My parents had two families. I didn't grow up in a blended family – like my dad had two families or my mom had two families. Mom and dad are celebrating their 38th wedding anniversary this Thursday. I was born about 15 months into their marriage. 19 months later, my brother Jonathan joined the family. Mom and dad had their boy and their girl and felt their family was complete. However, several years later, they begin to feel that they should allow God to give them more children and three more brothers joined the family. As in many large families, my mother was a mother of preschoolers and babies all through my teen years. I've been reflecting on a lot of that this week because, in less than a week, one of my younger brothers is getting married. Kind of like a parent, I've been thinking back to the days I changed his diapers and when he smeared his poo all over my bedroom wall from his crib (I usually shared a room with the babes). I remember when my friends used to call him Chicken Little because he was so white and had big ol' glasses and went around spouting facts that he'd learned that week – like how many sides a septagon had. I remember holding his pet beetles or him when he HAD to take them to the fourth of July parade so they could watch too.
Now, I didn't win many "best attitude" awards as a teen. I really loved God, and I loved His Word – but I hadn't really translated that over to loving those around me very well. I didn't understand anything about sleep deprivation and nursing and hormones, so I was quite certain that my moms cranky attitudes were based out of her lack of spirituality. I never really saw her read her Bible. I knew she didn't get up early. So one day, I decided to tell her what she needed.
Yes, you can imagine how that went over.
Actually my mom could have exploded and retaliated. I might have. But instead she told me a story that I've never forgotten. She told me how when she was in college, she came home fired up for the Lord and had a similar attitude towards her own mother. She told me how she approached her own farm wife mother one day to guide her as well and how her mother told her, "You better learn how to say your prayers over the ironing board, because there may come a time when that is the only prayer time you have."
My maternal grandmother died when I was six, so I don't have very many memories of her. But this story will stick in my mind forever. It has rung in my ears during years of saying my prayers during feedings and diaper changes (Let's face it! I don't iron!).
My grandma has inspired much of my learning to build my relationship with God as a mom.
What about you? Where do you say your prayers?
~Angela Giffords, Those With Young