Wednesday, January 09, 2008


While waiting on the covered porch for them to open the doors to preschool yesterday, Kyle was turning and bending and talking and wiggling. As he was hanging up his coat, one of the moms said, "He has a lot of energy today, doesn't he?" She was right about the energy, but wrong about "today." That is Kyle. He doesn't walk, he runs. Everything is big and bold.

This energy is not only a delight, but it's also a distraction. Each morning when I'm getting him dressed, I have to fight every fleshly urge to yell, "Stand still! Stop wiggling! Stop being so silly. Put on your pants!!!!" Truth be told, sometimes the flesh wins out. I don't like to start his day that way, and I don't like it when my day begins with impatience and anger. The good news is that I have noticed slow and steady change since I've acknowledged this reaction as sin, and made it a point to seek those fruits of the spirit: kindness, gentleness, patience, and self-control.

Right now Kyle is sleeping.

I was searching the Bible for passages that address sleep. I came across Psalm 127:2,"for he grants sleep to those he loves." Yes, sleep is a gift granted to us. It's a relief. Kyle needs to nap, and more importantly I need him to nap. Sleep ends a bad day. It provides a welcome break in the middle of the afternoon from a busy preschooler, and a time of regrouping and refreshment for that preschooler himself.

When I read the entire Psalm, this is what I found:
Unless the LORD builds the house,
its builders labor in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city,
the watchmen stand guard in vain.

In vain you rise early
and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
for he grants sleep to those he loves.

Sons are a heritage from the LORD,
children a reward from him.

Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are sons born in one's youth.

Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their enemies in the gate.
What a timely reminder. Children are a gift from the Lord. My children are God's reward to me. If I allow the Lord to watch over the house that I am trying to build, I will not be put to shame. And if I am shamed, there is always the loving respite of sleep to restore me for a new day, along with the immeasurable gift of confession and repentance to restore my relationships--both my relationship with those whom I've offended and with my God, who is offended by all sin, but so graciously provided a way: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).


Shawna said...

First of all, I love your site design! This is a great post. My daughter is 2 and runs from me with almost every command. It is very frustrating. I have been praying more about having patience and being kind to her. Thank you for the wonderful verses you shared. And thanks for stopping by Teen Lit Review.

Beck said...

A wonderful point! Two of my kids are... exuberant. Joyous. Very, very loud. And it's hard sometimes to see their outgoing cheer as the blessing that it certainly is.

Stephanie said...

Great post. I'm with you on needing them to sleep as much as they need to sleep!

Martha the roommate (not so stealthy) said...

Beautiful. I am right there with you on starting the day wrong. My issue is talking and not moving. Boys definitely are more difficult to get dressed than girls.

Kelly said...

This was a wonderful reminder for me today--having had a particularly trying day with my spunky, strong-willed 6 year-old daughter yesterday!

heather a. goodman said...

I don't have kids yet, and I'm not sure whether to be encouraged or scared by this post!
On the one hand, children are a blessing.
On the other hand, they require a lot of patience.
But on the other hand, God uses them to develop character.
But on the other hand, they have more energy than a puppy.
But on the other hand, if other mothers struggle and find hope in God, maybe I could, too.

Grandma Cathy said...

I feel for you, I had a very active son, who will be 21 next month, I remember those days. I am reminded as I watch my little 19 month old grandson, never stop until he is asleep. Sleep is good. They are so fun, but so challenging and definately a gift from the Lord. Hang in there and keep looking toward God to help you parent.

Katrina said...

Good thoughts. Logan is right there with Kyle, which I re-confirmed this morning as we ran a couple errands. Standing in line at Wal-Mart for two minutes proved to be too much for him. :)

I agree about the sleep too -- it's often much-needed and it's a gift. Camden had a really rough day yesterday and I was amazed at how a good night's sleep helped turn him around and made him ready to face today. said...

I just quoted that verse in some writing I'm working on...I like your devotional thoughts that follow it in the post.