After spending 7 days with our 7 grandchildren ages 4 to 13, I’m in awe of the time, energy, and creativity it takes to be a parent in this day and age. When Uncle Rob declared an “electronic-free day,” there was great gnashing of teeth, loud arguments, puny whines, stomping of feet, arms folded in disgust, and downcast faces. But by the end of the day, new games out-of-doors had been invented with lots of running around. Some even played old-fashioned games such as ring toss and catch.
On our drive back home, my husband and I were talking about what a parent’s prayer at the end of a long day might look like. What if we used the prayer form of ACTS—Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication? Here is what we came up with, and we offer it on behalf of parents everywhere.
We are in complete awe of Your Beautiful Creation of all living beings including our own children.
We hope you don’t think we are bragging, but our children are beautiful in your image (most of the time.)
When they show their love and care towards even a squirmy worm found after a rain, we know they have something of You inside them.
When they say, “I’m sorry” to their little sister or brother, we know they are learning Your Message of love and forgiveness.
But, as tired and often overworked parents doing too many things, we confess we lose patience and wisdom.
Then we blurt the first thought out of our mouths like, “You are so impossible. What am I going to do with you (or even worse)?”
Please forgive us these stressed out parenting words and deeds. We know Your love surrounds us as a family even when our parenting love fails us.
How thankful we are for what our children can teach us.
With all the deadlines and activities impinging on us, it’s hard to keep promises until one of them says, “Remember, Mommy and Daddy, a promise is a special gift you have given someone.”
Thank you for these reminders of what loving relationships are built upon.
And, finally, we ask You to keep our precious children in Your care no matter where they are or what happens to them.
As the small and big challenges of life confront them, please guide our words and actions to support them in ways that are most loving and nurturing as You have taught us.