The Breastplate Prayer:
I arise today through God’s strength to pilot me:
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me.
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
I realized this week when I received a spring card from afar, with the mention of the upcoming celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, and memories of one I held a few years ago in my home being memorable for them…that somewhere along the ways I’d derailed with my enthusiasm for some of the celebrations we normally observed with the children in their younger years.
And particularly for my youngest’s sake, I started to lament it. Here it was, almost upon us, and I hadn’t thought of a single thing to mark Saint Patrick, a man born in Britain, a Roman citizen, captured by raiders from Ireland, and known years later to return there with the message of the Gospel to the chieftains and clans of Ireland.
In our much looked forward to history lessons when I used the four year cycle history curriculum, Story of the World, we had great fun finding and reading historical fiction novels to go along with our daily lessons, one being Flame over Tara (the story of Saint Patrick’s message to the clans of Ireland.)
So there I was lying in bed in the wee hours of the morning thinking about how to at least set a table with a Saint Patrick theme this late in the game, and what knowledge I could impart to especially my youngest about this Saint.
It’s not hard in our household to capture the Emerald Isle theme since one wall is quite prominently green, and I’ve the exact match of a table cloth. So…there was the first thing accomplished. And since I’m losing stamina the older I get for well thought out plans in our celebrations, I hadn’t a thing devised for a special British or Irish type of breakfast. Had I been at mum’s and dad’s I’m sure they’d have fried me up and Ulster Fry (or as it has become known, jokingly, an Ulcer fry.) The best I did was made up of the spontaneous visit Wayne made to Costco last night, bringing home fresh buns and some sharp Welsh cheddar. Did I say Welsh? Shh…It will do to stand in for Irish cheddar.
And the tea? Goodness knows, we like our tea here, and normally we’re more on the ball with the plethora of varieties available in our tea drawer. But did we have Irish breakfast tea to serve up this morning? Or even English breakfast tea? We did have tea, our staple of Orange Pekoe.
And I remembered we had a t-towel with some Irish views printed on it that I used as a the liner for our basket of rolls.
Following breakfast, I used my trusty go-to book, Celebrating the Christian Year by Martha Zimmerman to read a little history lesson on Saint Patrick and prayed the Breastplate Prayer. And I can’t say enough good things about this book and thankfulness for the research she did and has made available to me so easily. Just what I needed for a read-aloud on Saint Patrick this morning.
And I won’t say I wasn’t fully prepared for one item I was bound and determined to make for this occasion, that being Green Pistachio Cake.
And to finish the day, I decided we should have a good old fashioned Irish meal of beef, cabbage and potato biscuits. Even though we’ve a few vegetarians in our mix, and a few sickies in the house right now, I still forged ahead with this meal despite it only being Wayne and I who ate the meat and cabbage.
My son has had this obsession with Angus burgers from McDonald’s these days after trying one and finding it over the moon delicious. So this is what he’s been asking for constantly at each meal. Today, I was thinking it probably would have been a good day to fit it in seeing as the name Angus is an Irish name. Instead, daddy told him to be grateful for the meal mum had placed on the table. And mum went and got him a shamrock shake at McDonald’s in Angus’s stead.