Plan to do this kick-off craft early in your lesson on adaptability. You will work with your children to make a “feelings flags” centrepiece.
You'll need the following supplies:
a vase or plant pot
tissue paper in various colours
drinking straws or wooden skewers
strips of white paper
decorative marbles, stones or sand.
Here’s how to make your centerpiece:
- Paint the surface of your pot with glue, then take turns gluing pieces of tissue paper on the vase. Share a favourite memory or something you are thankful for each time you glue on a piece of tissue.
- Once the pot is covered in tissue, set it aside to dry.
- Take the straws or skewers and attach pieces of white paper to make a number of white flags.
- For each flag, draw a face on one side of the flag to represent a negative emotion. Then, on the other side of the flag, draw the opposite emotion. For example, one flag might show a sad face on one side, and a joyful face on the other side. Another flag might show “worry” and “peace,” and yet another might show “anger” and “patience.”
- When the vase is dry, fill it with marbles, stones or sand, then place your flags in the vase.
- When you sit down together for a meal, talk about the events of the day and ask your kids if they have difficult feelings they would like to “give over” to God. For example, they might have seen a dog in the neighbourhood that reminded them of the dog your family lost. Or they might have walked by the house of a friend who recently moved away. With each idea shared ask, Which flag reminds us to give these feelings over to God?
Take time to pray and ask God to help you deal with any difficult feelings you have, and to provide His comfort. Encourage your kids to be really honest with God about their feelings (see some prayer ideas below). Also take time to thank Him for the bright spots in your day and for His blessings in your lives.
In Psalm 18:6 David says,
“In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help. From His temple He heard my voice, and my cry to Him reached His ears.” David handed over his worries and fears to God by praying about them. In just the same way, when we cry out to God, He hears us. It’s okay to talk to God about our difficult feelings. David always talked with God about his feelings and found reasons to praise, even when he was going through hard times.
If you wish, take some time to coach your kids in honestly expressing their feelings to God. At the same time though, help them understand that God loves them so much, He wants them to focus on the good things in life, rather than choosing to nurture a negative attitude. Here are some sample prayers to help you guide your kids:
Dear God, I really need to talk to You about my feelings.
Follow with one of these statements:
I’m so scared right now, it makes it seem like You are very far away.
I’m so angry right now! I’m mad at the whole world!
I have so much hurt inside me. It feels like a heavy weight in my heart and it makes me wonder if You have forgotten about me.
Add one of these statements:
I need Your help. I’m sorry that I tried to handle this on my own.
I’m sorry that in my anger, I forgot about You. I really do need You.
I have had a bad attitude toward this change. I’m sorry that I have not trusted You more.
Please forgive me for holding on to my ___________ (hurt, anger, fear, disappointment, sadness) instead of taking it to You.
Please forgive me for blaming You for ___________.
Conclude with one of these statements:
I am just so sad that I don’t even know what to pray. Can You hold my heart in Your hands and help me trust You that things will get better?
I just want things to go back to the way they were, but I know I can’t have it that way. Please give me hope that things will be better soon.
Even though I am scared, I want You to help me trust You.
I get upset when things don’t go my way. Please help me to have self-control, even when I am upset.
I know Your plans for my life include really good things for me. Please help me to accept things as they are right now and trust You even though I am ___________ (worried, angry, upset, scared, sad).
I am not looking forward to ___________ but I want to have an attitude that pleases You and to be willing to do what You want me to do.
Please forgive me for holding on to my ________ (hurt, anger, fear, disappointment, sadness) instead of taking it to You.
Thank you for loving me and caring for me. Amen.