Marley isn't too sure what to think of them. I don't have kids who have these amazingly precocious relationships with God. My kids don't want to pray. They don't want to talk about God. At least at home. By just reading the Compline prayer though, I feel like Marley gets to absorb a little perspective, have the prayer said over her--all without the pressure of having to be so vulnerable as to verbalize prayer requests or come up with words of her own.
Sometimes I try to break some things down for her. Tonight it was as simple as asking her if she knew what the word "Thy" meant. She thought it was a way to say "the." We also talked about God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. She has a pretty good handle on God the Son, but when you start adding in the rest of the Trinity, she's thrown for a loop. She is a very concrete thinker and at 8, I think God as three persons is just too much.
But talking about God as Father, I was able to share a little with her about the comfort of these prayers--how they are like God my Father holding me in his arms. We talked about the symbolism of being sheltered under his wings. I told her that I didn't have that type of relationship with my daddy, so I was grateful that I had a heavenly daddy to do what my "real" daddy didn't. I told her she was lucky because she has two daddies. (A look of complete confusion was on her face.) I told her that she has her "real" daddy and a heavenly one. She made sure I understood that she likes her "real" daddy the best. We wrapped up our "daddy discussion" with me explaining that her real daddy helps show her God's love and how he loves us.
It actually turned out to be quite the theological discussion.
One thing I was pleased about was that I was able to share with her my own need for a daddy. Right now I wish I was in a father's arms. I say 'a' because I can never say 'my'. Bill just never inspired that in me. It is partially because of him and the havoc he wreaked on my world that I am feeling so much in need of a parent these days. A daddy to hold me and love on me and tell me everything is going to be okay.
Where am I finding my value? Is it the right way, through knowing that I am a deeply loved child of God or am I trying some other way to feel valued and important?