Toddler bedtime battles are rare in our house, thankfully… except, of course, for when Daddy goes away for five days, and mama is trying so hard to be extra patient, knowing that back-up is not nearby as per usual. Tonight was one of those nights. An hour and a half later… and this mama was frustrated that little miss personality just would NOT.go.to.sleep.
“Just go to sleep, child!”
“Don’t you know I’m so tired?!”
“I *need* my precious few hours of child-free time before going to bed and facing another day of solo parenting.”
“I’m gonna lose it soon, kiddo, and I don’t know what will happen. Really I need to calm down and bring positive energies to this moment… because if I don’t I know you won’t settle… but how the heck can I get my brain to just shut up? How can I find the patience I know I need when every fibre of my being tingles with frustration and pent-up tension from my fleshly nature?
“No thanks. I’m too annoyed.”
“Put your frustrations on me, my child.”
“No, really. I’m happy wallowing in my misery… OK… fine I’m not… but…”
“When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves.” Matthew 5:44 (The Message)
“Lord, please be with Aliza. Fill her with your peace and help her little body to relax and breathe deep with the comfort and rest from a good sleep. Help her to dream of sweet things, like peek-a-boo and mama’s happy smile. Give me your heart and patience, Jesus. Help me to breathe deeply and love as you do.
Thank-you Jesus. Amen.”
Those sleepy eyes have finally fluttered closed, and her breathing is slow and even. Her face rests in the space between my neck and my chest. Her body finally relaxes with utter abandon, trusting me with her whole self. My spirit is repentant and soaked in grace. I am calm. Sheepish.
And I inch closer to the face of Christ, one moment of grace at a time.