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A Very Wise Horse
by Tonja Taylor
12/31/2019 / Family
My five-year-old daughter was taking a bath, and I was getting things done. I could hear her splashing and talking to her toys. I hoped the bath would keep her occupied for a while.
I walked by the open door and thought how adorable she was, surrounded by her menagerie of waterproof animals, from a herd of horses, one to twelve inches high; a rubber shark; a pink seahorse; a purple rabbit munching a carrot; to an assortment of small cups and bowls which she made into pretend pools and drinking wells for her wild things.
She looked up at me with her big green eyes, earnest and sweet. “Mama, can you stay with me for a little while and tell me a story?”
I made a mock pout. “Sweet Pea, I have work to do, but I’ll tell you a Bible story at bedtime.”
She gave me a hurt look, then held up one of her horses, a pretty prancing paint. “Wanna watch me swim?” said the horse with my baby’s voice. “Please?”
“I’m sorry, Precious,” I said, “I’m trying to get things done so I can be with you.”
My baby scowled and whispered loudly. “Not me, Mama! Talk to Miss Paint Horse!”
I stooped down to look Miss Paint Horse in the eye. “Please forgive me for my rudeness, Miss Horse,” I said, “but the maid left for Tahiti and I’m not sure when she’ll be back. I must work now so I can spend time with my Victoria later. Now, I”ll see both of you in just a few!”
My daughter sighed, gave me a half smile, and said, “All right, Mama. See you.” She picked up another horse and started to play, as if I wasn’t there.
My heart hurt for a moment. As one of her new teachers at church had said, she was often “so grown-uppy”! It seemed that I’d rocked her to sleep just yesterday. Now, she was 42 inches tall--and learning already the rush and pressures of life. This fall, she would start school, and enter a world that was even busier.
But I prayed for her daily, several times a day. The Lord would see her through. Meanwhile, as a single divorced mom, there was always work to do to keep my mind occupied so I didn’t worry about her so much.
The dryer buzzed. I ran to it and quickly pulled out the clothes before they wrinkled, throwing the rest in the basket. There were only two of us, but it seemed I had to wash every day! I didn’t mind washing my daughter’s clothes, still small, but much bigger than they’d been.
I felt a pang in my heart as I remembered how tiny and ill she had been the first three years of her life. God had shown us mercy, and now she was well. I was so thankful! The last four years had been difficult, but God had been faithful to take good care of us.
Victoria called again.
“What?!” I answered, too loudly, wondering why she didn’t give me two minutes’ rest. Then, remembering I’d been teaching her to answer sweetly, and to not yell from another room, I went to apologize. I took the basket of clothes with me to help her to see how busy I was.
“Sorry, Baby Doll, I was rude to yell," I told her. "What do you want, Sweetie? You know I’m busy--
“I love you, Mama,” she told me, and looked right into my eyes and smiled. “That’s all.”
My heart melted.
God’s still, small voice inside told me that my little one was not trying to interrupt my schedule, she just loved me and wanted to be with me. That would change all too soon. What I did now would determine the strength of our relationship as she matured. The memories we made today, every day, would be what I’d hold on to when she was not around.
She was such a gift! It was God and my child who had kept me motivated and positive even in the roughest of times.
I breathed a silent prayer of thanks, put the laundry aside, sat, and said, “Now, my little blessing from above, which story did you want to hear?”
She didn’t speak, but pointed to the horse again.
I nodded, listening.
“The story of Mary and Martha!” said the very wise horse.
I winked at my beautiful daughter, with the twinkle in her eye, then told her the story of the two sisters in the Bible, and how the wiser one had chosen true rest by spending time with the one who loved her most.
Tonja K. Taylor is the author of many works, including THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCESS PEARL, P.O.W.E.R.* Girl! series. She and her husband Clayton minister the Word through teaching, preaching, and the arts, on River Rain Creative Arts (You Tube, God Tube), AnchorFM, their church, the region, and beyond
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