The community helpers puzzle. Its pieces dumped in the floor, again. I find myself frustrated, again.

Frustrated to pick up the pieces and frustrated we were all sick. Frustrated we couldn’t get out and help the victims of recent flooding.

But the Lord calmly gave me an answer, in His patient way. As I was picking up each puzzle piece, He said, “Pray.”

The ambulance piece – pray for ambulance workers. The police car – pray for our police force rescuing flood victims. The tow truck – wow. I hadn’t even thought about all those cars needing to be towed away. And look, the school bus.

Community Helpers Puzzle

Community Helpers Puzzle

I adore practical answers.

As a young mother, I thought I was supposed to get off in my little corner and have my quiet time. More and more that became a hard thing to do. I didn’t quite understand how I was supposed to pray without ceasing.

I imagined myself, face down, in the middle of the floor trying to pray and acting oblivious to children running all around me, hollering, “Mama!” “Mama!” Me, answering, “Quiet now children, I’m praying.”

The Lord has gently taught me that prayer should be the foundation of our day. Not a separate practice, always apart from the children. Though there certainly is a time for formal prayer, the praying habit is to be passed on. It’s a way of life.

I once heard prayer compared to breathing. Breathe out… send a prayer up… Breathe in…soak up His wisdom, give thanks. It’s a conversation. It’s easy. Something you don’t even have to put effort into.

Pray without ceasing I Thessalonians 5:17

Guess what? I’ve found freedom in praying out loud while driving my homeschool bus to activities. “Lord, help us to be safe. Help children to obey. Help us to be polite and have a good time.”

Yes, I enjoy quiet time before the children wake. But the children should also catch me with my Bible when they come down the steps, all sleepy-eyed, in the morning. “Here, child, bring that warm blanket and snuggle with me. Let’s have some quiet time with Jesus.”

Other practical prayers as you go about your day:

When you hear a siren, stop and pray with the children. Pray not only for those that might be hurting but also for those that are responding to the emergency. Pray for healing. Siren prayers usually prompt us to pray for others we know with urgent needs.

When that airplane flies overhead pray, “God, please bless the people in the airplane.” My mother taught us this simple prayer. The youngest girl thought an airplane’s name was “bless” for the longest time.

Can’t find something? Pray. The simple act of stopping and praying for wisdom helps calm everybody down. “Mama, shouldn’t we pray?” the seven-year-old reminds. We do. And then I find my keys.

Simple, anytime prayers:


“Please give me wisdom!”

“Allow me to show love”

And finally, I pause at my kitchen sink often to reread the quote I printed out from Everyday Homemaking:

“You can’t change what you have or haven’t done over the past year. Just start where you are, ask the Lord to make you a “joyful mother of children,” pray for grace and wisdom (and strength and patience), and move forward.

Just pray. All day.

If you don’t have a community helpers puzzle but would like a visual, download this lapbook component from homeschool share. Click here then find the Community Helpers Hotdog Book. For even more fun, do the whole Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs lapbook together!

-Tricia homeschools five children from preschool to middle school. You can find her facing that daily dose of chaos at Hodgepodge. Tricia is a.k.a. Hodgepodgemom.