Ancient History

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Give Thanks

From the littlest years, we have taught our kids to pray. Before meals and at bedtime, prayer has become an important part of the routine, to the point where the kids squabble about who’s turn it is to say the prayer. We are working on that. The trick is keeping the act of prayer more than a meaningless routine, more than words that just spill out in a singsong way, empty. I don’t want them to think of prayer as the barrier between them and their waiting plate of steaming spaghetti.

When Aidan was a toddler, she came up with her own original prayer which she said before dinner and at bedtime:

Dear God,
Put a bubble around our house, a heart around our books, and protection around our food. Amen.

I have always loved this prayer and I have thought about cross-stitching it and putting it in a frame. The problem is that I do not know how to cross-stitch. I hate when my artistic visions meet my fumbling reality and skills that fall far short of my lofty ambitions. So I have commited the prayer to my memory–but how could I forget it? It has become a part of our family dialogue to the point that the boys have adopted and then adapted the prayer and made it their own.

Ryley’s version was “Dear God, put a bubble around the house, ‘tection around the food, Handy Dandy Notebook, Crayon, Mailbox, AMEN!” One of Ryley’s favorite toys during the toddler years was his $3 plastic Handy Dandy Notebook, from “Blues Clues”. He took it everywhere and slept with it. It never left his sight. So important was the Handy Dandy Notebook, it was prayed for. Ryley wanted God to protect his notebook. The crayon that went with the notebook was prayed for, as well as the character known as “Mailbox”. One thing that Ryley demonstrated, through his prayer, is that God can be trusted with what we hold dear in our own lives.

In the hands and hearts of Sam and Tommy the prayer has morphed even more from the original model. It usually sounds something like this: “Dear God, put a mubble aroun da house, notebook, cray-con, mailbox, notebook, ayyy-MEN!”

I cannot wait to hear their prayers as we gather around the table later today. I can smell the turkey cooking. I have seen the pumpkin pie and the apple pie and I have assigned my stomach the project of finding some way to fit in a piece of each without feeling too miserable afterward. Last night, my mom made stuffing. The TV is tuned to a football game. The Macy’s parade was on earlier, watched sporadically by the kids. Right now it is all about waiting to gather. All eyes will on each other and the food, all heads will bow, some will bob up and down for peeking purposes, and the prayer of a child simply saying “Thank you, God, for your bubbles, your heart, and your protection” will be sent heavenward.


2 comments to Give Thanks

  • brghtii

    Gretch, I enjoyed thisone! What a reminder! The littke things are so important! Give those munchkins hugs from me. Journey sends kisses to Joel and Katie to Tommy!

  • Uncle Jim

    I love the prayers the kids are bringing to the family and what a reminder of God…
    I can’t wait to see and hear everybody at Christmas

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