Families With Grace

Helping Christian moms create homes filled with grace, love & faith

A parent’s prayer — FREE printable!

How to pray for yourself as a parent

About two years ago, a friend of mine shared a prayer for parents on social media. I really liked it, and I have been using it ever since. I’ve been curious about its origins, so I did a bit of research and found that a version of the prayer first ran in the Dear Abby column in 1971. A slightly revised version ran again in 1980. 

But it has evolved a bit and changed. I have tweaked it ever so slightly and now have this version that I pray regularly. I am a big fan of a prayer app. I know it sounds weird. It sounded weird to me, too, but then I tried it and fell in love with it. The one I use and love is called PrayerMate, which is available for free both Apple and Android users.

Basically, I utilize my prayer app for Biblical-based or pre-written prayers, like this parent’s prayer, as well as to organize requests from friends that I may forget to add into my daily conversations with God. I end up actually praying more for requests this way than I did before. And I have found I can also relax in my talks with God because I don’t have to try to scramble and remember ongoing prayers and prayer requests. I know my app will rotate through them.

I have also been blessed by God’s timing when a request comes up in my prayer app for a person or situation in the morning and then later that day I find out the person or situation has really needed extra prayer that day. I see that as more than a coincidence — it’s a God thing!

I also have my app set to remind me every morning to spend some extra time in prayer after my kids are off to school. I utilize it during my usual Bible and prayer time as well. It just comes in handy. You can set as many or as few subjects as you want. The app offers prayers to pick from as well. I’m sure there are other prayer apps that work well, too.

Of all the prayers I’ve come across, this parent’s prayer is one of my favorites. It reminds me so very much of my job and responsibility as a parent. It reminds me of what is important in parenthood. It reminds me to place all of it at God’s feet so that I can be a better parent to my children with His strength and direction. I’ve made it into a free printable for you to download, so you can join me in this prayer for our parenthood journey as well. Just click the image below!

More prayer resources from Families with Grace:

A little grace in marriage goes a long way to avoid conflict

Grace in marriage improves your relationship

Last Monday, I had to pick up my daughter from school early for an orthodontist appointment. Right after her appointment, we had to go back to school to pick up her brother. It wasn’t all that hard, because the orthodontist isn’t too far from school, but it was just a bit time-consuming. I certainly didn’t expect the afternoon would remind me how importance grace in marriage is.

It all started as I was working in our office on Monday morning. My husband came in and told me that when he drove my car the evening before (which seldom happens), the check engine light came on. I sighed. We just finished making repairs to my car — two rounds of them, in fact. But, a check engine light isn’t something to mess around with. So we decided I should drive his car for shuttling the kids around, and we’d take mine to the auto parts store later to see what the light meant.

That afternoon, I climbed into my husband’s car to begin shuttling the kids around. As soon as I started the car, the low gas light blinked on. I wasn’t exactly enthused about that. I knew I had a decent amount of driving to do, and I had timed everything precisely to have just enough time to do it. Planning a stop to fill up the gas tank wasn’t part of my schedule. Sigh.

Giving grace in marriage

For a moment, I felt irritated that my husband hadn’t told me his car needed gas. Then I realized he probably totally forgotten. While I am “fill up when the tank nears 1/4 fullness” kind of person, he is more of the “I know how far I can drive with the light on” kind of person. Moreover, I also realized he wasn’t intentionally trying to make me have a more frazzled afternoon. So, I gave him some grace in marriage.

I did call him to see if he thought I could make it, because he does know his car better than I do. He thought so. I also learned I was correct; he had totally forgotten it was low on gas. He got grace from me rather than an irritated wife who was mad at him. We didn’t exchange any harsh words at all. (By the way, I did have just enough time to fill up the car on the way to school, which made me feel much better.)

A couple of hours later, I had gotten back home with the kids, feeling hot, tired, hungry and grumpy. We had to make a second trip to the orthodontist after my daughter had a wire poking her mouth. The kids were finishing their homework, and I had just finished washing their lunchbox containers. As I thought about dinner, I realized I was just done with the day. Done. With. It. Nothing was going wrong, but I was over it. I couldn’t think of what to make for dinner or how to make dinner happen.

Getting grace

So, I went into the home office to whine — I mean talk — to my husband. I told him I didn’t mind to cook, but there was no way I could deal with dishes. Just couldn’t do a darn thing about it. I told him I needed him to be in charge. It didn’t matter to me what we did, but we couldn’t order pizza because our daughter’s teeth were sore, so she needed soft food.

And then I did the very mature act of putting my head down on my desk. My husband asked for my opinion. I told him I couldn’t even manage an opinion. It was all up to him with no help from me. I was having a bad moment. You know what he did? He didn’t get mad at me. (I’m sure he was frustrated/annoyed, but he didn’t say a word about it.) He gave me grace in marriage. He dealt with it.

Instead of shutting down like I was, he talked to our daughter about what she could eat and decided we’d all go get pasta, since the kids love it and she could eat it. He did not remind me that I’m the one who decided to use the re-useable lunch containers and Thermoses in our kids’ lunch boxes that require extra work or that I have agreed to be the one who deals with most of the cooking. He just saw I was struggling, gave me some grace and took over.

We left the restaurant with me feeling so much better. He gently teased me about it and said maybe I was just hangry. (He may know me super well!)

I tell you all of this not to make you think we are perfect. We aren’t. We struggle and don’t always keep quiet when we should. But we are far enough into this marriage thing that we know each other and when the other one needs some grace in marriage. I knew he deserved grace about the low gas issue, because he certainly wasn’t trying to inconvenience me. And he knew I needed grace for feeding the family that evening or else everything was going to go really far sideways. We had two grand opportunities to argue that day, but we applied grace and let them slide. In the big picture of life, both were such teeny tiny blips on the radar.

A little bit of grace really does go a long way!

More than just an umbrella

Last week, I was picking my kiddos up from school and it was pouring the rain. The way their school is set up, I have to walk up to the building to get them and then walk them back to the car, parked across the street. It’s a bit of an ordeal on rainy days, because with our varying heights, we end up each using an umbrella. We got outside of the building together, moved over to the side and started work on getting all three of our umbrellas up so we didn’t get soaked walking to the car.

I barely had my umbrella over my head when one of my daughter’s classmates came over and joined me under it, asking if she could stand with us until her dad arrived. I could tell she was feeling anxious. So, I worked on chatting with her to help keep her at ease. I assured her that some roads were flooded and that may have been what was making him late today when he usually wasn’t ever late. My kids both did well talking with her. We moved to a different spot for her to try and see him. In the end, he came out of the school building where he’d been talking with an administrator and his daughter had walked by and missed seeing him. All was well and she was off with her dad to go home. My kids and I used our umbrellas and started the damp trek to our car.

I have to say, it was a bit surreal for me that she just clung to me. I was a familiar face when she needed one; she wasn’t using me just for my umbrella to shelter her from the rain. She knew my face from being at school for pick-up and volunteering in the classroom a few times. This is their third grade year, so we have a little history, but our families aren’t close.

However, she saw a mom. And I realized that aside from being a mom to my own kids, I am a mom in general. I’ve known this before like when I have automatically reached for a toddler running by me who tripped and was about to fall. Or when I’ve stopped a friend’s little one from getting into something she shouldn’t. The whole mom thing is ingrained so fully into us and into who we. Moms can be trusted. Moms are there to take care of kiddos. 

Nearly nine years into this motherhood process, I didn’t think anything could make me feel more like a mom. I’ve been through so many motherhood adventures. I no longer bat an eye at helping someone else with their bodily functions or excrements. And, yet, this little girl made me feel even more like a mom because I realized that other kids see me that way just like I did with moms of my friends growing up. That leaves me feeling an even bigger responsibility to my children’s generation. I just hope and pray I don’t mess up too much!

Team marriage

Last month, my husband and I celebrated our 19th anniversary. I have been thinking about the girl I was 19 years ago. I have thought about what I would go back and say to that 20-year-old girl who was finishing all the last-minute tasks. And I’ve decided, I wouldn’t say much more than just enjoy every minute of it! Because, not much else matters on a wedding day — or at least it shouldn’t.

In the years since then, my husband and I have been through many things. Our hearts have been shattered and broken into millions of pieces together. We have mourned and wept together. We have comforted each other through the darkest of nights. We have sat in silence just being beside each other in times when there were no words to express the hurt and pain.

But we have also cried tears of joy together. We have welcomed two babies into this world. We have celebrated with our friends. We have enjoyed playing games together. And I couldn’t even begin to list all the times we have laughed together. Through all of the ups and downs, we have done our best to keep our sense of humor. It has sustained us. Many times when left with the choice to laugh or cry, we have chosen laughter.

Photo by Ben Rosett on Unsplash

We were young when we got married and people loved to tell us how hard it would be. Looking back, I’d say they are wrong. We have had hard times, but being married didn’t make anything harder. In fact, it is quite the opposite. We are a team together. We hold each other up when we can’t stand otherwise.

Still other people told us that being so young, we still had a lot of growing and changing to do, so we should wait. And they were right in one sense. We are not the same people today that we were back when we were 20 and 22. We have changed and grown together. I am a better person today than I was then because of my husband. He knows me better than I know myself sometimes. He not only makes me want to be a better person but also makes me a better person for his love and the accountability he brings. I’d like to think I have helped him be a better version of himself as well.

I have no idea what the next 19 years will bring. Just like 19 years ago today, I thought I knew what might be coming. But life is unpredictable. We’ve had experiences I would never have believed on my wedding day. And I’m guessing the next 19 years will include some of those types of things again. That’s how life works. But, I know that whatever life brings, we will face it together. We will be a team. We will laugh as much as we can. We will keep our eyes and hearts focused on each other and God — and that’s what matters most.