Blue Playgrounds

My kids had fall break last week. They didn’t get a week off of school—only two days—but we were determined to make the most of those days with our our fall staycation. Despite the warmer than normal temperatures, we decided to do all the fall things.

We pulled out the firepit and roasted marshmallows. We visited a pumpkin patch complete with a hay ride. And we took a family hike up to a beautiful waterfall called Amicalola Falls. I was so impressed that even after nearly a mile of hiking, my tiny girl made it up the 604 steps to the overlook of the 729-foot waterfall. At the top, we took a breather, soaked in the views and congratulated Scarlett on making it to the top of the falls on her own two feet.

As we made our way back down the trail, all she could talk about was the promise I made her that she could swing at the playground before we headed home. After a few stumbles followed by “I can do it myself” when we offered to hold her hand, we were finally nearing our starting point 1.5 hours after our hiking adventure began.

My tiny girl was so excited that she had made the hike herself, repeatedly saying, “Mom, you’re so proud of me for doing the hike myself, right?” Through the woods, we could hear children playing and laughing as the trail made its way closer to the playground. In her chatterbox style, she simply stated, “God made the playground and he painted it blue.” I started to respond with a contrary “Well . . .” but quickly caught myself and changed my response to: “Yes. Yes, He did.”

You see, the practical part of my brain had jumped to the creation of all the man-made things in this world. But for my tiny girl, the concept was simple: God made everything. She wasn’t awestruck by wonder or amazement. Instead, her viewpoint was confidently factual: Her God is over everything in the universe.

Lately, these little encounters with my kids have spoken volumes to my soul. They have convicted me, encouraged me and, most recently, given me the goggles of child-like simplicity.

With all the cares in this world, there are so many times that I miss God’s little nuggets. I see the beautiful mountain views from the lookout point and credit those to His glory, but I fail to pause and soak in the small moments such as the assuredness of a child-like faith, the never-hesitating act of my offspring being good Samaritans or the spouting of scripture to settle a disagreement with siblings. There is so much that I can learn from these children of mine.