The kitchen table where I grew up was the place of lessons, laughter, tears and love. It was at that table we shared about our days. If my brother and sister and I had made a misstep we would learn about it. If we had experienced an adventure in the neighborhood or discovered some great new fort somewhere, this is the place we would share our joy. Family meetings also occurred here; some joyful, some painful. This was often where we found out that mom and dad knew a whole lot more about what we’d been doing all day than we imagined they did! Life happened here.
I was 3 years old when we moved to this childhood home. Mom stitched these two prayers and hung them above the kitchen table. They were side by side, framing the length of the table and ever present. We saw them at every meal. They were there as we passed by the kitchen on our way to every other place in our home. These prayers became a daily guide for everything under our roof. No way to miss it. No way to forget it. They seeped into memory and lodged somewhere deep within all of us.
Mom taught us many lessons. Her teaching was daily. We learned how to garden, clean, mow, manage our money, study – all of it. But we also learned a lot by what she didn’t say, but rather, what she placed before us. These two prayers became foundational for our lives. We needed them all throughout our childhood and we’ve carried them in our minds and bodies throughout our adulthood. When I see them now, still hanging in her home, I am thankful. I am reminded of the grounding I was given as a child and the gift that continues to be in my life.
We had no idea that the Serenity Prayer would become so essential to each of us, or that it was the chant of Anonymous groups across the world. We had no idea that the words of Etienne de Grellet would help us choose how to approach every day of life because it will not come again. Thank God for this gift that came before we knew we needed it and lodged so deeply we can never forget it. Thank God for our mom, who made sure there were always little reminders to help us through the day.
What’s in your home? What’s on your walls? What are we carrying in our minds and bodies that is helping us navigate these days?
God, surround us with the blessing of wisdom to navigate these days. Bless the tables where people gather. Watch over the parents and the children and those who sit alone. Thank you, Lord, for the ways you keeping teaching and guiding us along our way. Your grace is amazing. Your blessings complete. Thank you for loving us. Amen.
The Blessing – Kari Jobe & Cody Carnes