My Grandpa’s Prayer of Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Each year I like to share a special prayer of Thanksgiving that my Grandpa B wrote many years ago. Here I am with him a few decades ago.

He was an educator, a story-teller, and a writer.  He and his wife, my Grandma, taught me so much. I was blessed to have known them and so many of their family/also my family. We were and still are so different. They and my parents and family taught us to appreciate and love each other’s differences.

This prayer touches me greatly, especially since this is the time of year two years ago when my husband passed away unexpectedly. It is a challenging time but I hope that we can focus on our memories and remember the good times that we had. We were fortunate to have so many and took lots of pictures.

I hope that these words will touch you as they do me. I truly appreciate the simple things of life that he is focusing on — those milestones and moments with our families. This year more than ever, we can see how truly important they are. They are real and truly precious. Blessings to you and yours!

“Our Father-God We thank thee:

  • For the ringing laughter of our children playing, for their giggles, and the moist throaty chuckles of our babies
  • For the tender weight of a sleeping child in our arms, and the trust of a tired son who rests his head upon our shoulder, and sleeps
  • For the joy we feel in baby’s first tooth, first word, first step, and the thrill of the grown-up child who marries
  • For the exultant communion with our teen ones when we dive together into the clean cold surf at dawn, and stand with them silently at sunset drinking glory from the cloud-studded sky
  • For small boys on tricycles, or on hands and knees in the sandbox pushing toy trucks and making man-noises
  • For tomboy girls streaking across the lawn, swinging on rings, or whirling like pinwheels on turning bars
  • For the wonder on the sensitive face of a half-grown child as she listens to a great organ for the first time, or watches a symphony orchestra
  • For the fun of family picnics, and vacation trips, and going fishing together
  • For the thrill we feel when a daughter stands before us in her first formal gown, and we realize that she is beautiful
  • For the joy of a child’s recovery from illness, and the relief we feel when we see an accident almost happen, but not quite
  • For the pressure of a timid child’s hand in ours as we walk together in the dark
  • For parenthood we thank thee
  • And, our Father-God, to thee we pray for peace. If it be they will, grant that we may continue our lives together in the precious years to come. Amen.”

I love this prayer and it gets me every time. He captures the wonder and joy of parenthood and family so well. My family is very precious to me and I have so missed seeing many of them.

I too want to pray for peace as well as kindness for all of us. I want to pray for healing and mental health and comfort in knowing we will all be okay.

May you have a blessed Thanksgiving, no matter how small the gathering is of those around your table. May you enjoy the times you have with your loved ones.  And, may you always, always love.

Teaching Our Kids About Frustration and Loss

I hope and pray that we adults can show the kids that despite being frustrated and lost, that there are still good things in life. We can show them that is okay to be upset and that we aren’t always super strong about things in our lives.

We should give them and ourselves time to process these terrible things and deal with them. If we need to cry, then let’s cry. If we need to scream, let’s scream. Let’s feel what we need to feel.

What we shouldn’t do is start being unreasonable or completely awful and hateful to those that we love or those that we don’t know. All that does is cause more conflict and hurt for others. Finding that line can be hard since we sometimes feel like we are unraveling. But let’s remember to treat others with kindness. We should remember that for ourselves as well.

Let’s be a safe place for our young people and help them deal with the issues and problems that they have. My son and his friends are dealing with things I never thought of as a teenager. It boggles the mind how different some things are. Yet, stress and anxiety have always been there. I just hope and pray that we can deal with it and help them deal with it as well.

In sports, there are winning teams and losing teams. In the Olympics, a runner or a swimmer can lose by less than a second and that is the difference between a gold medal and a silver medal. Knowing this, the athletes continue to compete. They know that there are wins and losses. They are thrilled with the wins and upset about the losses. Hopefully they can learn from the times they lose. Hopefully all of us can.

The same is true in politics, acting, and applying for jobs. We don’t always get the title we want, the part we want, or the office we want. If we don’t get those things, let’s remember to be kind anyway. Let’s also remember to be sensible and not accuse others of cheating or stealing it from us. If there is a problem, actual evidence of a wrong-doing should be presented and reviewed.

We can continue to teach our kids/teens/young people how to be kind winners and losers. They need to be good sports. For that matter, so do we as adults. We could all use the reminder to lose gracefully.

We also could remember to win gracefully and without being know-it-alls or rubbing someone’s face in the fact. Let’s also not be those parents that scream hatefully on the sidelines at a game. Let’s instead cheer on our teams, no matter the outcome. 

Let’s also encourage our young people to finish what they need to, to try as hard as they can, to live up to their promises to others, and to support their friends, classmates, and teammates. We can support others and also may learn some empathy along the way. 

I hope and pray that we can be examples to the next generation of how to treat one another. I mean a good example instead of one that shows them what not to do. Many of our youth know this far better than we do. Perhaps we can learn from them as well.