Emma has taken to praying before we eat our lunch these days...something, I'm embarrassed to say, I haven't really taught her to do. We generally pray before dinner and before bedtime, but for some reason our cheerios and pb & j sandwiches have been missing out on their daily blessing around here.
She is trying to sneak in as many prayers as possible in a campaign to get the baby to come out sooner. She may be more impatient for this baby to be born than I am. One day when she was begging my stomach to release the baby treasure within, I told her that, really, when the baby comes out was up to God (and the baby) and that we didn't have a lot of say in it. I told her if she wanted the baby to come out that she should pray about it and ask God to make it happen. Problem solved, and onto unloading the dishwasher for me. Ahh, but things are never that simple are they?
So now Emma prays before lunch and at other times of the day. Instead of her usual rote prayer where she pretty much thanks him for Daddy, Mommy, Charlie and a whole laundry list of things that are important to her like leaves and spider costumes and granola bars, she is now asking God for something. No, she is not asking, she is beseeching. Beseeching is a really weird word. I don't think I've ever written it down before. Anyway, her prayer starts out "Dear God" like usual and then she gets down to business. "God?" She says, as though she's checking to see if he's listening. "God? Please let this baby be born TOMORROW. Amen." She doesn't throw in any of that "if it's your will" jazz, or "if you're not busy with other stuff" like I might do. I always feel weird asking God for things so boldly. I usually try to be more cool about it.
Well she prayed that prayer two days ago and here we all are still, me typing at the computer, the baby pushing my tummy out so it's almost touching the keyboard. Yesterday, Emma told me, apropos of nothing, "God said no." We hadn't been talking about the baby or anything, but I knew what she was talking about. It's a hard truth to witness your child learn...that sometimes God says no to what we ask for. I imagine, up until now, Emma has thought of God as this big Santa Claus type of guy up in Heaven who is just hanging out granting wishes to people from his little workshop in the clouds. I even think of him that way sometimes and then get frustrated when God says no. Why would he say no to sick friends getting better, to us moving closer to family, to a child's request for a baby to be born? I don't pretend to fully understand it. All I know for sure is that he does have a plan for all of us and it is better than any of us could envision for ourselves. Maybe his vision will not make our lives easier, or fancier or more comfortable, but it will most likely shape us into what and who he wants us to be, which is sort of the goal of, well, life. Right?
So, all Emma and I can do at this point is be patient and pray and hope for the best. It's not glamorous, but I think it's teaching us both more than we realize: that we are not in charge here, and that's a good thing.