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The Ministry of Tucking Them In

The Ministry of Tucking Them In

Bedtime.

The word both excites and exhausts me. It excites me because I savor the quiet downtime between tucking in the kids and going to bed myself. It exhausts me because of the amount of work I must do between dinner and lights out – mealtime chores, showers, pajamas, last-minute homework…

Sometimes—lots of times—I rush through our bedtime routine because I’m more tired than the kids. I forget how much those moments matter to my children.

My always-busy son has so very much to say once the lights go out, and he’s finally still.

My teenaged daughter opens her heart in prayer, and I catch a glimpse of what’s going on deep inside.

My second-grader wants to snuggle and thank God for everything in her world.

They all seem to treasure those moments with Mom and Dad before they go to sleep.

A few days ago, my littlest said, “I feel like you and Daddy always tuck us in – even when we’re asleep.” I smiled, thinking of the evenings when one of us comes home late, and they’ve already drifted to sleep. We still pray over them and kiss them goodnight. It’s part of our nightly routine.

“Yes, we always want to tuck you in. It’s important to us,” I replied.

“I know why it’s important,” she said. “Because we’re talking to God and spending time together.”

She nailed it. This is exactly why we spend those last few moments with them every night. Our simple, sometimes exhausting routine shows them that talking to God matters. That He listens and answers our prayers. That they matter, too, and we want to know their hearts.

This short conversation with my seven-year-old reminded me that the little things aren’t always so little. Sometimes, they’re full of eternity.

Be encouraged, moms and dads – the small things add up to a lot. As you go about your daily work, remember:

  • You’re in the ministry

Every single day, we serve the people God has entrusted to our care. Cooking meals, chauffeuring the kids, doctoring skinned knees, comforting hurting hearts – this is our ministry, and it’s beautiful to God.

  • You’re laying a foundation

Our kids notice far more than we realize. My son recently wrote a report on the topic of prayer, based on a writing prompt. In his paper, he said, “My family prays about a lot of things.” That sentence surprised me, because I know prayer is a weak spot in my life. I often forget to pray, or put off praying, or give up before God answers my prayers. Yet my son sees when we do pray. He’s learned it’s something our family does and it’s important.

Those big and little things which make up our routine lay the foundation upon which our kids will build their lives. Let’s be intentional about filling our days with reminders of Jesus and His grace.

Your ministry in your home is priceless to God. Press on, dear moms and dads. You’re impacting eternity as you love and serve your families – even at bedtime.

By: Meredith Mills is a wife and mother to three inquisitive, adventurous, fun-loving kids. She writes about resting in Christ and walking with Him in our everyday spaces at www.MeredithNMills.com. Connect with her on Instagram and Twitter @MeredithNMills and on Facebook as @MeredithNicoleMills.

Join us at www.just18summers.com for our parenting blog each Monday-Friday and for info about the Just 18 Summers novel.

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