Friday, December 13, 2013


We all like to have the illusion that we have some control over our lives. Children constantly struggle with their inability to control what is happening around them. Even my little 16-month-old son is learning to want to be in control. I struggle with my need to put constraints on him, to help him to trust me to be in control of the things he is not yet old enough to decide for himself.
All parents can identify with the struggle that we call bedtime. We know that children NEED to go to sleep yet they think we are just spoiling their fun. So they fight us. They roll around in bed, talk to their siblings, or remember something sooo important that it just can't wait until morning. Sometimes they make excuses or try to reason with us. Other times they simply whine. They may cry and call us mean. My 16-month-old has no words to plead with. He simply keeps himself awake. He rubs his eyes and reaches out his arms to me. If I put him in his bed he will stand there and cry. He wants me to hold him, to rescue him from his own sleepiness. So I pick him up and comfort him and try to calm him. I want him to sleep because I know he needs to, because it is best for him. I may feel impatient and tired myself but I do my best to make bedtime pleasant for him.
Tonight it took hours of nursing him and cuddling him, rocking him and soothing him before he finally let himself drift into dreamland. Now he is cuddled up peacefully in bed. Why did he fight it so?
Why do I fight it so when God is parenting me? He certainly knows what is best, but so often I don't want what he has for me. I want to decide, to choose for myself. The illusion of control is comforting, but it is not safe. Why would I rather be angry then rest in His peace? All I gain is hours of wasted time, wanting my own way, feeling I deserve this or that, that I NEED it to be a certain way.
Why not just close my eyes and rest in his arms?
Just this thought helps me to view my own children differently. Bedtime may be frustrating, but I am just like them. I reason and complain. I whine and make excuses, hoping to get my own way. I may even cry. In the end I always end up in my Heavenly Father's arms, as he rocks me to sleep.
"O rest in The Lord, wait patiently for him and he shall give thee thy hearts desires."
Thank you Lord that I am not in control. Give me the patience with my children that you extend to your own. Amen

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