My boys were tired this morning. Getting those feet to hit the floor was challenging. They stayed up late last night, pencil in hand, writing — not jumping on the beds, not building Legos, not harassing their brothers, or sneaking downstairs for a glass of water. They were up late, laying quietly in their beds, writing. Hmmm.
I picked up some little spiral notebooks at Staples. Not the mini ones; these are the ones that are about 7×5 inches. I wanted to give them to the boys for wish lists, prayer journals, and Write It Down Make It Happen journals. I pray with them every night, and their prayer lists are short, so I didn’t think they would find the “prayer journal” concept all that appealing. I however, live and breath by my own journal.
I was wrong. The minute I pulled out the notebooks, the little ones were so excited, that they opened them up, and breathed in the smell of the brand new pages.
My prayer list is huge. I once read that a very experienced preacher turns his prayer requests into a “list” so that he doesn’t get sidetracked and miss something. A list? What a great idea. What a practical solution. So, I brought the whole spiritual down to practical terms put everything in list format in a journal. Still, even as I write the lists, my mind gets scattered, fluttering off this topic to another. So I developed a system: The requests are numbered. When the “thank yous” pop into my head, I enter them, in order as they come, but put an asterisk beside those.
Now, I can keep the gratitude list straight, and the requests separate.
So, as I handed the boys their journals, I explained my “system,” and how great it works. There is no need to re-list the same prayer requests from day to day, you can just pray through the list. If something is answered, just cross it off. New ideas can be added under the daily entry. But, just be sure, to list your gratitude’s… write them down! They are vital!
They weren’t listening. They were writing. In a matter of seconds, they had their own system in place, and were busying putting it into action. Their short prayer list, was actually quite lengthy, and they were worried about “running out of space.” So much for those little, trival prayers they say.
“Just turn the page, and keep writing.”
“I can’t. That goes into tomorrow’s page.”
I can get your a new journal if you run out of space….
This extra set of hands — this journal. When mommy’s too busy to listen to your prayers, when your list is too long for time, when you don’t know where to turn… you have this journal.
Those little minds carry a lot on those shoulders, I realized. The lists keep growing and they become more intensely focused. “Please help me to be a Super Hero when I grow up and not have the cops chase me.” The lists went on, and on.
I watched them, bursting out their souls on these pages. “You know, you can use colored pencils, if you want and draw some pictures if you feel like it.” No thanks.
They worked long into the night, releasing tightly held fears, worries and hopes. The next morning, I found the pages full of color, and colored pencils tucked under their pillows.