Where two or three people meet together in my name, I am there with them. Matthew 18:20 (NIrV)
I’ve continued to talk to Elias about the times that God is there with us, and we are focusing right now on showing respect during those times – specifically at church. I wanted to do something together that represented a church… and I’ve been wanting to do something cool like these leaves, which got me thinking about waxed paper stained glass windows like these…
While our church building does not have stained glass windows, Elias does sing in a children’s choir at a church in downtown Richmond that has beautiful stained glass windows. So it was easy to make the connection with him about God’s presence being with us in a church, and that some churches have stained glass windows.
…so while I was thinking about making some cool stained glass windows with crayon shavings, I started thinking about a bag of brightly colored marshmallows sitting in my pantry (I popped the bag in my grocery cart a while ago, not knowing what to do with it, but I figured the boys would love whatever we did…).
What do marshmallows and crayons have in common? They melt! And could possibly make some beautiful wax paper stained glass windows. Depending on how you do it….
Let’s gather some supplies:
A bag of neon marshmallows, some wax paper, some no-stick cooking spray, and an iron.
Tear off 2 squares of wax paper, and draw a picture of a “stained glass window” on one side of a square… Flip the wax paper over and spray the other side with the no-stick cooking spray.
Give your child the freshly-sprayed wax paper design and a handful of neon marshmallows.
Then another handful, as he has already scarfed down the first one.
Then show him how he can use the different colors to fill in each different part of the stained glass design. And give him another handful of marshmallows.
And give the other kid at the other end of the table a handful of marshmallows, too. So he doesn’t feel left out.
No, he’s fine.
Spray one side of the blank wax paper with no-stick cooking spray, and lay it over the saccharine-flavored stained glass design your little one made.
And then turn up the iron a bit more until the marshmallows actually start to melt together.
Then realize that you need to wait longer to try to unveil the masterpiece, because melty marshmallows take a minute to cool down.
OK – they need more than a minute. They need a half an hour in the fridge.
And then several hours in the freezer.
And they definitely needed more no-stick spray. Because they were still sticky. Even after several hours in the freezer.
But it’s OK that it took hours and didn’t turn out the way you expected. Because you got a picture of these cheeks deep in concentration.
Concentrating on making a cross all on his own.
And pictures of the other little guy, enjoying the sugar rush and time with his big brother.
You know, I get so worked up trying to think of the perfect activity for my boys, so consumed with perfectly conveying whatever lesson I want them to learn… I forget the important part is spending time with them.
And when I get discouraged that they don’t want to do the craft I prepared? I need to step back and let them do the craft (or no craft) that they want to do (haven’t I said this before?). And enjoy the time with them. Laugh with them.
And I need to learn whatever lesson I’ve planned in my heart – and model it for them. What does it tell my kids about how much I respect God’s sanctuary when I take off my shoes in the middle of worship? It’s a little thing, but it says tells my boys that I don’t have enough respect to keep my shoes on.
That’s what I’ll be working on from now on… not the perfect lesson or craft, but my heart. Living out Christ’s life in me is the best lesson I can prepare for my boys.