Last Updated on March 20, 2018

One area of mothering I very clearly have yet to master is bedtime; my kids pop out like a jack-in-the-box.

It does not help that by bedtime, I am actually very ready for them to go to bed. I have pulled my 13-hour shift (occasionally following the all-nighter), and I am ready to sit down … or at least be very, very quiet and partially alone; my husband is more than acceptable company.

Looking for the blessing in this, I have learned that my children are incredibly creative. How else could they think of amazing excuses why they would be better off awake? Have any of yours come out of the room one minute after tuck-in, proclaiming, “I had a nightmare!”

Sweetie, you will think you’re having a nightmare unless you GET. BACK. IN. BED.

But in a sermon, it was just pointed out to me that Psalm 23:2 actually says, “He makes me lie down in green pastures.” I now understand a little bit of what God’s going through with me. He knows I need rest. He knows that He’s in control, that “for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:34). I am learning — uh,very, very slowly — that rest comes out of faith. And humility.

God sometimes has to wrestle me to the ground (“I’m … not … tired!”) so I’ll let go of the tyranny I’ve created for myself of people’s opinions or my lofty opinions of what I should do or be. Turns out my kids aren’t the only ones who can think of every excuse in the book! It’s hard for me to rest because, well, I just like feeling more in control of my life.

In all reality, my grand ambitions can mean I mow over my kids anyway — forgetting that if I “have not love, I gain nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:3). I am ashamed to admit that I am much more likely to raise my voice and/or sin when I am rushing around out of fear (ahem, the opposite of faith) or when I am cranky from no downtime. What if from my pace of life, my kids get the idea that’s how life should be lived — going so fast my hair’s practically on fire?

Interestingly enough, not unlike my them, I find I actually like rest. And, like that next verse in the Psalm, I find that gives God the opportunity to refresh me, to restore my soul. My rest acknowledges that God is God — and I ain’t.

Think that strategy will work on my kids? If not, I’m guessing duct tape shouldn’t be an option, right?

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  1. OMGosh! I mumbled that very line the other nite to my 4 1/2 yr old son- "you will think you’re having a nightmare unless you GET. BACK. IN. BED." It kills me that the last thing he hears from me some nights when i put him to bed (for the 3rd or 6th time) is yelling or threats.

    But my favorite is when he comes back out to tell me something very important and then stands there and ummm ummm ummmm i love you mommy! The only thing that I found that helps is if he stays in his bed the next nite he gets Stories, Secrets, Song and Snack. Some nights that doesn't even make a difference. But he seems so pleased with himself when he stays in bed. (and i don't even care if he comes out in the middle of the nite after he's been asleep- just that he stays in bed and falls asleep!) Every nite when i get home from work he asks me if he stayed in his bed last nite. He's changing and growing so fast. i know he won't let me cuddle and kiss and sing to him forever. It helps to think about that… but i still yell and threaten some nites, too.