I love family walks after dinner. Until a lovey goes missing somewhere on the trail.
“Where is bear?” We reached our driveway after a healthy jaunt to the park when I realized my toddler’s favorite stuffed animal was no longer along for the ride.
“It’s not in the stroller?” My husband’s eyebrows shot up. I lifted our daughter’s fluffy princess dress-up skirt and searched beneath layers of tulle. No bear.
“Are you sure she had him when we left?”
“She did, Mom.” Our five-year-old unclipped her bike helmet and nodded. “She must’ve dropped him.”
“Bear! Oh no!” Our toddler gasped as the gravity of the situation sunk in. Bear is special. Bear is gone. Who will I clutch at bedtime tonight? This is not good.
Nope, not good—for any of us.
“Sweetheart, did you drop bear?” I crouched over the stroller seat and looked my two-year-old straight in the eyes. She stared back at me and blinked, silent yet guilty.
“I’ll go for a drive.” My husband heaved a sigh and grabbed the keys. I ushered the girls inside for a bath while their dad retraced our route in the minivan, scanning sidewalks for a castoff green teddy bear. Some things are just too precious to lose.
I know this painfully well.
I’ve lost things. Valuable things.
My patience. My temper. My sense of humor.
Perspective. Hope. Self-control.
Sometimes, I flat-out lose my mind.
And God the Father shakes his head, unruffled by my childish antics. Sweetie, did you drop this? Please try to be more careful next time. You know you can’t sleep without it. Come now, let’s revisit our walk together. Remember? Everything you lost is waiting for you there.
Often my walk of faith is more like a stroller ride. I buckle in and God steers, sidestepping potholes and infusing my senses with fresh air. I’m safe in the stroller. It’s a happy place. But eventually I get tired or hungry or bored, so I whine and try climbing out. On a careless whim, I toss my virtues overboard. And everyone in the family suffers for it—especially me.
That’s when God bops me on the backside with this verse. “Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me,” (Psalm 119:133).
Seriously, Lord—why can’t I just keep my hands inside the stroller and enjoy the ride?
Later that evening, I leaned against the tub and giggled. The girls were covering their chins with bath bubble beards when suddenly a stuffed bear peeked around the bathroom doorframe.
“Look what I found.” My husband stepped in.
“Bear!” Both girls cheered. “Where was he, Dad?”
“On the sidewalk, at the corner two blocks away. He was just sitting there, waiting for me.”
Nice work, Daddy-o. Add it to the list of reasons I love the guy. My husband scours the streets for lost teddy bears. And, like the good Father, he finds them. Praise God.
If this post encouraged you, please pass it on. You might also like Learning Is Messy, On Discipline and Planting Sunflowers, No Eat Play-Doh, and On Dreams, Contentment and Spaghetti.
Linking up with: The Better Mom, Playdates With God, Mommy Moments, Titus 2sdays, Domestically Divine Tuesday, Living Well Wednesdays, Wifey Wednesday, Grace at Home, Things I Can’t Say, and Faithfully Parenting Fridays.
The Not Quite Military Wife says
I love how you compared our walk with God to a stroller ride, it is so true! Thanks for sharing such a cute stroller with us, it is a great reminder! Thanks for linking up for Mommy Moments Monday!
I love how God gives us a glimpse into a truth about ourselves through the messiness of life. I am like you, Becky, often squirming in my “stroller ride” and throwing away the most precious of things in my impatience and carelessness. I want the heart that you have and the desire you map out for us here. Thanks for the inspiring word for my soul! And by the way, love a man who can hunt for teddy bears! Precious!
Thanks, Beth! Bear hunting is a special quality, I agree. 🙂
Laura S. says
I just love your analogy, Becky! Thanks for bringing a smile and a much needed reminder of God’s love for us. It’s so easy for us to get in the way of that.
Your writing makes me feel like I am beside you hunting for teddy, too. Oh, the list of lost things at our house is endless.. thankfully, we’ve never lost a child (for more than- oh…. 15 minutes!) or a spouse! And we’ve never lost Jesus. PTL. Now if only I could say the same about my sanity 🙂
Thanks for the time out! Blessings to you and that bear hunting man of yours. He’s a keeper!
He’s a keeper for sure, Alicia! Thank you for reading. We’ve never lost Jesus – amen!
Laura Boggess says
Your husband is the hero! I”ll never forget the time my son left his silkie in a hotel bureau drawer. There was no getting it back. So traumatic. Amazing how we’ve ever made it thus far. By the grace of God, right? Lovely thoughts here, friend.
Oh, my heart aches to imagine that silkie left behind. Been there. By the grace of God indeed, Laura. Blessings to you!
“And God the Father shakes his head, unruffled by my childish antics. Sweetie, did you drop this? Please try to be more careful next time. You know you can’t sleep without it. Come now, let’s revisit our walk together. Remember? Everything you lost is waiting for you there.” I got chills reading this! I can’t even count the number of times my Daddy in Heaven, Father God, has said something along those same lines to me! This is my new go-to image for maintaining obedience in my walk with Him…stay in the stroller! Awesomeness! Thank you for sharing~
Your comment blesses me – thank you! I’ve told myself plenty of times this week, too – stay in the stroller. 🙂
Ashley Ditto says
I always love your posts Becky, they really help me as a mom! Hope you have a wonderful day!
I always love hearing from you, Ashley!
Shelly W. says
So nice! And what a great dad! (Stopping by from Richella’s.) 🙂
Thanks for stopping by, Shelly!
So glad you found the bear! I think every parent has been there.
Oh, I’m so glad you found Bear!
And I really love the way you tie the everyday into a lesson about faith. 🙂
You’ve brightened my day, Shell. 🙂
Candice Wilkinson says
I love how you compared our walk with a stroller ride because it is something I totally relate to. I once walked an extra 4 K (my usual is 5) to find Dolly Ollie. I loved how your words flowed together. Have a great weekend!
The Dolly Ollies of this world are worth the extra exercise! So glad I’m not alone!
Well done, Becky! Another excellent illustration, very well-written. Amazing how much we can learn about God from parenting our own children, isn’t it? Bless you!
Amen, Richella – I firmly believe God uses parenting as a tool to become more like him and more dependent on him. Blessings to you and your family!