Deep Thoughts and Delayed Bedtime

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Our children’s most effective weapon against bedtime is asking a poignant question. You know the kind I’m talking about. It’s deep. Thought-provoking. Requires a complex answer.  There’s no way you can just tuck them in with a quick pat and retreat. Me-time will have to wait because real parenting is necessary here.

A question like that was offered up last night. The cherubs were hog-tied, er, I mean snuggled in their beds … peace had descended … my Kindle was calling my name. Then the pitter-patter of feet tracked me down.

“Are spirits and curses real?” he asked.

That wasn’t exactly what I anticipated. May I have ‘random requests for another beverage’ for $200 please, Alex?

Apparently someone at school tried to summon ‘Charlie, Charlie’ during recess and freaked our little precious out. He was convinced something evil was coming to get him. (If you aren’t familiar with Charlie, Charlie feel free to conduct an internet search).

What he really wanted was to not be afraid. Reassurance that our home was a safe place where nothing would snatch him while he slept. We had a great conversation about the ongoing battle between good versus evil playing out in the world. I’ve learned not to bring real-life events into the conversation, even though there are plenty in the news to choose from, because it only elevates the fear and anxiety. His perspective on prayer and claiming the truth of God’s word were a sweet and timely reminder for this frazzled mama. You see, our Bible study lesson this week was all about teaching our children to pray. Needless to say, I left that particular session feeling convicted about how we fall short in this area as parents. {See previous reference to rushing the bedtime routine so we can call it a day}. Maybe I learned more from this interaction than he did.

All on his own, he thought of the song ‘Jesus Loves Me’. The verse from Isaiah 43 featured in this post immediately came to mind for me. He also mentioned prayer for him meant whispering the things he is grateful for because then he “gets this fun little feeling in my heart.”

Awww. That little tidbit gave me a fun little feeling in my heart. We may not have all the answers and definitely parent on auto-pilot sometimes, but now and then a little glimmer of hope shines through and we get to see God working in the lives of those He has entrusted to our care.

Despite our deep conversation and reminders of our favorite verses, the poor little dude still couldn’t sleep alone so we fixed a place on the floor in our room. As I tucked him in, he pointed out a sign on our bookshelf with Jeremiah 29:11 written on it: “For I know the plans I have for you … plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”

Even though we spend quite a bit of time together, he goes out into the world without us for six or seven hours most days. His carefree attitude and sense of adventure makes me think he’s equipped to encounter hard things. This event was a good reminder that good seeds have been planted, but we still need to teach him to lean hard on the One who will carry him through.

Your turn: What’s your favorite verse to claim when you feel anxious or afraid? If you are a parent or grandparent, how do you teach children to cope with these emotions?




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