I think the sky in September and October is the most amazing blue! Have you noticed that? It isn’t the light blue of spring and summer, or the grey blue of winter. It’s this deep, radiant blue that makes you want to stay outside forever and forget about homeschooling work.
And the leaves! Growing up in Florida, we either had summer or winter. Basically the leaves just turned brown and fell off the trees. But now that I am living in South Carolina in the foothills of the mountains, we have amazing leaf color right in our own backyard.
And then the leaves fall to the ground.
Depending upon your attitude toward your yard, you will either leave them be, or get outside and rake. My family? We like to play in them!
Here is an activity with meaning that you can do with your family. Teaching children about sanctification can be daunting, but learning this way can be memorable.
As you gather the rakes and walk out to the yard, ask your kids to observe the leaves. What colors are they? What sounds do they make? What happens when you kick them? Are they clean or dirty? What happens to the leaves if they stay on the ground?
After raking a while, discuss the work. Is this easy work? Do the leaves cooperate? What happens when the wind blows? What strategies are the best to use when raking so the leaves don’t fly away?
Explain that raking is what God wants to do to our hearts. We have a lot of dirty, crusty sin in our lives. It we don’t get it cleaned up, raked up, then it will begin to rot in us. People can become bitter and angry if sin isn’t cleaned up. So God likes to send rakes into our lives to help our hearts become clean. He wants to sanctify us. Rakes can be trials, blessings, sufferings, teachings, friends, conviction. Many times we don’t like it when a rake begins to work in our lives, but God will do what it takes to clean up our hearts so we can become more like Jesus. And that takes hard work.
“But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” ~ 1 Corinthians 6:11 (HCSB)
If you have a large yard, consider using a tarp. Your family can rake the leaves onto the tarp and then drag it to another section of the yard. This will allow for major leaf piling.
Explain that after the work, after the trials, after suffering, God allows times of blessing, peace, and rest.
“Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” ~ Matthew 11:28
Jump into those leaves! Throw them! Watch them flit back to the ground. Fall back into them. Make a leaf angel. Get dirty. Get leaves all inside your jacket and pants. Enjoy the moment.
When we are in times of peace and rest, we need to enjoy it to the fullest! There will be times of trouble. We live in a fallen world. Therefore, when we go through times of peace and comfort, we need to relish them and be grateful.
But we also need to be on our guard. Now that you’ve been jumping around in the leaves, what is happening? The leaves are spreading out again. Grab the rakes and start piling again.
And so goes the cycle of sanctification. God cleans hearts through trials…we work hard…we have a time of rest, peace, or a “mountain top” experience…and then God is back to raking again. Sin can tangle us up. God wants to get rid of it. He wants us to live a profitable life that glorifies Him.
“Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us” ~ Hebrews 12:1
Not only could you do this fun activity with your family, but you could get your neighbors involved as well. You are surrounded by witnesses, people who are watching how you and your children live. They watch you during the hard times and through the good times. They observe if your faith is for real. They listen to your words. They analyze your walk.
What do they see?
May you be a person who allows God to rake your heart through suffering. If we can be thankful and grateful during the suffering, how much will we be during the times of peace and rest. And those who are watching will observe you working out your salvation, and they will glorify the Lord.
You can find more fall family fun inspiration from the Fall Family Favorites Series here.
Anne Marie is an Austenite and the author of the blog Future.Flying.Saucers. She is a southern belle who is married to her Mr. Darcy. They have three of the silliest children in South Carolina. Anne Marie has a passion for Bible study and teaching the Word to adults and children. On Wednesday nights you will find her teaching Biblical concepts to Awana clubs at her church. All of her Awana and Bible lessons can be found for FREE on her blog. You can also find her on Facebook and Pinterest.