The other day I skimmed through a gangly list of every blog post I’ve ever written. Why? To find all the stuff I’ve penned about parenting. I kinda thought it might be worth pooling all the wisdom I’ve gleaned from the parental trenches. You know, to remind myself of promises made, to remember lessons I thought I’d learned, to see if any patterns or persistent truths emerged over time.

It didn’t take me long to find one:

God is busy at bedtime.

I know he never stops working, and I get that, but I’m telling you, stuff happens at bed time. I think God and my kids are in cahoots, cause right about the time when I’m starting to check out for the night, their walls come down and their hearts open up and they need me to engage in a big way. I think it must be safer to voice doubts in the dark, leaning there against my chest with the faint glow of the hall light soothing their souls.

Entry after entry, story after story, my bedtime blog posts add simple brush strokes to a grand masterpiece being painted by God in our family. Which is odd, because by and large… I can’t believe I’m admitting this… most nights… often times…

I really loathe praying with my kids at bedtime.

It’s not prayer I dislike. It’s not my children, and certainly not God. It’s not a lack of love for any of the above. I think it must be the robotic way I go about it when I’m tired and really just want to get it done with so I can flake out and put my own day to bed. And the guilt when I realize I’m blowing an important moment again. Which is all too weird, because many of my favourite moments also come while tucking them in, and I’m not going to get to do this forever.

Praying with one child isn’t all that bad. Two is a stretch. By the third, I’m repeating myself pathetically and wondering whether I’m actually praying or just going through the motions for the kids’ benefit. I trust somebody else out there has felt the same way at some point?

Know what helps?

Cuddling together—all of us—on the couch before going upstairs. Praying together, praying for each other as we go. It’s wonderful. Tonight I had Glory share a passage from her devotions. I unpacked a truth nestled in the verses, we shared, we prayed, we snuggled, and off to bed they went. It was rich.

Thank you, Lord.

FYI, I’m going to compile all the parenting posts into a single PDF document, pretty it up a little, and make it available for you free in the next few weeks.

God bless!