God the Father

Since becoming a parent, I've thought about God as in "God the Father" in a way I never had before.

One example: I have plenty of examples of this happening, but I'll give you the freshest one on my mind.
When we took the boys to the aquarium, in the very first room you go in, there was a vending machine.  Shepherd was mesmerized by the vending machine and wanted to push all of the buttons and get himself a drink.  We had barely made it inside, hadn't seen anything cool yet, and my son can not get past this vending machine.  He's having a fit because I'm trying to tear him away from it.
"Shep, we are going to see so many cooler things! Sharks and penguins! Crocodiles! You can pet a stingray! Come with me!"

I wonder how often, we are hung up on something ridiculous, and can't move on, when our Heavenly Father has such bigger plans for us.  Things we couldn't even imagine.  Experiences, relationships, growth.  How many things do we miss out on because we can't get past the vending machine we think is so worthy of our time?

I also think about how as a parent, I want to take care of my children.  I want to give them good things. But sometimes those things don't happen because of their behavior.  A small example: We need to take a nap, so you'll be in a good mood later today when I have something really fun planned for you.  God has given us clear instructions of how to live.  I've caught myself saying, "Major! Come on! I have big plans for you, lets go take a nap now so we can do it later."

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you.  Plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11

Once I had Shepherd, it so changed my view of God...gave it a whole other dimension I'd never really thought about.  God the FATHER.  I think about how much I want whats best for my children, want them to have good things, good relationships, experiences, etc.  How much more does God want that for his children?

All of this to say, I love that there is so much power in prayer.  We say grace before dinner every night. Shep can not be in the mood to eat, be intent on continuing to play with his toys, but as soon as we say, "lets say our prayers" he always comes to the table.  I am not exaggerating when I say he holds each of our hands and squeezes his little eyes shut, the entire time.  The entire time.  It is the most precious thing.  I can't help but believe that that is the Holy Spirit, working in my child, already being an example of how prayer changes things.  You can feel God's presence as we say our prayers. 

A lot of times if I am trying to get Shep to go to sleep, I'll offer to pray for him.
I am making a conscious effort to not "water down" prayers I say with him.  I want him to hear me talk to God and for that to shape his own relationship.

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