Monday, April 11, 2011

Making 'Gardens' and a Lesson on Faithfulness

With all that had happened the past month, we were unable to have girls group for awhile . . . but I do have one week to catch up on! :) The afternoon that we were able to spend together was a special one and was very enjoyable as well. Which isn't surprising with these sweet girls! After they arrived, we had fun visiting for a bit before praying together and then beginning on the things that we had planned to do for the day.

The first project of the day was finishing the girl's "fruit of the spirit" mobiles which they were quite excited about. Especially since they were able to bring the mobiles home this day. :) We asked them what they were going to do with them, and with beaming faces, they exclaimed that they were going to hang them up in their rooms . . . and our hope is that they will then be reminders to these precious young girls to be seeking to cultivate each one of these fruits of the spirit in their lives!


Tying her fruits of the spirit onto her mobile

Once the mobiles were completed (and they looked so nice I might add!), we gathered in the living room for learning about seventh fruit of the spirit which is faithfulness. We refreshed our minds with first reciting the girl's memory verse which they had learned in song:

The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” Galatians 5:22-23

And then we asked the girls the question of: What is faithfulness? We talked about this for a bit and found faithfulness to mean a couple of different things. And to summarize it simply, it is . . . .

~ Remaining loyal to Jesus ~

~ Remaining loyal to others
~

~ Sticking to a task
~


We discussed each of these to some depth and especially the first point as that is not only the most important one, but it is foundational to being faithful in the others areas as well. This faithfulness to God begins when we believe in Jesus as our Savior and then continues as we seek to remain loyal to Him by doing what the Bible teaches, by loving Him, by serving Him, etc. We are to keep “pressing on to the upward call in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14.)

When we are faithful, this also includes being dependable; being someone who can be counted on to do what you say you will do. People will trust your word because they know that you can be depended upon, that you are trustworthy.

After talking about this for a bit, we looked at a verse in Scripture that specifically encourages women to have this faithfulness . . .

Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things.” 1 Timothy 3:11

Here in this verse, we found that we are to be faithful not only in some things, not only part of the time, but in all things. This should encompass, then, every aspect of our lives . . . it should be a part of who we are. And as we seek to have this fruit of the spirit of faithfulness, it is pleasing to God. This is expressed in part through a verse that we read in 1 Samuel which shares that “The Lord will repay each man for his righteousness and faithfulness” (1 Samuel 26:23.)

One of the girls reading one of the Bible verses aloud for us

Once we had finished talking about faithfulness to some depth and had come to a pretty good understanding of what it is, we asked the girls if they could come up with ways that we can be faithful in our own day-to-day lives. Some of the ideas that were shared were:

-Being consistent with Bible reading

-Trying to obey God’s Word and please Him


-Praying

-Completi
ng tasks that we say we will do

-Unselfishly loving our family and friends


-Obeying our parents; etc.


After coming up with ideas such as these, we encouraged the girls to work on cultivating this fruit of faithfulness in their lives . . . and in the coming week, to try to be "faithful in all things."

With the lesson finished and the girl's journals written in, we moved into the dining room for "garden planning"! While it wasn't quite the season for planting gardens :), the girls had fun 'making' gardens indoors utilizing vegetable seed catalogs, scissors, paper and glue sticks. Before they began, though, we shared with them the importance of garden planning, how to go about figuring out what seeds to order, etc., and then we showed them our garden seed order for the year. Once they had a basic understanding of why and how to plan for a garden, they began 'making' their own!

Paging through the vegetable seed catalogs to find what things they want to 'grow' in their gardens

Cutting out potatoes

Gluing down peppers

And one of the girl's finished gardens . . . isn't it lovely?

Once they were finished with their 'gardens', they had a pleasant time cross-stitching for awhile and were able to make progress on their towels. They are looking so nice so far! All in all it was a very pleasant afternoon, and we were so thankful for the time that we were able to spend with 'our girls'! :)

10 comments:

  1. How lovely to see the girls planning their gardens. It's never too ealry to start!

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  2. Thank you for your sweet comment, Elizabeth! :)

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  3. I love Emily's "garden" picture. She is so creative! A garden such as hers would be an absolute pleasure to work in day after day.

    I enjoyed this Girls Group post, Sarah, and I was wondering...will you continue to post Girls' group activities on this main blog? I was under the impression that you were going to have those on your Invitation Only blog.

    Thanks ~ Betsy

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  4. I loved it, too, Betsy! And I would agree, it would be the type of garden I would love working in as well. :)

    Good question about the girl's group posts! I had originally planned to post these only on the girls group blog, but then I found that I could still share on my main blog, but be much more selective of the photos (using photos where you can't really see the girl's faces or cropping out their faces, etc.)

    The girls group blog blog posts, though, have many more photos and ones that show faces so it makes it a bit more personal than what is shared here on my main blog. I hope that makes sense and helps to answer your question! :)

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  5. I just love the idea of creating a garden plan using the pictures from seed catalogues! That must have been so much fun!

    I like the idea of sharing some of the girls' group activities on the main blog and having more information on the invitation-only blog. Our church recently did something similar. We have decided collectively not to share pictures that show faces (or if the faces are shown they are masked out) on the public church photo gallery. Anyone who visits the church web site can visit the gallery and see pictures of some of the activities and thereby gain a sense of the "culture" of our church. However, there is a password-protected portion of the site available to church members only where we can post more pictures for church members to enjoy. When we have a church picnic or other fun event, it is nice to invite everyone to upload their pictures so the church members can all enjoy reminiscing.

    One really must be so very careful on these public blogs, and I am impressed that you are protecting the privacy of these young girls.

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  6. Love your garden planning idea!
    While I am not able to do a garden in my own back yard, I dream of having one someday!

    You should do a tutorial on garden planning giving tips and advice on how to plan a garden for different sized families. :)

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  7. Oh, thank you for sharing this post, Sarah! What a joy it was to see another girls' group post...I do so enjoy them :) Like Besty said, I too was under the impression you weren't planning to put these posts on this blog, but I read your comment to her, and it makes sense now.

    Faithfulness is such a good topic to think on. One of my favorite verses on this is Luke 16:10 “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.” So often I am tempted to think it doesn't really matter if I show faithfulness in a 'little' thing...it's easier just to leave the dish towel sitting out over night, even though it supposed to be taken downstairs after the dinner dishes in the evening. It's easier to just walk past the baby toys spread across the living room than to take a moment and pick them up. It's easier to speak crossly to a little sibling when I'm busy rather than take a moment to see what they need and encourage them with my words. These things can often appear to be little things and the temptation is to believe that it doesn't matter. But of course, it does! And it's by making it a habit to show faithfulness in small areas that one proves themselves able to handle larger things faithfully.

    Anyway, that's just something I was thinking on recently, and your post brought it to mind once again :) Keep up the wonderful work you and Leah are doing with the girls. I'm sure it is a blessing to them and their families!

    Amy

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  8. Thank you for your sweet comment, Miss Linda! :) Yes, it was so fun ‘making’ the gardens . . . one of the girls shared with us this week that that was one of her favorite things that we had done so far!

    Thank you also for your encouragement regarding the girls group blog posts, and for sharing about your church website as well. What a great idea that is! And it sounds pretty similar to what I am trying to do here. :) I am learning more and more that one cannot be too careful with the internet!

    It must be nice to have your church’s website to go to and see photos from different events and things. :) What fun memories it must bring back!

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  9. Thank you, Amy! Dreaming up a garden is half the fun of gardening. :) And maybe someday you’ll have the opportunity to have your own garden!

    Your idea for a tutorial is a great one, only I am not so sure I would be the best one to do it! :) I am still learning so much in regards to garden planning, and it seems like each year I do things a bit differently each time. I’ll have to think about it, though!

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  10. You’re welcome, Amy, and thank you so much for your comment and for sharing all that you did! I really appreciated those thoughts on faithfulness as well as the verse that you shared. And I found my heart pricked as I read . . . I’ve been there done that with similar scenarios before. Yet as you shared, even in these little things we are to be practicing faithfulness and living out this fruit of the spirit in our day to day lives.

    I am glad that the girls group posts make sense to you now, but I am sorry for the confusion! I hadn’t even considered that it might be confusing to my readers until after Betsy commented. Sorry about that!

    Thank you again, Amy for your comment, and also for your sweet words of encouragement!

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Thanks so much for your comment! Each one is read and enjoyed. :)