11/16/07

Making Butter with a Thankful Heart

I tried to complicate my Balcony Girls lesson this week by looking for the perfect lesson. I finally came up with having my girls make their own butter, and we’d spread it over warm rolls. At first it seemed like a “cooking lesson,” without a spiritual application. But then I thought it through a little further.

What is thankfulness? It has little to do with what we own or what we look like. It guards us from greed and selfishness. And it can actually soften our hearts when we practice it.

Thankfulness means having a heart of appreciation. And it doesn’t happen overnight. Here’s the secret that I shared with the girls about thankfulness: it takes time.

Shake, shake, shake. I told the girls that we were making butter, as they each had their own baby food jar filled with whipping cream. Shake, shake, shake. We talked about how building relationships with girls takes time. It takes effort. It takes specific care to get it just right. And, you need to preserve it so it doesn’t go bad.

Shake, shake, shake. We all wondered if our little project was going to work?* Shake, shake, shake. Then our real lesson began. We took the time to go around the room (as we continued to shake, shake, shake!) and give thanks for a person. Shake, shake, shake. Then we all gave thanks for a thing, then back to a person, then back to a thing.

For ten minutes we shook our butter and we gave thanks to God. We started feeling lighter, our minds went to things of importance, we began to see problems in a different way, and we even began to forget what was bothering us!

What was the end result? Our butter was made - perfect, creamy and smooth, soft yellow in color. We then added a pinch of salt to each baby food jar full and each girl stirred her butter.

Another Balcony Girls’ lesson was learned today: being thankful should be something we strive for every day, not just during mealtime or on Thanksgiving Day.

Being thankful not only gets our minds off of ourselves, but it brings us closer to God and changes our perspective when we are bothered by people and things. It knits us closer together as friends (great lesson for the girls!) and it even tastes good on hot rolls!

We learned that being thankful should be a way of life.

We also divided up into two groups and went on a Scavenger Hunt as each group had to collect five items of food: a can of fruit, soup, vegetable, box of cake mix, and a box of cereal!

The goal for each team was to explain who there were (a Balcony Girl), collect the items, and then run back to the house. I think my husband and I had just as much fun as we each escorted a team (running through our neighborhood)!

We didn’t get a chance to deliver the food today, but one little girl said: “I really want to see the look on their faces when we bring them the food!”

Leave it to a child to think such a beautiful thought. And I'll make sure the food gets delivered this next week - just in time for Thanksgiving.

*(OOPS! I originally filled the jars with ½ and ½ - we couldn’t figure out why it was taking so long to make our butter. We rinsed out the jars and re-filled with whipping cream, and then our experiment worked within minutes. I'll blame it on my mid 40-year-old eyes that didn't read the label right! LOL)

16 comments:

chocolate girl said...

yes! gratitude is a way of life...what a beautiful lesson to teach our children. i am doing just this myself.

homemade buttah! oy!

Dawn said...

What a clever way to teach such a valuable lesson.

ValleyGirl said...

You never cease to amaze me! I SO need to develop your sense of 'sight' when it comes to seeing parallels between everyday life and spiritual truths. You certainly have a gift and are using it in such a beautiful, giving way.

HappyGoMommy! said...

LOVE your ideas!! :) I've said it before...when's your book coming out?!?! :)

linda t said...

Ya Sandy! When is your book coming?
I am so serious! You have to make this available to EVERYONE! And I will be so proud to say "I knew you when" you put this on your blog!

Tarrah said...

What a beautiful lesson! And I'm with Linda, when is the book coming :) I love you blog and read it everyday. You are such an encouragment!

My daughter LOVES butter, I think I'll have to give this a try with her :)

Elizabeth said...

You are full of good ideas, Sandy! I'm going to have to try this with my girls!

Org Junkie said...

Your creativity astounds me! Excellent lesson and I loved the idea of the scavenger hunt to collect food to give away. Another great lesson!

Nunnie's Attic said...

Your ideas continue to amaze me. Butter, now who would have thought of that? You have a great program with BG. Keep it up!

Love,
Julie

see you there! said...

I just wait for every chapter in the story of the Balcony Girls.

There's some lesson in there too about having good thoughts (thankful) while going about our quotidian tasks (shaking). I can't quite put my finger on it. Maybe you get what I mean tho.

Darla

Sandra said...

What an incredible lesson. You have such a gift for leading these girls. I wish I lived up there so I could know you.(plus you live in my most favorite place on earth, the only place I truly ever felt "home") Your groups of girls is just what my daughter needs.
Blessings to you!

Sincerely Anna said...

Like everyone else said, your ideas are so creative and making butter is a great object lesson for the spiritual values you mentioned. I want to use this someday with our junior high girls at our church!

Nadine said...

I know I've said this before, but what a great way to teach these young girls lessons they will not soon forget. Fabulous.

A Woman Who is: said...

I love the Balcony Girls!!!
What great fun and blessings.

momrn2 said...

Oh, you have NO idea how much I needed this encouragement and reminder today! THANKS!!! :-)

La Tea Dah said...

Sandy, the butter looks like so much fun! I used to enjoy doing this so much as a child! Do you have the tin can recipe for making ice cream? If not, let me know and I'll send it to you. I think your 'girls' would enjoy it as well.

:) LaTeaDah