In an age when we have so much–so much entertainment, so much busy-ness, so much noise and bustle–it’s hard to find time for stillness. I know, because I fail at it all the time. Add in even a little bit of internal stress and we find ourselves completely ungrounded. We lose touch with the inner calm that would allow us to weather work stress, family stress or even just the evening news. And the ability to listen to that still, small voice? Completely gone.
Perhaps even more concerning is that our children are also missing out on this. Bombarded with stimulation from all angles, they lose the chance to simply sit in quiet.
Reintroducing children to stillness takes patience and skill. A no-holds-barred approach is likely to lead to rebellion and cries of “I’m booooored.” Luckily, there are many ways to incorporate prayer and quiet that provide guidance and focus. Prayer beads are one of these ways. Beads provide guidance for praying as well as tactile stimulation–great for fidgeters and people with active minds. Even better, children love making them. I’ve done prayer beads with two groups of children and adults in the past few months and all of them have enjoyed them. Here are three examples of prayer beads:
1. These beads are made up of the traditional sets of seven beads. You can say a different prayer for each set of beads, as the folks at King of Peace suggest or use each set as a reminder to prayer for something in your life. I like to use the sets to remind me to pray for things I’m grateful for, sorry for, people and a last set for anything else on my mind. Here’s a version I use with kids and youth. Prayer Beads
2. Over at The Little Ways, there’s a great tutorial for making “Good Deed Beads.” They recommend using them to keep track of good deeds you’ve done through the day. Because the beads stay in place once you slide them, they’re a great tool for counting throughout the day. One teacher I know uses them to teach children to take calming breaths, sliding the bead along the cord with each breath they take.
3. And there’s this set of beads, which is easy to make and features simple prayer reminders.
(Pic only. The picture links to a private blog but it was too good not to share! What a fun way to use some special beads and it could easily double as a bracelet.
I’m linking up this week with #wholemama prompt stillness. Katie Faulk has a great post this week on stillness and loss. I, on the other hand, am going with a list-style post because it has been a crazy 3 weeks. Thanksgiving travel followed by starting a new job and getting a major writing assignment–due before Christmas, naturally. All in all, I’m thrilled by everything but thank heavens I did my Christmas shopping early!