The Overflow: Red Plate Celebration
As a young mother of two, I received a “special plate” from my mentor. The plate is simply a red porcelain dish with the words You are Special painted on it.
"Find much to celebrate,” the wise woman told me. Don’t wait for the big things, or you'll wither while you wait. Celebrate the small things and you'll cultivate a life of joy.”
Over the years, I have tried to live by those words of advice. In fact, as our family has grown, I've added several more "special" plates to our collection. Just last night, I set TWO red plates at the dinner table in celebration of our school kids' marvelous report cards (and to cheer the fact that only ONE quarter of school remains until SUMMER FUN begins).
It's my prayer that as we wrap up our month of SEEKING FIRST, you'll set aside some time to celebrate the MASTERPIECES in your family. Try this OVERFLOW as a springboard to a life of celebration...
Objective: To celebrate each family member’s unique design.
Materials: Bible, red paper plates, “admiration notes” written before the celebration and your family’s favorite dessert!
Preparation: Sometime before family night, ask your kids to write (or draw pictures or “dictate to a parent”) a note to each family member that completes this sentence: “I think you are a masterpiece because…”
You may want to provide pretty stationary or a pre-printed piece of paper that already has that sentence starter written. Do whatever you can to make the letter writing fun and easy. Tell your that you will be delivering the mail to one another at a special family night.
Parents, be sure to write a note to each child and to one another as well. If you really want to get into the mail fun, make a family mail box out of a cardboard box. Let your kids decorate it with markers, paint, or stickers; then put a slit in the lid and set it in an accesible spot in your home. Encourage the kids to place their completed mail in the box with the understanding that the box will be opened on family night.
Before the special dessert celebration, set up this object lesson:
Put a penny inside a beautifully wrapped box. Place a dollar inside of a box that is wrapped in a plain brown paper bag. Wrap enough boxes for all the children in your family accordingly. (A kind of pretty box may have a quarter in it; a box with only a bow may contain a nickel, etc. Make sure there is a dramatic difference between the value of the ugly box’s contents and the value of the other boxes' contents.)
The Lesson: On your determined dessert night, display the differently wrapped packages and ask each child which gift he/she would choose to have. Pass out the choices (flip for the one being sought after the most) and then unwrap the gifts. Talk about how the outside of the package made the children assume the pretty one was the best gift.
Ask: “Do you ever look at how people appear on the outside and assume that you know what they are like on the inside?”
Remind your children that what is on the inside makes us beautiful and valuable to God. (Remind the kids that God made us in his image and the part of ourselves that resembles God is our “spirit” or “heart." Look back at our very first Seek First lesson for a refresher on this Genesis truth).
Summarize: God looks at the inside and He wants us to look at people the way He does!
Read I Samuel 16:7: “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Remind your children that in your family, you are going to choose to look at the heart and appreciate the unique way God made each person.
Red Plate Craft: Invite each person in your family to make a “special plate.” Buy red paper plates and decorate them with markers, fun foam, or stickers. Then serve up a favorite dessert and pass out the “masterpiece mail.” Eat, talk, and read the notes that celebrate each family member’s uniqueness.