Every night, as part of our bedtime routine, we try to lay down beside each of the boys to ask them a few questions about their day and pray with them before they fall asleep. It’s great because they never want to go to sleep, so it’s THE best time for interesting and insightful conversations.
There’s only one small problem.
I can barely keep my eyes open. They don’t want to go to sleep, but Mama is dying on the vine, trying so hard to keep from falling asleep in their beds. I rarely drift off while they are talking. Nope.
I drift off while I am talking.
The prayer is usually the last part and includes a list of prayer requests that I try so hard to remember. But last night, I was whispering a prayer with Noah when I suddenly heard what I was saying. . . wait. . . What?! I had just asked God to help him wake up with everything he needed for tomorrow: energy, focus, a life jacket, and shoes. I had clearly fallen asleep while praying for him.
I was sleep-praying!
I cracked up laughing to myself, because he was also asleep and none-the-wiser. Now maybe there’s some deeper psychological reason for the specific requests for a life jacket and shoes. Maybe I meant safe travels?!? Who knows.
But it’s a visual image of something important.
Sometimes we’re going to be tired and our minds will drift off during the important stuff. It’s totally normal. Our minds weren’t meant to carry everything we are carrying. The constant, 24-7 connection to information, along with the 900 things on our to-do list, is more than our brains can physically process.
So what can we do about it?
Pay attention. Consider ways to cut back. Laugh about it.
Most importantly, talk about it.
It’s easy to go inward into shame and get frustrated with yourself. I could have told myself an elaborate story about how I can’t even “watch and pray”, but I fall asleep. What kind of terrible mom does that?! But the truth is, even the best of moms are human and get exhausted late at night. You know what helped me remember that?
I came downstairs and told him the story while I was brushing my teeth. We both laughed so hard I almost choked on my toothpaste. He empathized with how tired I must be and asked what he could do to help. We laughed about how many times we’ve fallen asleep trying to say goodnight.
I went to sleep with joy instead of shame.
When you’re feeling like a failure. When you’ve done something that seems so stupid. When you start to think you’ve really screwed up this time.
Our guilt, shame and secrets lose their power when we share them with someone else.
Share a little shame story with someone safe today.
You’ll be reminded that you are never alone. Maybe you’ll fall asleep a little lighter, with joy instead of shame. Most of all, I hope you wake up with a life jacket and shoes. 😉
Safe travels sister.
to more love,