All that you have

If you’ve ever taught (or even just heard) a child to pray, you know how sincere and heartfelt their prayers can be.

I’ve mentioned before that our youngest daughter (who just turned 5) has a little bit of a speech delay that she is currently receiving therapy for. As a result, the verbal skills we practice and expect for her are a little different than for other kids her age. But it seems like she has had a big growth spurt in her pronunciation and vocabulary lately – which is so exciting to us!

As we’ve taught her to pray, she gets fixated on certain things and phrases at various times and turns them into routine, patterned prayers. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! We tell her that if those things are what’s on her heart, that they are absolutely to pray about and for.

But her latest pattern is probably my most favorite so far.

She says, “God, thank you for giving us all that you have.”

If you’re anything like me, the phrase I hear most often prayed by children is “God thank you for this day. Thank you for everything that you’ve given us,” which is still a beautiful message! But the way my daughter flipped it to “all that you have” just rings true in a different way.

This time of year, many people celebrate the birth of Jesus. Regardless of when it happened, we know that it did. In sending His son, God really did give us all that He had. As a mother of three, I can’t imagine giving up any of my children…especially to people who I knew would mistreat and hate them! It really is extraordinary, and I know that I’m guilty of not thinking of it in that way nearly enough.

And then I started to think, God gave me all that He had…am I doing the same?

A lot of the time, I have to say no.

There have been too many occasions where I choose to watch another episode of my show (right now, The Crown), spend too much time on my phone, or choose to invest my time and energy into other things that I am too tired or “run out of time” to give God all that I have. Too often he gets the leftovers, if that.

God has created a beautiful world full of things to enjoy, but if those things are always trumping His place in our lives and time, we need to step back and evaluate.

One suggestion I hear frequently is to spend time with God in study and prayer first thing in the morning. Right now, we have a four-month-old who still isn’t sleeping through the night, and that just isn’t a real option for me. At least not if I want to be a coherent and functioning person.

But what I can do is to say a quick “good morning” prayer to set the tone for my day. To ask for help and lean on God during the tasks and challenges that the day will bring. To be mindful of opportunities to bring others to Him. To be a light. To be more like Him.

That’s my goal for this week. Would you like to join me?

Thank you, God, for giving us all that you have.

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