16 December 2008


I want to say Grace at my place. I want my kids to get into a habit of thanking God for everything, including the food they eat. Not necessarily singing grace, I just really hate that, but saying a quick heartfelt thanks is what I'd like to foster.

The other day, we were having eggs on toast and Mr de Elba said (I believe 'off the cuff'),

"Thankyou God for eggs and wheat.
Thankyou for the food we eat. Amen."

I loved it! Honest, short, fun and it rhymed! Top marks.

I got to thinking about other graces I could write for different meals. My first one took an unexpectedly disturbing turn and needed to be abandoned:

A Husband's Grace for Roast Lamb
Thankyou for my kids and wife
And this dumb beast who gave its life
Who fell to rise and bleat no more
Lifeless on the killing floor...

Obviously that wasn't going to make the grade. I was heading towards the vegetables, and ended up in a pool of blood.

I tried some more, but they came out sounding awkward:

Grace for a Frittata
Thankyou loving Holy Father
For our vegetable frittata...

That rhyme is too tenuous.

Grace for a Pizza
Zank you Lord for now we eat za
Tasty roasted pumpkin pizza...

Way too silly.

Grace for Fish and Chips
Lord we pray these fish and chips
Do not go straight to my hips...

Getting too far away from the spirit of giving thanks for the food.

And then creativity struck and with a change of meter and a change of focus came this scrap of promise:

Grace for Sunday Morning Breakfast
Gratitude for tea and toast
Breakfast that I love the most
Comfort and simplicity
Being my priority
This Sabbath of tranquility
Thankyou, Holy Ghost.

And God would know I was talking about him, but was scratching for a rhyme there. He'd smile though, because I never call Him "Holy Ghost." It lends a dazed, ethereal feeling to the grace which is rather appropriate as that is how I feel on Sunday mornings after being woken far too early by my kids.

Speaking of which, I think there needs to be a grace in which they feature.

Grace for When I've Put Too Much Effort In
You gave me time to plan this dish
You gave me money to buy the fish
You gave more time to cook the lot
And serve it up all steamy-hot

You gave us two most lovely kids
To look at the food and hit the skids
To whinge and moan and pick at the food
To make some comments that are really quite rude

But all of these things I thank you for
And for the kids, I'll thank you more
Let me not begin to resent
The time and money and effort I spent

Let me thank you as I enjoy
My food, my husband, my girl and my boy
And remind me next time that I must be nuts
When preparing dinner to bust my guts.


And here's a final one for meals the children actually do eat:

Grace for Anything With Rice
Lord I think it's really nice
You gave the human race its rice
Feeding those from every land
Filling tummies as you planned.

Make me thankful as I scrub
Rice from table, boy and bub,
Floor and carpet, fork and plate.
Teach me to appreciate.



Crazy Sister said...

I love them all! Well done.

Heather said...

Well done, indeed!

The *actual* grace we use most often in my house is the one my parents taught us as kids:

God is great
God is good
and we thank Him
for our food. Amen.

That one always bugged me, even as a child, because "good" and "food" do NOT rhyme, either in the New Jerseyan accent of my upbringing or the more flat and nasal accent of my upstate New Yorker adulthood. Even as a small smartmouth, I'd often say God is goooooooooooood so that it rhymed with food, not "gud" as it is actually pronounced.

Oh, we also did:

Lord Jesus Christ, be Thou our guest,
and share this food which Thou hast blessed. Amen.

Which I infinitely preferred not only for the better rhyming ability, but for the hoity-toityness of the Thous and hasts. (I always did prefer the King James over the Revised Standard...)

These days, a grace for Kiddo would have to go something like:

For chicken served in "Dino" form,
and pepperoni pizza, served quite warm,
Lord we thank you, yes we thank you!
For the plentitude of sweet, green peas,
for the shaker full of parmesan cheese
That we sprinkle, yes we sprinkle
Over everything, over everything
So that Kiddo will eat it.
For the abundance of delicious fruit,
and bean burritos (despite the toots),
And for Cheese-Its, white cheddar Cheese-Its!
Lord we give you thanks for yogurt cool,
For beef bologna and hot dogs too,
Lord we thank you, yes we thank you
Oh we thank you, Amen.


Adelaine said...

This is great!! You are so poetic :) I need the grace when I put in too much effort one the most!!!

Oh, and a tip about the rice - if you let it dry up over night, it vacumms right up!

Jen said...

I love this. I love it so much. Those are awesome and you are you. Thank you God for my good friend.

Sassy Britches said...

My oh my, you know, even just taking the TIME to make up those prayers (I almost said rhymes, ha ha) is almost a tribute to God in and of itself, even if they don't turn out the way you wanted! I'm sure God is appreciating the efforts!

Tracy P. said...

These are awesome. Because we come to the table from so many different directions, we need them all, don't we?

I, too, think that God appreciates it when we approach Him honestly. To Him, it must be similar to our experience watching our kids do their thing--all of their things.

Joy in the Burbs... said...

Dear God:

I thank you for Givinya's place.
It brings a smile up-on my face.

From thoughts to fingers she does tell, the antics of Sonny, Smoochy and Mr. de Elba as well.

So give Givinya the grace she needs as she fills the plates of those she feeds.

Love all your prayers,
I definitely relate to the whine and moan and pick at food line.
That's when I need grace the most.


Hairline Fracture said...

These are great! I laughed the hardest at the grace for roast lamb. You're right, it's a little too gruesome for the dinner table!

Swift Jan said...

LOve them all *claps hands*

Hippomanic Jen said...

I enjoyed them all - you should publish a book!

And then of course is the little gem that you wrote in the "Culinary Comments" (i.e. complaints) book at college on my behalf after one dinner.

Why is it at night
when my appetite
Is oh so teeny, weeny
Do you think that it's great
To fill up my plate
With mountainous piles of zucchini?

Mrs. Tantrum said...

I love these...too bad I am so exhausted that we ate hot dogs on macaroni and cheese (I did make the bechemel cheese sauce from scratch though) I couldn't even come up with a good Grace if I tried.

And I am with you those singing ones that we learned at camp...whomever wrote them and repeated them OUT LOUD should get 100 lashings.

Givinya De Elba said...

Dear Lord, thanks for all of these
Hot dogs on our mac and cheese
We serve them up and hope they please
And will not bring us to our knees.

The grace of a non-hot-dog fan, I'm afraid.

I'm with you on the singing grace, esp in public. The best anti-evangelism I've ever encountered.

Crazy Sister said...

I wish our dinners were less staggered and shambolic with entries and exits and "I'll have to take that 'To Go'", so that we would say a Grace together.

Feeling guilty now.

Sassy Britches said...

Pssstt...I just gave you an award over at my blog!

The Acting Mom said...

Visiting from SITS.
Your title is hilarious!

Whiney Momma said...

Those are great. You must have been having a great creative streak!

CynthiaK said...

Those are fantastic. Don't think I could be so poetic. Could you write one for me around Finnish kinkku? (ham that ends up tasting like turkey after two weeks of preparation)

GreenJello said...

Love em!

Simple: Good bread, good meat. Good God, let's eat!


And I second the mention of letting rice dry overnight. It vacuums and sweeps up much easier the next day.