This is an inspiring and beautiful poem that reminds me how good it is to spend time with my children in the great outdoors, enjoying God’s creation together, marveling in the wonders and glorying in the beauty. How much more valuable it is to invest in my children, who are eternal than in my dishes which are not eternal (though I admit it sometimes feels like they are).
I Took His Hand and Followed
Mrs. Roy L. Peifer
My dishes went unwashed today,
I didn’t make the bed,
I took his hand and followed
Where his eager footsteps led.
Oh yes, we went adventuring,
My little son and I…
Exploring all the great outdoors
Beneath the summer sky
We waded in a crystal stream,
We wandered through a wood…
My kitchen wasn’t swept today
But life was gay and good.
We found a cool, sun-dappled glade
And now my small son knows
How Mother Bunny hides her nest,
Where jack-in-the-pulpit grows.
We watched a robin feed her young,
We climbed a sunlit hill…
Saw cloud-sheep scamper through the sky,
We plucked a daffodil.
That my house was neglected,
That I didn’t brush the stairs,
In twenty years, no one on earth
Will know, or even care.
But that I’ve helped my little boy
To noble manhood grow,
In twenty years, the whole wide world
May look and see and know.
I heeded this advice several times this past week. The weather has been gorgeous, so we went outside a lot. We took walks and saw squirrels and wild turkeys. We went to a totally awesome park that had a ship theme- the play structures were on an island in the middle of a large pond! Wow, it was fun! I taught my oldest two to swing on their own. We went to the beach and made sand castles out of kelp and they played tag with the waves. Not all weeks can be quite like this- my dishes are indeed piling up on the counter. But I am very thankful for these opportunities to create memories with my children that I will cherish for years to come.
This poem also reminds me of what God has been teaching me this year about my plans. It can be summed up in this verse: Proverbs 19:21 “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s will that prevails.” I Took His Hand and Followed reminds me of how good it can be to let go of my own plans and embrace the Lord’s will. I was inspired to write my own version-
My list might go unchecked today
My plans, unachieved
I’ll take His hand and follow
Where His wiser footsteps lead.
Oh yes, we’ll go a-minst’ring
My loving Lord and I
Perhaps we’ll offer a list’ning
ear with a cup of chai.
Maybe we’ll hug a hurting child,
Take time to share a verse,
Make a meal for a brand new mom,
Let someone else go first.
Perhaps we’ll rock my teething tot,
Have patience with his cries,
Or laugh again at my son’s tale
We’ve heard a hundred times.
We’ll read a Bible story and
A tale of noble deeds,
Love a bouquet my daughter gave
Though it is only weeds.
The things I’ve planned might not get done
If I’ve an open heart
God has a greater purpose in
Which I might take a part.
I can show who Jesus is and
His love by what I do.
And if I do what Jesus does,
My kids will see it too.