Praying Jesus Into Your 1 a.m. Dreams

Praying Jesus into your dreams It was 1 a.m.

I'm all for cuddling in the daytime but I'm notorious for not being uber-pleasant at 1 a.m. I've never been great about sharing my bed with little people,either.

One of our children had a particular habit of waking each night and toddling her way in to our room, but always to daddy's side of the bed. For good reason.

Daddy's side of the bed was where you found comfort and warm covers. It was daddy who would get up and fill your sippy cup with juice and snuggle you back into bed, careful not to wake mommy.

Daddy was pleasant at 1 a.m.

I was all about habits and routines and not rotting the enamel off our children's teeth. Daddy was all about snuggling you while he still could, day or night.

And now it's rare that someone tries to tiptoe into our bed at night. Most of the feet in this house are too big to sneak in to our room, and the people they carry are no longer little.

There's really just one little left, and he came in at 1 a.m. last Friday night.

sleeping

He came to my side of the bed, because he's new to this and doesn't realize, or care, about mommy's lack of nurture when woke from dead-drooling sleep. He came to my side in just his race car undies, and once I realized that there was no vomit or urine involved, I held back the covers and let him wrap his skinny-self around me.

Pure. Joy. 

This is not a moment to turn away. This is not time for routine and habit and I don't turn this child away, because he's not forming bad habits - he's learning where to go for comfort.

Comfort from bad dreams and maybe missing memories, or from dreams not yet realized. He was scared and he came with a flashlight, because everyone knows that monsters flee the light.

He came to me, and we went to Jesus.

I prayed a mumbled prayer with a dry mouth and sleep-sealed eyes, but my heart was fully alert.

I prayed Jesus into his dreams. I prayed that my son would fall back to sleep in my arms and dream of Jesus who always rescues and saves, and who is Truth and Comfort.

And then my mind began to wake and I really thought about that, about praying Jesus into my dreams, my sleeping ones and the ones I dream with my eyes open. The dreams I have for my children and my husband, for myself, for everything that's unspoken and scary.

I began to pray Jesus into my dreams, or rather, pray my dreams into Jesus. Not shoving in His name where it seemed appropriate, not tacking on some platitude or holy word, and not handing Him all my plans and expecting His seal of approval. But seriously examining where I spend my mind-time and looking for Jesus there.

Is Jesus in my dreams?

It's the mystery of Psalm 37:4, that God gives us the desire of our hearts. Gives us what we desire, or puts His desires in us? Or both?

Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.  Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass. - Psa 37:4-5 NKJV

Delight comes first. It shows up several times in that chapter, and maybe that's where my focus ought to be. To delight myself in Him and let the dreams take shape, to commit and trust and He shall. I think He's been saying this over and over to me.

Because if He's not in my dreams, what good are they? 

I'm warming up to 1 a.m. visits.

 

Linking up with The Better MomGrace Laced MondaysPlaydates with God, The Mom Initiative, Soli Deo Gloria, Titus 2sdays, and #TellHisStory

How to Thrive From Failure

trhiving, winter mushroom, photography beginner  

We rise most mornings at 5-ish. The first snooze alarm coincides with the beeping of the coffee pot, both of them annoying but necessary, and I'm usually in the kitchen with freakish hair and one eye open by the time he's pouring his mini-wheats.

It's a slow awakening, with the requisite silence of early morning.

But after I've made his millionth sandwich and he's taken his vitamins with the milk from his millionth bowl of cereal, after the lunch box is packed and the coffee and cream have mixed to the perfect color, we sit together.

It's routine, and we love it. Coffee time and the first thoughts of the day. We are fairly guaranteed that the phone won't ring and the kids won't wake and the only other one who greets us that early is the dog, waiting to go out.

So Monday, after the bowl was in the sink and both eyes were finally opened, the topic of discussion was failure. Specifically, the ways we've been failing in our parenting and our walks with the Lord and just life, in general.

This is the point in the conversation where I generally get hurt feelings. I have all the normal coping mechanisms when it comes to critique and I've probably added a few new ones to the list, namely, a dogged determination to prove you wrong by my sheer awesomeness.

But this was a different conversation with a different outcome. This was more of a here-we-are-how-do-we-get-back kind of mutual discussion. An assessment. A taking stock and evaluating the outcomes.

And the diagnosis was true. The cold, hard, and unemotional facts are that we are failing in areas.

We're dealing with people and you don't make charts evaluating successes and failures, like some business plan. But you do step back and look at fruit and relationships and you examine your days. You walk circumspectly and gain a heart of wisdom. 

You guard against being marched around by your emotions, because there's more at stake here than your ego.

And again on Monday night, again in quiet discussion but this time with several others involved, we are faced with failure. Our motives are checked by the Holy Spirit and isn't that always the best confrontation? The one that comes between us and the Comforter?

The brokenness is a hopeful-cracking and we all know that we fall short.

It shouldn't be such a shock to be faced with your own imperfection, but we often shield our Precious Selves and shy from it. We don't let it have it's perfect work in us.

But this is a different conversation with a different outcome. This is redemptive, because I'm determined to make the hard stop and look the ugly truth in the eye.

The ugly truth is that I fail daily.

The redemptive truth is that I am not doomed to string up failures for a lifetime of rotten days. It's amazing, but I'm holy and blameless in the eyes of God, and I can choose to be grounded and steadfast in Him and to be unmoved from the hope of the gospel (Col. 1:21-23).

I can take stock and pray through changes and come back to Center.

I'm thriving from this failure because of hope for something better, and thankfulness for another chance, and the knowledge that He is shaping us. All of us and each of us.

 

Linking up with The Better Mom, Grace Laced Mondays, Playdates with God, and Titus 2sdays.

 

 

 

The Best Place to Gather

In the beginning you count months, then weeks, then finally the days. It's the countdown to a birth and it can't come soon enough for some. It consumes your thoughts, this waiting and anticipating and any-day-now for sure. You lay out the special clothes and you eat differently and sleep differently and it's special, this one day that you will celebrate.

chalkboard art, Christmas countdown, snowmen and trees

We are marking days on a chalkboard and I think sometimes we mistake the excitement and anticipation for joy. We live like it all centers around the birth and like all the joy will happen in that one glorious moment, when the baby cries.

Or when the wrapping paper flies.

Either way, neither of those events promises real joy, everlasting joy. Either way, you can't wrap all your hope up in that one moment.

Because the Prince of Peace

For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. - {Isa 9:6 NKJV}

didn't come to bring peace to the earth, but a sword.

Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. - {Mat 10:34 NKJV}

 

A sword. A division based on your decision, and when His word divides it sometimes cuts right through any celebration of birth. Through the thickness of blood and skin and thicker than water is the tie that really binds us, keeping us bound to the tree where our lives are laid down, day after day.

We'll all gather for the birth, but the real celebration is in the sinners gathered at His cross. The contrite and repentant ones who rejoice that not only was He born, but that in a twisted turn of events that baby died for us. And now we all live for Him.

gathering around the Christmas tree

The best place to gather this Christmas is not around a tree that may have pagan roots, but around a tree where Redemption hangs for all pagans and sinners.

That's really all I want for Christmas - for us all to gather there.

 

Linking with Emily.