Here I go down memory lane, and I'm going to drag you all along with me. Just because I can. ;)
For as long as I can remember, Dad has prayed with us kids every night at bed time. I took it for granted for many years. Until recently.
As a little toddler, I remember running back to my room, diving under the covers, and yelling "Daddy! Come pray with me!!"
When it was dark, and I got scared, I'd yell out "Daddy! Come pray with me!!" and know that he would be coming soon, and then I didn't have to be scared anymore.
As I got older, and more ornery, ideas started coming to mind...
I'd roll up in a ball at the foot end of my bed, under the blankets, and yell for him. Sometimes it took more than once of calling to get him to come... But when he did... I'd lay as still as possible, peeping out from under the blanket, and watch him look at the bed all puzzled, and then scout the room to see where I was; when he wouldn't find me, he'd step out into the hall, and look around all puzzled. Pretty soon he'd come back and look again... that was what I was waiting for.
As he'd pass the foot end of the bed, I'd jump up, a lump of noisy blankets, and his reaction would be spectacular every time. It never got old. :D
My sister even did it on occasion... ;)
As we got older, he'd finish whatever it was he was doing before coming. That became my thinking time.
All the difficult thoughts from the preceding day would come flooding back, and I'd mull them over; often times asking Dad about them when he did show up.
Prayer time with Dad was my Daddy time. That's when we'd get to talk some. A lot of the time he'd get off on some subject, and talk on forever about it. Usually talking me to sleep. ;) But I learned from those talks.
Many times when I wondered how Dad felt about different things, I'd find out by listening to his prayer.
He doesn't show feeling much... except when he's praying.
Night time prayer was a sort of bonding time.
A lot of times we'd get to goofing around; tickling, and laughing. (Dad and I are both very ticklish)
Those times were lots of fun. Then we'd hear Mom's voice from the other room "It's getting late, and we need sleep, let Dad go." That would put an end to the giggling for the night. Only to be taken up again the next night. ;) (poor Mom, we weren't very nice keeping her up late so often...)
Getting older I wouldn't yell for him to come anymore, but ask him before heading off. He would always come.
At the end of each prayer, he said the same thing. All growing up, he prayed the same prayer. I got so used to it it seemed odd if he forgot it once in a while, but I never really thought about it much.
That thing was "...may she grow in You, with a gentle and quiet spirit..." sometimes that grabbed my attention, and had me thinking for a long time.
That's one thing I've always known that Dad wanted of me. And these last several years I've really been trying to be that... but finding that I can't be on my own. It has to come from God. And He has been helping with it. Slowly, but surely.
Even when we were gone, staying the night somewhere, and Dad wasn't there (which wasn't often) he would call and pray, over the phone.
The few occasions where he couldn't, or forgot to come pray with me... I knew it. Everything was thrown off for me.
Those prayer times with Dad have gone from my Daddy time, to family prayer time each night.
Thinking back, I miss those times. All that was learned in those times. All the fun we had.
Prayer time with Daddy is a treasured memory now. And I can't help wishing that every child had what I had growing up.... The most awesome Dad in the world. :)
Serving the Father, because of my father