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When life is peaceful and joyful it’s so easy for your child to see how God is at work all around them. But your child’s life isn’t all fun and games. When they experience difficulty, how can you help them understand that God is with us in all circumstances and He can make beautiful things out of messy situations?

For this week’s Camp Staycation Family Impact Activity, we want to help you teach your daughter (and son!) how to make beauty out of a mess. Be sure to download the full PDF for all of the instructions and a conversation guide about today’s activity.

SETTING:

This could get a little messy. It might be best to take it outside!

GETTING YOUR HEART READY:

All of the mess, chaos, and discomfort we experience is temporary, and God is using it to make us into objects fit for his purpose. When we embrace that truth we can share it with our children. And they can begin to live in that truth as well!

But first, we’ve got to believe it ourselves. To help us, let’s think about Paul– the greatest evangelist of the New Testament. During his time spreading the good news of Jesus Christ through the entire civilized world, Paul found himself in many tough situations. He was wrongly accused, placed under house arrest, imprisoned, and ultimately killed. It really doesn’t get much messier than that.

Pause here to open your Bible and read Acts 27:17-30

Paul believed, as he wrote in his letter to the Romans, that all things work together for good when we are called according to God’s purposes. He knew that his suffering was temporary and that through it God was with him making him more like Jesus! He surrendered himself to God and the molding of the Holy Spirit and became a witness to the entire world through his difficulties. His acceptance of hardships allowed God to deliver him through those seemingly hopeless circumstances while he continued to boldly preach the Gospel. As a result, his story produced a legacy that encouraged Christians throughout history to walk through difficult times in faith. How beautiful his messy life looks to us now as we seek wisdom for our own trials and tribulations. week 1: Staycation CAMP This year you can experience the camp high with your children, providing long term family impact. Reserve your campsite for the main event on July 24th. Being imprisoned is a concept that we should all be somewhat able to relate to. We may not be physically imprisoned as Paul was, but our circumstances may have us feeling arrested by fear, worry, or guilt. We may be imprisoned by regret, doubt, or that feeling of ‘not good enough.’ Chances are your child will feel that sometimes too. They need to know that this too shall pass, and that God is at work in their lives. If they are humble and submit to Him they’ll be made more like Jesus; stronger, more compassionate, more loving, and ready to share the Good News through their own experiences. This activity will help you demonstrate to your child that messy and chaotic events can lead to beauty and purpose!

FAMILY IMPACT ACTIVITY:

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to make your own camp t-shirts. Why? Because what’s camp without one!? We asked the boys and the girls from True Girl and Born to Be Brave and heard that Tie Dye is really the rage, so we have easy-to-follow plans for you to each make a shirt that’s unique. The best part? You’re going to be learning a really powerful object lesson in how God can make a mess beautiful. Watch the video of True Girl lead teacher Kasey and her little brother, Jacob, making their tie dye camp t-shirts together on either the True Girl or Born to Be Brave YouTube channels. You can also download a PDF with all the instructions and this conversation guide right here.

CONVERSATION QUESTIONS:

As you’re completing your tie-dye activity, share the thoughts about the Apostle Paul and how God uses messy things, times, and even people for beautiful purposes. At an appropriate time, pause to open your Bibles and have a conversation. Consider asking your child some questions to get them thinking. Do you think Paul was ever frightened, confused, or discouraged by his situation? If so, where do you think he found the courage and motivation to continue his mission? Where was his focus? How would you feel if you were treated as Paul was treated? Have you been? Can we use Paul as an example to adjust our view of our own circumstances? Read Romans 8:28 and Dueteronomy 31:8 Use the following questions to guide your conversation.

ASK YOUR CHILD:

What feels messy for you right now?

How can we be trusting God?

Ask yourself and share: When have you asked your child to do something difficult because you knew it was good for them? Talk them through that example.

When have you recognized God’s presence in a messy situation?

What good did He do in and through it?

As you talk, focus in on the words ALL and Never. Even on our best days, we are not capable of keeping promises that use language like that. But, God can and God will! He really will NEVER leave us and will use ALL things for good! As you get a little messy. Lean hard on that truth.

PRAY:

End your Camp Staycation family impact activity in prayer. Ask the Lord to help you through whatever messy situations you’re facing right now. Make a verbal commitment to choose to walk by faith through the difficulty, trusting that God is up to something good.

SAVE THE DATE:

Mark your calendar for July 24th for our Camp Staycation Online Family Campfire! Registration will open soon, and you won’t want to miss this great event for your entire family! Each week, we’ll release another Family Impact Activity over on the Camp Staycation homepage so your crew can make the most of this summer at home.

ENTER TO WIN:

Did we mention that we’re giving away an awesome prize pack to one family who shares about their Family Impact Activities? Our Ooey Gooey Ultimate Graham Prize is worth over $500, and you can enter to win each week by posting a photo on social media and tagging True Girl or Born to be Brave so we can see all the fun you’re having together! Here’s a sneak peek at some of the items included: