I am writing this piece in response to a prompt on The Red Dress Club
This week’s RemembeRED memoir prompt asked me to dig deep to find what, from your childhood, you still know from heart.
My childhood memories aren’t very clear; frankly most of them are attached to photos taken. It’s very rare that I’m able to pull a memory from my mind by effort alone. More often it’s a scent or situation which will stimulate these memories.
One memory which I recall by heart is our bedtime routine; the simple scent of lilac can bring me back to my childhood bed. I can recall pulling back the crisp white sheets, their fresh fragrance filling my nose as I slipped into bed. The setting sun would dance upon the dollies who kept me company on my wallpaper; these companions seemed to glow as twilight approached. If the wind was just right my room would be infused with the comforting scent of lilac, calming me slowly as my busy mind reflected upon the wonders of my day.
Footsteps would approach softly as my Mummy came to tuck me in. Each night she would pull up my top sheet, nice and tight to my chin, folding it over so the line perfectly placed upon my collarbone. My stuffed elephant Tanya was next placed into the crook of my arm and Mummy assumed her position, perched on the edge of my bed.
Words of love were exchanged and then the closing ritual of the day began. Before my Mummy’s lyrical voice finished the first word of our prayer it was accompanied by my sing-song tone.
“Dearest Jesus, gentle and mild; who suffered for me, your little child Julie. Please bless Mummy, Daddy, Ami (sister), Julie, Fluffy (cat), Tippy(cat), Liptummy(fish) and Herman(fish)…..” following these lines would be prayers for friends, family and things I desired, the closing would always be the same. “And if I’ve forgotten anything God, please see into my mind and know it all….in Jesus name, Amen.”
Each night it was the same prayer. Even as an adult I pray this way, adding in my confessions and adoration but still the opening and closing remain the same although the characters have changed. There is now much more to my prayers, less demands and more gratitude but the tradition has continued.
While I don’t think that ritual or religious practices are requirements for a Relationship with God, prayer certainly is. Prayer for me in this manner is reserved for the closing of the day, just before sleep when I’m relaxed and ready for a deep, private talk with God.
This time of reflection and connection with God is a form of restoration for me, grounding me in my faith, in my purpose. In my experience when I forgo this meditative practice my spiritual self has suffered. I’ve become disconnected and misled by worldly concerns.
I’m grateful that I’ve remembered this childhood routine and have learned how to modify and implement it as an adult.
Are you stimulating your spiritual side as a natural habit in day-to-day life?
Have you developed new practices which allow you to stay connected to God and His purpose for you on this journey?
I am so glad I came upon this today. (I am stopping over from the red dress club.) There are no coincidences with God and this certainly isn't either. Thank you for this. Thank you for being open and honest about your relationship with the Lord.
Not Just Another Jennifer says
We had a similar bedtime prayer that I still repeat. Sometimes I feel childish saying it as an adult, as I now say it with our daughters, but it's comforting. I've developed different prayer habits over the years and I have one I say in the shower in the morning now, too. Great post! Glad I stopped by from TRDC!
I didn't have a prayer ritual growing up, I developed one as an adult and you're so right about the spiritual self suffering when the practice is overlooked. I love that you included all your beloved pets in that childhood prayer, wonderful detail that highlights the sweetness of a child's heart.
julie moore says
I had a special prayer time with my mom every night up until I got married. It was the same prayer every time and it took me years to move away to a different prayer. My prayers now have a bit more depth but I repeat some of the words every day. Thanks for this encouraging post. Prayer really is about a relationship with God.
Writerly Wanna Be says
The prayer in itself was beautiful, and I am glad you had this routine, you certainly wrote this with intimate detail. There is so much said in this piece, I am glad you wrote it. You have touched me as well. Is this something you could share with your mother? She would love it.
Sober Julie says
Thank you all for your comments, prayer has always meant alot to me, for a period I overlooked that. I was absorbed in the World and avoiding what I knew God wanted me to do.My Mum knows, she prays with my girls if she's here at bedtime and it's a treat to hear her saying our words to them.
What a great tradition to be able to take with you through adulthood and one that you can share with your children.
I've wondered a lot about prayer, about how to do it well and about what it means… Since having a child I think prayer means surrender to me. Waving a little white flag. I love the line, "If I've forgotten anything, please see into my mind and know it all." Surrender. Lovely. x/g