My encouragement today is for all of you who have young children in your home, and it's this:
~ Tell 'em stories ~
~ Tuck 'em in at night ~
If you're not great at storytelling, simply read stories. The kids will never forget snuggling at bedtime and hearing mom or dad read to them.
When our guys were little, many nights I was just too tired to read, so Jay would do the reading and tucking in. Whether it's a whole "story hour" or just a simple kiss goodnight, night time is a special time to spend with our children. It's a time to pray and express love to one another -- a cherished time that will be remembered throughout our children's lives.
My dad was a great storyteller, and I still remember him telling us stories, saying prayers with us and tucking us in. There were five of us, so my twin sister and I shared a room. We always eagerly anticipated my dad's bedtime stories and to this day remember one particular story where a little monkey escapes from the zoo (typical zoo-escape story, but we loved it) and went knocking on doors asking if anyone had seen his parents. Sitting attentively and bright-eyed on our knees, we took turns "knocking" on the head board during the one part of the story. Silly -- but not at the time.
Then, my dad would say prayers with us, turn out the light, slowly close the door, and say, "God bless you." Every night.
Even when kids get bigger, I encourage you to look at night time as a natural time to pray, share a few thoughts of the day, and express how much you love each of your children. I'll never forget once when the twins were about ten and I went in to kiss them goodnight. They had bunk beds and I gave each one a kiss on the forehead. Then one of them said, "Mom, did you see that play that I made at center field?" So I learned something new that night; I learned that night time is a wonderful time to share what's really on your mind.
This summer, I encourage you to make evening a special time by reading and tucking the children in. They'll never forget it!
Until next time ~ With God's help, keep being a great mom!