Me: "Who has the best seat in the house, me or daddy?"

Adam: "Well, Daddy's is nice, but yours is best. Your's is squishier."

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Did you think to pray?

I remember my mama's mellow alto voice floating though the house as she worked in the kitchen.  She sang hymns, sometimes in English, sometimes in the Spanish she loved.  But when I think of her singing, I always hear her voice crooning one song in particular;
"Ere you left your room this morning, did you think to pray?"

We have been struggling around here lately.  The tension, squabbles and anger have been the rule to the exception.  There is seldom a span of more than 15 minutes that isn't punctuated with tattling and tears.  A fight breaks out, and then in our attempts to sort out the he-said-she-said, another fight will ensue "No!  That's not what happened!"  "I did not, you did!"   
Soon my volume goes up to match the rest,
 and inevitably someone somewhere slams a door.
 Sometimes even me.

When I have nothing left in my parenting tool bag, I find myself turning the thing inside out.  What can I do now?  What haven't I tried?  Finally I crumble into a mental heap and hear my heart call out "What should I do, Father?" 
I wonder why prayer tends to be my last, not first, resort. 

And so I unpiled a messy, jumbled corner in my mind, and in the quiet there I prayed. 
And there in the quiet, the question became the answer. 

I sent the children out to the garden to gather large stones.  We washed and painted them, with beautiful colors and even some glitter, each with one word; "Prayer".  The children each put them on their beds, a reminder for each new day to begin and end with a prayer. 
But I know that it is not up to them to turn around the tone of our home.
 Guess whose job that is?

I made a rock, too.  More as an example to the kids than as a reminder, because prayer has been in the front of my mind for the past several days.  Each time I have to talk to certain children about certain things, before I open my mouth to speak, I have taken to saying a quick prayer that the words I choose will come out right.  As I pull up to the school to pick the kids up, I tell God about my plans for a more harmonious afternoon and ask for help in achieving those plans.  And I am praying for each of my little and not-so-little ones to feel a more peaceful spirit here in our home.

"Oh, how praying rests the weary
Prayer can change the night to day,
so when life gets dark and dreary
don't forget to pray."

Even though mom is gone, sometimes I can still hear her voice.

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