I love to watch my four kids walk down our driveway, leashes in hand, dogs in tow, dragging sticks, or holding rocks. It is a sight that melts my heart just a little. They look like a team embarking on a great adventure armed with weapons and animals, albeit a bit disheveled, but still sweet!
Getting this process started can be a bit annoying, honestly, how many times do I have to remind you “we” (you) walk the dogs every day after lunch? But, once we get past the, “right now?” or the “ahhh, mom” – they merrily go walking down the driveway all together. They choose, only 2 are expected to go, but the other two rarely miss out – they could hardly stand it if they did miss out!
They love to go walking down our road – they usually take about 45 minutes to go about 3/4 of a mile. Kids speed. Investigating time factored in. And lots of fun. Sometimes I feel guilty for their chores, not sure why – I mean we all have chores. No matter our age. Why not start them early understanding that and taking some responsibility for the world around them?
Besides, as I watched them take off today, I can just imagine in 5, 10 or more years, they will be sitting around “remembering” walking those dogs down Lovers Lane and all the fun adventures they had, and great stuff they found. This is what life is really about. Making memories. Building relationships. These walks let the kids be kids, J is in charge, closely advised by P (second in command), then you have E – the one they have to keep their eyes on, and following (or sometimes leading) is A – joyfully picking blackberries where she can find them, or flowers if they are there.
So, while they think they are doing chores, they are really living a full life. They are grabbing the day, enjoying the moments, and helping mom by exercising those sweet dogs.
How often do we look at chores as CHORES, instead of an opportunity to live a full life? How often do I delight in working over a hot oven to prepare a great meal? Not usually very often until I sit down and take a bite. I need to remember though, while cooking, I can choose the delight in the process and not just live for the end.
God gives us so many opportunities to live a life that glorifies him: sharing his word, encouraging another, teaching someone. Too often we take on the task a little begrudgingly though, and we can miss it. We can miss the simple joy of being His hands in this world. We can miss the little smiles when we reach out to encourage and not realize what it all just meant.
So I hope to learn from my kids, a repeating pattern around here. I hope to learn to not begrudge what is asked of me, but to enjoy it, I may just find hidden blessings in it that one day I will reflect back on and enjoy the memories!