Monday night is a special time of the week. It is FHE. I will be the first to admit that many Monday nights come together randomly and have little focus or planning. It is probably because they keep popping up each week. Before I know it, I realize it is Monday again and we need another lesson. But sometimes we get our ducks in a row and have a really good experience. (And sometimes we even bring the camera.)
The following are three Family Home Evenings that made the grade:
LET IT GO!
When we were back in the rental, we had a lesson on forgiveness. We spoke about how grudges can weigh us down and how forgiveness is a commandment for our own benefit. I won't lie - this lesson was mainly for the adults. I felt like I was harboring some animosity. I needed to release it and move on. So, I took the kids to the store and let each choose a balloon that we filled with helium. (Party stores will sell them individually.)
We brought them home and wrote on our balloons things that we had been holding onto or letting them get us down. The funny thing is that kids are so forgiving. They really didn't have much to put on their balloons, but they tried. Robyn came up with a few ideas.
I was teasing June because it looked like she was mad that someone kissed her. It also says The time Robyn really made me mad about something I don't remember anymore.
Turns out she was drawing how she would feel if her boyfriend kissed someone else. (No, she does not have a boyfriend, thank goodness. At least...she'd better not.)
Ivory wrote Someone thinks I'm to old for blankets and trying to put it in to the garbage and I'm running after him saying I'm not to old for blankets.
Daisy and Pearl...well, Daisy popped her balloon early on. They both scribbled a few things on their balloons. (Daisy shared with me.) We went outside and naturally Daisy and Pearl let go of theirs a little early.
There one goes.
Okay, now everyone get ready.
Beautiful. There they go.
All our worries and grievances floating away.
This is to check and see how good your eyes are. If you look closely, you can see all SIX balloons. Although, I only saw two of them (the first released) when I zoomed in on the picture in photoshop, so don't hurt yourself trying to look for them.
I will admit, this lesson was highly therapeutic for me. I had some things that I was holding on to. And that day...I let it go.
Kami and Doug did a lesson for us not too long ago. It was very emotional for some and a learning experience for all. They didn't tell us much. We drove into the canyon and then donned blindfolds.
Kami then led our whole group along.
I had been to that area before, but it certainly feels different when you can't see anything.
Kami then brought us to a standstill and told us what we were going to do. Each of us in turn would follow her silently and hold a rope. Our task was to hold tightly and follow the rope while avoiding possible distractions. Tyler was taken first. The rest of us stood quietly.
Kami came and took us away one at a time. I thought she would leave me to be last, but I was second to last and she left Robyn by herself. (This ended up being a more poignant experience for Robyn as she felt that she was very alone as the last person.)
Tyler finished the course and was able to help others to the final destination.
Some people needed to see, but they still held to the rope.
The distractions came in small strings that led away from the original rope. There were many of them, but they were easily distinguished from the true rope.
Finally we were all together at the end. No one got lost.
We were able to talk about our experience and what the rope meant. We talked about the scriptures and the iron rod and how important it is to hold on and not be distracted by sources leading away. We talked about how by listening to parents and the prophet we are able to continually feel the guiding rope and not be deceived by other impostor ideas.
One of my favorite parts was when I reached the end of the rope, I reached out and felt comforting warm hands take mine and lead me to safety. I imagine there are warm hands waiting for me again some day.
STEPS TO HEAVEN
Recently we had an excellent lesson in Sunday School, and then I found a corresponding lesson for children on lds.org. It talks about the important steps that lead us from this earth life back to heaven. There are only six. The first four are talked about in the fourth article of faith. We had the children recite that and then help us add the steps.
The last two are a little trickier but they were able to come up with Temple Ordinances and Enduring to the End. (If not in those exact words.) I finished laying our steps to heaven.
Then we had to each try out the steps.
We talked about where each of us are on the path. Of the children, only Robyn and June have taken the steps of Baptism and the Holy Ghost.
But Daisy and Pearl are on the path too.
Dad was a bit dramatic making his way along the path.
I guess we make a good match.
It was good to re-emphasize the straight and narrow path to heaven and the gate by which we enter. I also talked to the kids about how once you enter the gate, each week you get to pass under an archway resembling the gate and remember and recommit all over again to doing the right thing. This is why we take the sacrament and go to church. I'm hoping some good things connected in their heads.
And Dad was kind enough to pull out a makeshift iron rod for us. I know that I would be over the moon to spend eternity with all these characters.
I hope you enjoyed our FHE showcase, and if you are looking for a new idea, maybe one of these will help.