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  • Writer's pictureJen Henry

The Big Red Slide

Updated: Feb 21, 2023

Hello, and how have you been since our paths last crossed? I hope you have felt a nudge to jump on the road to growth this week and have had the opportunity to experience some beautiful moments of positivity as well.

To bring in the first week of February, I had the pleasure of taking a trip with my husband to Arizona, and seeing my oldest son, his treasured wife, and their lovely family. It was a wonderful trip that I truly enjoyed. I was able to spend time with loved ones and be a part of many treasured moments. Some I witnessed and some I experienced. Today I am prompted to write about a moment I witnessed.

As my youngest grandchild is becoming steadier and steadier as he learns to walk, he is wanting to explore more. As adults we think we are the ones that are constantly teaching and motivating, but it is amazing how much you can learn and be motivated by just observing or trying to see through the eyes of a child. At sixteen months old, our grandson, who has been nicknamed Ju-Ju, has learned a few very important words. One of those being Mom and the other Da-Da. He has learned to address his brothers and sister by saying Ba, which stands for brother, and Ga which stands for another. He is on his way to mastering the English language, but for now he uses an array of gestures and sounds to get his point across. As I reflect back on raising my two boys, I remembered how much they loved to be outdoors, so I carried on the tradition. I put on his cute little blue Nike's, opened the door to the backyard, and proceeded to explore. As we stepped outside into the beautiful February Arizona sun, I set his feet on the grass and off we went. He made a B-Line toward the paved side yard and practiced his walking skills all the way down to the front gate. The side of the pavers are lined with pebbles, and he loved to step on them to hear the crunching sound they make. I think he also likes to practice the balancing act he has to do, as he goes from the solid ground of the pavers, to the uneven pebbles. That was always the uneasy part for me while observing him, because he would get a bit off balance, so I was sure to stay close by incase I needed to brace his fall. When we got down to the end of the walkway, he tried his best to get me to open the gate leading to the front of the yard, but I got his mind off that idea by turning him around to face a different direction. He then would go from the side yard to the back of the yard, to sit in the pebbles that outlined the various plants evenly spaced along the back wrought iron fence. He got such a kick out of picking up the pebbles and throwing them on to the grass and then picking out the bigger rocks that were among the pebbles and showing them to me. We soon made that game into trying to teach him what the word "big" means and the differentiation between the bigger and the smaller stones. From there he would go jump on the mini trampoline, then walk over to the other side of the yard to touch the flowers. I used that time to remind him to be "soft and gentle" (which his parents had previously taught him) with the flowers and leaves, and not yank them off their stems lol. From there the whole process would repeat again. He got into a little routine, and I loved every minute of it. During one of Ju-Ju's yard circuits, his daddy and mommy came out to join us and he quickly started to communicate, the way a toddler would, his interest in going down the mini slide. His daddy popped up to assisted him and placed him on top of the slide. He sat there for a few seconds with reservation. I am sure to a 16 month old, the three-foot-high slide felt like an adult would feel if they dangled their legs over the roof of a single story home. As our sweet Ju-Ju sat at the top, his daddy leaned down over the end of the slide, and encouraged him by saying multiple times, "Come on son!" When Ju-Ju finally decided to let go, a big smile appeared on his face, as he landed safely into his fathers arms. It was so fun to see his big smile as we clapped and cheered him on, as he conquered The Big Red Slide.


As I thought more about that beautiful moment I witnessed, it made me think of a few things. One of those things being the behavior, feeling, and emotion of trust, and how it can make another feel safe or unsafe. Trust is built one step at a time. Trust can be created, built, and seen in the smallest of ways. When a parent puts out their arms to catch a child, it brings a feeling of safety and a sense of security. When you are told truthful things in a relationship, that truth builds trust and helps you feel safe. It also makes one feel, you can depend on that person. If someone continues to give empty promises or you catch them in mistruths, it begins to cultivate trust issues, and it starts to break down the relationship. The icing on the cake is when someone reacts in a loving and gentle way when they could have reacted abrupt and harsh. This treatment cultivates an atmosphere of trust and brings about a sense of safety, and comfort. How much more pleasant is it to be built up, and encouraged, then to be constantly reminded of where we fall short.


In addition, as I look back on my adventures outdoors with my grandson, I realized if we had never stepped through the door, we would have never experienced the joy we did together for the first time. It was an opportunity to take our relationship to a new level and create that special bond we now have. This adventure with my treasured grandson was another reminder, to open the door to discover more.


Here are a few scriptures I think go well with this reading.


Scripture of the day:


Matthew 7:7-12

7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?

10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?

11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.


John 10:9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.


Hebrews 12:1-2


Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.


Share My Grow:

I am attaching a wonderful article by the amazing pastor Rick Warren. I discovered this wonderful read, as I was looking into learning more about the cloud of witnesses we have cheering us on.


Big accomplishments or small, I would love to hear about yours. I welcome comments or any feedback in the comments section below, or a click on the red heart helps to give me feedback. If you are interested in reading future posts, please enter your email in the subscribe section at the bottom on my blog site on the home page. I would love to hear how you challenged yourself in the Grow My Know Challenge.


I also hope as you continue embracing another new day, you take joy in participating and growing in new positive ways. Take a moment to realize and be grateful for the witnesses up in heaven and around you, cheering you on. Even if you don't see anyone doing it, you know you have accomplished something new . Be encouraged to step through the door that leads to more joy, and making progress in your life.


Looking forward to our paths crossing again. In the mean time, go out and have some fun!


Until we meet again,

Jen













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