Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Acceptance

I had to think about this virtue for a couple of weeks before starting to plan out the meeting.  For some reason, I was trying to make it a whole lot more difficult than it needed to be. If you start looking for ideas online, you will find lots of lessons on acceptance of others and perhaps their lifestyles.  I realized that it is always best to keep it simple.  Since everyone appreciates being able to check off some of the activities, I decided to just work on them.

The girls and I tried to figure out the definition of acceptance.  It's always hard to give a definition!  Got lots of examples of what they had to accept.  Then we moved on to #5.  Using a children's Bible, I read the story of the Agony in the Garden.  I got the moms involved and asked them to share something that they had to accept and perhaps how they dealt with it.  It was great for the girls to have their moms sharing. 

We also worked on #4.  It was easy for them to think of the things they had to accept this week.  Well it was really easy to for them to think of all the hard things that they had to accept.  Our "Hard" list was much longer than the "Easy" list. 

While I was preparing for this virtue, I really struggled on how St. Josephine Bakhita was the right saint for this virtue.  How could a person who had been a slave teach us about acceptance?  I read the blurb about St. Josephine from the Member's Guide.  The connection was made with this statement, "Though slow of movement—perhaps on account of the torture she had suffered as a teenager—she did every job lovingly, with a contagious joy. To those who had more visible roles, she would say, 'You go and teach. I will go to the chapel and pray that you may do it well.'" from From Slave to Saint The Story of St. Josephine Bakhita.  She accepted whatever job was given to her and she did it joyfully.  

The girls were really fascinated by St. Josephine's story.  I think more so than any other saint thus far.  They asked a lot of questions about her being kidnapped and also about the scars she had on her body and about her family.  I was a little concerned that I had frightened them so I reassured them with this statement taken from the above article, “If I were to meet those who kidnapped me, and even those who tortured me,” she wrote, “I would kneel and kiss their hands. For if these things had not happened, I would not have been a Christian and a religious today.”  It was important for them to see that she was "okay" even after going through such a horrible ordeal. 

We switched gears then to take about Sudan.  I learned more than I ever knew about the country preparing for this lesson.  A good resource to share is http://www.our-africa.org/sudan/welcome-to-sudan.  Lots of videos, maps and facts.  I took my ipad to the meeting so that we could watch one of the videos and see the maps and pictures.  I also passed out their pages for their passports.

I took our craft from activity #5.  String art wass an inexpensive craft costing less than $5.  My husband cut some of his scrap wood for me.  The boards measure 8 x 6.  I painted them and used a cross that I printed out on paper as my template to pound in the nails.  I used crocheting thread as the string.

We all have crosses to bear and it may be one that we just need to accept.  We need to remember the one that Jesus bore for us.  I wish I could have gotten a picture of all of the different crosses the girls made.  None of them were exactly the same just as the crosses we must carry are all different.  The heart in the middle is to remind us that God is always there for us. 



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