I had a really personal experience yesterday at the park with Bailey. I feel like the longer I am a parent, the more I see God truly as our Father in Heaven.
Bailey and I were at Tech Terrace Park. It has a .66 mile gravel track and the middle is nothing but lush green grass with some trees for shade. It really is beautiful, and I love it because of the plentiful space.
I feel closer to Heavenly Father while I am in nature and enjoying the beautiful Earth that He and Christ created for us. I haven’t always appreciated it, but the more I am outside with Bailey, the happier and more in tune I seem to feel. While we were enjoying our time at the park, I realized how much Heavenly Father loves us and truly is our parent. It is something that I have been able to recognize the longer that I am a parent and experience the care and love I have for my children.
At the park there were times when Bailey was able to roam free. We would go to a wide open space and I let her run and explore to her hearts content. She stumbled and would fall as she experienced what uphill and downhill felt like. She would trip over various sticks and harder grass, but I let her stumble and fall and trip. I knew that she would learn to get back up and continue exploring, having more confidence in herself and abilities.
Then there were times when she would roam a little farther and come across things that are not ideal for her to explore; like animal poop, prickly plants, or deeper puddles from the storm that previous night. I would call out for her to not go near the area. She would stop and look at me with question in her eyes. She wanted to see all of those things. I would then go to her and gently grab her hand and guide her away, distracting her with other trees nearby that she can touch and feel. Holding my hand, she would feel she was in charge as she seemed to be pulling me, but I was really guiding her toward a safer area.
And then there were times when she would run towards the gravel track surrounding the park. She loves feeling the gravel in her fingers and exploring the textures, but just beyond the track is the busy road with cars that wouldn’t be able to see her dart out into the road because of the parked cars along the side. While she ran towards the track, I ran towards Bailey. I scooped her up in my arms and carried her away from the track. She was angry and cried in my arms. I didnt try to call out for her to stop because of the danger ahead if she didnt listen. I physically moved her to safety.
From these different experiences with Bailey yesterday, I couldn’t help but feel this is how Heavenly Father feels towards us. He lets us stumble and explore and learn to dust ourselves off and keep going. He gives us the opportunity to listen to His voice and grab His hand to guide us away from things that are disguised as “fun and interesting.” And then there will be times that He scoops us up away from danger, even if we may be kicking and screaming along the way.
Sometimes we may choose to let go of His guiding hand, or push Him away while He is trying to scoop us, but He loves us no matter what. When Bailey was kicking and screaming in my arms, I didnt love her less. I wanted her to be safe, and I was willing to be kicked and screamed at to do so.
Never in any of the scenarios at the park with Bailey did I ever leave her. Even while she was free to explore, I was there watching over her. I was able to see a glimpse of how Heavenly Father feels about each of us as His children. He is always watching over us. He loves us no matter what shenanigans we get into.
We are not perfect people. And this is not a perfect world. Bad things do happen. But Heavenly Father and our Savior are always there to hug us and kiss our wounds.
These are our Bits O’ Bertoch.