As a homeschooling mom of five active kids, I know how important hands-on projects are for learning and embracing God’s world. But what about God’s word?
I have put together a series of fun devotions for youth that get the kids moving and exploring the word of God with hands-on activities they are sure to remember for years to come!
Turning Thistles Into Fun Devotions for Kids
Fun devotions for youth is meant to get kids actively involved in learning God’s word and important character-building lessons.
In this lesson, we are going to be learning about thistles and creating a delicious drink out of something we would normally consider painful and necessary to avoid.
Do you have painful experiences in your life that you would have rather avoided? Perhaps you are struggling with a bully right now or fighting with your best friend. Maybe you lost your grandparent or your favorite cousin moved to another state.
We can think of these experiences as thistles.
Do you know what a thistle is? At first glance it is a prickly weed growing in empty fields and deserted parking lots. It produces small flowers which help make up for its unimpressive base of small spikes of which no one want to be near.
The only thought you have probably given them is to avoid them. Am I right?
What if I told you that thistles are actually very useful flowers? Many insects eat their leaves and stems and several songbirds enjoy their seeds. Thistles provide valuable food for pollinators which in turn helps pollinate important food crops.
Thistles and Lemonade
So, let’s get to the hands-on section of our fun devotions for youth! Let’s make lemonade out of thistles! Be sure to wear gloves when cutting the leaves from the stem. Also, be sure to avoid contact with your eyes. These little weeds can cause some pain!
This recipe for thistle lemonade comes from Curry Girls Kitchen.
- 6-8 Thistle leaves (use gloves when gathering Thistle, clip leaves from stem, grab from the back (spine of the leaf) put leaves in blender)
- 1 lemon, cut skin off leaving a little zest on the lemon for more flavor
- 4 1/2 – 5 cups purified water
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup raw honey (depending on how sweet you like it)
- Whirl all ingredients in a blender.
- Using a strainer, strain the juice.
And just like that you’ve taken a painful, unpleasant weed and turned it into something worth drinking.
Now, if you do not have access to thistles or would simply rather not mess with the pricks (that would be me!) let’s talk about lemons for a minute.
They are sour, aren’t they? Some people like them and others not. We can talk about life experiences being sour also. That can be similar to painful pricks, especially for those of us who do not like the tartness.
Have you ever noticed that most recipes made with lemons call for a sweetner? That is because lemons by themselves can be a bit much to handle. Not unlike the unpleasant trials we experience in life.
Here is a good lemonade recipe without the thistles from Gimme Some Oven 🙂
- Freshly-squeezed lemon juice: Fresh lemon juice makes all the difference in a good glass of lemonade, so no shortcuts with bottled juice, please!
- Sweetener: I usually sweeten my lemonade with maple syrup, which I love because you can just stir it directly into the lemonade mix (no need to boil a simple syrup) and also because its flavor is delicious in lemonade. But honey is a delicious natural sweetener as well, which you can simmer with equal parts water and honey (in order to dissolve the honey) to make a honey simple syrup to add to your lemonade instead.
- Water: I recommend starting with cold water, especially if you plan on serving this lemonade right away, so that the lemonade will be nice and chilled.
- Squeeze the lemon juice. Grab a citrus juicer and strain, strain, strain those fresh lemons until you have 1 cup of juice.
- Add sweetener and water. Stir in the maple syrup (or honey simple syrup) and water until everything is combined.
- Make any adjustments. Then give the lemonade a taste, and see if you would like to add any extra lemonade (for tartness), maple syrup (for sweetness), or water (to lighten up the flavor).
- Serve over ice. Then serve the lemonade over ice, garnished with an extra lemon slice and/or fresh herb sprig if you’d like. Or you can store the lemonade in a sealed pitcher in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Powerful Youth Devotions: Thistles and Lemonade Continued
So how do we turn thistles and lemons and a sweet drink into powerful youth devotions? Add some Bible verses! The Bible has a lot to say about hard times.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18)
Thistle and lemons would be our sufferings, trials, periods of time when life just isn’t fair. We are supposed to be patient during these times, waiting on the Lord. We are growing, learning, and developing our faith. We don’t have a refreshing drink yet, we are still in the process.
Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer. (Romans 12:12)
We have hope that God will turn these painful experiences into good, like our lemonade! These experiences help us grow, teach us lessons, build our faith and cement our hope.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! (Psalm 34:8)
How do we taste that the Lord is good? By lemonade, of course! Taste the goodness of his creation and embrace the goodness He has in store for you.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)
God’s plans are for our good. He gives us the hope that we can make lemonade out of the painful experiences in life. He gives us the hope of a life in heaven where there is no pain or sadness.
Devotions for kids need only to be practical to make them powerful. Parents, share your own thistles in life. Show your kids the good that came from them and the life lessons you wouldn’t have learned otherwise.
If you have young learners, they will love this gratitude journal! Help them see the goodness of God in their everyday lives! Click the image below to check it out 🙂
More Fun Devotions for Kids
Let’s keep fun devotions for youth going through the week. Choose one or more of these activities.
- Do you have a journal or an empty notebook? Write about a painful experience.
- Draw a picture of a thistle or lemons.
- Look up these verses and write them in a notebook. Isaiah 41:10, Psalm 34:15, Psalm 27:5
- Make more lemonade. Switch up the recipe using a different sweetener or more lemons. You could also try limes instead of lemons.
Printable Daily Devotions for Youth
If you are looking for a printable daily devotions for youth, check out my study on God’s love compiled especially for kids! Click image below for this printable daily devotion.
Are you interested in more fun devotions for youth? Do your children learn best in a hands-on way? I’d love your feedback! What kind of topics do you feel are important to discuss during family devotions?
You might also enjoy these posts!