You know the saying, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade”? It’s not bad advice. Most of the time, there’s a bright side to a situation. But sometimes, our kids are presented with a situation where there is no lemonade to be made. There will be moments, hopefully few, when their world shifts on its axis, when life alters in a way where there really is no bright side — the death of a friend, a serious illness, a rejection of some kind.
Those will be the moments when you gather your child in your arms, and you’ll both cry. Those will be the moments when you wish you could trade places with your child and take the pain away. Those will be the moments when a trite platitude does nothing to ease the pain. Those will be the moments when your kids will need to feel God’s presence the most.
Kids are tangible thinkers. They may know in their heads and their hearts that God is there and that He has a plan, but in those earth-shaking, world-shattering moments, remembering that God is there and that He has a plan isn’t easy. Relying on a God you can’t see and you can’t touch takes more faith than sometimes our kids can muster.
That’s why it’s so important for us to give them something tangible to hold onto. If your child encounters one of those moments where a platitude and a spoken scripture aren’t enough, help them build an altar to help them remember that God is faithful. I’m not talking about a pile of rocks in their room, but I am talking about creating a tangible item that they can look at and remember that God has a plan for their lives.
An altar can be just about anything as long as it has meaning for your child. It can be something you hang on the wall, a piece of jewelry, a figurine, even a stuffed animal. You can make your altar with a canvas and paint or a sewing machine. You can buy it at the store. Let your child choose their altar so it has meaning for them. Choose something that includes a verse that’s pertinent to the situation. Talk with your child about choosing something that reminds them of God’s presence and that God has a plan even if we don’t understand what it is.
Place your child’s altar somewhere where he can see it or pick it up often. We did this recently with my younger daughter, and she chose a small cross she could hold in her hands. It was important to her that it be an item she could carry. She didn’t want something to hang on the wall. Let your child choose what speaks to her the most.
Sometimes life throws our kids a curve, some situations have no easy answers. In those situations we have to find a tangible way to help our kids remember that God has a plan for them even though we can’t see it at the moment.
Linking up today with Time-Warp Wife.