A Mother's Serenity Prayer

*the photos in this post are dedicated to Aunt RaRa, who loves my kids so much it hurts

When the heat goes out and the temperature is negative two degrees outside and I wonder when the oil company will arrive to save us from this dangerous situation,

Lord, help me to accept hardship as a pathway to peace, to take as Jesus did the sinful world as it is, not as I would have it.

When we are on day three of no working heat and we don't hear the pipes burst and a child wakes us the next morning to tell us there is water gushing from the wall and pouring all over the living room floor,

Lord, help me to accept hardship as a pathway to peace, to take as Jesus did the sinful world as it is, not as I would have it.

When a child wakes in the dead of night with a scream so blood-curdling I suspect the neighbors may have heard, a scream so loud it causes a second and then a third child to awaken and require middle of the night attention,

Lord, help me to accept hardship as a pathway to peace, to take as Jesus did the sinful world as it is, not as I would have it.

When my spouse is working late for the fourth night in a row, and there are children making their case as to why the explosion from dinner is not their responsibility to clean, and the baby is stumbling around like a drunken sailor because he is so tired and needs a bottle and his bed, and the little kids are wrestling with each other, catapulting pillows and blankets and toys through the air in the effort to nail one another,

Lord, help me to accept hardship as a pathway to peace, to take as Jesus did the sinful world as it is, not as I would have it.

When the van light comes on---again---after just paying $650 bill to have the gigantic golden beast serviced, and it needs to go back to the shop and I know the bill will probably be even larger this time,

Lord, help me to accept hardship as a pathway to peace, to take as Jesus did the sinful world as it is, not as I would have it.

When, despite my best efforts, someone is still unhappy with the food or the sleeping arrangements or the way I folded their laundry,

Lord, help me to accept hardship as a pathway to peace, to take as Jesus did the sinful world as it is, not as I would have it.

When the fifth grader is "educating" me on my lack of knowledge about ancient Greece and my fourth grader is melting down because she cannot will herself to sit conjugate one more Latin verb, and it's 4:00 in the afternoon and everyone is hungry, including me, so I snap and find myself jumping up and down like a Mexican hopping bean and screeching at everyone's "poor" behavior,

Lord, help me to accept hardship as a pathway to peace, to take as Jesus did the sinful world as it is, not as I would have it. 

When Lent has only just begun and I've already abandoned several of the resolutions I made and I realize the real problem with most everything is me,

Lord, help me to accept hardship as a pathway to peace, to take as Jesus did the sinful world as it is, not as I would have it.

When I overhear the bitter rancor with which my children speak to each other and the silliness of the fights in which they engage and I hang my head because I know the example I have set,

Lord, help me to accept hardship as a pathway to peace, to take as Jesus did the sinful world as it is, not as I would have it. 

When I misjudge my husband’s intentions and choose to spend a few days in stony silence, eventually forgetting the reason I was mad in the first place,

Lord, help me to accept hardship as a pathway to peace, to take as Jesus did the sinful world as it is, not as I would have it.
For these struggles, Lord, and for all my struggles,
The ones I didn’t cause and the ones I create,
Help me, Lord, to accept instead of fight,
To yield instead of complain,
“To live one day at a time,
Enjoy one moment at a time,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I might be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.”
Amen.

Italicized words quoted from the original Serenity Prayer

Cross posted at ICL today.