Yesterday I shared a conversation I recently had with my 6 year old daughter and today we worked on how to respond if that happens again. To recap the story, Joy was hurt when two other young girls said she looked like a boy. She was hurt, I was hurt, but we've both learned a lesson.
That night as Joy shared her experience with me, I was determined to not let these lies and doubts (On a side note if you need help with this read Renee Swope's book, A Confident Heart) take root in Joy's heart like they had done in mine many years ago. This thought of roots led to another, my friend Kimberly is also doing a 31 day series; hers is titled, "Rooting Deeper." Her words have blessed me. (They'd bless you too, so visit her blog, "A Planting of the Lord" sometime soon!!)
Anyway my teacher mind got going and I thought how can I get Joy (and my other children) to understand this better. So today, the kids helped make a tree to put up on our school room wall. The entire time they were cutting and gluing, making branches, roots and dandelions, questions were being asked, "Why are we doing this? What is this for?" and on and on.
After talking about trees, I asked, "How are we like a tree?" The responses were varied with a few being quite interesting and then our lesson began.
We all gathered around our newly decorated school wall and I shared Joy's recent experience with all the kids. I asked, "Is she a boy?"
Her 4 year old sister looked at me like I'd lost my mind and said, "No!"
I responded, "Jaylyn, you are right! So were those words about Joy true?" Again I hear, "No." So I ask, "What is the opposite of the truth?"
My 8 year old answers, "A lie." And little Jaylyn adds, "They are bad!!" "Right again, a lie is bad, kind of like weeds in the garden or dandelions around the tree."
We then turned our attention to the tree that had caused so much curiosity. Only now there were words on the dandelions (as you can see art is not my strong point - they are the yellow lollipop looking things!!) and on some of the roots.
We talked how we are like a tree and our roots are what make us strong and help us grow and stand tall. But sometimes things happen in our hearts just like they do on the other side of the window - weeds creep in and mess things up.
So I asked, "What do we do with weeds in the garden?" Three little voices tell me, "We pull them out!! "Right again! So Joy why don't you come up here and pull out this weed!!" She thought that was great!!
But there was more, I went on to share when the weeds aren't there, the roots have a better opportunity to grow. Then we focused on one root specifically, one that said, "Let the king be enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord." Psalm 45:11
We read the verse, talked about what it meant and Joy added some construction paper so the root could grow!! I pray the one in her heart grew as well!!
Minutes ago I asked Joy what she thought about our tree or what this meant to her...this is what she had to say, "Somethings that people say might make me cry, but they're a weed. I need to think about that and try not to cry and remember God made me. My roots need to grow and that's stuff that is really true cuz He thinks I'm beautiful just like you think that too."
We ended the day with a new picture, one without weeds, but ladies I believe we all know the ones in our heart grow back faster than the ones in our garden!! May we all remember to weed them out, so our roots can grow and we can be who God made us to be!!