Since my two daughters have been sick, one with bronchitis and one with bronchiolitis, we've been watching, Fox and the Hound far too much. But in doing so, I've realized where my two year old daughter picked up the phrase "Friends forever!" A few weeks back she would come up to me, say "friends forever" and give me a big hug. I wondered where she picked it up, but I guess now I KNOW we watch FAR too much TV. Not that I needed any reminder really.
I have to say that I love it when I come home from my part time job outside of the home and my two year old comes into the kitchen saying, "MAMA! It's you! I Love you soooo much!" For some reason it struck me, just the other day, that is the kind of childlike love and affection we should have for God.
Oddly enough, my relationship with God and my prayer life improved shortly after I met my husband, became even better after we were married and then improved even more after having children. If you asked me about prayer before I was married, I would probably say that it was an occasional occurrence. Don't get me wrong, there are days that it still is like that and I struggle to remember from time to time. But how can I forget to tell God how much I love him? He has blessed me in so many ways, it seems as though remembering to pray should not be so difficult. I definitely make an effort to learn more about my Catholic faith and the "whys" behind the Church's teachings, but for some reason personal prayer is something I struggle with, even if it has vastly improved in recent years.
For me, I have my list of family members and friends where I pray for their special intentions and I read from scripture at night for the next day followed by "The Word Among Us" reflection for the day. I do mealtime and bedtime prayers with my two year old. I love hearing her say "Father, Son, Holy Spirit, AMEN! Bless Lord These Gifts Bout Receive Bounty Christ Lord AMEN! Father Son, Holy Spirit AMEN!" She used to actually do the sign of the cross, but now it's just touching her head followed by the prayer. She also will go through "Now I lay me down to sleep" with my prompting certain words and she finishes the rest of the phrase.
Somehow, I know that this is not enough. I should be waking up thinking of Him, making morning prayer a priority but I tend to rush right into my day, or hit the snooze button one too many times. Maybe if I can at least get in a morning, "God I love you! Thank you for all the blessings you have given me!" Sometimes while I am nursing my six month old during her first feeding of the day, I do stop to pray to God, but I can become easily distracted. And occasionally throughout the day, I do find myself thinking about God and saying a quick little "Hey!" These small moments where I occasionally "remember" to include God in my day just doesn't seem like enough. Prayer should be simple really, it's all about spending time. Think about it. How did you get to know your family members, your best friend, your spouse? Spending time, right? So, why is spending time with God something that doesn't come all that easy? Maybe it's because we can't actually see Him. Maybe all the priorities in our life are getting in our way. God deserves way better than that! I know I can and should do more.
It seems as though I tend to put too much thought into structured type prayer but not enought thought OF taking time for prayer. My attitude towards God should be the same as my young children feel for me. "I love you, God, SOOOO much!" How often do I say this to Him? How often do I even FEEL this childlike love and affection for God or think of it in this way? Not often enough. Definitely something I need to work on. I want to feel that "friends forever" feeling with God. Sadly, I'm not sure I'm there yet. There is still more to do.