One of the first things I do when the kids get home is ask them what was their high for the day and their low. You know, what was the best thing and the worst thing. I get the usual, tests were the lows, recess and athletics the highs. And I try to point out the healthy tension between the two. Can we really have one without the other? Last year, at Orange 2011, I went to a break out session by Mark Matlock. He posed a “high and low” of sorts as well. He asked, “when God looks at your family, does He grin or does He grimace?” As families, we have mountain top moments and valley moments. You know what I am talking about. Our family’s top of the mountain moments are easy to see and fun to talk about with friends. But what about our valley moments? Are we as eager to share them? Do we work to cover those up and make them seem prettier than they are? Our families are writing a story for the world to see. I believe God grins when we are a reflection of Him during our all of our moments. But have we taken time to think about the story that our family is writing? There is so much more to our stories than, how was your day, and what did you do at school. We are part of a much bigger story and we need to be sharing that big story with our kids. Matlocks’s book Real World Parents does a great job in giving us ideas on how to be a better parent in the real world. He gives insight on how to help our family’s better reflect the heart of God.

We all hope that He is grinning for sure. But we can do more than hope. We can map out our family’s story celebrating the grins and acknowledging the grimaces-and be proactive in writing a better story. We can choose to spend our days glorifying God in big ways and little ways. Putting others first, doing an extra chore or two, leaving a note in a lunch, encouraging one another, serving together, praying together. As parents, it is important for us to recognize our role in our kid’s story.

Take Away
Here is an activity that will fun to complete as a family.

• A piece of white poster board or large piece of white paper
• Colored markers, crayons, or pencils
• Masking tape

What To Do:
1. Discuss the idea of grins and grimaces with your family. Talk to your kids about times where you think God has grinned or grimaced in your day. Don’t be afraid to you use your personal story as an example. Your kids will love your authenticity and will be more likely to share their examples.

2. Divide the poster board or large piece of white paper in half. On one half write the word “grimace” in large letters and on the other half, write the word “grimace” in large letters.

3. Take turns and share examples of each writing them on the board or paper. Let your kids draw if that is easier for them.

4. After you are finished writing or drawing, focus on the grimace side of the paper. Ask your kids how they would turn those situations around so they could be on the grin column.

5. Pray and ask God to help your family increase the grins!

Your kids will love sharing in this activity with you! They are your biggest fans and they will go so much out of the time you will spend together. Sometimes their world and your world seem far apart. Sharing this time together will help make the two seem a little closer.

After you complete this activity with your family, would you stop back by and share how it went? Post a pic of your creation-you never know who you may encourage!

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