by DanWolgemuth on August 19, 2022

Just, Emmie.

As summer begins to retreat, some days more willingly than others, I’m prone to reflect on this past season. Perhaps a throwback to the years of reporting to my classmates at Whittier Elementary School in Wheaton on my summer activities.

This summer was punctuated by significant time with our eleven grandchildren. Seldom all at the same time, but time with each grandchild. In these environments, I am referred to as Pops, and Mary embraces the title of Emmie, as a tip of her cap to her Finnish roots.

In the many, many hours of time with Mary and our grandchildren, what struck me over and over was just how much these kiddos use Mary’s grandma name. Even when their parents are around, and especially when I am around!

“Emmie, I want apple juice.”

“Emmie, can I have a yogurt?”

“Emmie, I hurt myself.”

“Emmie, can you help me with this coloring book?”

“Emmie, will you please read to me?”

“Emmie, I want a piece of cinnamon toast cut into four pieces.”

“Emmie, look at what I made.”

“Emmie, will you come down into the basement with me?”

“Emmie, will you watch a movie with us and eat popcorn?” (Now that’s an easy sell!)

“Emmie, on the way over to your house I saw a bird. It had a little yellow on the wings. Do you know what it was?”

“Emmie, will you tuck me in bed?”

“Emmie, I can’t sleep.”

“Emmie, watch me swim.”

“Emmie, can we stay one more night with you?”


Every request, every observation, every plea, every need, every moment of celebration… “Emmie…”

Perhaps this is a small sample of what Jesus had in mind when He instructed His followers on how to pray.

“Our Father… you are the best. Our go to. The name that is on the tip of my tongue in every situation. Whether it’s food I need or comfort I seek. You. Our Father. Our God. Abba…”

Muscle memory in action. His name, top of mind.


Not out of compulsion. Not as a crutch. But as the presence I want closest in every situation.

On the tip of my tongue. At the front of the line in my heart.

Unforced and always.

The name of Our Father, the name of Jesus, our Savior… in every situation. Grief or glory. Pain or party. Worry or wonder. Always, first.

Emmie, as a wonderful reminder of why Jesus believed that children could teach us a lot.


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