Being There

(An updating of a previous post.)

If I was once enthusiastic about the smells associated with grass freshly cut by my efforts, I’m over it. My family formerly lived in a rental property with extensive land. My “half” took about 3 hours to mow on my landlord’s John Deere. The bouncing, spine-jerking mission was always at the bottom of my list, yet duty compelled me to get on the horse.

My girls were excited about the tractor. I took them with me on rides periodically, and the times were filled with mysteriously uncontrollable giggling while I contemplated an extensive fire to the land. In my “mature” adult state, many times I miss the fresh perspective and enjoyment of a child. This story was one such day.

Anna (5) and Ella (nearly 3) were taking turns riding with daddy while mommy wrestled with Abby (10 months) who has developed an infestation of ants in her pants. On one leg of the mission, Anna sat on my left knee quietly taking in the scenery as we were jostled about. Suddenly, she lifted her arm and began waving. Mommy and the others had gone in to prepare for dinner, so I assumed Anna was in “imagine land.” I watched as she did the princess wave, placing her hands neatly in her lap during each turn, and making sure she waved on both sides of the tractor.

“Are you pretending you’re in a parade?” I inquired.

“No,” she replied.

“Who are you waving at?” I asked.

“No one,” she said simply.

“Well, what are you pretending?” I persisted.

“Nothing,” she said with slight frustration.

I relented from my questioning, and we continued on our journey. Instead of dreaming of a drought, I began trying to figure out what she was doing. We’ve always encouraged imagination, and I would have gladly joined her in it as we had done many times before. Yet, Anna was insistent that she was not pretending a thing. What then was the cause of her waving?

It was from her heart. Anna’s heart was so full that she simply felt like a star – like a princess. On a John Deere? Yes, but more specifically, on a John Deere with her daddy. I didn’t have to play games. We didn’t even have to talk. Simply being with her daddy brought peace, wonder and deep joy to my little girl’s heart.

As parents, we sadly have become too mature for our own good. We miss the wonder. We forget that the air doesn’t need to be filled with noise. Our days don’t have to be planned down to the last minute. Actually, we’ve become so busy that our children don’t get to experience the joy of simply being with us.

The same could be said of our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Instead, He is the one who is there waiting for us to experience His goodness and the pleasure He takes in being with us. As children, we’re the ones who are too busy; we’re the ones who have lost that sense of wonder. If only we were to humble ourselves as little children – like Anna – who simply enjoyed being with her daddy.

My loathing of lawn management was turned into rejoicing as I experienced something I should have been looking for all along. It’s caused me to reconsider all of the menial tasks of my day and how I can accomplish them along with my children. Sure it takes more time and energy, but my girls are worth it, and nothing says love more than daddy simply being there.

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  1. […] on a wood floor next to my girls’ beds telling stories. The smell of fresh-cut grass while holding my little girl. Praying for guidance to handle discipline correctly. Celebrating one of the most beautiful days […]



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