After breakfast, all the kids grab their shoes and coats for “Audrey’s walk”. She’s our littlest girl and we give her the first hour of the day. We make sure she gets fresh air, a little stretch-of-the-legs, a few nursery rhymes and a few songs about Jesus.
Each step with Audrey is a baby step. I walk slowly by her side, holding her hand, remembering that these little, slow steps are valuable because she is valuable. I love these morning strolls.
Sometimes, the older kids grab bikes and scooters. They zip down the sidewalk and return again. Sometimes, they fall off their bikes (one little boy, in particular) and wait until Audrey and I – step by step – catch up to them and get them back on their feet.
We pass by our neighbor’s prolific rose bush. Even in these late months, the roses continue to bloom and thrive. We stop and admire it every day. I gather the children around and show them how the rose bush is different today: things have changed.
Look kids… today’s bloom was yesterday’s bud!
They ooh and aah.
We can see the dramatic change – the opening, the growing, the beauty – and they marvel with me. We’re happy for that little-bud-all-grown-up.
And look, kids… yesterday’s bloom has changed, too. It is shrinking, losing its vibrant color.
(“And yet,” my oldest daughter points out, “it is beautiful. And it still smells so good!”)
While I have their attention, I say, “People are like these blooms. We’re all at different stages in life. And we’re all changing from day to day.
Some of us are just starting out, just beginning.
Some of us are in our prime, the most beautiful we will ever be.
And, some of us are coming to the end of our lives here on earth.
The most important thing to remember is that no one knows which one they are.
My dear little children, how then should we live?”
With great love for our Maker and for one another!
We should bloom and enjoy it!
We should glorify God in every season! With every minute He gives us!
We should take time with people whose steps are slow.
We should go slowly and see the world anew.
And, (as Audrey hitches a ride on Vivienne’s scooter), we should invite others to zip along with us, figuring out a way to help them feel the wind in their hair and the joy of the ride.
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Let your work be shown to your servants, and your glorious power to their children. Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!
– selections from Psalm 90