Friday, May 1, 2009
My New Wallet
I bought a new wallet today and as I was transferring the contents from the old one, I ran across a tattered article from Dear Abby that I have been toting around for over three decades. The yellowed article is reviewed infrequently – just on such occasions as a new wallet. The wooden macramé beads and latch hook rug ads on the back of the article are indicative of the 70’s era in which it was written, and the torn edges sent me on the hunt to find the entire article as it was written so long ago.
The article was especially poignant to me as I reflected on a conversation I had with a young mother yesterday. Her ex-husband had committed suicide recently and their two young children were grappling with the loss of their father. Although they had been separated from each other for the past few years, his sudden passing dashes any hopes that they will have a future relationship with him during their childhood years.
I hung up the phone after our conversation and I cried. I cried for those sweet children and for all children in this crazy mixed up world. And then I bought a new wallet and uncovered a very old article that is more applicable today than it was when it was written.
Do we really value our children in this fast-paced world? Do we let them know every single day how important they are? Do we really honor them? Do we hold and hug them or do we briefly communicate through technology or a few quick words? Read this tender prayer and ask yourself the questions Dr. Myers poses.
A PARENT'S PRAYER by Dr. Garry C. Myers Oh, Heavenly Father, make me a better parent. Help me to understand my children, to listen patiently to what they have to say and to answer all their questions kindly. Keep me from interrupting them, talking back to them and contradicting them. Make me as courteous to them as I would have them be to me. Give me the courage to confess my sins against my children and ask their forgiveness when I know that I have done wrong. May I not vainly hurt the feelings of my children. Forbid that I should laugh at their mistakes, or resort to shame and ridicule as punishment. Let me not tempt a child to lie or steal. So guide me hour by hour that I may demonstrate by all I say and do that honesty produces happiness. Reduce, I pray, the meanness in me. May I cease to nag, and when I am out of sorts, help me, Oh Lord, to hold my tongue. Blind me to the little errors of my children and help me to see the good things that they do. Give me a ready word for honest praise. Help me treat my children as those of their own age, but let me not exact of them the judgments and conventions of adults. Allow me not to rob them of the opportunity to wait upon themselves, to think, to choose, and to make their own decisions. Forbid that I should ever punish them for my selfish satisfaction. May I grant them all their wishes that are reasonable and have the courage always to withhold a privilege, which I know, will do them harm. Make me so fair and just, so considerate and companionable to my children that they will have genuine esteem for me. Fit me to be loved and imitated by my children. With all thy gifts, give me calmness, poise, and self-control.
I cut out this article when I was a young mother. Time has quickly catapulted me forward and in the twinkling of an eye, I am the grandmother of eight darling children who deserve to be held in highest esteem. Their parents have taught them to work and to build true esteem through solid principles of actually contributing to the better good of their whole family.
May God bless all the children to know of their true worth and value. May they know that they are literally His offspring and that they deserve true honor and respect as a result. May He especially bless these two young children whose father left so abruptly and may they feel His love now and forever and have the self-confidence to carry them through the battles they face every day when they walk through the corridors of life.