As the evening quickly darkens, I'm walking along my street back to our house with the girls in tow. Reese has been selling cookie dough for a school fundraiser. Extrinsic motivation works for this girl. Just the promise of earning up to 20 plastic penguins to string on her fundraising lanyard has her itching to sell. (Obviously, I need to capitalize on this in conjunction with household chores.)
After the girls kick off their shoes and hang up their jackets, I review the order form: one hundred and five dollars worth of cookie dough sold. A good start. Then I look in our envelope and find ninety dollars.
Somehow we had misplaced fifteen dollars. And when I mean "somehow," I mean "by repeatedly dropping the money envelope on the sidewalk" and when I say "we," I mean "the child who loves to fundraise."
Rushed this time, we put on our shoes and jackets back once again and troll up and down the street. I rotate the flashlight slowly as it were a lighthouse beacon searching out the lost dollar bills that (I hope) are still afloat in the waves of our neighbors' grass.
We reach the end of our street. No luck. Then I point the flashlight down the final driveway and see a flutter of dollar bills in the far corner. Reese snatches them all. The prodigal money had returned.
Once we're near our house, I comment to Reese. "God sure took care of that for us."
She pauses for a moment. "Did you pray about it, Mom?"
I hadn't. I hadn't even thought about praying, to be honest. As soon as I realized that the money was missing, I had gone into action-mode: searching out the flashlight and rallying the troops. "God still helped us, though," I added.
She looks up at me in the glow of our porch light. "Well, I prayed."
And this mama's heart is full tonight.