Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The connection between a two year old and prayer

Annie is 2 years and 4 months old. I am in the process of training her on social graces, aka how to have good relationships with others. When she needs something, she is to say “please” instead of whining to get it. When she gets something, she is to say “thank you” instead of snatching it out of their hands as if she was entitled to it anyways. If she hits someone in the face with her shoe, she needs to say “sorry”, and not just "sorry", “sorry for hitting you in the face with my shoe”. And then when she is hit with a shoe, she needs to say “I forgive you”. And round and round we go.

How often do I instruct Annie to ask for things appropriately, be thankful, to say sorry, and forgive? I am convicted that I do not practice this with God nearly as often as I remind her to, even though there is ample opportunity. When I am hit with an injustice that makes me want to scream (like learning there was a sex trafficking house off N. Lamar- I just get pissed every time I pass the street), I need to beg God to fix it, ask him to help and comfort the women, say sorry for not reacting according to his truth, verbalize my trust in Him, and forgive the offenders. When I am struck with inconvenience (like when Annie refuses to put on her shoes for the 10th time in a day or “paints” her shirt with mustard), I there have the opportunity to thank God in all circumstances and ask him to grow me. It sounds hokey, but I should really consider it a work-out in the patience department and thank my God who knows me best for recognizing my need to grow in patience in that moment and steps in as my personal trainer. Or when God delights to give me some good time with a long-time friend, I need to thank him for giving me a gift, not just thank the gift for making the time. It’s all too simple, really. Incase you are not seeing my ample opportunities throughout any given day, see the bolded letters. These are all my missed opportunities in the last day and a half.

The bottom line: I really should be growing in prayer so much more than I have been when you really think about it. If I am actually thinking about what I am doing all day, instead of just running on autopilot (“what do you say?”, “say sorry”, “how do you ask?”), I should take my instructions to Annie as reminders from God on how to have a good relationship with Him. Having a good relationship with Him means talking to him, and talking to him is praying. I read today that all that we think and feel about God comes to expression in our prayers. What is God to think that I think and feel about Him based on my prayers? Let’s put it this way, it’s a good thing God’s self-esteem does not depend on how I think and feel about Him. He probably feels like an afterthought or a last priority. So in the spirit of prayer, I am going to thank God that parenting is hard and that I have to repeat everything I do and say 100x daily, so that I might be reminded of my "social graces" and ultimately have a better relationship with Him.

Speaking of social graces, here is a pic of some of my favorite kids learning the art last summer. It's hard to know exactly what they were thinking and feeling, but as it appears, we have Annie on the left completely unwilling to share her berries, Micah next to her stealing them anyways, Calvin envying Eli's sandwich and Eli completely discontent with his sandwich. Love this bunch.


Becky Kiser said...

sally this is SUCH a good reminder! thanks for posting this. love you.

Leah said...

Love this, Sal! And you!

Tata said...

Hey Sally... I just read this. This is a pretty awesome perspective on our relationships with each other.... our kids... and the Lord... I confess, I scan through your, Britt's, and MarLo's blogs looking at the pics... but finally read more of the post. Looking forward to the next one. LuvULots, tata