Friday, February 13, 2009

Just Me and the Girls

For several years now, my wife has diligently worked for me at my place of employment. I'll explain.

Many of you know that I am the produce manager at the local grocery store. To summarize, full time worker bee and farmer wannabe. For four years, my lovely wife has served the deserving community by arranging roses for Valentine's day. She works out of the home for four days, once a year. Personally, I would move to delete this holiday from all calendars and erase the thing from memory. But, I'm a guy.

The truth is, Pam worked in a florist shop many, many, many, many (I should be careful here, right?) years ago. She has proven to not only have the experience but the talent for the job, so she comes to fill in. This gives me great pleasure as I am not very good at arranging flowers. But, I'm a guy.

She is a full time mommy, for that I am very thankful to God that He provide me a woman who desires to live out Proverbs 31. She does a fantastic job and has a head for it.

Tomorrow is the last day, for the year, that she will be "off to work". Tomorrow is also my day off. This is rather strange, us switching places like this. I will be home with our two beautiful daughters with a list of the typical Saturday projects to do around the house.

Here is the plan. (Us men like to have a game plan. But, like many games, we often strike out.) I will cut firewood shortly after breakfast and the animals have been fed. (I heard you chuckle.) Then, after I have cut at least two rick, I will mozy up to clean the chicken coops. They are in desperate need of a cleaning and the pasture is begging for the manure. (Stop laughing.) Then, I shall move into the house to finish laying the grout in the final room of this ten year, in the making, home. (Do you have to laugh so loud?) Then it will be time for lunch. After working so hard and the girls so willingly helping their daddy, we will be famished. I think we will opt for grilled cheese sandwiches.

After lunch, the girls will yawn, heartily, and trot off to their room for a little nap. During which time, I will continue to finish the grout project and begin the cleanup. After that, it will be time to grab a bag of kelp meal to trow down on the pastures. (Wait till you learn what I learned about that.)

The girls will awaken, refreshed and rejuvenated, ready to begin work in earnest. We will tackle the usual chores around the farm. The game, then, comes back into the house to prepare dinner for my lovely wife upon her arrival. She will be so thrilled. The house will be clean and ready to receive the queen.

When the day comes to a close, I will drift off to sleep knowing that I had a good day on the farm.

The truth is like this, I will be the one taking the nap, not the kids. And if I get the wood cut and the tile grouted, I'll be doing good.

But, I think of it this way: it is an opportunity to be what God has called me to be, a daddy. I believe that a man must, in every way, have the hearts of his children. If not, all is lost. A day with them, alone, is a rare opportunity. I don't get many chances to be alone with the girls. What an opportunity to tie strings of fellowship with them! There is no better way to do this than by working together, in my book.

Too many parents wait for their kids to get big enough to lift the burdens of life from them. Kids are just something to shove off our duties to. Not true! Children don't bond with mommy or daddy that way. Strings are tied when you work together. I relish the times that I can spend with them, right there next to them. They will learn a good work ethic (excluding the nap part), diligence, perseverance, humility and gratification. Just look at that list of character qualities just from working with them. This is stuff they do not and will not teach in public schools!

I know that you were laughing at me as I was listing off all the things we were going to do tomorrow, that's OK. I meant for there to be brevity. In fact, I pray that I will keep my cool. As a man, my brain functions as a Windows '98 OS. If I get too many windows open, I freeze up and freak out. The girls have a tendency to demand attention at the worst times. Here I am concentrating on this project and they keep calling, "daddy, daddy". Then I freeze and can't think any more, and freak out.

So, God, use me tomorrow. Use me to tie strings of fellowship with your children. Keep me from losing my temper and that our time together may be sweet, joyful fellowship. An environment of learning and wholesome togetherness, amen.

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