Peanut Butter and Prayer

me and momI am the youngest of my mother’s seven children. I knew from a very young age that I wanted to be surrounded by children and have a large family.

Growing up, I can remember people would exclaim in disbelief, “seven!?” then they’d say something about how great she looked and how could she possibly manage it all? My mother would eloquently respond with, “children are simple… you just need a little peanut butter and prayer…”

As a child, I’d chuckle when I heard this response. I thought it was cute… it flowed nicely… and I loved peanut butter! However, I really had no idea of what she meant by it.

When I was in my mid 20’s, with three young children, I found myself a bit overwhelmed with the tasks of parenting. I loved being a mom. I enjoyed every aspect of caring for my children. However, the love of being a mom didn’t change the diapers or wash the laundry or pick up the small toys littered throughout the house for the 12th time in a single day! It was during those days that I can remember spending time in prayer for my children as well as myself to be the best mother possible. Then I’d get up and make them a peanut butter and jelly sandwich!

I remember calling my mother, laughing as I finally “got it”. I knew that it really wasn’t about peanut butter… it was about nourishment… nourishing my children in every aspect possible, especially through the covering of prayer.

Two decades have passed since then. I’m once again busy with the ongoing activities of three young children. This time around I forego the cheap bread slathered with peanut butter and jelly and opt for something a bit healthier and organic. Prayer, however, needs no changing. He is the same today, yesterday and forever and I continue to need his guidance with my children.

My mother was an amazing woman, friend and follower of God. I am thankful for her and miss our conversations greatly. Watching her victimized by the powers of dementia has been heartrending. I find myself back on my knees in prayer… not just for my children, but for my mother. There is simply no one in this world that could ever take her place.

I love you mom.

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