Faith and spirituality are one of the most important accepts of motherhood in my opinion. Two years after my oldest was born his father and I divorced. Being a single mom and living thousands of miles away from family was a very difficult. While I was raised in the church and taught by my mother that faith was important, I was not actively participating in worship.
It was not until after my second son was born that our family began to worship regularly. From there, hubby and I became involved in volunteering and eventually I accepted a youth leader position. The position required much Bible study and prayer. Looking back, not only did this help immensely improve my parenting skills but also afforded me with an inner peace I would have not otherwise experienced. Knowing and believing in something greater than one’s self while accepting a love that only God himself could provide gave me peace. Turning to God for answers was comforting. My faith grew and transformed me. It became outwardly visible to those around me, particularly my family, with no effort on my part.
Additionally, my youngest son and I built a unique relationship apart from the mother-son scenario. We reminded each other of Gods love and words when times were tough. Sort of like we were prayer buddies supporting each other. Now he is 22 and that beautiful relationship is still growing. Realizing the importance of faith and prayer, I could not help but share this eloquently written except from The Spiritual Parenting newsletter by Ms. Mimi Doe.
Prayer is a concrete way to affirm our spirituality, to put our worries, hopes, affirmations, quandaries, and joys out on the table. It’s a path toward deeper intimacy with God and with our family. When we pray together, we move toward spirit as a unit — we pause and breathe in th rejuvenating grace — together. Prayer is a natural forum for linking our humanness with the healing energy of the universe. By sharing this discovery with our children, we give them a powerful tool for life. When we invoke the presence of God, our lives become more meaningful, ordinary moments more sacred. Once we resolve to create a meaningful life for our family, prayer, no longer a static concept, becomes a natural way to reach toward the Divine together.
Prayer is not limited to old associations with meaningless words we may have been made to memorize as children. Nor is it defined by the 1950s image of a white family gathered around the fire praying the rosary with bowed heads. Instead, prayer can become a vibrant, integral, alive part of any family. We can dance our prayers, sing our prayers, think our prayers, breathe our prayers, walk our prayers, hum our prayers, paint our prayers, be our prayers in action. Prayer can be a poem about the stunning majesty of a waterfall or a child’s simple rhyme about Mother Earth. We can pray in the bathtub, on the way to work, on the soccer field, in our journals, or on our morning walk.
Often, the most poignant words are those that come from children directly. “God, You are the best in the world,” spoken by an 8-year-old in glee feels pretty great shouted by a 38-year-old. No matter our age, we can claim and craft a unique style of praying.
Mealtime is prayer time for many families. One family raises their hands and their voices to shout, “Hip, hip hooray!” before lifting their forks. My daughter asked for a Quaker blessing the other night. We held hands, closed our eyes, and instead of our usual out-loud prayers that go around the table, we were silent, each person reflecting privately. Of course action quickly pick up after our instant of quiet, but it was a centering moment that brought us all to the present.
Prayer is joy, gratitude, loving intentions, peace, and delight. It is a dynamic tool for creating sacred times in the life of a family — a foundation for family spirit.
Mimi Doe is the founder of Spiritual Parenting.com and the award-winning author of “Nurturing Your Teenager’s Soul”, “Busy But Balanced”, “10 Principles for Spiritual Parenting”, and co-author of “Don’t’ Worry Get In.” Mimi’s free newsletter, Spiritual Parenting, has more than 30,000 subscribers from around the world. Sign up on the website: www.SpiritualParenting.com.