Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Froggy Lessons Learned

Well our big plague day is coming to an end.

The children are gathering all the frogs to be saved and stored until the next time we do this year of our curriculum.

It was a good day and now it's time to reflect on the lessons learned.

On the practical side, know that paper frogs, when being tossed around at 1:30 am, are quite noisy. It's very good if you--

a) turn on your central air fan (if you have one) to create background noise

b) have children that are deep sleepers

c) have a very detail-oriented and patient person helping you (The Captain for me) who will place many frogs one at a time very purposefully. From booby-trapped doors to the Dixie cup container... it makes a nice impact.

Other than that, I would just learn from my error and perhaps straighten out the house a little before you scatter the frogs (especially if you're planning on photographing the event and plastering pictures all over the internet--
sheepish grin here).

Now for those of you new to Mishmash, please know that we don't go all out for every activity and project.

We simplify when we can and omit when we have to.

We pray, plan and choose carefully the projects we invest significant time or resources to. Usually.

We chose this plague for several reasons.

One was the easy execution.

We brought a frog drawing (provided in our Teacher's Manual) that we tiled onto a single sheet of paper, so there were 10 frogs on the sheet, to Kinkos.

We photocopied that master sheet on to an entire ream (500 sheets) of bright green paper and had them use their hydraulic cutter (which can cut through a ream at a time) to make the five cuts needed to make individual frogs. Twenty minutes and some cold hard cash later, voila, 5,000 frogs.

Ease of execution aside, there are many good lessons to be learned from this portion of history that are applicable to our lives.

Here are a few...

(If you're unfamiliar with this story it can be found in the Book of Exodus Chapter 8: 1-15)

The plagues expose the falsity of Egypt's gods (one of which was the frog god Heket) and demonstrate the uselessness and folly of sin, which the frogs represent.

Each of those seemingly insignificant frogs (individually) are just like our little sins that alone seem harmless but when multiplied overwhelm and destroy.

The fact that the frogs were everywhere taught us sin can't be "contained." It spreads out of control very quickly and will show up in the most intimate (bedroom) or inconvenient (bread bowl) of places.

Also, knowing that we will be finding frogs for years to come (from what we've heard from those that have done this too) speaks to us that the consequences of sin have long-term affects.

Forgiveness is a once-and-for-all thing as far as God is concerned.

He doesn't forgive us in degrees. The blood of Jesus covers all sin--past, present or future.

But the consequences for our sin, well, that's another matter.

Once accepting Jesus as your (very personal) and my Lord and Savior, He goes to work getting the "frogs" out of our lives.

No matter how "good" we look at any given moment it's good to know that sooner or later the Lord, in that loving way as only He can, will cause hidden "frogs" to surface and whisper, "It's time to hand Me this one."

He collects all of our "frogs" or tendencies toward sin and replaces them with His character.

Remember, sin isn't bad because God forbids it. He forbids it because it's bad and will mess up your life.

It's easier to see from the outside.

Do you know anyone whose life is simply a mess? You can see plain as day that they need to ___________ (fill in the blank). End that relationship, stop doing the drugs, etc...

Why if they are a child of God, they are just as forgiven as me and you, they just got lots of frogs is all. Problem is, they are a bit like Pharaoh and don't want the frogs to go away just yet.

Maybe they think one of those frogs will turn into a Prince. I don't know.

When asked by Moses when he would like the frogs to go bye-bye, Pharaoh says the word we've all said at one time or another--"Tomorrow."

"I can hold out for one more day. Maybe tomorrow my frogs will change."

The thing about it is, it's much easier to see and smell someone else's frogs than it is to see and smell our own.

No worries, God knows where they hide and shows them to you nice and slow so you're not overwhelmed. Just get into the habit of asking Him to show you any "frogs" that need dealing with and be quick to hand them over to Him. Only He knows how to properly dispose of a frog.

If you are one of those types that didn't have 5,000 like I did perhaps you think you are frog-free.



Do you hear that?

Ribbit, ribbit, croak.

If you think you don't have any then you won't hand them over. If you don't hand them over you'll have squished frog guts everywhere!!

Another lesson we learned is the stench from all those frogs which would have been stepped on and squished etc.. created a stench that it "made the land foul."

The kids grasped, hopefully, to a greater degree that rebellion leaves behind a stench and pollutes the whole land.

In other words, what we do affects everyone around us.

What to do?

Well the plagues came in three groups of three until the last one. The first two with warnings and the third one without warning.

It served as a reminder that God gives warnings and they should be heeded.

Oh let's see, what else...

The frog sounds ALL DAY just drove home that Satan makes noise to keep us from hearing God's still small voice.

It was so nice to finally turn off the frogs.

And finally, the other lesson is... if you try to declare your own bedroom as the land of Goshen hoping to make it frog free... your smartypants children will point out v.22 of chapter 8 and the fact that God didn't make a division between the two lands until then.

Bottom line: your bedroom will become frog city :)

Well, I guess that's all for today. My brains are a little fried and I want to go night-night.

Big thanks to all of you who were excited along with us.

It made it lots and lots of fun.

But now, the party is definitely over!



Anonymous said...

Haha-hehe... that's awesome Mom.
I love the picture with frogs and sin- it REALLY effects everything, and it stinks! Isn't it awesome that God proves that each one of the Egyptian gods are false? I love it!

Be careful when you crawl into bed tonight! (heheheh!)

Ruth A Stiles said...

I love how your wrote sin cannot be true this is and what a great example....and also one little sin multiplies into many more if we don't take caution and be careful with our lives!
Thanks for the reminder and I LOVED the pictures of frogs all over the place!

Kysha said...

I love love love the frogs! I know that will be a lesson remembered. :)

Sarah Sanders said...

What an amazing lesson! I love how you wrote that God "will cause hidden "frogs" to surface and whisper, "It's time to hand Me this one." I need to write that concept down and paste it on my forehead to help me remember to hand all my "frogs" over to Him. And boy, does it seem like certain "frogs" keep surfacing in my life - Hmmm...maybe God keeps bringing them to me because I've not yet fully learned my lesson yet.
Lainie, thanks for such a great post. You are my iron that sharpens.

IAMmom said...

I meet with 2 girlfriends to talk about a few books we are reading and tonight we were discussing the gentleness of God. He is even gentle with our frogs he knows how attached we have become to those stinky little boogers and how we would panic at them all being removed at we hide them! HA! I love how gentle He is to me. Thanks for posting, now I even have my husband on board...we ARE going to make 5,000 frogs when the time comes. I might make them now just to have them ready!

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