Thursday, February 9, 2012

All good things

I thought I'd do a blog thing and join Sarah Bessey's Practices of Parenting Carnival. So. Here we are.
I say a prayer with Evelyn at the end of every day when I'm nursing her.  After she's bathed and dressed in footie pajamas and I've combed out her mullet, we settle in on the couch to nurse before bedtime.  And then I say our prayer for the end of the day, using the phrasing I start every prayer with because it's how I was taught to pray as a little kid: "Thank you, God, for this day.  Thank you for...." and I list our family, and the people she saw during the day.  I thank God for the things people did with her during the day, the places she went, and the foods she ate.  I give thanks for our health and our home and our books and our dinner and when she begins to give me a look like she wants me to stop talking and let her zone out or my tired mind just trails off, I finish up with "and thank you for all good things. Amen."

And that's how I want to raise Evelyn in general.  I want her to see all the good things in her life and to appreciate them.  Whenever I want to panic about all the things I can't control or all the things we can't give her, I have to stop and remember that this is a very good life and I want her to see us appreciating it. 

Gratitude and celebrations are not that difficult now because she's 10 months old.  We exclaim "Yay!" for everything from the light changing so we can cross the street, to every new food she tries.  We hand her things and say "And now you'll say 'thank you.' [Pause.]  And we say, 'you're welcome!'" Cody looks up the daily reading online every day and reads it to her.  He finishes the reading with "The word of the Lord." and if I'm there to think of it, I respond "Thanks be to God."  If I tell Cody I took Evelyn for a walk, he says to her "Wasn't that nice of Mom, girl?  I bet you had so much fun!" and vice versa.  When we do these simple little things, we wind up reminding ourselves of how happy we are.  And that is definitely something I want to show Evelyn, and that is why it's one of my practices of mothering.  I hope getting started on this now will help us carry on this practice as she gets older, even if I don't know how we'll do that specifically.  But I do know that nightly prayer is staying for as long as I'm putting her to bed.

Oh, and the first thing I list after thanking God for another day?


Of all the good things, she's the very best and my absolute favorite.


Sarah Bessey said...

Simple and yet so spiritual. I love this. I'd like to add it to our home.

Terri said...

Thanks Jennifer for reminding me today to be thankful. I have a quote up on a chalkboard in the living room that reads, "What if you woke up today with only the things that you thanked God for yesterday." The first time I read it it stopped me cold in my tracks and has reminded me every day since to be more thankful.♥

Anonymous said...

You are my hero.

Teca said...

Gosh, I got a little teary. Thank you for this!!! You are such a blessing, you and your family!!! Thankful that God brought the Shorts and the Bennetts into my life!

Amber said...

My favorite post. Ever. I love your happy little family and i am thankful for you. BTW, everyone comments on the hat. :) I'm thankful for it too!

Jen said...

Thanks for the nice comments! I'm glad y'all liked it!

And Amber, I'm so glad you're getting some use out of the hat! Glad Ms. Baby likes it.