“I don’t know what to say,” she said.
“You have much better prayers than I do.”
It was late for a school night and I was done. It had been a long weekend followed by a long Monday followed by a long evening of kid activities.
I wanted her to pray. I couldn’t even pretend I had words. Drew and I were frustrated with each other and I just wanted this day to be over. I didn’t have the sentiments to wrap up this day into a nice ending that would help my kids (and me too) drift into a peaceful sleep. I just wanted Abbey to pray so that I could move on to the next kid and get the bedtime thing done.
“There are no rules,” I told her. “Just say what you are grateful for and how you are feeling.”
She took a breathe and said, “Thank you God, I am content.”
That was it. She rested gently into her pillow and relaxed under her soft comforter.
As the bedtime whirlwind continued, my mind kept obsessing about all the things I just wanted to get through.
If I can just get through this year.
If we can just get through this last week of school.
If we can just get through this baseball season.
If we can just get these kids through elementary school.
If I can just get through this Sunday morning.
If I can just get through midlife.
If I can just get through this conflict with Drew.
If I can just get this kitchen clean.
If I can just get through this load of laundry.
If I can just get through bedtime.
If I can just get through this prayer.
I know I talk so often about being present to the moment. But this isn’t something I can do naturally. Each and every day I am trying to get through something and tonite as I stood in my closet putting away the next round of clean clothes I couldn’t help but think I was never going to get through.
My mind drifted back to my goodnight prayers with Abbey.
Thank you God, I am content.
It’s a choice. It isn’t a matter of getting anywhere.
So tonite,as I get through this post and I get through whatever is next- I’m going to make point to remember an eleven year old’s “not so good” prayers. I’m going to be real with how I am feeling when I say whatever prayer I can come up with.
Here I am. Not so content.
Help me find something in each and every day, every hour, and every moment that will help me live for what is now and not just trying to get through.
For the amazing sunset the kids and I saw as we drove home this evening. For the cool breeze at the baseball game. For the wonderful teachers my kids have had this year. For bird that I startle off of her nest each time I walk past that same tree. For the lettuce that my neighbor shares with me from her garden. For the phone call with my sister today. For the soft bed I am resting on as I type.
For this I can only say, Thank you, God. Help me to about more than just getting through.