Bedtime rituals: So I say a little prayer for you

I’ve always known family rituals were important, but until I heard this, “it’s the little things you do everyday that your children will remember for the rest of their lives,” I never really quite knew the weight of it.

One of our most important (and favourite) rituals is our bedtime ritual – the one where we read books, sing our favourite bedtime songs, and nod off to sleep.

There are moments where I’ve been tempted to slack in this area, and get down to tackling my to-do list instead.

But I’ve pulled myself back to keeping these bedtime moments sacred…Regardless of how the day had gone, I will just hang with the kids, remind them I love them, pray with them, and stay till they fall asleep. (And when they finally do nod off to sleep, I will whisper a prayer of blessing and protection over them.)

Everything else just has to wait.

And so recently, something beautiful happened, and I was glad to be around to catch it.

Vera has been now appointed herself as “prayer leader.” She will gather us together, ask “are you ready?” and give us instructions to repeat after her.

It’s been ongoing for the past four nights. This is how she prayed on one night.

Heavenly father,
Thank you for the good day today.
Please love us more and more and more.
And make a world with beautiful flowers and rainbows,
and butterflies that fly around these flowers.
Please let us love you more and more and more too.
And all the children say?
(To which we respond)
Amen!

To be honest, I had this on the tip of my tongue: “Sweetie, God already has made such a beautiful world, complete with rainbows and flowers and butterflies.¬†And he already loves us so much, there cannot possibly be more we could ask for (or can there?)”

But I held those words back, and just smiled. I think God in heaven is pleased with her prayer, and to see the love and faith of a child. So who am I to find fault with these little things? ūüėČ

I’m looking forward to hearing more prayers from this child of mine. May her prayers always be from the heart, and may her world always be filled with rainbows of hope, and flowers of blessing.

Thankful for bedtime rituals. What does your bedtime ritual look like?

A Juggling Mom Motiviational Monday

Put worry and anxiety back where they belong

My church recently organised a prayer journey. It was a temporary space set up at the church carpark with air-conditioning and carefully-arranged decor and seating to facilitate this journey of reflection and time with God.

The first thing we had to do when we stepped in was…

1) Capture all our worries, fears and anxious thoughts on paper.

2) Tear the paper up.

Such a simple act, and yet so necessary. Too often we allow our negative and anxious thoughts to prevent us from coming to God fully and in child-like trust.

When we come to God burdened with our problems and worries, we fail to really acknowledge (in mind and in heart) his goodness and love. Thus we leave His presence unchanged and still worried.

Because of this simple act of faith, I was allowed to lay my burdens at His feet…putting them back at the place where they belong.

As a result, I emerged from the prayer space lighter, and feeling strengthened. Like my hope was topped up afresh.

I think I need to do this regularly. Perhaps you too? ūüôā

Strawberry dreams and a prayer of blessing

We just got home from our first kiddy Christmas party!

As I tucked Vera to bed, and said “sweet dreams”, she surprised me by saying this:

“strawberry dreams…and lollipop dreams, mummy”

So that’s what little girls dream about at this age…

Right now, I’m dreaming about the brand new year. That is going to become reality in a week’s time, so I’m giving myself a little bloggy break to reflect upon the year and to set some fresh goals for 2013. Meanwhile, I want to leave a simple prayer of blessing for all of you.

~~~

May the stars twinkle brightly in the night

and leave a joyful trail for you to follow.

May the rays from a new dawn warm your toes

and remind you of the hope that lies in every tomorrow.

May garden butterflies put a skip in your steps

especially when the journey is long and narrow.

And may you be reminded of His everlasting love

each time you catch a glimpse of rainbow.

~~~

Blessed Christmas and new year, friends. And oh, sweet strawberry dreams too.

Love, from all of us at home.

A toddler’s prayer

We have begun praying together with Vera for quite a while now. And Vera has started to echo whatever we pray.

One particular evening, things started to get quite peculiar halfway through.

Here are the words to our prayer…

~~~

Dear God,

Dear God,

Thank you for the wonderful day we had.

Thank you for the wonderful day we had.

Thank you for the time we can spend together as a family.

Thank you for the time we can spend together with our family.

Thank you that Vera was such a good girl today,

Thank you that Vera was such a good girl today,

and JJ was such a good boy.

and JJ was such a good boy.

We pray for the week ahead.

We pray for the week on the head.

[Daddy and I swallow back our chuckles.]

We ask, Lord, that you be with us.

We ask, Lord, that you play with us.

[Laughing out loud now…]

In Jesus’ name, Amen!

In Jesus’ name, Amen!

~~~

Isn’t it funny how this goes to show what the important things really are to a 3 year old? Anyway, I think God’s pretty cool about it, after all, He created us with the desire to have fun, right?

Though I’m still not quite sure about the praying on the head part. Maybe it’s an expression of her desire to learn head-stands?

Have you had any funny conversations with your child lately?   

Grief

I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. ~ Psalm 16:8

You who live in the shelter of the Most High,¬†who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,¬†will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress; my God in whom I trust.” ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ~ Psalm 91:1-2

~~~

I know most of my blog posts have been generally¬†happy and upbeat. But today, I’m going to write a bit about grief.¬†I know it’s the season of joy and merry-making, but in reality, regardless of the time of year, there are people who hurt and are dealing with grief.

I know some of my dearest friends will be grieving during this period, and there’s nothing I could possibly say here¬†that would make things better.

I can only pray.

Dearest Lord, I don’t have the capacity to fully understand what my friends are going through. But you do.

I don’t have the eloquence or wisdom to say the right words. But you do.

And I can’t give them strength to carry on. But you do.

And I know you WILL.

When bad things happen, it’s easy to say ‘trust God’…but in reality, how do we do that?

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