A Moment of Grace

Siena parkUsually, it’s the little moments that carry us through our days–especially if we can learn to see them. I’m part of an email group where, once a month, someone sends out a “moment of grace” from his or her life. We’ve all attended the same retreat, and it’s one way to both keep our relationships flowing, and keep our minds on the every day holy hidden in our lives.

This month, it was my turn, and here’s the moment I shared:

As a new mom, one of my back-of-the-mind questions is what to teach Siena about God. How do I help her navigate spiritual waters? I want her to grow up knowing Jesus, but not dogmatically, and yet also not be so lax about it that she doesn’t know Jesus. Do you know the fear? Where’s the balance? Will my faith rub off on her?

When I was growing up, my family had dinner together nearly every night. Most nights, after dinner, we would get out one of my parents’ big leather Bible or a devotional, and we would have family devotions. As kids, we grew bored of these sometimes (especially when my dad read in his monotone voice), but the practice stuck with me as sacred.

In our house right now, we almost never eat dinner together. My husband comes home at Siena’s bedtime; sometimes she’s even asleep before he gets home. I know this will change someday, but for now, family dinners and devotions aren’t our family practice. In fact, when my parents last came to visit, I was afraid that Siena wouldn’t know to be quiet while we prayed for the few meals that we were able to eat together.

But she did.

When we sat down with the five of us—my parents, my husband, my daughter, and me—we all held hands, bowed our heads, blessed the food, lifted our heads, and said, “Amen!” Siena thought it was SO COOL that she insisted we do it again…  and again…  and again.

So now we do it at night too. After reading books, we pray, Siena and me, in the chair next to her crib. We hold hands, and I ask her who she wants to pray for tonight. She will say a name, and I will say a sentence. We pray for Nana, Papa, Dada, Bobo, Mama, Siena, Coco (the cat), Elmo, Dodo (her sleeping doll)—we pray for all the people she loves.

This is a new practice for us. I used to sing a prayer lullaby to her. Now we pray together. And I am wowed every time she participates. It’s my favorite moment of the day—a moment filled with grace and thanksgiving for all the people in our lives.

That’s my moment of grace to share—and it’s a moment that I get to repeat every day right now. A recurring moment that is carrying me through a really busy, kind of hard semester. Thank God.

Share one of your latest moments of grace in the comments! We are all blessed in the sharing–you in the recognizing and telling, and us in the reading and remembering.

Peace, friends.

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