We talked and laughed about all kinds of things from Weight Watchers to books to kids.
But my friend, Julie, asked us a great question.
“What is your kid’s bedtime routine?”
It was so very interesting to see the differences and similarities between the homes represented in our small circle.
I loved hearing from each one and getting a sneak peak into their homes during bedtime.
We had a great conversation about tucking the kids in, funny things the kids say or do, things they need to go to sleep, systems that help the whole ordeal run smoother, how long the routine takes, and the many discussions that take place at bedtime.
In our house, the bedtime routine is one of my favorite times of the day.
In fact for parenting, a bedtime routine is the MOST important time of day.
A time when our children’s little hearts are soft and they are open to conversation. A time that is ripe for parenting ahead.
Oh, I still have those nights that I dread the long routine and wish they could just put themselves to bed with no fuss or fights or problems.
But, I quickly remind myself that this routine is part of being a mom! I have to encourage myself to not wish it away… to cherish the special time with my girls each and every day. To thank God that I have the ability to put my girls to bed in a safe and warm home.
I push myself up the steps each night because this the bedtime craziness will last in my girls’ childhood memories.
They will remember Daddy disrupting everything by singing loudly or messing up their blankets. They will remember Mommy asking Daddy to stop getting everyone all rowdy again. They will remember getting in trouble for getting out of bed… for the 5th time. They will look back on those snuggly nights with happiness and remember the feeling of being loved.
How do I know? Well, I remember my Mom and Dad putting me to bed. I remember our bedtime routine from when I was young. I can still hear my Mom saying, “Ben! Do not get those girls worked up again! Stop! It is bed time, not play time!”
And, I remembered that phrase because I caught myself saying the exact same thing to Jeremy not too long ago.
A bedtime routine is vitally important
We have chosen to make it a priority in our home. Even on the nights that I am tempted to skip devotions because it is too late and the girls are tired, I choose to give God the last moments of the day.
You see, I know the girls will remember the silliness, the routine, the rush to get everyone cleaned, brushed, changed and tucked in before the hour gets too late.
But, I’m hoping that they will also remember the most important part of our routine.
The time that we take each night to focus on Christ. To read the word and to talk about it together. I see this as different from school Bible study or church Bible lessons because this is time that we take out of a very busy part of the day to focus on Jesus right before bed.
A moment of the day when my girls hearts are quiet and ready to hear from the Holy Spirit about their day.
Teaching them to not let the sun go down on their anger or reminding them to ask Jesus to show them areas to work on the next day. Holding them close and speaking Jesus’ love into their minds each and every day. Building faithfulness to Bible Study and time spent in prayer before bed. Singing sweet words about Jesus’ love.
Anyway… all that was running through my mind as I got ready for bed.
Because while I was out, I missed the bedtime routine… Daddy got to put the girls to bed that night.
I walked into the bathroom and saw this on the counter. Poems and Prayers for the very young
This was my book when I was a little girl. My Mom and Dad gave it to me on my 7th birthday.
It is a book that we pull out often… A book that is getting used 23 years later… with another generation of girls learning to read about God at bedtime.
A lasting bedtime routine.
I am so thankful for the foundation, the heritage that I have to build on as I go through the bedtime routine with my girls.
Even on the nights that I don’t feel like getting into a big discussion about why Saul wanted to kill David or why we have to forgive our sister when she annoys us or how we know there won’t be tears in heaven or why God heals some people but not other people or if there is electricity in heaven or what color Jesus’ beard was or if Nicodemus had a mustache…
Even on those nights when I don’t have answers and I want to just slip them quickly in bed, I remember that I’m using my foundation to build new foundations that will one day be drawn upon for my grandchildren.
A foundation that is lasting and true, giving me strength when I don’t feel like following through or taking the time.
So, what is your bedtime routine and how do you incorporate God into your nightly crazy time? I would love to hear your thoughts!
And check out our favorite family devotionals!