The evening had been challenging. They don’t call it “the witching hour” for nothing. Whining, throwing tantrums. Dinner wasn’t a quesadilla therefore not acceptable, and you’d think the request to brush his teeth was asking him to climb Mt. Everest. The battle was raging between the wee one and myself. So when it was time to tuck him in, the last thing I wanted to do was sing him a song. There have been a few nights where I’ve said, “Mama is just too tired to sing songs. The battles took all the songs out of me tonight.” Thankfully those have been few, but it has happened, and that night I wanted nothing more than to tuck him in and walk away.
But God made me pause, and it was like I sensed Him saying, “He doesn’t need you to sing songs as much as you need it.” Um, excuse me? I wanted to dig my heels in like my five-year-old had all night long, and refuse that idea altogether. But I also like to think I’m more mature than that (most days), so I relented. I took a deep breath, and with tense shoulders and a somewhat rebellious heart, I sang anyway.
Amazing grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me…
It was not easy to keep from crying as those words came out of my mouth. I needed that amazing grace just as much as my defiant, contrary child needed it that night from me. I kept singing…
I once was lost but now I’m found. Was blind but now I see.
’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, And grace my fears relieved.
How precious did that grace appear, the hour I first believed.
The tension left my shoulders, my heart softened, and my son, in all the sweetness that’s in his little heart (when he’s not challenging my every request) rubbed my arm as I sang. His rough edges were also melting away as he snuggled into bed, and the words washed over him.
Yes, how precious it was when that grace appeared. Had I chosen to walk out of the room that night irritated and choosing not to sing songs, my son and I may not have experienced the grace we both needed. It really is amazing when we can pause, accept grace, and also extend it.
Parenting is not for the faint of heart. It’s a hard job, and sometimes the day ends in battles that make us not want to sing songs at bedtime. So whether you’ve had a delightful day today with your littles, or had an epic battle over dinner and bedtime, know that there is grace for you. Maybe you don’t want to sing, either (at least not sweet lullabies). Maybe you’re like me, and you just need to take a moment to pause, breathe, and know that grace is there in that moment. There is grace for my impatience. Grace for his defiance. Grace for my frustration. Grace for his tantrum. Grace for my harsh tone of voice. Grace for his stubborn heart.
Grace is there waiting and you can lean into it, embrace it, and let it embrace you.
I find when I do this, I can extend it to my little one like I couldn’t before. After I sang, I kissed that precious boy’s face, told him how much I loved him and cherished him (because I do, even when he’s infuriating), and I was able to close that bedroom door that night without regret, feeling lighter, and with a song in my heart.
Amazing grace how sweet the sound!