Gratitude and a present mind

Wind swept, exhausted and fulfilled, we returned home from a days adventure with adoptive families at a local zoo, up in the woods. It was a long drive as we went to pick up Katja, our new friend, from outside the city in the opposite direction. The effort was totally worth it!

The girls made new friends and met old ones. Jackie’s foster sister, who actually came as a placement because Jackie left, but we visited them and they became very very good friends. Now we’re friends with her adoptive mom too. It’s pretty amazing actually. I realize as I write this.

After we got home, we ate, the girls took showers, played a bit more, spent time in the garden and the day was over. Putting them to bed, we prayed as usual. Except today I felt urged to clarify the types of prayers we lift up, and how it’s a privilege and we are lifted up by prayer, it’s not just a sacrifice or a gift we make to God.

Both girls usually thank God for today and they pray for some thighs, among which there’s the cello, and without fail they pray that God would give them nice dreams.

As I pretended to be them: “gimme, gimme, gimme. Goodbye!” they laughed with glee. They thought it was funny. I said God want to give us good gifts, he is for us, and the world is all His and he is almighty. We ought to only ask. But ask wholeheartedly, nicely, sincerely, gratefully. Not demanding. Not whining. And then God wants us also to be in communion with him. To feel the gratitude for his gifts. I tool our adventure as the perfect example.

“Thank you Father for your creation, and for the opportunity to explore it, and see it closeup. Thank you for the clouds that gave us shade, and the wind and cooled our faces. Thank you for the deer and all the cute animas you created and that we got to see today. How wonderful you are God! How creative and majestic. We loved especially the horses. You made them strong and kind and so beautiful! It was a wonderful day, climbing trees, gliding down on zippiness, spending time with friends and family. You are an amazing Father and we love you. Amin”

The girls sat quietly taking in the imagery I guess. Ivy jumped in and complemented the prayer telling God what she observed and why she things he is amazing and worthy. Jackie joined in as well. I honestly thought we have showed them a complete approach to prayer. But knowing what I know about psychology and the human mind, worshiping God, seeking his presence, acknowledging his creation, is healing and an important aspect of practicing mindfulness. I have learned it though prayer before I knew it had a scientific name. What a gift! I am determined to pay it forwards.