Nursery Rhymes and Grocery Lists

Notes from A Reader! (Thanks, Creel!)

Reading Beginner’s Grace comes just as my new found spirituality is reaching out to celebrate the awesome in life, to live more mindfully. One line from page 181 struck me differently than perhaps you had intended. I paused. I argued with you. And, I came out with a new understanding.

“if our prayers have power, if they are or should be more than words, more meaningful than a nursery rhyme or a grocery list — then our bodies must be part of the prayer.” If, as you state, “absolutely, implacably, irretrievably, and indefatigably that nothing matters more than love . . . God is love.” Then, I feel you haven’t given enough credit to things as mundane and word-based as a grocery list and a nursery rhyme.

A grocery list, no matter how quickly scribbled, is a reminder of the things you know you and your family need. A written promise to pick up the milk and cereal to start your child’s day. To help prepare him for a day full of physical growth, play, learning, and creativity. A grocery list says you will get the furnace filters to keep your furnace working so your family will be warm and the air they breathe freer of dust. Light bulbs to bring light for reading, studying, and comfort on dark days. To pick up toilet paper and toothpaste for the health and hygiene of your family. Cat food for the strays who are now family members. Socks or mittens because your boys grow fast and lose mittens just as quickly.

Is a grocery list not a confirmation of the many ways you care for and love your family? A list of your duties and contributions to your family? A modern twist to Proverbs 31:10-31?

How much more so does a nursery rhyme encompass love? Sharing love of time spent together, love of rhyme, silliness, facial expression, joy — and movement. Are not two of the best and  most loved nursery rhymes “pat – a – cake” and “lady rides”?

Prayers. I had not thought of grocery lists or nursery rhymes as prayers. But, they are! Both verbalize my love for my family. Thanks for letting me see what was a daily chore and an intimate moment between myself and my child as so much more!

I found several prayers, simple yet profound, in your book which I’ve already incorporated into my life. Thank you for a book well-conceived and written.

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