Friday, April 4, 2008

Have you listened to your child as you are praying with them?

We've been trying to transition Lydia from our bed to her own bed somewhat successfully for a couple of weeks now. Before you pass judgment on me let me just say that I waited fourteen years for her and having her rest beside me has been a blessing. Still, I know for her own good she needs to be able to rest peacefully in her own room. At first it was terrible having her crying and letting out these horrified screams at being left alone. I would stand at the end of her bed and silently tears would stream down my face in the dark knowing I was going to miss her as much as she was going to miss me. But I stood on firm ground simply because it was, it is, the right thing to do. Honestly, this has been the most heartwrenching part of motherhood I have had to face to date.

The screaming and crying really only lasted a couple of nights and then came the careful planning, at least on her part. She hid the nightlight. She was convinced that if I could not find the light I would not leave her in the dark. As soon as she learned it would definitely mean she would be sleeping in complete darkness she exclaimed, "oh alright" and promptly produced the missing equipment.

But the one thing that has helped the most with the transition has been our nightly prayers together. I am so often surprised to hear how she views the world by what she says in her prayers. I get to understand what concerns she has, and I am often warmed by who comes to mind that she offers up prayers for. Her prayers are like beautiful opportunities for me to identify what she thinks of things including what she thinks of the things that I have said to her. Recently, and purely out of complete weariness I have complained about how messy her room is knowing full well that my contributions to the the things in her room are where the blame should be placed. Then one night my heart was wrenched yet again as she said in her prayers "Jesus please help me to get rid of as much stuff in my room as possible so that I can have the clean room mommy wants me to have." Yes, OUCH!

As difficult as it was to hear where I have room for growth I knew it was EXACTLY what I needed to hear. I must learn to hold my tongue, especially when I know it has been a long day, week, or even hour and I'm not really upset with her, rather disappointed in myself. Let's face it words can encourage and can discourage, they can build up and they can tear down. They can be used by you to expend misplaced emotions and they can be sent as direct challenges to check your own misguided intentions at the door. And what better way to receive admonition than from the heart of a sweet child talking with Jesus? It certainly got my attention!

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