Fruit of the Spirit, Preschool Style

grinch

At a kid’s play place recently, Beckett saw the Grinch from Dr. Seuss painted on a wall.

The entire rest of the day: “What’s that man’s name again? Why is he green? Why are his eyes yellow? Why is he so grumpy?”

You know how you don’t realize something is weird until you have to voice it out loud? Yeah.

“He’s green because…well, I don’t know why…but he tries to steal Christmas (?!) because his heart is 2 sizes to small. (Wait, what? He should get that checked out.)”

Anyway. It’s been a thing.

So today on the way to school we were working on our verse for peace this month. I was explaining to Beckett what peace was, how we could show peace in our lives, etc.

Me: So peace is when we don’t fight or argue. Peace is quiet and calm. It’s stopping fights and playing nicely and choosing to let Jesus’ peace rule in our hearts.

Beckett: Why don’t kids always have peace?

Me: The thing is, buddy, we are all humans which means we mess up a lot. When someone does us wrong, we want to get back at them. We want to be angry or throw our toys or be grumpy, but Jesus calls us to choose peace. That’s why we need to always pray that his peace wins over our own emotions.

Beckett: ….soooo the Grinch doesn’t have Jesus in his heart? Is that why he’s so grumpy?

I’ve never seen the spiritual application there before, but sure. Why not.

He also went on to suggest the Grinch needed an adult in his life to “help him choose a better attitude”.

This is preschool gospel and it’s the best.

(Also, please someone come raise this child because his 3 year old theology questions are already too deep for me.)

Fruit of the Spirit

For 2015, I didn’t make a resolution as much as I loosely committed to learning more about the fruit of the Spirit with my boys.

You know – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Those ones.

(If this is new to you, these “fruits” are found in Galations 5:22-23. In short, they’re the evidence of Jesus’ work in our lives. Without Jesus and the Holy Spirit, our human-nature fruits look a lot like anger, greed, narcissism, binge-eating, jealousy and gossip instead of all those wonderful, totally-opposite-of-human-nature qualities listed above.)

So each month, we focus on a different fruit. We learn about it, pray about it, and do activities centered around it.

For once in my life, I didn’t place expectations on how this would look. I didn’t overcommit, I didn’t make an elaborate calendar or plan, I just decided to make it up as we went along because 3 year old, 1 year old, and 50%-of-a-fully-developed-baby year old. Ain’t nobody ’round here got time for inflexible schedules and unrealistic goals.

The un-Plan

It’s April now, which means we’ve been fruiting for 4 months.

In January, we started by talking about the overall concept and learning the oddly catchy, very toddlertastic song found here. (We also listen to the Seeds’ version, found here.)

In February, we talked about love. We memorized John 3:16, mailed love notes to our friends, and made heart projects. We talked often about who we all we love and why we love them.

In March, we focused on joy. We memorized Nehemiah 8:10b, got a zoo membership, went to a lot of fun kid places, and had dance parties when we were grumpy. We answered the question, “What brought you the most joy today?” and talked about choosing joy even when we didn’t feel happy.

In April, we’ve focused on peace. (And the status of the Grinch’s salvation, apparently.) We’re memorizing Colossians 3:15, diffusing lots of lavender oil, listening to narcolepsy-inducing…I mean calming…music, and having “quiet-time” activities. We talk about ways we can be peacemakers at home at at school. We talk about the peace God gives even when things are sad or scary.

And for the coming months? If you excel in mathematics, you might see a problem – namely that there are 9 fruits and 12 months. It’ll all work out. Or not. But part of my loose commitment meant I gave up feeling guilty if our learning and memorizing didn’t go as well some months as others.

What will the rest of the months/fruits look like? No idea. I don’t have a plan, remember? (And thank heavens for that.)

I wanted to blog about it, though, because I want someone else to come up with an awesome plan that can be reproduced and easy to follow. So get on it, organized people.

I also wanted to share about it because it’s brought about some sweet conversations between me and my littles (and may be helpful for you and yours). Like this, last month:

Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 1.28.23 PM

Even more so, this year’s un-plan been incredibly fruitful (see what I did there?) for my mama heart. Small kids are a challenge, you guys, but intentionally praying for love and joy and peace in my encounters with them has been HUGE.

So. If you want to focus on the Fruit of the Spirit in un-planned fashion, too, check these resources out:

  • Praying for Boys: great section of prayers (chapters 10-18) centered around Galations 5:22-23
  • Seeds Family Worship: specifically, the Seeds of Character album has some great songs about different fruits
  • Pinterest: duh. Just search that crap. Endless amounts of cute resources and crafts for each month.

Better yet, share other, better ideas/resources with us.

Patience is up next month. It’ll be a doozy.

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