Philip and I have prayed with our kids every night before bedtime since the day they were born. It's one thing I feel we actually get right in days fraught with failure.
However, while we regularly voice prayers over them, they do not typically speak their own.
There have been periods of time when one or the other or both of our older ones would repeat after us.
There have been times, recently, when they have frantically, excitedly, sputtered out a modified version of sissy's prayer, "A,B,C,D,E,F,G. Thank you, God, for bedtime. Amen" (I often feel if they really thought about what they were saying, they would not be quite so grateful for bedtime, but we're still working on the sincerity issue).
The idea, then, of Micaiah speaking to God thoughts and gratitudes from her heart is a concept we're still waiting on. We have heard maybe a handful of self-motivated conversations between her and God in her short four years.
So, tonight, when she began to pray on her own, without the alphabetical opening and without even mentioning "bedtime" in her list of gifts from him (maybe she's started to truly consider her words), my heart swelled.
"Thank you, God, for everything you made" - she's thankful for creation, and all of it, so incredibly sweet - "and for my friends and for my whole family" - glad to hear not only is she thankful for all of us, but she's decided to take the all-encompassing route, rather than the toddler-tendency to list each member individual - "and for the baby that came out of Mommy's tummy" - now I was truly grinning with my eyes clinched shut, apparently Joseph wasn't included in the "whole family" clause; also, she's never going to forget where he came from - "Amen."
It's the rarity of these moments that makes them so incredibly precious. I love hearing the overflow of her heart.
979. Arms to hold me on a weepy Saturday
980. Baskets filled with bright green lettuce and brilliant red tomatoes
981. A squirrel skittering along the wire spanning the street
982. Fall leaves fluttering
983. A bright orange package shipped in the mail
984. Circus games on a warm fall morning
985. Hot dogs under the "big top"
986. A lazy Sunday afternoon, snuggled in bed, reading, holding kids and napping
987. Tabletop games, popcorn, and baseball on TV