When I was small, living at home with my two siblings, my parents instilled in us a strong faith in God, unshakeable morals, and an insatiable love for icecream. In other words, there was always a half gallon of icecream in the freezer, Bible studies before school, and prayers before bed.
As we were typical children when it came to mischief, however, prayers before bed could not take place without a very strict rule.
We were not to pray AT each other.
This rule came to be after my mom noticed that our prayers were becoming attempts at showing the other sibling what needed to change in their lives. There we would be, dressed in fuzzy pajamas and kneeling in front of our beds, hands folded carefully and looking all cute and innocent.
Then the prayers started…
God, please help **** to stop being so bossy.
God, please help *** to know that they’re annoying when they eat so loud.
God, please help *** to stop smelling so much.
The no praying at each other rule definitely worked after a few reprimands… and maybe a reminder or two that God was more interested in how we were going to be better children. And it was certainly a testimony to my mom’s patience. (Some mothers would have quit and decided to leave prayer for church) But instead, she kept right at it, teaching us how to earnestly pray and to make our faith more of a relationship with God than a religion.
In other words, my mom was a bit of a saint.
I thought about all this the other day while I was playing piano at church. My mind ran back to the good ol’ days of kneeling by my bed, a little brother and sister kneeling on either side of me, and a mother kneeling right there with us.
And I realized that she did good. She did real good. And someday, I hope I can be half as good of a mother as she was to us.