Saturday, August 13, 2011

Tuck in Time and Prayers

It happened every night -- six young siblings knelt around a huge red couch and bowed their heads for nightly prayers. I was #5 of the six in that line up, and those moments stand out in my memory for several reasons ...

1. Sometimes the parents' prayers seemed to go on forever ... (forever to a child is anything more than 3 minutes).

2. My knees got tired, and I got the wiggles. When you know you *have* to be still, it's oh-so-much harder!

3. Sometimes I peeked. Okay, most of the time I probably peeked to see if everyone else had their eyes closed. And I tattled if they didn't! Mom stopped me cold one time with this question ... "How did you know their eyes were open for prayer?"

I look back with fond memories of those nights around the ol' red couch. Daddy would usually tell us a Bible story and act it out, too. We loved it when he got down on his hands and knees to roar like a lion or bleat like a lamb. I did *not* like his wicked laugh when he imitated Goliath, though. That one gave me nightmares!

Fast forward 25+ years to tuck-in-time with my own children. Hubby and I carried on some of the same nightly traditions our own parents' used -- Bible reading and questions first, then time to share prayer requests and finally, kneeling for prayer by the bed or couch.

I loved hearing our children pray, but I have a confession to make here:

1. Sometimes the kids' prayers seemed to go on forever (..."and God bless the package man and the mailman and the garbage truck driver ... " )

2. My knees got tired! (Keeping up with the three little ones, all the laundry, cooking and cleaning ... yep, my knees got tired, and I got the wiggles.)

3. Sometimes I peeked. (I wanted to see how cute the kids looked while saying their prayers. And, of course, I was checking on them to make sure *they* weren't peeking!)

Fast forward another 25 years or so ... the roles have reversed and now I am tucking my own mother in with prayer at night. I bend down to her level, wrap my arms around her and begin to pray for specific things, like a good night's rest for Mom and me both ... strength and health for each new day ... and thanking the Lord for my Mom and the heritage I have in being her (and Daddy's) daughter.

There are 3 things I notice about tucking Mom in...
1. Our prayers are brief, then I kiss Mom g'night.
2. My knees don't get tired and I try not to wiggle.
3. I don't peek, because Mom may ask me if I did!

And to all, a good night!

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