When the boys were like 9 months old, one of my best friends told me that her son (just two days younger than Grey and Micah) had said his first word: "Amen!"
Um. Obviously their family was a little more righteous than us. Right?
For the last two years I have been trying to convince my kids to say "amen" at the end of prayers.
Nothing. They would not say it. Sometimes after I harassed them about it for like 15 minutes, they'd mumble, 'men, with a very clear "Leave me alone now" vibe.
For the first time in his life, Grey has started volunteering to "say prayers" at bedtime this week. It's pretty much the cutest thing ever.
I whisper things like, "Thank you for today. Thank you for our family." And Grey repeats (in shouts), "THANK YOU, DAY. THANK YOU, FAMILY."
If I seem to be dragging on, he shouts "Amen!" and the prayer is over.
It is so sweet, it gives me little butterflies in my stomach.
Micah has refused until yesterday to partake in actual praying. But yesterday as I started the prayer before dinner with "Heavenly Father," two little boys repeated "FATHER," and then looked at me expectantly.
Trying to refrain from laughing, I continued with my prayer, with two slightly out of sync voices echoing mine. Their end of the prayer sounded a bit like this:
Thank you food! (Thank you food!)
Bless us happy! (Bless us happy!)
Thank you family! (Thank you family!)
Help us Day! (Help us Day!)
If you're wondering, that's not how I construct my own sentences, and by the end of the prayer I was having a total giggling fit, along with the other three adults in the room.
Sometimes it feels so hard to raise good, godly men in this world. Sometimes it feels like the walls of the chaos, the fear, and the hurt that people inflict on each other is closing in around my home. You hear about bombings, shootings, abuse, trafficking, and a thousand different ways that people decide to hurt each other, and it feels like the only safe place in the world is my home.
And not even the home is a fortress.
And then some nights, my little boys say the prayer at dinner, and we laugh about it. But man, it's sweet. And it gives me hope that not everything is hard and bad.
In fact, most things aren't hard or bad. Most things are good and most people are good.
Last night, Travis said, "I'm sorry, but the way that we live and work, and give: we probably won't ever be rich. We're never going to afford a house in that fancy neighborhood."
But I don't want to be rich.
I want to be happy and good.
I'm certainly not perfect, and I'm not the best, but if "not rich" and "happy" and "good" are my requirements in life, I've pretty much always got at least two out of three.
And if my little boys can start saying some prayers, then good and happy are a little easier to find.