Give me the serenity to calmly breathe thru this no-nap Monday. Help me value my headstrong boy who refuses to go outside on this beautiful 60 degree degree day because it’s “too bright out” . You made him sensitive (and not a fan of sunglasses) and I can appreciate him as he is, but please prompt me to keep trying, and Jesus, help us get outside before autumn turns to winter and we are stuck in the house. And because he won’t nap, I’ll need You most this evening during the tantrums that are sure to come. Help me walk him through the big emotions instead of walking away when he needs me most. Remind me that I am the adult and he is so little. Give me compassion and kindness to handle him with care instead of power and might.
Please give me the restraint to hold it together when the dog is constantly under my feet or barking at nothing.
Jesus, caution me to choose my battles. It doesn’t really matter if he eats a “picnic” lunch while sitting on the counter; it matters that he’s eating, and a counter picnic makes a meager lunch of crackers and hummus special. And remind me to select the fight wisely and let him wear his “dark, blue soccer shirt” – he isn’t going to catch a cold because he refuses to wear a jacket to the store, but that battle could set the tone for our trip.
God, no matter how hard it is to get shoes on his squirmy feet, give me the sense to pause and check the mirror before I go to the store. Because no one wants to help the lady with rice in her hair and yogurt on her pants. And while we’re at it, please direct us to the cart with the car attached to the front; surely those were created by angels from heaven and I sing Your praises when we can make it thru the store with no screaming or chases thru the cereal aisle.
Father, remind me to pause and see this small boy despite my to-do list and my eye on the clock. He deserves my time; I didn’t quit my job to clean the guest room closet, I stay home so I can be with him. Remind me of that; whisper in my ear and remind me of priorities: I can only see my toddler play with Dominoes for the first time today at precisely 1:20 pm , and then that moment is going to be gone forever.
Give me the patience to clean up each mess with the graciousness that I had when I cleaned up the first mess of the day. Because learning is messy and red- yogurt hand prints on the gray walls don’t mean he is an insensitive jerk; they mean he is a toddler, delighted by the imprint he can make in an adult world ( They also mean that next time, he’ll eat the yogurt in the high chair instead of the big chair. Because Jesus grants wisdom to parents of impish toddlers).
Jesus, give me understanding and grace to see my too-tired, over scheduled husband when he comes home from work. Help me greet him with the love and affection I’ve felt during our long day apart instead of meeting him at the door with a cranky two year old and a grumpy face. Sweet Jesus, help us see each other the way we did before we became parents- with humor and passion and lingering looks. Give us Your grace to approach each other as team-mates and partners rather than opponents and competitors in parenting philosophy. Give me firmness when he thinks I’m too soft and him gentleness when I think he’s too tough. Help us remember that You put us together because we bring out the best in each other .
Father in Heaven- please deliver low calorie chocolate muffins to my pantry. I’m trying so hard to eat well, but some days- today- it feels impossible and I need chocolate .
Holy Spirit, send Your power over our wee man and calm him during his bath. Because his hair needs washed and his feet are dirty and tantrums and bathtubs don’t mix. Honestly, we’ve tried to clean him under our power- and we truly need divine intervention.
And sweet Lord, remind us that bedtime will come. Inspire us to peek in on the dear, sweet, sleeping boy You gave us – remind us that the way our heart swells over him is the way Your heart swells over us. Give us compassion for him in his troubled, toddler days and compassion for each other in our exhausted, confusing parenting.
And mostly, God forgive us for all the ways we do not know and all the things we try to do without You. Thank you for a new chance tomorrow, and please– let him nap on Tuesday.
In Your most Holy, Powerful, rest-giving name,