Toddler Tales: Best of Nighttime Routine

Our typical night-time routine looks something like this:

-clean up toys (singing "clean up! clean up!" and encouraging all the way---99% of the time J does this without a fuss; when there is a fuss--he is encouraged to cry in his room and THEN come back to finish)
-put away books (often humorous to watch as he'll pile the big books precariously on top of the smaller ones, eventually creating some kind of book-slide off the shelf)
-drink of water
-read book(s) of J's choice (typically snuggled on the couch with a blanket: current favorites are Goodnight Moon & If You Give A Pig A Pancake)
-put last books away
-teeth brushing (admittedly, this step gets forgotten more often than we'd like)
-diaper change, pajamas on

and then we all gather together in J's room for PRAYERS.
(Or, in J's vocabulary: "prayersh")

Our consistency level of having nightly family prayers has increased tenfold since J started paying more attention and folding his arms during prayers. He gets excited when we say "time for prayers!" and enthusiastically runs to his room, landing in his 'prayer stance' (arms folded, laying on his belly on the floor) in the middle of his room. We kneel beside him and take turns saying our nightly prayers. J agrees with a robust "A-Men!", and then we shower him with kisses as we plop him into his crib.

Tonight was different.

As we knelt down, the thought came to me that if he can repeat what we say anytime of the day, then he can repeat and say his own prayer! It was just the two of us, (Mr. H is out late studying for a certification test he has to take later this week: speaking of prayers...he would probably appreciate any little ones pointed his way) so I looked at him and said "ok, it's your turn to say the prayer, your turn to talk to Heavenly Father."

His little arms folded, he looked up to me for guidance.

I started him off & he repeated the last word of every thing I said.

His little voice thanked for Mama & Daddy and our home. He thanked for grandparents and Jesus and the baby. He asked for good sleep and blessings. He closed in the Lord's name and then waited for me to finish with Amen.

In standard Mommy mode, I praised him for a great job.

Then, my emotions kicked in.

I just helped my son say his very first prayer.
It wasn't eloquent or long or even from his own imagination...
but it was the very beginning.
The very beginning of a lifelong communication with God through prayer
The very beginning of that connection that pulls us through challenges
and pushes us onward in faith.
The very beginning of his active part in the best part of our nighttime routine.

My son's first "prayersh".

And my latest reminder of the importance of listening to the Spirit
so that we can experience these special family moments.



Miles said...

so precious, so sacred.

Linda said...

yes. that brings back sweet sweet memories. Won't be long till he will take his turn 'reading' his verse in his own little scriptures ...toddlers love to repeat after mom and dad. I agree, this is sacred ground.

Emily said...

Wow. {stunned silence} Great job, momma.

JackieE said...

That is a beautiful post Shara. I can't wait to help little Bobby with his first prayer. I miss you tons!