For the years leading us to Staley, we prayed for the family we would one day have. During my pregnancy, we prayed for the health and safety of our child. And since Staley has been born, we pray daily as a family. Lately, Staley has become a more active participant in our family prayer time.
Staley is now in charge of praying before meals. We taught her the mealtime prayer that my family used as I was growing up. She has taken a few artistic liberties, changed some of the phrasing, dropped a sentence, and made it her own. Staley's mealtime prayer: 'God is great. Let us thank him food. AMEN!' (The capital letters and exclamation are necessary for the amen, since Staley places a big emphasis on this part of the prayer.) And the amen is generally immediately followed by a request for food. 'AMEN! Blueberries.' 'AMEN! Chicken.' 'AMEN! Waffles.'
We also say bedtime prayers before we put Staley down for bed. We have recently begun asking her who she would like to pray for before bed. The first time or two, she made requests to pray for Uma, Papa, Grammie, Grandpa, and Elliott. Very appropriate. Lately, however, she generally asks to pray for Blue Bear, Pink Bear, Monkey, or Lion. (Unlike Happy Easter, Staley gets no points for originality when naming these stuffed animals.) And although it is good to thank God for the blessings in our lives, I hope that Staley realizes her many blessings extend beyond the stuffed animals she possesses.
Along with saying her prayers, Staley also enjoys reading her Bible. She has a 'My First Bible' that has a number of short illustrated Bible stories. Staley does not always like to sit and listen to the stories, but she LOVES to flip through and look at the pictures. She can now identify Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham and Isaac, Moses, Joseph, Daniel, David and Goliath, Jesus, and angels. I love that Staley asks to read her Bible and is beginning to recognize Bible stories. I just hope that there comes a day when her favorite thing about the Bible isn't the donkey that Jesus is riding on.
God has blessed us beyond measure with our amazing baby girl. And I love that she is starting to learn about Him.