Dear Lord, please hear my prayer.
School's out. Summer's here. We've anticipated this day since mid-September. And as much as I enjoy my children's company, I equally despise watching them lay around wasting their precious youth complaining they have nothing to do, there's nothing to eat, and that they're too tired to help with anymore chores.
God, please make my whip cracking moments few and far between. But when I must lay it upon the soft, disrespectful, belligerent hindquarters of one of Your children, please help me to not lose my resolve, so that I will make contact count.
Father, I ask that you bless my pantry and its contents. May it sustain my offspring through Friday food droughts, when I'm overdue for a grocery run. Please make each morsel within my kitchen palatable and abundant.
Inspire these young people to keep the grass cut, their rooms clean, and the weeds pulled. Motivate them to beat their boredom through books instead of battles. Encourage the tax deductions, over whom You, in your infinite insight, have given me stewardship, to find joy and happiness in the miracles of ripe, red tomatoes on the vine, a cool breeze on a blistering day, and the bursting flames of pyrotechnics in the July sky.
I implore you, Lord, to protect them from themselves. I humbly beseech Thee for a summer, or at least a day, without bloody cuts, fish hooks in fingers, broken bones, stitches, water up noses, two inch splinters, bee stings, sunburns, or stubbed toes. If you seek to build character through pain, I ask that you enable me to render care before succumbing to a weak stomach.
Jesus, take the wheel on our family vacation. My husband and I need our hands free to deal with hours of bickering, bathroom breaks, and maps that will not re-fold. Without You to guide us, we will find ourselves hopelessly lost, because my beloved, whom You gifted me to be my constant companion through this mortal existence, will not stop the car to ask for directions. I only entreat You, Jesus, to not drive as fast and as furious as he.
And if You will not drive, I humbly submit to Your authority and relinquish the co-pilot seat. Perhaps my husband will listen to You when You grip the dashboard and scream, "Let go of your road rage and turn the other cheek, my son."
Keep us ever mindful that when we complain, ultimately we complain to You, oh, heavenly Father. May we find the blessings that surely, in Your divine knowledge and power, You made inherent in such vile summertime commodities as fire ants, gnats, flies, mosquitoes, humidity, 100 degree days, 80 degree nights, boats that won't start, weeks without rain, brown lawns, green weeds, blackened marshmallows, rainy camping trips, hot asphalt, jellyfish, and melted ice cream.
Give me the stamina to once again attempt to teach my progeny to water ski. Give their grandparents the courage to invite them to visit for a week..
Above all, empower me to fully immerse myself in every moment; to live this season of relaxation with complete commitment to serving You as a role model for my children and taking supreme pleasure in each day with my family, knowing these are days given to me only once in my short lifetime.
Even if You don't see fit to deliver on any of my other appeals, benevolently grant me patience, grace, and wisdom as only You can. I'm not a perfect parent. I cannot do summer alone.