The pink backpack

I don’t know about you, but today, my whole household is so thankful it’s Friday!  What a week.  Weathering peaks and valleys, failures and victories, at the close of this day we will tuck this week into the history books and look forward to much needed rest this weekend.

But before I can go into chillaxin’ mode, one last day must be completed.  This began with 2 carpool runs to the same school.  My kids were struggling to get ready on time, and when one was finally good to go, I decided to make the first run.

On the way, I passed a dad walking his little girl to school.

Once through the drop off line, I headed back home for my second child.  Making an about face with my van, I headed back to school with my teen in tow.

Going through the same carpool line again, I noticed at the intersection of the school light was the dad and little girl I passed before.

They stood on the corner together, and what they were doing caught my eye.

He had her bubblegum pink backpack on his back and her lunchbox in his hand.  Slowly, he pulled the backpack off and gave it to her.  He handed her the lunchbox and told her he loved her.

I’m sure it was the blazing morning sun shining offensively in my eyes that made them water.  Or was it?  Pulling out of the school parking lot, I rounded the corner and glanced at them in my rear view mirror.

All the way home, I replayed the image of this very tall dad with a small, pink backpack strapped to his back.

I stopped the day long enough to grab some breakfast and have a moment with God.  I read my devotion, some Scripture and began to pray.  This week, I confess, has been filled with prayers on the run.  Not something I am proud of.

Today was different.  After hearing a message from David Jeremiah yesterday on the radio about the importance of giving our daily priorities to God, I realized I had asked God to go along for the ride instead of asking Him to drive.

So today, I stopped and prayed.  My raw, honest words surprised me.  I said something like, I’m sorry God that I cannot present to you a prettier me.  I am weary.  Weary of the stuff in life that won’t turn me loose.  I’m trying to live in the spiritual realm, but it’s really hard when tangible stuff grabs a hold of me and won’t let me go.  Things that demand my time and attention.  I feel like…like…like my office desk.  I am the desk, and all of the stuff in life is burying me.  Everything demands, ‘Do me first!’  Everything screams, ‘I’m most important!’  Paperwork, phone calls, emails, errands, medical stuff, school stuff, volunteer stuff, so many kinds of stuff!  I am supposed to take care of everything, at the same time and with the same amount of energy and effort, while standing and holding myself and all of it up – with a bad foot.  It’s just so much!  I’m weary of it all.  And, I’m weary of my foot recovery.  I’m weary of my husband’s injury and the havoc both of these have reeked in our family life.  I’m weary of homework, watching my kids struggle for sleep, clutter everywhere because 24 hours in a day aren’t enough, and that no matter how behind I feel, or how slow I’m moving with my dumb, hurting foot, life just keeps bringing it.  I dread getting out of bed in the morning because from the moment my eyes open, the problems are right there – staring at me while I bury my head in the pillow.  From the time my feet hit the floor, the issues demand my attention – before I can brush my teeth.  I wish I could present to You a beautiful bride of Christ who radiates calm and who is organized, and efficient.  Instead, it’s me.  The office desk.  Flat, silent, and who feels more practical than pretty.  Will You help me order my day?  See, I’ve written it all down.  Everything that must be done.  Please arrange it according to Your divine plan – and grant me the strength to do it.

God met me in that moment.  He brought to mind that dad, his little girl, and her backpack.  He said, I’m with you Baby Girl, every day, from the moment the sun rises.  In fact, I’ve been with you all night.  Watching over you (Psalm 121), singing over you (Zephaniah 3:17) and tending to you.  Everything you have on that list is packed in your backpack.  It may not be bubblegum pink, but it’s heavy for you, with things you must do and what is expected of you, like that little girl’s was.  And like her father carried her load for her, so I want to carry yours.  Let me strap it on and walk with you on this journey we call Today.  I’ll even hold your hand and carry your lunchbox full of needs.  I’d carry your backpack of demands even if it were girly pink because I am secure enough in who I AM to my children.  I am strong.  Capable.  Loving.  Willing.

Wow.  God has a way of breaking through walls around our hearts and going right into the deepest part of our souls.  The hidden places we guard so carefully.

I remembered feeling so touched by the moment of watching that dad and his little girl, but couldn’t put my finger on it as to why.  Now I understood.  It was bittersweet, quite honestly.  Part of me felt sad, okay, maybe a little sorry for myself, that not for one day in my entire life have I felt the tender touch of a father.  Neither by my biological father or stepfather.  Not for one day have I known what it’s like to rely on either dad to help me or be there for me in the tough stuff.  I felt those feelings first.

But, God paralleled those thoughts with Truth.  I may not have a human father figure to care for me, but God is my Abba Father, a.k.a. Daddy, and He loves me very much.  He always has, and always will, be happy to help.  He is there to share the journey, hold our hand, and provide for our needs.  Moreover, He’s not just there to accompany us, but He offers to carry our load for us while we sojourney the 24/7/365 with Him.  His grace, love and faithfulness to His promise to never leave us fills my heart with peace and gives me everything I need to do the day…and smile doing it!

I’m glad my kids were running late today.  What began as a harried moment, transformed into an entirely different perspective on the day.  Had they ridden the bus, I never would have seen that dad and his little girl – or her pink backpack strapped over his broad shoulders.

What was heavy for her, was easy for him – sipping his coffee as they walked.

What’s in your backpack today?  Is the weight of it cutting into your shoulders or bruising the muscles in your back?  God is more than willing to carry it for you – if you will trust Him and release it into His care.

Psalm 91:1, He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

Psalm 55:22, Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.

Isaiah 40:11, He tends his flock like a shepherd:  He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.

1 Peter 5:7, Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

2 thoughts on “The pink backpack

  1. I found your blog through searching parenting blogs. I am so happy to connect with you and to share our parenting journey together ❤

    It is amazing how God can take a simple moment and turn into a great Aha! moment and learning experience for us.

    Happy Friday!

    • Yeah! I am so happy you are here! I can’t wait to read your blog as well. Parenting is richer, deeper, and more abundant when we share, learn from, and are encouraged by each other. I am totally honored and humbled you want to spend part of your day reading my blog. To God be the glory! Have a great weekend. 🙂

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