Friday, January 21, 2011

Grace Flows Down

Jonathan is 4 years old. A lot of children are done napping by the time they are 4 years old. Martin was done with naps by the time he was 3. Jonathan, however, is not done with naps. He takes good naps almost everyday. Every once in a while, he will come downstairs . . . and I will suspect that he never really slept . . . and by about 5-6PM, I will know for certain. (via meltdowns and red eyes)
The boy still needs his naps. Today, since we had friends over, I let the nap slide. He didn't want to miss out on the fun, and I didn't have the heart to make him leave the fun.
By the time 6:45 rolled around, I was ready to put him to bed. He was more than ready to go to sleep. His eyes were so tired. He was wrestling with being very tired and not wanting to be alone. The rest of the family was downstairs hanging out on the couch together. I couldn't blame him for wanting to be there too.
He needed to be sleeping, though. I took him upstairs and he melted in my arms and started crying. I could see that he really needed time with me. So, I sent Rosalie downstairs and asked Rich to keep her downstairs so that I could be with Jonathan. I told Jonathan that I would stay with him until he fell asleep.
I was irritated about it, though. When it's time for my children to go to bed . . . I will admit that I am ready to be done. I need them to go to bed quickly for me ... so that I can have some quiet time, down time, me time.
So, I sat there with him. (not with a happy attitude) While I watched him calm down, though, I started praying for him. When he had visibly calmed down, I quietly began singing his favorite song to him, "Grace Flows Down". I had barely gotten to the 3rd word when, a smile spread across his face, and I visibly saw the tension leave his body. He completely relaxed as I sang to him. By the time I was done singing, he had gotten into position for falling asleep. Fingers in mouth, clutching his night-night, and baby. (yep, I just said fingers in mouth ... he still falls asleep with fingers in mouth)
I stayed next to his bed on my knees, praying for him, and watching him fall asleep. It was very clear when he finally slipped into a beautiful and contented sleep.
By the time he fell asleep, my attitude had turned from frustration to pure joy. Clearly, my attitude was all wrong to begin with ... but staying with Jonathan was exactly what I needed to do ... not only for Jonathan. For me. Sometimes, I need a reminder to slow down, and just enjoy these precious opportunities with my children. This was an opportunity to deepen my relationship with Jonathan. This was an opportunity to be next to him on my knees praying for him as he fell asleep. It was precious. It was just what Jonathan needed. It was just what I needed. Thank you, Lord for Jonathan. He is a precious gift.


  1. Thank you so much for the reminder to pray for my children when they're in a state of distress or upset! And I loved your idea to sing a favorite hymn.

    I need to remember more often that when I lose patience I don't always need to pray for me. Instead I ought to pray for those I *should* be serving, but am not in my state of selfishness.

  2. what a sweet time! I hope one day I can have sweet times with my children!

  3. I had this very same reminder the other night when Zachary started waking up again in the middle of the night and for the first time learned he could get out of his bed and come find mommy! I at first had pure frustration and then I stopped and realized that these moments were fleeting as him as my youngest, still wanting to be soothed by mommy. What an attitude adjuster when you look at the circumstance from a different angle. So glad that the Lord blessed your heart in the moment of your frustration as well! What a blessing it is to be able to soothe and comfort our little ones as mothers,even when we long for "me time"!

  4. What a neat post, Larissa. Grace really does flow down. The picture your words created of his little body relaxing and drifting off to sleep, while you sang and prayed, was precious. There are so many times when our children do make us slow down, and in the end, I'm so thankful.

    Yesterday was one of those days for us too. Natalie got sick to her stomach, and all she wanted was for me to hold her. I rarely do this, but I put on a movie for the others to "watch" and I sat down and just held her. It was just what I needed after a busy week without Daddy here, and it was just what she needed too.

    Love you friend!

  5. Beautiful post and nice reminder of those precious times with our children...even when they start in frustration.

  6. I have said it time and time again - our children 'teach' us to be Mothers.....each child teaches us in a different way. Great post!

  7. You just made me cry... Nathan is also 4 and still takes a 2 -3 hour nap most days. But like you said, those days that they frustrate us the most are they days that if you stop and pray with and for them you realize it's not about me. Thank you for this post.

  8. A good reminder to slow down. I am guilty of getting wrapped up in my business and forgetting about the needs of my children (especially as they get older). I need to devote more time for just hugs and cuddles. The dirt and laundry will be here in 20 years, but my children will not be children anymore.

    Thank you for the reminder!!

  9. Oh yes! It's amazing how easy it is to forget to pray for our kids during life's stressful moments. I forget too often it seems, and then am deeply humbled when my two year old cries, "Mom, can you pray??"