Mom and I were talking last night about praying with Abby and when to start. She thought this would be a good time, but neither of us were sure exactly how to do it. On the one hand, you don't want kids to get the idea that praying means saying the exact same thing every single day, but on the other hand, they're not really developmentally ready to come up with their own stuff until, like, 4 or 5, so until then you either do all the praying for them and just have them listen, or you do something simple they can learn and say themselves. So during last night's bout of insomnia (close to two hours, I think), I rewrote the "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep" one, since I'm not going to have my child praying about the possibility of dying. Here's what I came up with:
Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray, O Lord, my soul you'll keep
Bless my friends and family
And lead us 'til your face we see*
Help me always to do right
Use me to show the world your light
Make me always speak what's true
And each day make me more like you, Amen.
*Not real crazy about this line, but I really like the one before it and there are shockingly few small words that rhyme with "family". I like the concept of praying for guidance, too, so...any suggestions for alternate endings to that line?
We were also talking about mealtime prayers. We weren't real good about this in my family growing up, and pretty much said the same thing (at lightning speed) every night after fighting over who had to pray, me or my brother. Not really the approach I want to instill. :) I remembered a prayer we used to sing in Girl Scouts before snack time (yes, we prayed in Girl Scouts! I wonder when they stopped doing that--I assume by now they have); the lyrics were: "The Lord is good to me, and so I thank the Lord for giving me the things I need, the sun and the rain and the apple seed. The Lord is good to me." Now, I understand the sentiment behind the song--thank you, God, for the ability to get food--but it's a little obtuse and there are many more heartfelt things one could say. So I rewrote the lyrics to:
The Lord is good to me
And so I thank the Lord
For giving me my family
My friends and love and food to eat
The Lord is good to me
It's not real meal-centric, but most mealtime prayers I've heard in my day include things outside the food, so why not, right? Now I just have to get in the habit of actually saying these with Abby, and heaven knows I am NOT good at starting habits, especially when I'm preggo and forgetful as a gerbil. I"m thinking of posting the nighttime prayer on the lamp in the bedroom so I see it (and remember the words!) before turning out the light, and of making a placemat for Abby's highchair that has the mealtime one on it. That would be cute, huh? Drawing it on posterboard and laminating at Staples or something would work, right? Put all those scrapbooking tools to use? That would be cool. Speaking of which, I've got to get going on my pregnancy scrapbook and get Abby's book done before the new baby comes. Think I'll go get started right now...