Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Prayer Pegs: Tea Time and St. Jerome

I began posting a Prayer Pegs series one Wednesday in July with the intent of completing it over the course of the next six consecutive Wednesdays.  So much for that?  Here it is October – and a Tuesday no less – and the series is yet to be completed.  Mea culpa.  Life happens.  Inspiration to write about other things strikes.  The ability to post anything at all fluctuates with each day’s allotment of time and focus. 

In any case, today, I am thankful for both the time and the focus to continue sharing with today’s portion of the series – Tea Time

First, let me say that “Tea Time” is more often an ideal than a reality in our home.  For while I would love to share a proper daily tea with my children, for now, a simple afternoon snack and drink – at the table in the kitchen, on a blanket outside or even in the back of the car when we’re out doing errands – substitutes for it on most days.  Yes, it is only on special days that we actually sit down for a proper tea, (usually sans the actual tea, since the kids have not developed a taste for tea – even herbal – yet).  That said, we no matter where our “tea time” finds us, we always try to peg some prayer to it!

Usually, as a grace, we thank God for things that have happened in the day so far and ask His help with whatever petitions folks have brought to our attention.  And, if I have a faith-based story available that we haven’t already read or that I know the kids will enjoy again, we read it.  Sometimes, these are simple Bible stories; other times they are stories from books such as the wonderful ones in the Catholic Children’s Treasure Box series; and, at least once a month or so, they are saint day picture books.  The latter, of course, often asks as inspiration for Saint Day Teas, such as the ones we had for the Nativity of Mary, the Lady of Altagracia and St. Brigid.  Or, they inspire post-tea games and activities, much like the ones we enjoyed last week for St. Jerome.

Yep, we read St. Jerome and the Lion several times last week in honor of St. Jerome’s Day on September 30th.  And, it inspired prayer-filled play, such as our St. Jerome story basket,

turned entire menagerie of dramatic play, with the addition of some other materials to allow for building a monastery complete with chapel, extra lions and one lion-acting little boy, corralling the donkey and camel (okay, horse) caravan back to the monastery.

Making yellow playdough and then using it and some beans to sculpt lions…

which led to elephants…
and was punctuated by a belly press from our Nina, who had stripped down after getting wet making the dough and, then, just could not resist basking in the sensory experience of the freshly-made, still somewhat hot playdough.
We also enjoyed some creative dramatics and some heart-warming pre-K level discussions about grace, forgiveness and how God uses all things for good.

Thus, as I bring this part of our Prayer Pegs series to a close, I reflect on how I am grateful for the daily tea-time prayer we share in our house - be it a simple grace or a brief picture book that unfolds into delightful afternoons of impromptu faith forming activities.  How about you?  Do you have tea time traditions (prayer-pegged or otherwise)?  How about favorite saint day stories?  Afternoon prayer rituals and ideas?  Please share them in a comment!  And, also, check out our prior Prayer Pegs posts if you wish.  So far they have been Intro, Wake Up, Breakfast, Snack and Lunch, with Dinner and Bedtime have yet to come.

This post is being shared at Heavenly Homemakers Gratituesday.  Please check out the links there for inspiration!


Tracey said...

What wonderful ideas! I like how you bring prayer into the everyday routines. We pray together over meals, of course, as well as in the mornings before our children leave for school, after our evening family devotional time and each of our daughters pray themselves at bedtime.

Patty said...

Hi Martianne!
I just wanted to stop and say hello. I saw you on CMO, (I'm a bit behind on checking out the new blogs there.)

I look forward to following your blog since I'm a home school mother as well.

Thank you for sharing all your hard work!


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