Family Pistachios


“Come in for prayer,” called Angela, summoning everyone in for our family’s nightly routine.

“This won’t take very long,” I thought as I rolled out from under the snug blanket where I had been reading.

I walked down the hall to my parents’ room, where everyone was gathering. While we were waiting for everyone to settle down, my mother reached behind her and grabbed a handful of pistachios from a bag sitting on the cedar chest.

“Wait a second!” cried Corinne. “Where’s some for the rest of us?”

“Don’t worry,” my mom assured her, “sharing is exactly what I plan to do.” And without hesitation, she proceeded to divvy out the handful of nuts. With a smile she exclaimed, “Call it a blessing for participating in family prayer!”

We liked the idea. We liked it even better when mom reached behind her a second time, returning now with more than just a handful of nuts. She plopped the whole bag down in the middle of the bed we were gathered around.

We spent several happy minutes breaking open salty pistachios and talking. Our conversation became boisterous and enthusiastic as we chatted and snacked away.

The nuts were soon gone but our conversation continued. We probably talked for half an hour. During this time, no one complained about family prayer taking so long. No one complained about being tired or wanting to go to bed. We were so happy to be together and content to continue talking.

At that moment, I realized that Heavenly Father had blessed us for participating in family prayer. The blessing wasn’t like the physical strength a bunch of pistachios could offer—it was more nourishing. The blessing was the opportunity to grow closer together as a family, and really, though I love pistachios, it was far more satisfying.

After we prayed together, I wandered back to my room to read a little more before calling it a night. I’d just opened my book when the sound of laughter wafted in from my parents’ room where two of my sisters continued to joke and tease my parents. I smiled and returned to my book. Who could have predicted the powerful impact of a simple mix of family prayer and pistachios?

Photograph by Welden Andersen