I try to be a good Christian example for my kids. Unfortunately they see me at my worst more often than anyone. Sleep-deprived, frustrated and annoyed from not getting a moments peace (day or night) hardly sets the stage for the gentleness of Christianity to shine through. I keep trying my best, and although it's a lot easier on those days when the kids are miraculously sleeping past 6 am to spend time doing devotions in the peace and quiet, I also want to hold back and wait until they are awake so they can see me. It takes 100 times as long to read that same passage of scripture, but I show them how important it is, even if there are interruptions every 5 seconds. Luke often asks me to read him a story from my "grown-up" bible. My NIV version may not be quite as easy for him to understand as his Children's version (or the Veggie Tales video versions for that matter), but he loves it all the same, especially Daniel in the Lion's Den. I love that he sits there absorbing God's word, even if some of the words are above his understanding.
Last night I could tell Luke was feeling sick, and since he's a back-sleeper I knew that his runny nose would soon turn to nighttime coughing. We prayed before bed as always, and his first wake-up (if he had ever actually made it to sleep) was about an hour later. I helped him blow his nose and gave him a dose of tylenol because he felt warm, and just as I was shutting his door he called to me. When I asked what he needed he asked if I could pray for him one more time tonight. I'll tell you, my heart soared, my little boy asking for prayer because he was sick may not seem huge, but day after day when he says grace he spews out the same words like a robot, which makes me worry that he sees prayer as a monotonous task. We've tried explaining that it's just talking to God and you can just talk to him like you do a friend, but he often shies away from spontaneous prayer on his own.
Then last night when I crawled into bed, still thinking about my son's prayer request, I had a terrible worry. What if after we've prayed for a night of rest that he has a terrible night and thinks that God wasn't listening to us. He's only 4, but I worried that this night may lay a foundation of uncertainty rather than faith. I'd like to tell you that I prayed about it and felt peace about it and drifted off to sleep, but I didn't. I begged God and worried until I fell asleep.
After an okay night with only one big coughing fit, that didn't turn into hysterical crying (from either of us), I am thankful for the good night, and hope that it helps both my son's and my own faith to grow.