Accomplishing Family Goals One Brush Stroke at a Time
A new year often brings with it fresh planners, journals, and long lists of goals. Maybe your list includes a few goals for your family, such as more diligent scripture study, prayer, service, or weekly family nights. The following lesson invites the whole family to consider paring down the lengthy lists, and instead focusing on a different aspect of accomplishment—CONSISTENCY. We’ve included some simple instructions and two printable options to go along with this lesson.
WHAT YOU'LL NEED
Art paper, water colors (or paint of choice), brushes, and the included printable (download at the end of this post).
INTRODUCTION + ACTIVITY
On a computer or phone search “wheat field paintings,” and show your family members some different examples. Explain that you’re going to tell a little story about a painting like these, but first you’d like everyone to practice painting their own wheat field.
Once everyone has completed their masterpiece tell the following story by David A. Bednar:
“In my office is a beautiful painting of a wheat field. The painting is a vast collection of individual brushstrokes—none of which in isolation is very interesting or impressive. In fact, if you stand close to the canvas, all you can see is a mass of seemingly unrelated and unattractive streaks of yellow and gold and brown paint. However, as you gradually move away from the canvas, all of the individual brushstrokes combine together and produce a magnificent landscape of a wheat field. Many ordinary, individual brushstrokes work together to create a captivating and beautiful painting.”
(Simplify the story for younger children and consider asking what their paintings might have looked like if they stopped after one brushstroke or one line. It takes many lines, brushstrokes, colors, and details to create a pretty painting. It takes time and work.)
Bednar goes on to say, “Each family prayer, each episode of family scripture study, and each family home evening is a brushstroke on the canvas of our souls. No one event may appear to be very impressive or memorable. But just as the yellow and gold and brown strokes of paint complement each other and produce an impressive masterpiece, so our consistency in doing seemingly small things can lead to significant spiritual results. 'Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.' (D&C 64:33). Consistency is a key principle as we lay the foundation of a great work in our individual lives and as we become more diligent and concerned in our own homes.” (More Diligent and Concerned at Home)
Reiterate the statement, “Many ordinary, individual brushstrokes work together to create a captivating and beautiful painting.” Consider as a family one goal you’d like to work on together. You may want to write it at the top of one of our printables and hang it somewhere as a reminder. Talk about how the wheat paintings remind us that every little effort adds up. Even though some scripture sessions, or family lessons, or family dinners may not seem that impressive or important on their own, by doing them CONSISTENTLY—making a bigger effort never to miss—we are “laying the foundation of a great work.”
Consider what you know to be one of those small and simple things and making it a priority this year for your family. Although each effort may seem small, and the results slow and steady, they will come, and they will be worthwhile. We hope this lesson helps you in the process!