Tonight’s Activity: God sees great BEAUTY and VALUE!

The best elementary school rooms I see are plastered wall to wall with imaginative paintings, pictures, sayings, writings. These are each works of art that “tell” stories about the children. What does Alyssa dream about?  Her art looks so brave and bold? What does Matthew want to do when he grows up? It appears that Anna is a poet and Erin loves little doggies! Noelle wants to move to Mars!!!

IDEA: Take the time to explore the value of each woman present.  “Make it your mission to underscore their great worth and abilities.  During this session, you are asked to have some freedom from the traditional weekly schedule you might follow.   You want to allow them to express who they are- understanding that you are facilitating the process.

watercolor woman with butterflies

Ladies enter the room which has been set up with paper-covered tables, art supplies and worship music playing in the background.  Begin with your welcome and prayer, then invite them to take part in a new activity!  The activity they are being invited into is to reveal their true identity:  NOT BY WORDS… but on paper (a roll of butcher paper would be great!). Pictures, poetry, magazines can be placed on each table, from which the ladies can cut out pictures, words painted that express their hopes, dreams, prayers. At first- this may feel uncomfortable.. but you are prepared!   Have art supplies on hand. When you are done- adorn the walls and take a moment to look and comment on the whole of the project. Ask: What do you see here? I see God’s masterpiece within you! What do you see in one another’s work?

Still-way too often women hide their own talents and gifts in deference to serving those around them….or they feel they have nothing to offer.

The truth is- –
*No circumstance, mistake, problem or weakness is so big, that it can remove God’s unique expression of Himself in you.

blue butterfly

“Why?”, you ask.
Because God’s work of art in you is sealed with the Holy Spirit from the moment you became His. God’s work of art is insured by His love.
The amazing thing is this: God puts the brush in your hands and invites you to paint every day upon your canvas.

Don’t be mistaken. God is not afar away observer. He inspires us from within — by reshaping our hearts and renewing our minds.  You and I have a part in this growing art: to nurture our interests and rekindle our giftings. It is time to start living as God’s work of art. Because you are exactly that.

“For we are God’s masterpiece (the original Greek word poema is translated “poem“), created in the Messiah Jesus to do good works that God prepared long ago to be our way of life.” Ephesians 2:10

Don’t discount that voice inside you, the one you were born to speak in — whether you do it through writing, photography, cooking or engineering, teaching, crafting and anything else.

rainbow butterfly watercolor

Craft DIY: Squash Book Party

“What is a Squash Book?”, you ask?

Squash Books DIY

Squash Book DIY Tutorial     *CLICK ON LINK FOR FREE PDF DOWNLOAD.

A Squash Book is a three-dimensional “scrapbook of sorts” which opens up in such a manner that it resembles a squash!  The idea is not new, and many Squash Books were hand-made during WWII by sweethearts who placed photos, love notes, and mementos from their soldiers into the pockets of the Squash Book. I’ll never forget discovering Grandma’s Squash Book, filled with memories of “Charlie”, my grandfather, who died long before I’d ever been born. The stories that she told me, as she ran her fingers over each note, bible verse, postcard, stamp, button or photo tucked inside the pockets; were priceless. They revealed her love for him and introduced me to a man I’d never known.  Aren’t Grandmas wonderful?

The Squash Book Party has great potential for bringing generations together, for celebrating family, loves, and friendship.  You will find that it has great cross-over value for many of your programs!  Children love it (Create the best Mother’s Day cards ever!), seniors, young adults…But TEACH A WOMAN, and you will have created interest, self-esteem- and they will teach others! Inspiration is contagious.

Setting the Scene for your Squash Book Party: 

  • Print off the document*: Squash Book DIY Tutorial.pdf and make a sample. Invite others! Show it off!…Your sample will sell the program!  “Wow!” Your women will say, “I have got to go!”  *found on your accompanying ResourceCD.
  • Place supplies on the table. (all listed in the tutorial). Print enough of the DIY Tutorials for each of your women. The cost for these supplies is minimal, and you may already have most on hand.
  • Program Elements:
    1. Refreshments: Tastes from a generation gone by. Grandma’s best Banana Bread, Zucchini, or Pumpkin Bread. If sharing a meal: Crockpot Vegetable Soup and muffins. Let the scrumptious smells fill the room!
    2. Shared Traditions: If not done as a group activity, the Squash Book can be made ahead and shared as a “demonstration”. Instead, focus on memories and traditions shared which connect us generationally. You might request that each woman bring a trinket or treasure that she would “put in a pocket” to be found by the next generation… Take turns sharing the significance of these items (loves, lessons learned, inspiration).
    3. Making the Squash Book: Following the DIY Tutorial Instructions, with step by step photos, creation of these books should take 45 minutes to an hour.   It is important to have made a sample, so that you will be able to help your women be successful!  Be sure to generate positive conversation around the table, noting how each one looks so wonderful!
  • Devotional:

“Glory Stories”

Luke 24: 1-2 is a “pause” in scripture where all of the Old and New Testaments’ come into focus, and we are left breathless…”It is absolutely, without a doubt TRUE”, we whisper.  From the very beginning, God knew just how far we would fall and He set his rescue plan into motion. The prophets foretold it, history marks the date of Christ’s coming, of his ministry and death; and in what seems too horrific to imagine, the obedient, innocent Son, is put to death. “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” he cries (Luke 23:46). And the sky goes black, and the thunder roars…the curtain of the Temple is torn in two. It’s over.

These women saw the whole gruesome scene play out.  There is no record of their hiding themselves away as did most of the disciples. Joseph of Arimathea is granted permission to take Jesus’ body, placing it in his tomb, and scripture tells us that the women went with him. They are eye-witnesses, seeing firsthand the One they love now laid to rest.

Early on the morning after the Sabbath is over, they come to the tomb. They, with tear stained faces go to wrap him and gently prepare his broken body with spices as was their custom. These are women who had seen Jesus’ in his day to day ministry as he’d loved, taught, healed… and Oh! How this Son of Man reached out the poor, to the untouchable, the unclean, and treated women in a way that went against all cultural norms!

“Is the Father like the Son? Could it be so?” they might wonder.” The Father smiles.

The risen Christ shows himself first to women.  This gender, whose testimony would not stand up in court and whose voices were rarely heard. Even the disciples thought their words to be nonsense. (vs 11). Yet to the marginalized, He comes.

“And the stone was rolled away” (vs.2).  All of history converges on this moment where yesterday and tomorrow meet. “They remembered his words (vs 8).  In an instant it all came flooding back! Christ’s teachings, his love, the prophecies, and God’s promise that forgiveness is now given to all people in all generations as they reach out to him in faith, believing.  It’s true! God is with us!  Immanuel.

The finest news in all creation is that there is hope and that it is ours to live and to share as a personal “glory story”. I would ask each of you today; “If someone were to look through the pockets of your life, what stories might they find? And would they find Jesus?” I challenge you, as loved women of God, to tell His story over and over; carrying on the legacy of the women who walked through darkest pain and sorrow, only to see him face to face.