A Little Sister Named Zoe

First of all, Grandmas and Gossip Artists can all settle down. It’s not that kind of post.

On to business… I was doing the dishes after dinner about a month ago and both kids walk in. (That doesn’t completely communicate the right idea…)

Both kids entered the kitchen, together, in step and with purpose. (That’s better.)

They stopped and Andrew kept looking at Emma, waiting for her to take the lead.

A few options flew immediately to mind:

  • They broke something and they’re trying to get out in front of it.
  • Emma did something and she’s bribing him with candy and oops, Daddy’s in the kitchen.
  • There’s some sort of tomfoolery/shenanigans/frolicsomeness taking place and I may need to call in the National Guard so that I can get out in front of it.

“Dad”, Emma begins, “We’ve talked about it.” She looks at Andrew, he grins his beautiful, goofy grin and nods about two notches short of whiplash.

She grins. I say, “You’ve talked about it?”

“Yep! We had a family meeting and we talked about it.”

(A family meeting? I don’t recall that one being on the calendar. Why do I feel dizzy?)

“We’ve talked about it and we both want a little sister named Zoe.”

(Why didn’t I call the National Guard when I had the chance?!?!?!?!?)


Zip it.  It was all I could muster.

“We talked about it and we both agree… we want a little sister named Zoe.”

(Of all possible things in the known universe, THIS is the thing they “agree” on…” I feel caught between two strong emotional responses. First, I should write it down. Their unity is an historical moment. Second, I knew I should have “borrowed” some of my Dad’s low-dose aspirin at Christmas.)

“And we both like the name Zoe. We want you to tell Mom.”

And they left me fetal in the kitchen, gasping for breath, unsure if I should laugh or cry or look into certain surgical reversals. Alright, you got me, I may have exaggerated the reactions slightly. But only slightly, I promise.

Bathtime, Bible, bedtime, lights-out all came and went without further cardiac function fluctuation. Around 10pm, I was on the couch flipping back and forth between some home improvement show and the NBA when the conversation came back to mind in the way that these things usually do for me. I started laughing and then I started thinking.

They were so stinking cute. They actually had a family meeting (“players only”, if you will) and came up with this plan. Then, they decided to come and talk to Daddy and let him know about the plan. And finally, they left that plan in Daddy’s hands and skipped off to play some more.

Tag. You’re it.

Because that’s what I do. Pretty much all the time.

“Hey God. I’ve been thinking. Here’s what I came up with in my infinite understanding and here’s what you should do about it.” Then I go off and do stuff.

We come right up to Him. We come in our youthful ‘wisdom’ and we come with our plans for all the ways He can make our lives better. And I wonder if we have (roughly) the same effect on Him. Not so much that He ROFL or anything, but that He watches us walk away with just a bit of a smile and shakes His head.

“Hey God. You know how busy I am… being all omniscient and omnipresent and stuff. So how about you help a dude out and I’ll just read a little here and pray a little there and you can bless me with divine understanding.”

Because we want a little commitment to go a long way.

“Hey God. I try to be a good person. I don’t always tithe and I’m probably not as generous as I should be. I buy stuff I don’t really need, but not too much… I could really use some help in the financial blessing department.”

Because we want more than we’re willing to give.

“Hey God. You know I love my spouse and my kids. You know I like Rob from work and Shelly from church. But I don’t seem to really connect with people that well. How about you send some friends my way so I don’t feel so alone?”

Because we want intimacy, to be seen and to be known, without seeing and knowing others.

“Hey God. I really appreciate the people around me who put all the effort into a deeper relationship with you. It’s awesome that she gets up at 4:30am and that he’s always reading a new book. I was thinking that if I hang out with them long enough, some of that could just rub off on me.”

Because we will do it later. No, we will. We promise.

“Hey God. You know the planning and preparation that has gone into this event. You know how hard we have worked. Please just show up and bless all that effort.”

Because sometimes we lose focus about our place in the relationship.

“Hey God… Take today and let me see You somewhere I usually overlook. Take my moments, yeah…the ones You’ve given me and show me how to make the most of them. Take my relationships and let me see You in each of them and please, please help me have the courage and humility to BE You in each of them. Take the money You’ve blessed me with and show me who needs it more than I do and teach me to rely on you for what I need every day. Take the breath that You’ve let me borrow and may it speak Your presence, building up and not tearing down, showing love and deference to Your Spirit, not my judgments. Take my life, my love, my words, my hands and my feet, all my heart, all my soul and please, take all of my mind.

“Hey God… Take all of me and fill it with as much of You as I can stand, and then maybe a little bit more.”

“And then tell Mom. I think she’ll be proud.”




  • You know how God places us with the right people who speak into our lives in profound ways? And you may or may not know that grammas may seem to be very old and wise, especially to their enthusiastic and curious grandchildren, but are in fact just smart enough to answer any deep questions by referring said grandchildren to their parents. Well I think the “family meeting” was held, and subsequent presentation to parental unit, following request to gramma for a little sister.
    The simplicity of the request is precious. Remember the story about the persistent widow…?

  • hey Chris, YA gotta quit sucking us in with cute and then doing conviction !

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