. If you’ve felt joy, you know that it is just more than that. Is joy happiness? Can you feel joy inside yourself even when you aren’t very happy. Well, yes, you can. Joy is about more than happiness. Anne Frank wrote in her diary, “I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains.” She is hiding in a small house with her family, under immense persecution. You could hardly say that would be a happy time. Yet, she had joy. She had something inside of her that sang out for beauty, even when her circumstances were dire. That is being filled with joy.

Activity: Coloring page. Image to print if you wish.

Day Two: Joy In Music

Read Psalm 5, taking a special note of verse 11. The Psalms are a collection of songs. The beginning of this song doesn’t song particularly joyful. The psalmist is groaning, crying, and preparing a sacrifice. Sounds like a pretty sad beginning of a song. But the psalmist has joy. Why? Because the Lord is directing his path. Because the Lord will bless him and protect him. The psalmist has joy deep inside, and so he sings. Does music make you feel joyful inside? Do you have a song of joy to sing yourself?

Activity: Sing a joyful song! Pick a favorite of your own or see my list for ideas. Sing together to the Lord. Even if you aren’t very musical, sing along. If you have older kids, take a few minutes for them to write  their own Psalm of joy. They can read it, sing it, lyrically act it out- however they want to express their joy! If your kids are younger, you may want to have them give you their reasons to be joyful and you can put a family Psalm together. You can read it, sing it, shout it- however it needs to be expressed.

Day Three: Inexpressible Joy

What reasons do you have to rejoice? In 1 Peter 1:8-9 we read that we can rejoice and have joy in a Savior we’ve never seen. Though we do not see Jesus, we believe He came and died for each of us, so we rejoice! Why? Because Jesus has rescued us from the place of the dead. We have hope. We have a future. We have a reason to be joyful. Even on the bad days, when we spill our milk, loose our shoe, can’t play because of the rain- we still have something to rejoice about. We are blessed people. Bad days do not take our blessings away, so let’s not let them steal our joy, either.  J.R.R. Tolkien said, “Fairy tales do not deny the existence of sorrow and failure: the possibility of these is necessary to the joy of deliverance. It denies (in the face of much evidence, if you will) universal final defeat…”

Activity: Image to look at. Think about something that brings you great joy or a time you felt great joy. Draw a picture of that. Use crayons, markers, pencils, paint- whatever you wish to create your artwork.

Day Four: Joy Comes In The Morning

There is a song I used to sing over and over when I was younger. It was a song by the Insyderz (okay, parents, you can laugh at me. Yes, I was a ska/punk youth.) called Mourning Into Dancing. It was a great song and I recommend you look it up on Spotify right now. Your kids will love it. (What kid doesn’t love ska?) That song could always give me a joyful feeling. Why? Because God can turn our mourning into dancing! The Bible tells us in Jeremiah 31:13 that the young women will rejoice and dance and the young men and old will be merry. Why? Because He will turn their mourning into joy! Why? Because He has ransomed and rescued us! He paid the ransom for us to be set free! So rejoice! Sing! Dance! Be Merry!

Activity: Turning mourning into joy! Gather paper plates, paint stirs, and tape or glue. Everyone gets two plates. On one plate, create a mourning face. (Use crayons, markers, paint, yarn, googly eyes, whatever you have handy.) On the other, create a face of joy. Glue/tape one plate to one side of the stir, one to the other. Now, turn mourning into joy!

Day Five: Joyful Hearts

Proverbs 17: 22 says, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” There have been many studies done on how laughter is good for us. Some studies even claim laughter can help people with inflammatory diseases sleep better at night. Laughter reduces the stress hormones in your body. Laughter helps increase blood flow to your heart. So laughter is really a good medicine. You tell a joke, and if it is a good joke, you improve the bodies and spirits of those around you. You have the power to share joy! Mark Twain said, “To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.” Just as you have the opportunity to share your joy, you also have the ability to crush someone’s spirit. Mean words, harsh actions- they can crush someone. You’ll leave a mark on every person you meet- choose to share your joy.

Activity: Did you learn your memory verse? Share it! Take turns telling jokes and funny stories. Increase the health of your family- laugh together!

Posted in Among The Homeschool, From The Altar, With The Kids

Fruit of The Spirit Family Devotional: Week One: Love

fruit of the spirit verseRead 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.

love verse of the weekDeuteronomy 6:4-5 is the memory verse this week. These verses are also know as the Shema Yisrael. Read these verses at the beginning of each devotion time. The goal is to have each member of the family memorize these verses this week. You can print out the image above or make your own with the verse on it to place somewhere in your house. (Image is sized to be printed 5×7.)

Day One: What is Love?

What is love? It is easy to say what love is not. But what is it? Is it simply intense affection? Is it liking someone a lot? The Bible teaches us the God is love. In 1 John 4, we’re told that not only is love from God, but God Himself is Love. In a great act of love shown to man, God sent His only Son to become one of us. He loved us so much, He died for us. He died for you. That is bigger than affection. That is bigger than just liking you. He loves you. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, ” Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” Jesus came in love to drive sin away. He came for you. He came for me. He came for each man because of His love.

Activity: Coloring Page

Day Two: Love My Neighbor

Read Matthew 22:34-40.

Who is your neighbor? Your neighbor is the person in front of you and the next person you see. Your mom is your neighbor. Your sister is your neighbor. Your friend is your neighbor. The kid down the street is your neighbor. Your neighbor is any person you see or talk to. Jesus said we should love our neighbor as ourselves. How can you do that? How could you show the person in front of you the love of Jesus? St. Francis of Assissi said, “Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love.” Let’s practice showing one another the love of Jesus this week, and all the weeks that follow. Mother Teresa once said, “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

Activity: Show some love! Think of something to do for those in your house to show them love. Make your brother’s bed. Help your Mom with laundry. Pick up someone else’s mess. Do small things with great love.

Day Three: The Greatest is Love

Read 1 Corinthians 13.

Why is love so great? How does it feel to be loved? It is nice, isn’t it? Knowing someone loves you. Knowing your Mom or your Dad care deeply for you. You always know you can turn to them. You always know you can count on them to be there. Why? They love you. Mother Teresa said, “I am not sure exactly what heaven will be like, but I know when we die and it comes time for God to judge us, he will not ask, “How many good things have you done in your life?” rather He will ask, “How much love did you put into what you did?” Do you remember a time when someone did something for you with love? Do that for others!

Activity: Making cards. Today, let’s make a card for someone who lives far from us that we want to show some love.

Day Four: Heart and Soul

Read Joshua 22:5.

What does it mean to walk in the way of the Lord? If God is love, then I should walk in love. One way we know how to walk in the way of the Lord, is to look at the life of Jesus. When Jesus encountered Zacchaeus (in Luke 19), a man the rest of the world hated, did Jesus do what everyone else did and ignore and push Zacchaeus to the side? Nope. Jesus showed Zacchaeus love and friendship. When they came to Jesus with the woman they were going to stone in John 8, did Jesus throw a stone? Nope. Jesus offered forgiveness for the wrong she had done. Let’s walk like Jesus and cling to Him. Let’s show the world the love He has shown to us. You may be the only Jesus the world sees.

Activity: Coloring page.

Activity 2: Raining Hearts. Get a dowel/stick, various paper (wrapping paper, scrapbook paper, colored paper), string/yarn, scissors, and glue. Cut little hearts of all size from the paper. Glue each heart onto the string, gluing multiple hearts along the length of the string. Tie each string to the stick. It is now raining love!

Day 5: In Love

Read 1 Corinthians 16:14

Everyday you do things. You see people. You talk to people. You do your school work. You play on the playground. You go to dance class or baseball practice. Everyday you have the chance to show those around you love. How could you show the love of Jesus in the things you do? Should you do different things? Should you just do the things you do with more love? You make a mark on every person you meet- make a mark of love.

Activity: Memory verse day! Who learned their memory verse this week? What did you learn about love?

Posted in Among The Homeschool, From The Altar, With The Kids

Fruit of The Spirit Family Devotional

I have written a 9 week family devotional on The Fruit of the Spirit for my family. I decided to share it with you! Because it is so long, I’ll be sharing it in pieces. Use whatever parts you like. Customize it to fit your family.

fruit of the spirit verseGalations 5:22-23 will be repeated weekly, so hopefully by the end of the 9 weeks, the kids have learned that verse, or at least all of the fruit of the spirit. I’ve also selected a memory verse for each week. We’ll be using our memory verses with our handwriting lessons, too, so they’ll be sure to learn it.  I’ll add links to the following weeks as they are added.

Week One: Love

love verse of the week

Week Two: Joy

joy verse of the week

Week Three: Peace

peace weekly verse

Week Four: Patience

patience weekly verse

Week Five: Kindness

kindness weekly verse

Week Six: Goodness

goodness weekly erse

Week Seven: Faithfulness

faithful weekly verse

Week Eight: Gentleness

gentleness weekly verse

Week Nine: Self-Control

self control weekle verse

I also made a music list for this devotional series. You may find it helpful.

“Faithful” by Enter the Worship Circle

“Divine Romance” by Phil Wickham

“One Thing Remains” by Bethel Music

“You Are Faithful” by Jesus Culture

“It Is Well With My Soul” by Hillsong Chapel

“Giants” by Jamie Soles

“Sparrow” by Audrey Assad

“Shouts of Joy” by Jamie Soles

“Joy” by Ascend The Hill

“Allah, Allah, Allah” by mewithoutyou

“So Shall It Be” by Cool Hand Luke

“House of God, Forever” by Jon Foreman

“Wait On the Lord” by Enter the Worship Circle

“Love Is Here” by Tenth Avenue North

“How He Loves” by David Crowder Band

“I Cannot Hide My Love” by Enter the Worship Circle

“Love” by Ascend The Hill

“Joy” by Phil Wickham

“Holy Is The Lord” by Chris Tomlin

“Love So High” by Matt Redman

“You Tell Me So” by JJ Heller

“Be Still” by Enter the Worship Circle

“Great Is Thy Faithfulness” by Ascend The Hill

“Our Love is Loud” by David Crowder Band

“It’s My Joy” by Enter the Worship Circle

“Forever” by Chris Tomlin

“You Are My Joy” by David Crowder Band

And check out the Follow Up post!