The prayer is pretty much the same every night. We give thanks for our dinner, and all that we have. We pray for our soldiers and we pray for three sick children that we know. And we ask that everyone we know and love be taken care of, and protected. My husband used to have the girls add in a little prayer for Derek Jeter at the end, but I put the kibosh on that, because I think he is doing AOK for himself, and there are others who really need our good thoughts.
Someone different says it each night. Depending on the starvation level in the room, it is said either at a medium pace, or quickly blurted out. I love this brief time with my family. It is everything I ever dreamed of. My true love, and my three, smart, healthy little girls. Some nights, I just have to pinch myself. I really can't believe my good fortune.
Our nightly prayer also reminds me of when I was little. My family always said Grace before we ate, and we held hands. Some nights, I really didn't enjoy holding my siblings hands, depending on how I was feeling about them at that moment. I remember rolling my eyes as we sat down. The prayer was almost annoying. I used to just want to be like families on TV, and just dig right in. It seemed silly to me. Thanking God for Shake N Bake pork chops? Really?
And if dinner wasn't finished, there was always the reminder of the "starving children in China and Africa". Let's mail them this Rice A Roni, I would think to myself. The thankless, compassionless, musings of my my 8 year old self.
Olivia was lying in bed with me the other night. She turned and looked at me, and said that she loves our home, and that she knows how lucky we are to have soft cozy beds, and a warm house. She said that at school, her teacher, Mr Schubert was talking about how so many people don't have a home, and some don't have jobs, or any money. She added that she appreciated having food and clothes.
I thought to myself, how the dialogue has really changed with all of our kids. There is such a constant reminder in the back of a lot of peoples minds how quickly we can lose all that we take for granted. Even the luxury of a home, or a warm house. Our children are growing up differently. Some kids, like my own, have experienced job loss. They have witnessed very stressed parents. Some have seen more than they should in their young lives.
But maybe our children will be better for it. More aware that we live better than most in this world. That a roof over your head, or heat coming out of your vents isn't just a given, but something that depends on so many other factors.
Today, I give thanks for all that I have. The roof over my head, however temporary it may be, I am grateful for it. The food that we have in our refrigerator, and cabinets this week. The kindness, and generosity that has been given to my family, I am forever touched, and so very thankful for.
A friend of mine wrote these words the other day..."Just when you think mankind has lost it's way and people think of nothing but themselves you get smacked by true kindness and generosity by strangers and family. May I stay humble and given the chance to pay it forward now and always".
My thoughts exactly.