Updated: Mar 18
Every day, after daycare, my daughter and I walk the dog. The monotony of the activity became a chore, which one day my daughter refused to participate.
In a rare moment of genius, I asked her if she wanted to go on an adventure. She sang yes. We grabbed the leash and walked down the street, looking for squirrels. In our neighborhood, we regularly see deer, foxes, turkeys, owls, and even the odd hawk. Our neighborhood is full of animals and yet, intentionally looking for the most common of animals - a squirrel - transformed our walk into a magical adventure. Since then, my daughter and I have gone on adventures every day. Everything from the grocery store to the Smokey Mountains National park is an adventure waiting for us to explore. I didn't realize the gift this was to my soul, until a couple of weeks ago when we packed up our bags, and my husband, daughter and I set off for three days of adventures. Our toddler saw every experience with wonder. She giggled as we danced with the Cherokee people. She excitedly watched as the guide showed her how they made beautifully beaded belts and eagerly explored each Cherokee house. It was an adventure, and she soaked it all up. At the visitor center for the Smokey Mountains, we found pigs. Those three smelly pigs were the best thing, and we laughed as we watched them snort. Even eating ice cream, while we watched the river flow beside us was a chance for her to explore the wind. She pointed out every small thing she saw. The everyday act of eating became a magical experience. Somehow she turned both the mundane - like eating breakfast - and the miraculous – like hiking to the Minnehaha waterfall – into a fantastical adventure. Each moment became another chance to see God's beauty and to enjoy the gift of that day. Her intentionality at seeing everything into an adventure turned my parent trick into a lesson of intentionality. Our world is amazing. But in today's world, I miss the adventure, because I'm too jaded to see it. Breakfast is shoved into my mouth as I hurry to get ready for work. I miss the beauty of an owl swooping over my head because I'm trying to complete a run. And worse of all, I miss the majesty of the community, because I hurry through friendship dates. My inability to intentionally seek God in every experience blinds me to the reality of the majesty of this world. My daughter's intentional seeking out of adventures teaches me another way to see this world. Instead of rushing through life, to get to the next big event, what if I saw every experience as an adventure? What if I intentionally tried to see the world? If I did that, I might say wow, look at God.