Monday, September 1, 2008

Secrets to a Teen's Heart - Tender Touch at Nighttime Prayer

I love posting about victories of love! It is especially great when I can share it about my teen son. We have been a nighttime praying family. When our first (now our teen son) was a toddling baby we would lay him on the floor between us listening to soft music and take turns praying over him and loving on him until he went to sleep...we did this until he was at least two....It gets harder to give one child such attention when baby number two needs to be included.

So we got into the habit of praying in the boys room at night before they went to bed and we passed out of exhaustion.

By baby #3, we were stumbling into each other, making grunts and noises that I think were human and racing to see who could be the first in bed fast asleep, of course the last one to the bed was the rotten egg...that had to finish putting the children to sleep...OK, I am only half-joking, but at least it felt this way some...many nights.

As the children all began walking and toddling around, we initiated our famous 'family devotion', this was in constant reconstruction mode...always trying to find the one "devotion" that would hold the attention of 3 children under the age of five....I laugh now but we really did try so many different books written by all those famous authors that make it sound so warm and cozy.

At our home, it was a circus to get them bathed and in nightclothes...oh, I forgot...nightie snack and teeth brushed...bathroom visit...Well, you get the point...

Eventually we would make it to the living room and try to get everyone on the sofa...this could take at least 10 minutes...because cupcake would want to sit by mom and then GreatKnight would want one end of the sofa that of course Teddybear wanted also...and so cupcake would go sit next to dad and then GreatKnight and Teddybear thought that would be a better idea...but dad only had two sides....so after we worked that out and all got seated, dad would start READING....

Now I am the one with the degree in early childhood and know that we better be fun and quick, but how can a wife break her devotion desiring husband's bubble when so few husbands even are attempting to tread out in these unknown waters....so I would do my best trying to prop up...wake up...keep quiet the little ones as dear hubby would read and ask bunches of questions that got more strange looks then comments...oh, he did get "Can I have something to drink?....Are you done?...She's leaning on me..." you get the idea.

Then we would pray, the children would all fall asleep and we would carry them to bed.

This went on hit and miss for several years...as the children got older and wanted to go straight to their room before devotion and prayer ...we did the 'traveling devotion' moving from room to room giving each one a turn and then carrying only two to bed...or sleep walking them if they were getting a little heavy.

Now that the children are tween and teen, my dearhubby reads straight from the Bible (Hark!) and we either pray together or tell them to go to bed so mom and dad can come and pray individually with them.

I don't want it to sound like we are the family floating off on a heavenly cloud.. "devotion time" happens 2-3 times a week...on good weeks because church, Bible Study groups, Connection groups, football, meetings and the such get in the way of the bedtime routine. We still like to pray with the children after they go to bed.

Sometimes we go together, but most of the time....we make our rounds alone when we are getting ready for bed. Cupcake stays up as long as she can because she wants me to not only pray, but to sing her a soft song... I want you to know that she and God are the only ones that truly enjoy my joyful noise...but as long as she loves it..I will cherish it and continue.

Most of the time teddybear and greatknight are half asleep and barely make a sign of acknowledgement that someone is creeping in their room and praying....but teddybear will occasionally be bright eyed and full of comments and questions to keep me in his room at least 30 minutes....which of course is time well spent (I keep trying to tell my sleepy body this!)

GreatKnight is a solid, still body. He doesn't turn, lift his head, open his eyes, and occassionally I have to pray with him completely under his covers....I think that may be to keep the mommy kiss from touching skin.

A few nights ago, my heart leaped, as I prayed over GreatKnight! I rolled the covers off his head and touched his arm ever so lightly and began to pray. GreatKnight rolled over toward me and to my wonder and amazement laid is hand over mine.

What joy went through my heart! That tender touch of love and acknowledgement from him spoke volumes to me about how well our relationship is progressing. Oh, if we can learn to be prayerful, patient, consistent in grace, love and encouragement (and to bite our tongue when God whispers "don't you say a word"), God can soften and turn the heart of our children.

I have had a framed Bible verse on GreatKnight's bedroom wall for a few years...it is the one we needed ....Malachi 4:6 "And He will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to their fathers.." This has been my prayer for my son toward me.

Through the years I find this framed verse in the closet, under the bed, in a dresser draw, on a book shelf....and I just quietly return it to the nail on the wall....never giving up....always believing God for my son's heart to be His (and tender toward me).

I share this to give a good report and to encourage others, and myself. This is how important one tender touch can be to a mother's heart...it is a sign of restoration, promise and hope! Praise God! His grace is sufficient (specifically designed for every need)!

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