More Kindness, Less Planning

If you know me, then you know that I like to have a plan!  I need to be able to see where I’m going before I start heading there.  As a crafty person, I never take on a project without having a purpose for it in the end. (Some people like to craft or make things “just because” but I’ve never been able to do that.) Maybe this is why cooking appeals to me so much–I can visualize the outcome.  I always know exactly what I want to serve and I have fun making it happen.  And perhaps this is why homeschooling is so scary.  I don’t know how long we’ll do it for, God hasn’t shown me the long-term picture yet.  He is teaching me to trust Him and let Him lead completely which is not easy for this over-planner!

So my “plan” when starting our fruit of the Spirit unit was to do a trait a week.  9 weeks certainly seemed long enough for a unit like this!  It’s not easy to balance our regular curriculum with this supplement, plus everything else we have going on in life!  Well, in week number 5 we hit a snag.  Things just caught up with us and I had to decide whether or not to rush through KINDNESS to the point of practically skipping it, or make it run into 2 weeks.  The Lord is doing a work in me, friends, because it wasn’t as hard as usual to step back, slow it down, and throw the “plan” out the window.  (Okay, so adding a week isn’t exactly throwing the plan out the window, but for someone like me, it feels pretty close!)  So kindness took 2 weeks and we did a little review of our fruits up to this point.

img_0719Our fruit was orange and I’m not sure what the correlation is, but the good thing is that with young kids, it doesn’t matter!  Neither one asked me “why” an orange stood for kindness.  They just accepted it and asked when they would get their orange-flavored chapstick and scented marker.  (Ok, I may be losing them a little to the glimmer of the “gifts” rather than the point of these lessons…) 😦

Colossians 3:12 basically says to put on kindness like you put on your clothes.  Made me think about doing an armor of God unit at some point… in the distant future. 😉  So Abby and Noah flipped through magazines looking for pictures of clothes to glue to our KINDNESS poster.  Then I hung it on the wall by their bureau as a reminder when they’re getting dressed every morning to “put on kindness.”  For our Bible story, I read the story of Ruth and the kindness she showed Naomi, which was returned to her by Boaz.  Then we made a list of the ways we can show kindness to the people around us.  I like to try to name actual people in our lives and real-life scenarios when we do this.  Then we try to remember when we’re about to enter that scenario.  For instance, before dropping them off at a friend’s house, I’ll ask, “What if your friend doesn’t want to play the same thing that you want to play?  How can you still show kindness?”  (Hmm… what if your friend didn’t vote for the same person you voted for?  How can you still show kindness???  Not sure why that question just popped into my head!) 😉

There’s a Veggie Tales video called “Lyle, the Kindly Viking” which we watched (along with about 2-3 other Veggie Tales that night).  I had hopes of making orange-cranberry scones but that didn’t happen.  Instead, we ate oranges for snacks several times and just kept talking about ways to show kindness and even role-played using kind words (maybe another activity for some adults in light of recent events?).  We made a card for a sick family member and practiced other little “kind” things.  This whole unit has been filled with “little” things we do in an attempt to drive home what it means to live out the fruit of the Spirit.  I’m not naive enough to believe that in the end, I’m going to turn out a completely changed 5 year old and 3 year old.  But I do believe I’m planting seeds and can only pray that God takes it from here…

So what kind thing have you done or said today? 😉

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