Letting go of grace is one my regrets as a parent. I wanted my children to have that experience and yet I didn't hold it up as a value. Throughout my children’s lives I've asked them to do many things. Sometimes they do them happily and other times they resist. I know when they resist part of what they are asking me is, “Does this really matter?” When it came to manners and homework and getting dressed and brushing their teeth and doing their laundry the answer from me alway came back, “Yes, this does matter. So you are going to do your school work and be polite and wear clean clothes and keep your teeth healthy.”
But when they resisted grace, when they questioned the importance of a spiritual ritual around food, I tacitly answered, “No, this is not important,” when we stopped doing it.
When they were in high school I reasserted the value of a nightly grace. When I brought it up, my kids were not just willing, but eager. So we transformed our dinners by saying something along these lines: “God, thank you for the abundance we are about to receive and for all that went into bringing it to our table”. It’s not fancy, it doesn’t take long, and half the time we only remember to say it when we are part way through the meal. But it does the trick. It reminds us all that we are connected to so much else, the interconnected web of all existence and to be grateful for the blessings in our lives.