My Toddler and My Prayer Life

When my oldest first started communicating with us, without any words, he would bring whatever he wanted to us and look at us with “open this” or “I want this” eyes.

But after a whole lotta speech therapy, he started really communicating … with like WORDS.

And now, after about a year of speaking, it is constant chatter. He observes signs and landmarks as we ride in the car and he narrates his play as if he has been talking all of his life.

In the beginning we celebrated when he would bring us the veggie straws to indicate that he wanted them because that was communication. It was the ability to request — something we had prayed for fiercely.

Now, the requests do. not. stop. “I want to go to Old McDonalds. I want a tree house. I want to go to the pool … after school. I want to hangout with Chelsey. I want donuts. I want to go to California.”

He requests everything from snacks to play dates to dream vacations.

He is insatiable.

Last Tuesday, I was all requested out.


As I prayed for a little relief and laughed about how hard I’d prayed for a nonverbal request, a word, and maybe one day, a verbal request, it hit me —

My toddler is to me as I am to God.

Before you report me to the Vatican, hear me out —

I am not at all by any means comparing myself to God. I just have a bit of empathy for the Big Man upstairs.

When I pray — God, please keep my family safe. Please let my husband have a fulfilled day at the office. Please let my husband come home early. Please keep us healthy. Please let Max continue to close the gap. Please let Fitz continue to develop on track. Please, God, please.

I am one request after another, too. I am just like my toddler.

I am insatiable.

I suspect, however, that God has a little more patience than I do. I suspect that my requests for God fall on gentler ears — ya know, because divine and all …

But nonetheless, I am no different than a requesting toddler. With every dream and prayer fulfilled, there I am with another — sometimes for a snack but more often than not, I am at his feet with something major — major to me.

I would like to think that my new realization about my toddler-like approach to prayer and my relationship with God would change things. But really, I know that I will still hit my knees and pray for change, healing, and grace with just as much fervor as my toddler requests donuts.

I can only hope that I look as sweet and serene to God when I sleep as my toddler looks to me — it makes the job of request filler a whole lot more tolerable.

Rebecca Autin
Rebecca is an attorney by day and a toddler wrangler by night. She is a product of divorced parents and grew up in both Thibodaux and Franklin, Louisiana. Rebecca attended Loyola University of New Orleans and Southern University Law Center. Rebecca married her high school bestie in 2012. Quinton and Rebecca went through months of infertility before giving birth to Maxwell Lincoln in 2015. In 2016, they were surprised by a baby boy due in June 2017. But, in February 2017, they suffered with incompetent cervix and delivered sweet Theodore Paul too soon. In October 2018, after an incredibly difficult pregnancy, a cerclage, and a whole bunch of bedrest, Fitzgerald Joseph was born -- a happy, healthy, and perfect rainbow. If you can't find Rebecca, you can summon her with pot of freshly brewed coffee or look for her in Target or behind the kitchen island where she is hiding from her kids with a very generous pour of red.


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