One night last fall, I was lying awake discouraged with my parenting. Earlier in the day, all three of our wonderfully angelic children were. . .driving me crazy. We were on our way to school, late and stressed. Noise, fighting, selfishness, we had it all (and I’m not just talking about the kids). It was as if our mini-van was a rolling MMA cage. But, there was one noise that was more obnoxious and stress-inducing than the others- the cow. Maggie had procured (I won’t say “bought” because I can’t believe anyone would buy one of these!) a tiny key-chain cow, that mooed when squeezed. But wait, his nostrils also lit up. What joy. In the midst of the bickering, Maggie continued to put the cow next to my ear and to shine the light in my eyes while I was driving. After a while, I lost it. I grabbed the cow, opened the passenger window, and threw the cow out to the greener pasture of the Best Buy parking lot as we sped buy.
Silence. A stunned count of 10. Then, as if a tear grenade had gone off, crying ensued from all three kids. Apparently my big show of parental power backfired. I dropped the kids off and looked for a rock to crawl under.
As I lay thinking about the cow and my udder impatience, I began praying, asking God to fill in the holes of my parenting. The sincerity and dependence of my prayer solidified something in my soul, all I really want is for my kids to love Jesus. If I had only one prayer (other than salvation), that would be it, that my kids would learn to love the truth of God’s word.
So, I went to the piano and pounded out a confessional of a song in the key of C (because that’s the only key I can play piano in). A song was born. A few months later, while in Nashville to record, I was down to picking the last song that would make it on the record. Rayna mentioned in passing that I couldn’t come home if I didn’t record One Prayer so that helped the decision making process along. If I Had Only One Prayer was the last song to make it on the record, and I’m glad it did.
PS- Maggie and I went back to the scene of the crime after school. I asked her forgiveness and we did a cow search. I saw a crushed cow against the curb, she didn’t, and I gently led her away, to Michaels Craft Store, where more cows were waiting to be adopted.
You can check out If I Had Only One Prayer here: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/just-beyond-the-door/id441782343