Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Children's Book Review: This Little Prayer of Mine

This Little Prayer of Mine by Anthony DeStefano is a rhyming prayer book for children. The rhymes are sweet and the illustrations are frankly incredible (the book was illustrated by Mark Elliot). I read this to my son several times because we try to pray with him and he loves any kind of rhyming.

I think that one or two little things that stuck out to me, as a Christian, were part of the child's prayer that came across as very...American Christian. Don't get me wrong, America is great and dreams are great. But there are Christians all over the world, and I think we (Christians) need to remember that.

Another thing was, at the end of the book, the child in the prayer asks God for just 'one more thing...' and that is that God please love him/her 'forevermore.' I understand the rhyming of it and the sweetness of the child's prayer, but I honestly don't want to teach my child that he has to ask God to love him. God loves everyone everywhere, regardless of whether they love Him back.

All of that said, I do like the book. It's beautiful and enjoyable, and I'll be reading it to my son again I'm sure.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Tuesday, February 02, 2010


Last year, from January to May, I took Miles to a little gymnastics class. This was basically to get him out of the house during the cold months and doing something active. He was still a bit shy back then, but he warmed up to it and pretty much spent every week running and jumping, running and jumping.

At the last minute, we decided to put him in the 3- to 5-year-old class this time. I had forgotten that means 'no moms allowed in the room' but I think he actually did better without me there. And since the class is only 45 minutes long, it's not like I can leave the building. So last week I sat and talked with another mom. While we sat out in the gym, we saw a senior citizens exercise class going on the other side. I feel like that's who I want to be when I'm older: getting out, being active. I love seeing older people taking care of themselves and staying active.

Yesterday morning, Miles and I got there a little early. After I left the gymnastics room, I went to sit at my usual table -- only this time I'd brought a book. The older folks who were already there before their instructor were walking laps around the gym. As one woman walked by I smiled and said to her, "That's what I should be doing, walking." She immediately said, "Well come on!" and waved me over. I couldn't resist. It was just one of those moments you feel is going to be special, or you're going to make some kind of connection with a stranger.

Within minutes, Amelia and I were talking about our lives and our experiences. We were laughing and sharing stories as if we had known each other for years. I'm not sure how many laps we took around that gym, but we had to have walked for at least 20 minutes. I learned that Amelia is a retired first-grade teacher. She had to retire a little early because of health issues, but you would never know she has issues with her energetic walking and her joyful spirit. I had such a feeling of joy the entire time we shared with one another. It was one of those moments that feels so blessed by God, even though I'm not sure why.

The instructor arrived and we had to say goodbye -- meaning that Amelia had to go and start other exercises and I had to go and sit back down at my table and wait for Miles. It had only been a short time, but this woman and I shared a hug and a smile and expressed how nice it had been to talk. Next week I'll make sure to wear my walking shoes again.
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