Updated: Jan 30, 2019
I love getting to teach art to these two treasures. Their homeschool co-op art assignment was a close up of an eye. Ella choose a cat eye. Fisher choose a cheetah eye. We didn't have a lot of time for this project. So I don't have a lot of great step by step photos. But, it's easy to explain.
I try to use creativity to point back to God's love. During this project I was trying to keep them engaged since their attention span is short and we didn't have much time that day. But later I shared with them that the Bible says we are the apple of God's eye. This means we are the center of His focus and affection. He loves to watch us. We make His eyes sparkle with delight!
This project was also a great opportunity to discuss the character quality of being observant, curious and attentive. Kittens and cats are curious. Chettahs have to be observant to catch their food and to be on the lookout for predators. Then each time these two treasures look at their artwork they have a lesson and truth God can bring back to mind.
We looked for eye photos online they each liked. I explained that the iris is always a circle but then pointed out on each photos how the skin of the animal cuts off a bit of the top and bottom of the iris. You can also go into more depth about irises and how they open wider or close based on the light.
I wanted to add a fun twist. So, I decided to try a new technique using cardboard, hot glue, glue, extra strength foil and acrylic paint.
Working with supplies on hand I used some cardboard I had tucked aside from cut up boxes. I let them trace bowls for the eyes because they both got frustrated trying to draw the circle. And for Fisher's cheetah's iris we used a water bottle lid. I helped him position the water bottle lid, because he got frustrated again.
Though as an art teacher I was careful to never draw for the student, I have learned when these two start to feel insecure in the drawing phase and I see signs of them shutting down it is more beneficial to step in and help a little. When kids are younger it is a fine line between helping them push past their insecurities and helping a little.
Once the drawing was done, I traced their drawings with hot glue. After it dried, which doesn't take long, I covered the cardboard with a thick layer of glue. After they spread the glue out evenly, we used extra strength aluminum foil (cut about an inch or two larger than their cardboard) and gently pushed down on the aluminum foil starting from the inside of the pupil then outward to the edge of the cardboard. Once the aluminum was smoothed out we wrapped the extra foil around onto the back of the cardboard and glued it down.
Then the painting part! Vwaala! I fun, finished project the kids were proud of!
Always remember, God's eyes are on you! Whether a teen, kiddo or parent that feels like your not measuring up to all that you hope to be. He watches you with love. He sees past the bad days, irritable moments or areas you fail! God's love is unconditional and not based on your performance or if you finish all that was on your list when you close your eyes at night. He doesn't sleep, but sings over you even though you cannot hear Him.
"Keep me as the apple of the eye; Hide me in the shadow of Your wings."
2 Chronicles 16:9
"For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him."
"I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you."
"Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, On those who hope for His lovingkindness."
1 Samuel 16:7
"Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."
Isn't it great news. The Lord doesn't see the outward appearance of our lives. He looks at our heart. He looks for heart that are longing for Him and those whose hearts are turned towards Him. He isn't looking for a perfectly clean house, a put together outer appearance or straight A's. God looks for those who are looking to Him for strength and longing to receive the love He longs to pour out!
Last night I yelled at my sweet treasure, Fisher, who seems to delight every night in doing everything possible to not get in bed! I, unfortunately am too quick to snap at those I love. But God is slow to anger and rich in love! His eyes focused on the moment I pulled away from the conflict and found a place to allow Him to calm my heart and bring His peace. And His heart delighted in the genuine "I'm sorry" that followed. His eyes were focused on my heart that longed for Him.... not on my sin!
Savor these truths! You are the apple of His eye.... and God delights deeply in you!