A Parent’s Prayer, available at: ForYourMarriage.org

Happily Even After

A Parent’s Prayer

October 31, 2012

I don’t know about you, but for me it is the time of year where I could really use a little extra spiritual support.

It’s ironic in a way because of the “fall lull”– that time and space right between all the start up events associated with settling into a new school year and a new rhythm of family life, and the beginning of holiday season in full force.

Ostensibly, this is down time. I should be in a particularly good space. I should enjoy the changing of the seasons. Leaves falling everywhere. Hot cider on cold football Saturdays. Corn mazes and pumpkin carving.

But really, I just feel a bit tired.

And that is most apparent to me in parenting. As I go to bed or ride to and from work, I think of fun things I want to make a point of doing with the children when we have free time together around the house.

But when the free time presents itself…I am just a step off my game. I may feel a bit underinspired in the moment or just need to choose something a bit lower key. The problem is: I do that every time. There are very few times I take advantage of the opportunity to really engage the children fully.

It bums me out. But not in that “oh, gee, I’ll do better next time” sort of way. More in the existentially despairing, “I stink as a mom” sort of way. And I know the answer to THAT sort of “bummed out” is prayer.

So, in case you may feel similarly from time to time, I offer up this little prayer for your use. I copied it into my prayer book from something that was folded into a birthday card or anniversary card from a grandmother, or my mother-in-law, or aunt or great aunt – I really don’t remember which. But I am indebted to the women who parented before me and the woman who thought to pass this on:

Lord, as I live this day, renew in me:

The ability to laugh at my children’s antics

The time to share their moments of pride

The need to praise their separate strengths

The faith to trust their growing judgment

The patience to understand their changing moods

The virtue to forgive their disrespect

The openness to learn their ways and styles

The ears to hear what they are saying

The insight to embrace their doubts and fears

The tenderness to understand their broken dreams

And the wisdom to accept that their lives are built just one day at a time.



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Happily Even After

Happily Even After

Josh and Stacey have been married for almost 20 years. They have three children in middle school and high school. The Noems live in Indiana, where Stacey teaches in the Master of Divinity program at Notre Dame and Josh is a freelance writer.

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A Parent’s Prayer, available at: ForYourMarriage.org
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