My 14-year-old is a pre-professional dancer. She gets up at 6:15 in the morning, leaves for school at seven and doesn’t return from ballet until 8:00 (or later) each night. Then it’s homework, a shower and bed. In her spare time she babysits so she has pocket money to spend on going to the ballet with her friends. She’s driven, organized, determined.
Each weekday I get up at 5:30, have a cup of coffee and a bit of solitude, and start making breakfast for Mary. An omelet and fruit are on the table when I hear her alarm go off; she stumbles out of bed, eats, drinks some water. Then she comes to the sofa for a snuggle, and for five minutes a day she is no longer my immensely competent teen, but my little girl.
I frequently pray during these snatched minutes with my daughter. She rests her head on my chest, I stroke her hair, and I pray the same thing over and over:
Thank you, Lord, for this child.
Give her the grace she needs to grow strong in faith.
Give me the wisdom I need to guide her on the right path.
So much of my day is spent dealing with logistics and problems and needs—and all too frequently my prayer life reflects that. And yet in the midst of busy-ness, what my heart truly needs is to pause and say thanks. Not just a quick thank-you, but a quiet one. The real kind. The kind that leaps to the lips when you stroke the hair of someone you love, in silence.