I'm sitting here thinking "I should go to bed." The problem with that is that the process of going to bed isn't as simple as it once was. Remember the days when you just went to bed? Now it's a whole procedure. As I write I have one darling baby sleeping, one adorable hubby "napping" in the chair and 5 kids quietly watching TV. It's quiet. Calm. Relaxing. As soon as I sound the "bedtime" bellow, I will surely be forced to endure the whining, crying, running, jumping and general noise making that goes with the news that it is, in fact, bedtime.
But along with the chaos of the bedtime routine comes the blessing that goes with it. My husband reads the bible to my kids each night. They all, down to the 4 year old, want to have a bible open to follow along. Recently my 10 and 11 year olds have wanted to read aloud some of our bible. As a homeschooling mom, it's a double pleasure to listen to your kids read the bible aloud. First to hear the child reading the word of God and secondly knowing that you are largely responsible for that ability. For one of my children, the ability and willingness to read aloud is very much a new trait.
It also very much blesses my heart to hear what each of them picks up from our reading. My 5 year old hears "weeping and gnashing of teeth" each time that it is read. It never gets by her! She picks up the oddest things. Last night she caught the word "human" and wanted to know what that means. I'm very amazed by what my 4 year old hears and catches. She is the one who you would really not think is ever listening, yet she never misses a thing nor does she ever forget a thing. The kids are able to recall what they've heard at church or elsewhere that goes with what we are discussing that night. They recall songs that are related to the reading for the night. It definitely amazes me nightly. I am blessed to have a husband who has made this a priority in our life, as I never would have.
After bible is prayer time. Each kid gets a night to sit on Daddy's lap and choose the order as to who will pray when. They enjoy creating new patterns and having the power to decide. It often amazes me what they think of to pray each night. Some get stuck in the same rut, but when encouraged, they can all think of new things to add.
Then come the hugs and kisses. Two hugs from each kid, one on each side (as Grandpa taught them when they were little). Never is life so good as when you have a line of children coming to give you hugs and kisses.
We do a lot of things wrong. There are a lot of things we want to do that we don't. But really, it is not about doing it all perfectly, or doing what that "Other" family does. It is about striving daily to bring your kids closer to God and closer to one another as a family. It is about valuing these moments and cherishing these memories before you regret letting it just go by.
Okay, bring on the herd, it's bedtime!