A Prayer Song For Your Family Thanksgiving Meal


Chapman Family Prayer 1957

Several years ago it was our family’s turn to say the table grace at the gathering of the Williamson “clan” on Thanksgiving Day in West Virginia. It was no surprise to everyone that Steve had put our table blessing to music. As he played the guitar the four of us began to sing the following song before the meal.

Through the years this short song has been used at mealtimes not only by our family but by many others who have heard the recording of it.

We invite you to use this musical prayer as you give thanks at your table.

God’s blessings to each of you… Steve & Annie


Guest of Honor

As our family gathers round this table
Where this meal has been prepared
Let all our hearts be grateful
As we offer up this prayer

“Our Father in Heaven
For this meal You have given
We want to say thank You
From our hearts
Bless the ones who prepared it
And Lord as we share it
Would You stay with us
And be our Guest of Honor.”

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Mother/Daughter-in-Law Survival Guide | Part 1


Annie and Lilian Chapman

Annie and Lillian Chapman

Steve and I returned home from spending Thanksgiving weekend with his parents, my in-laws, P.J. and Lillian Chapman.  As we drove the eight-hour trek from West Virginia back to Tennessee, I was reminded, once again of how truly blessed I am to have a wonderful relationship with my mother-in-law.  Sadly enough, I know this advantage is not true for everyone.

Some of you are facing the possibility of many hours together with your in-laws.  In a nutshell, you dread being with people you are supposed to love but really don’t like all that much.

In the book, The Mother-in-Law Dance, I offer some practical ways to build a mutually satisfying and lasting relationship between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law.

This week I will offer three things a mother-in-law can do that will help avoid discord between her daughter-in-law and her son’s family. The insights below are adapted from my book, “The Mother-in-Law Dance / Can Two Women Love The Same Man and Still Get Along” available in the book section at this website.

(Next week, I will share three things the daughter-in-law can do to honor her husband’s mother and help keep Harmony in the Home.)

 For the mother-in-law…

  • Be flexible, not pitiful

There are a lot of demands on our adult children’s time.   While I value being with my children as much as any mother, I’ve decided I will not put additional pressure on them by requiring them to fit into my plans.   What does that look like?  It means the Chapman Thanksgiving dinner, for example, may be the week before the actual holiday or even the first week of December.  Or it may mean that our Christmas celebration is on the 18th instead of the 25th.

While this may seem unfair, and sometimes it feels that way, my ultimate goal is to make life for my children easier and less stressful.  Of all the people and situations in their lives that make it difficult, I don’t want to be one of them.

So, may I be so bold as to offer some of you moms a gift idea for your adult children?  How about giving your kids a guilt-free holiday?  If you are like me, it will cost you a lot to do it, but it may be just the gift they were hoping for.

  • Be careful to stay inside your boundaries

Like a beautiful river that gives pleasure and joy to a community, the same water source can bring destruction and sorrow when it leaves it bank and encroaches on the surrounding areas.

In a similar way, a mother-in-law is a wonderful asset to a family.  She can bring wisdom and help that is beneficial to her son’s family like no one else can.  However, when she steps over the line by interjecting her thoughts, opinions and presence without an invitation to do so she can do great harm.

Keep in mind, the same expressions of love that make an incredible mother to small children (the desire to nurture, guide, instruct and carefully watch over her young) are the same actions and attitudes that make a terrible mother to adult children.

  • Be encouraging with your words

Proverbs 18:21 says, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” The truth of this proverb is especially applicable when it comes to the Mother-in-law/Daughter-in-law relationship.  Affirming your daughter-in-law with positive words and an encouraging attitude will go along way to helping your son and his family to want to be around you.  The old adage, “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar” is true, but of course who wants to catch flies.  Also keep in mind that honey also attracts bears.  But I digress.

If you are ever tempted to have a heart to heart talk with your daughter-in-law in order to point out her faults or to correct something you find unacceptable…Please don’t do it!!  As a rule, the mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship is such that no good can come out of that kind of conversation. If you must express yourself, then tell your son and let him deal with it.  The following poem says it very well…

Power of Words

A careless word may kindle strife

A cruel word may wreck a life

A bitter word may hate instill

A brutal word may smite and kill


A gracious word may smooth the way

A joyous word may light the way

A timely word may lessen stress

A loving word may heal and bless

(Author unknown)


Do you have any practical advice you can share that has helped you in your relationship with your in-laws?  Feel free to leave a comment or prayer request so other’s can share in your wisdom or your burden.

If you know someone who could benefit from this information please share this web page with them. Thanks!

Annie Chapman

Upcoming Live Events!

To schedule us for a future event please go to our  Contact Us Page”    

…and thanks for considering us!!!  S&A


The Covid-19 outbreak and the resulting lockdown(s) have affected our schedule as it has many musicians and speakers. Except for a couple of events we have not done a live concert since mid-March 2020. The events planned for 2021 have a tentative status at this time. When we know whether or not they will take place we will notify you via this events page. Thanks for your prayers for us during this unusual time. Blessings to each of you. S&A

“Unspoken Request” goes #1 on the charts!

To our friends who are fans of Southern Gospel Music, I have some exciting news. Two of Steve’s songs, “Finish Well,” and, “Unspoken Request” were recorded by The McKameys on their latest CD, Precious Seed.  I am happy to report that “Unspoken Request” has gone to #1 on the Singing News chart.

Not only did the song reach #1, it did so in unusually quick fashion. It entered at #25, jumped to #9 and then went to #1.  We are so grateful to The McKameys for recording the songs, not just because they are one of Southern Gospel’s premier groups but also because they are first class folks who are greatly respected.

Also, if you have a Southern Gospel radio station in your area, please call and request “Unspoken Request.” And… if  The McKameys are in your area, we encourage you to go see and hear them. Their ministry is exceptional.

Thanks for celebrating this songwriting milestone with us!


The Hunter’s Heart of Mercy

“Be Ready When You Come For Me”

One day I went into a patch of woods to set up a stand and discovered a piece of paper tacked to a tree. I was surprised to discover it was a note to me that said,


    “Dear Mr. Chapman…I hear that you travel and sing to deer hunters. Is there any way you could take the words I’ve written below and sing them to your deer hunting friends? If you would, it sure would help me and my friends. 



Of course there’s not an ounce of truth to the story nor the note from the deer. But maybe, just maybe, the song posted below that was written as if Mr. Buck had penned it might encourage you to practice, practice, practice with your weapon of choice. Why? Because a well-placed shot is a way for a skillful hunter to show maximum mercy to creatures that not only provide us with a great food source, they really do have nerve endings. 


The crown of creation its you its not me

I’m here for another reason I was born to be

A coat for your shoulders in the cold and the rain

And the life in my flesh it will feed you I know

I’m sure you will come with your arrow and bow

But don’t forget, I can feel pain

So this one thing I ask of you

This one thing I beg you to do


Be ready, practice, learn from the masters

So that on that morning when its me you come after

Your arrow will fly straight and true

And I will find mercy when it passes through

Like falling asleep in the midmorning sun

If your shot is certain that’s how the end will come for me

Be ready when you come for me


Steve Chapman/Times & Seasons Music/BMI

(Available on the CD, First Winds of Autumn)


Incompatibility…The Spice in Marriage


In the Chapman household it was a ‘silent night’ and I’m not talking about the classic Christmas song!

Earlier in the day, Eb Scrooge and Mrs. Claus had tried to have Christmas with their children.  But along with opening the gifts, we also “unwrapped” our opposing opinions about the Holiday. What could have been the most wonderful time of the year turned out to be a “bah humbug” event…again.

Huggin’ around the Christmas tree

James 4:1-3 isn’t typically used as part of the Christmas narrative. In our case, however, it was more appropriate than the Luke 2 story.  Brother James asked, “What causes fights and quarrel among you?”  He answered his own question by saying that we get angry because we don’t get our waySimply stated, anger is what happens when “my way is the only way” fails to happen.   

Gratefully, Steve and I have learned that having differing opinions is not necessarily a bad thing.  We also realize that we can disagree without being disagreeable.  In the “Christmas situation,” I wanted to overspend and overindulge our children with more gifts than they needed.  Steve, on the other hand, thought the children already had enough toys and didn’t need anything else

If I’d had my way, we would have been in debt from one January to the next.  If Steve had his way our children would have written a scathing book about him entitled, “Daddy, Dearest.”  The good news is, by compromising and learning to see the other’s opinion as valid, we learned to enjoy a wonderfully, debt-free, non-spoiled-children-Christmas with great memories.

As of this writing Steve and I have had the privilege of thirty-eight chances to celebrate Christmas together.  As the years have gone by, we have done much better at achieving “peace on earth,” or at least, “peace in Tennessee.” We finally realized that our differences are really like spice in chili. Without it, chili would be bland and lacking taste. With spice, however, chili is an exciting dish…so is marriage!

How did this accomplishment happen? We decided to embrace each other’s idea of what Christmas is supposed to be. While it wasn’t easy, nor comfortable, we’re happy to report that our decision to do so really did work. It not only helped us get along much better during the Advent Season, our relationship has grown stronger since then.

The song, Incompatibility, highlights many of the differences we have recognized in our relationship yet have chosen to embrace. Perhaps some of the items on our lyrical list might sound familiar to you. If so, you’ll know you’re not alone in the challenge to get along as a couple… even with opposing views. Remember, chili is much better with spice!


Him:  I like a little mayo

Her:  Mustard is my thing

Him:  Make my bread as white as cotton

Her:  I’ll have wheat with seven grains

Her:  And a little candle glowing when we eat is what I like

Him:  I need to see what I’m consuming, so please turn on the lights


Her:  I go to bed before the news

Him:  I’m still awake at two A.M.

Her:  I’m up before the chickens

Him:  If I can, I’m sleeping in

Him:  I like wearing huntin’ clothes

Her:  I like huntin’ clothes to wear

Her:  I’ll always ask directions

Him:  I’ll find my own way there


We’ve got incompatibility everywhere we turn

But still we stay together cause there’s a lesson we have learned

That if this man and woman were in every way the same

One of us would not be needed, and wouldn’t that be a shame


Her:  I like a walk in the park

Him:  And I would rather run

Him:  How far can we go on empty

Her:  I’ve never seen as fun

Him:  I like talking to my buddy’s when we’re teeing off at ten

Her:  My greens and conversation are a salad bar with friends


Her:  My feet are like December

His:  And mine are like July

Her:  While I’m piling on the blankets

Him:  I lay there and fry

Her:  I married Ebenezer Scrooge

Him:  I married Mrs. Claus

Her:  While I’m watching Casablanca

Him:  I’d rather be watching football


We’ve got incompatibility everywhere we turn

But still we stay together cause there’s a lesson we have learned

That if this man and woman were in every way the same

One of us would not be needed, and wouldn’t that be a shame


(“Incompatibility,” lyrics by Steve and Annie Chapman, Times and Seasons Music, BMI; available on the  Love Was Spoken CD.)


    Would you briefly share something you and your spouse do that helps to keep    disagreements from turning into a disaster for your marriage? 


Feel free to use the comment spot to share a prayer request for your marriage.  Here’s a chance for you to share your need and allow others to join with you in prayer.


Blessings on you and yours!

Annie Chapman