Family Night Suggestion – Appreciating our uniqueness

This past Monday, the pointer on our family night spinner rested on me for this week’s lesson.  We were having some neighborhood friends over, and I felt inspired to teach a lesson based on one of my favorite blog posts (“It is what you make of it“).

I think the lesson was received well (it’s tailored for little kids), and wanted to share it with you, in case you find yourself needing a quick lesson sometime.

First, after our (rather rambunctious) song and prayer, I asked if anybody knew how snow is created?  Fortunately for me, nobody did, and they were all interested (it had recently snowed).

I animatedly explained how moisture in the sky builds up in the clouds, around little dust particles, and this moisture continues to accumulate (gesturing now with my hands) until suddenly the droplet gets heavy enough that it falls “aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh….kerrrsplat!” to the earth.

But, if conditions are just right, and its cold enough, that little water droplet freezes instantly, and as it does, it flattens and “crystallizes”.  These flat crystals then float gently down to the earth as snowflakes.

I tried to illustrate and describe just how miniscule one of these snowflakes are, and then asked them to try and visualize how many snowflakes it would take to cover the whole table.  And then how many to cover the whole yard, then the whole city, etc.  Then how many it would take to blanket that same area in 3-4 inches.  By now, they’re getting a sense of scope, appreciating for the first time just how many snowflakes there must be.

Then I make the point “Did you know, that out of all those gazillion snowflakes, no two snowflakes are the same?”  Every snowflake is entirely different, unique from one another in very special ways.

Then, I changed the subject entirely (keeping children on their toes is crucial to a well-orchestrated family night, LOL).

At this point, I took out our rather gargantuan box of jumbled legos.  These are legos from numerous long-gone lego sets.  I had everybody gather around the table, and then I scooped out a handful of random legos, and dumped them in a small pile in front of each person (adults included!).

“Okay”, I instructed, “Now what you have to do, is build something out of your legos”.  I explained that they must use every single lego (no lego left unused).  They could build anything they want, but every lego had to be used.

At this point, they all set to work, everybody absorbed in their own little unique challenges due to the mixed variety of legos they’d received.  As I had hoped, at least one of my kids got to a tough point in their building, and asked me for help.  I’d then say (for emphasis) in an over-loud voice “I’m so glad you asked me for help, I’d love to help you”.  (I’ll come back to this later).

After everyone had finished, we took turns showing off our creation, and for each person who successfully used all their legos, I gave them a treat.

After putting the legos up on a shelf for display, I then got to the meat of the lesson…

“How many of you ended up having lego parts that you just didn’t like?”  A bunch of raised hands.  “I know exactly what you mean.  Didn’t you find that there were some legos parts you’d been given that you just wanted to stash away, to hide, so that you didn’t have to use them?  I mean, think of how easy it would have been if you could have given away those unwanted parts, or even better, traded them in for parts you wanted even more!

“But, in the end, when you look at that shelf full of lego structures, isn’t it those specific parts that make each structure so unique?  So curious, so entertaining?

“Our lives are just like those lego structures.  Each of us are children of our Heavenly Father, and just like the snowflakes we talked about earlier, he has made each of us to be totally different, completely unique.  In doing so, we were each given our own bag of ‘parts’.

“These are the parts with which we must build our lives.  Sometimes we find we have parts that we just don’t want.  Parts that we’d rather hide, or even better exchange!  But these are the parts that Heavenly Father has given us, and he has done so because he loves us, and he understands exactly who we are, and what kinds of challenges can make us stronger.

“The ‘problem parts’ that we have help keep us humble.  The help us focus and pay attention on our lives.  And what’s more, they encourage us to turn to Him for help.  Just like Lacey got to a point where she didn’t know what to do, and asked me for help, and as a loving father, I was anxious to do so.”

I then shared my testimony to them, as I do to you, that we are indeed children of our Father in Heaven, that he indeed loves us, and that all the parts he has given us, both the wanted and the not-so-wanted, are ours, and were given to us for a wise purpose in Him.  We should accept and embrace those parts, work to build our lives to be strong, beautiful, and unique, and help others recognize the value of their less-wanted parts.  As we do this, we will find our relationship with our Father growing stronger, as we turn to Him for help, we will find that our lives don’t appear less-desirable, but rather MORE-desirable, and the time will come when he will embrace us for the lives we’ve built out of the parts we’ve been given, and then we too, shall earn a great reward.

I hope you can find value in this lesson, whether you share it with your family or not, for I firmly believe it is true.

Rusty

5 replies
  1. Vickie
    Vickie says:

    The sum is equal to its parts…flaws and all, we are all challenged to find how to best use what we have been given. I love finding different ways to teach the lesson, and in many cases give me the child-tailored version any day! There is a child in each of us waiting to play. When it snows, I am the first outside with my tongue out…maybe it takes a flake to catch a flake, but…I’m sure you make your lessons fun. Thanks for sharing in a meaningful way, once again.

    Reply
  2. mobile sloth
    mobile sloth says:

    Wow, that`s neat! Thanks for posting it. I wish more people would post FHE lessons they do so we can learn from each other.

    Reply
  3. Steve
    Steve says:

    We have used a similar idea with LEGOs to role play stories from the scriptures with our boys. That effort turned into a book we published called Brick of Mormon Stories. There is a sample story on the website, http://www.brickofmormon.com, that shows how we combined the scenes with the scripture verses. It is fun to find ways to help children learn the scriptures/gospel by using something that is already familiar to them.

    Reply

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