Sometime in the early morning Samantha had a nightmare. She said it was about sharks. I had been having a nightmare until I heard her sniffles outside our door, but mine was about my children being kidnapped. There are scary things in the world, real terrors that haunt us when we are asleep in our beds.
As I led her back to her room (after having her sit on the toilet because somehow the practical side of the brain is still coherent at O Dark Thirty) I thought of what I could do to make the scary stuff go away.
I tucked her in, kissed her wide yet little forehead and told her how when I am scared I ask God to give me peace and to keep my mind from imagining terrible things, like sharks.
I asked her if I could pray for her and she - who likes praying - nodded her head yes.
When I pray aloud I notice more and more how I search for concrete ways to express myself. I am tired of spiritual jargon. My inspiration in part has been little Samantha who when she prays is very specific.
"Thank you God that we get to run and dance and play."
"Thank you God for the potatoes, salad, the chicken (one eye peeking at table to carefully
list each item)."
She doesn't overcomplicate. So I am doing my best to do the same because I think God must appreciate that sweet and strong faith.
Half asleep, hugely pregnant, and vulnerable to scary dreams, I closed my eyes and asked God to stop the bad dreams like David stopped Goliath. That story of heroism is one of our family's favorites. The children love that David defeats the horrifying giant. It does not seem that David should win, but he does, every single time.