December 5, 2007

Putting God to the Test

If ever I needed a favor from God, this was it.

I was putting my toddler to sleep. When we got to the prayer, she rushed through her memorized lines, "Dear Heavenly Father, I'm thankful for Mommy, Daddy and Cher. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."
"You know, Pixie," I told her, "you can also ask Heavenly Father for things that you need when you pray. He loves to help us. Can you think of anything you need right now?"
"Maggie," she replied, referring to her toy kitten that had been AWOL for a week.
"Okay. Why don't you say another prayer asking Heavenly Father to help you find Maggie."
She was skeptical. "But isn't Heavenly Father in Heaven? How can he hear me?"
"He's really special." I said, knowing it was a lame answer. "Why don't you try asking?"
Pixie folded her arms and said, "Please help me find Maggie, I love Jesus, Amen." She opened her eyes and looked at me. "Did he hear me?"
"He sure did!" I said. "Now He's going to help us find her. Let's go!" It was the moment of truth.

We hopped out of her bed, turned the lights back on and started searching for the missing kitty. I kept reassuring Pixie that Heavenly Father would help us find her cat. All the while I was sending frantic prayers up to heaven that my teaching example wouldn't go awry and I wouldn't have to tell Pixie about why bad things happen to good kittens. Failure was not an option.

We searched in all the toy boxes. Nothing. We searched under the furniture. Nothing. I was getting tense. I found another toy cat and said, "oh look! I found Maggie!" thinking she may accept the substitute.
"That's not Maggie." Why can't kids be dumb?

I had put God on the spot but I don't deserve any favors these days. Would my hubris lead to the death of Pixie's budding faith? The more I began to doubt, the thicker my assurances became. "Don't you worry, Pixie! Heavenly Father always listens to prayers. He knows exactly where you cat is!"

Almost five minutes had passed. We'd searched every room of our apartment and I was running out of options. It was time to start thinking of ways to break the news that God wasn't a cat-person.

"I found her!" Pixie shouted from inside the broom closet, pulling Maggie from one of my many diaper bags.
"Of course you did!" I said cheerfully. I had Pixie say a thank you prayer on the spot. But no one was more thankful than me that God decided to play along at bedtime tonight to help in a mother's lame object lesson.

Pixie just may turn out Christian after all!


Karen said...

I love it! The faith of a child puts us to shame, every single time. You go, Mama, teaching the good stuff.

Anonymous said...


Becky said...

You need to change real name to fake at the end.

Angie said...

Ah yes... Let the little children come to me. We can't test God, but He can test us. We can't bargain with God, either, but it certainly is a joy to have concrete things to show our kids. What a beautiful little lesson for Pixie and the Flakes!

Hollywood said...

Yeah, I don't want Pixie to think that prayer is a trick pony, but it sure helped my object lesson that we found that darn cat!!

Thanks for the tip, becky - I'm still trying to adjust to our stage names!

Colleen said...


Spike said...

i think you need to change maggie's name to protect our identity.

Marie said...

And I thought this was going to be about Mitt Romney. Can't say I'm disappointed.

I'm glad you found Maggie. I was only Mormon for a year, but I still pray that way. It's very satisfying.

The Mom said...

I've been struggling with the same thing. My 6 year rushes through his memorized prayer every night. I told him he needs to slow down because he is talking to Heavenly Father and he needs to think of things that happened during the day that he is thankful for. I'm going to have the discussion with him about something he may need and see how it goes. Thanks for this entry - I really needed it!!!

her royal highness said...

We had the same thing happen at the store with a missing winter hat. And I was just as frantic as you to have Heavenly Father show my boy that he hears & answers prayers. And He delivered.
Sometimes those teaching moments are more of my benefit than the kids'. Sometimes I just need an answer to a little prayer like that to help me get through the rest of my day/week/month.
I'm glad you found the cat. I'm glad that your teaching opportunity turned out the way you had hoped.

Amy said...

It must run in the family. Your sister did almost the exact same thing once when my husband and I were hanging out at her house. Somehow Paul ended up hiding for "hide-and-seek" and Grace and Lille, ages 5 and 3, couldn't find him. Their mom said, "Pray for help and then you'll find him." Of course Paul could hear the whole conversation, so he happily obliged and allowed himself to be found. Too bad stuffed cats aren't so obliging--but awesome that God intervened.

wynne said...

Hey, at least she says prayers. That's GREAT.

Mine, he says, "Dear Heavenly Father, Amen. See? It's a lot faster that way, mom."

Keep it up, hollywood. Then come over here and teach mine, too.

chanel said...

sooooooo great! looks like you both learned about faith that night! :)

Deb said...

To quote my favorite bedtime song for my little one, "God hears Amen wherever we are."

I love that story. Your daughter will, too, when she's older.

christy said...

Last year my then 7 year old son was saying the family ptayer and asked for the power to come back on(it was out b/c of a little storm). As soon as the words came out of his mouth, the lights came on. The kids still talk about that. They were truly amazed. By the way, I'm Kelsey's sis in law if you don't know.

Heather said...