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Our fun and fresh acceptance tree

December 16, 2010
 |  by Krista

Our fun and fresh acceptance tree

Two posts ago ("Acceptance blues"), I lamented the static nature of the family tree suggestion for the Kick-off craft activity. At the time, I expected to breeze through this lesson because there wasn’t a project my kids wanted to sink their teeth into, and my brain was void of creative ideas. Jessica was especially disappointed; so, one morning, we sat down and prayed that God would send a new, exciting idea to help this lesson come alive.

The answer to that prayer came in the form of Laurel Kirchner, author of the Kids of Integrity series! She added a comment to my "Acceptance blues" post, outlining a couple ideas to give the family tree more movement. One thought was to add snowflakes representing the people in our lives who feel like family and who accept us as we are. Another was to add leaves for the people we know who still need to accept Christ’s offer of salvation. What fabulous ideas to springboard from – her thoughts really got my imagination going!

I loved the idea of snowflakes (we already had a bunch made from craft foam), but I didn’t want to mix leaves into a winter scene. Knowing our kids’ love of wild animals, I chose instead to print pictures of a variety of forest creatures (deer, foxes, raccoons, various birds, etc.). You should have heard their squeals of delight when they saw the furry and feathered friends! We then cut a bare-branched tree out of brown poster board and Benjamin helped me find a hilly winter backdrop to copy onto our white poster base (see picture).

We explained to the kids that it’s important to remember to thank God for the special people in our lives who love us for who we are. As Laurel suggested in her comment, we also emphasized that it’s our privilege and responsibility to “pray for family and friends to ACCEPT God's gift of salvation and become part of God's family. . . . God is not ‘mean’ because He judges people. The problem is NOT that God doesn’t accept people, it is that people don’t accept God! God will accept everyone into His family . . .”

Every day, the kids were each allowed to choose two items (snowflake and/or animal) to add to the Acceptance poster. We would write a person’s initials on the shape and pray thanks for them or ask God to reveal Himself to them (or sometimes both). An amazing variety of names came up as the kids thought hard about who still needed God’s love in their lives, and who lavishes us with unconditional love. The excitement level was so high all week – Ben and Jess could hardly wait to add more names to the scene each day.

Thank you, Lord, for answering Jess’ prayer for a super craft idea. And thank you, Laurel, for letting God use you by sharing your inspirations in such a timely fashion. God be praised!

Related Lesson: Acceptance