“Mama. I want tricycle for Christmas.” she cheerfully announced from my lap.
It was 8 days before Christmas. I thought about the presents sitting in the other room, mostly wrapped. My toddlers already had stockings, and three great gifts. I was done. Finished. Christmas was already planned and executed.
“Babygirl, Mama already bought the presents. They are already wrapped and waiting for Christmas morning. There is no tricycle. Maybe we can get a tricycle or your birthday. Okay?”
“Okay! Tricycle present for birthday!”… 5 minutes later: “Mama, I wake up Christmas morning and find tricycle present under the tree!”
“No baby. no tricycle for Christmas. We have to wait for birthday.”
“Okay. Christmas present tricycle will make me so happy! I excited. I love you mama. You give me tricycle.”
And this went on for two days! No matter what I said, she never went more than 15 minutes without asking for a tricycle. But she wasn’t just asking. She KNEW that she was going to get a tricycle. She was so thankful for the tricycle she just knew was coming. I’ve never seen such faith!
After 2 days of this, we hopped on Craigslist and bought a couple of trikes. The absolute certainty she had completely melted my heart. I couldn’t NOT grant her request, even though it wasn’t one of my planned gifts. And it brought me so much joy to give her what she consistently asked for.
It’s now the middle of January. I’ve started a novena for a special intention and, like we all do when we want God to give us something (or is it just me?) I got real serious about prayer.
“Blessed Mother, help me to pray this novena well. Teach my heart to pray in a way that is pleasing to Our Lord. I know I should ask you this even when I don’t want stuff. Please forgive me. But I want stuff. Please show me how to pray in a way that moves your Immaculate Heart!”
An image of my daughter and her tricycle popped into my head. And I understood.
THIS is how you pray. Wholey. Innocently. Unceasingly. Full of faith and confidence. Simply KNOWING that your heavenly Father hears your prayer. With a heart full of gratitude and joy for what you are confident He will give you.
If my sinful heart cannot refuse my daughter asking this way, how much more does this genuine, childlike prayer pull at the Sacred and Immaculate hearts?
So thank you, Mama Mary, for the tricycle I’ll find on Christmas!