It finally happened: Our 10-year-old, cathode-ray television, complete with VHS player, broke. To be fair, the VHS player stopped working a couple of years ago, but you could still make out about half the picture even with the static. We decided it was time for a little pre-Thanksgiving shopping, in spite of all of the enticing Black Thursday/Friday/Saturday/Sunday ads. We thought it might be nice to actually see the Thanksgiving Day parade and even read the scores of football games. So all three of us piled into the car and headed to our local big box store to find a reasonably priced TV that wouldn’t dominate our entire living room.

There we were, bundled up and strapped in, my husband trying to navigate an already-insane parking situation while I offered unheeded suggestions about where to park. Our daughter sat in her car seat, happily singing and muttering to herself. All of a sudden, amidst the confusion, we heard her clearly say, “Thank you, God, for loving us. Amen.” It sort of put the whole parking lot chaos, TV-buying mission into perspective. At first my husband looked a little sheepish. Our daughter basically took that line verbatim from his bedtime prayers.

“I need more variety in my prayers,” he mused.

“No way,” I countered. “If you think about it, if there’s only one thing she remembers us teaching her about God, isn’t that the one you want it to be?”

He agreed and parked the car, and we went in and got our new TV. So we can see the scores of the football games now, and we’ll be able to watch the parade together on Thanksgiving morning. I’m so excited to see the floats with my daughter as we cuddle up in our pajamas and eat cinnamon rolls. I can already smell the scent of turkey wafting in from the kitchen. But most of all, I am so excited that my little girl is learning how much God loves us. I am so thankful that even in all the ways I fall short as a person and a parent, she’s getting that lesson. The best I can do is repeat that same simple statement like my husband and daughter and say thank you, God, for loving us. Amen.


  1. Love this! What a darling daughter you have (no surprise there, she has good parents). And what a lucky girl, too, to have parents who think long-term about the effects (and importance) of their parenting.

  2. I lament the fact that evangelicals have lost the beauty and importance of memorized truth. The total neglect of catechism in the evangelical church demonstrates that we think the only sort of praise that is acceptable must be spontaneous and not memorized. I am glad that you recognized the value of what your husband has taught your daughter by repetition and encouraged him in it.

    I had a similar moment with my son. When he was in kindergarten, his teacher asked the class if they knew what sin was. My son raised his hand and said, “Sin is any lack of conformity to, or transgression of, the law of God.” Pretty deep theology from a five year old, and it made for one very shocked kindergarten teacher. :)

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