They are absolute miracles. Both of them. The first one they said we would never have (and we did), the second one they said would never make it to his first birthday (and he did).
They are my angels, my heart running around outside my body, my answer to prayer, my joy.
But they are also my sanctification.
Especially my firstborn.
In this 4th year of his life, it seems that no matter how hard I try, no matter how many Bible verses I share and memorize and sing with him, no matter how many times I say, “We have helping hands, not hands that want to smother our brother with a pillow!!!”, no matter how many times I remind him of what a respectful tone of voice sounds like, no matter how many times I’ve had to stop playing with him because he was being too micro-managing and bossy, no matter how often we pray together or read Scripture together, or no matter how many times he’s received a consequence for throwing a tantrum in front of the entire church during fellowship hour when he’s discovered that the cookies have run out…
No matter any of this, the Happy Buddy continues to do his own thing.
I’ve said this before, but it is the truth that on more than one occasion I just want to get that miracle boy in bed and close the door behind me!
And possibly lock it.
I looooooove him.
But I don’t always like him.
I was sharing some of this with my mother-in-law one day and her response was rather immediate.
She said, “You need to get in his room and pray over him before you go to bed.”
She went on to say that she and my father-in-law did this very exercise with their son, the Happy Hubby, who, I am not even kidding when I tell you this, made his dad’s hair go from blond to completely white during the first year of his life. The Happy Hubby was a wild child, full of spirit, throwing homemade popsicle stick Chinese stars at the living room blinds and launching his mom’s glassware off the roof with a friend.
The nightly prayers were clearly needed. :-)
That evening after I got ready for bed, instead of crawling under the covers, I crept down the hall and quietly pushed the Happy Buddy’s door open.
As soon as I tip-toed to his bed and saw that precious, resting face, I felt a wave of renewed love and compassion wash over me.
No longer was I thinking about the way he had colored on our bedroom comforter, or embarrassed me at church, or spoke disrespectfully to a teacher, or argued with me about going to the potty before bed, or broke my favorite plate, or snatched a toy out of his brother’s hands.
The sweetness of my little boy’s sleeping features was enough to fill up my heart with thanksgiving and contentment.
And a peace that it was all going to be okay.
I gently rested a hand on the Happy Buddy’s back, closed my eyes, and began to pray out loud in a soft voice.
I do not remember much of what I prayed. Probably something along the lines of, “Thank you, Lord, that there is NO SEED of rebellion in my son! Thank you that he is going to grow up and love you and have an understanding of the fruit of the spirit of SELF-CONTROL. Thank you that you have a plan and a purpose for his life. Thank you that he and his brother will be best friends. And thank you for his future wife who will have more patience than a saint.”
But what I DO remember is that the longer I prayed, the more I wanted to take the hand that was gently resting on his back, give it a little shake and wake up my kid so that we could snuggle and play.
I even felt strengthened enough by God’s grace to handle any bossy behavior!!
Being faithful to pray for my boy changed my perspective.
It was a reminder that God is in control – that He sees my faithfulness and that is ALL THAT MATTERS.
I was laying on the bed in a heap of self-pity a few weeks ago, whining to the Happy Hubby (with my arm thrown across my forehead for added effect) that I thought the Happy Buddy was turning into a disaster and how will he ever keep a job as an adult if he tries to tell his boss what to do about every. single. thing. and throws fits when there are no more donuts in the break room?!?!?!
The Happy Hubby patted my dramatically placed arm and said, “Julie, we just have to keep being faithful.”
He left the room and I did not feel fully satisfied with his response. I wanted him to give me an easy 1-2-3 step plan for fixing our son’s behavior immediately. But then I opened my email and there was THIS POST as further affirmation to the message my sweet man had shared with me.
The message that we Mommies are not responsible for the harvest.
We are simply called to persevere – to be faithful to plant the seeds.
And many of those seeds are sown in the prayers we pray for our Happy Buddies.
(Just look at how amazing the Happy Hubby turned out. ;-))
So wherever you are, whatever time it is when you read this post, whether you are currently liking your child or not, I encourage you to make a note to use your stealthy ninja skills, slip into their room tonight, and pray over their adorable, peaceful, dreaming selves.
I promise you’ll like them again by the time you say, “Amen.”
“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” Galatians 6:9
**Not sure how to pray or where to begin? You can print out THIS simple PRAYER GUIDE to help!**