It's late. The kids have finished their goodnight list and are finally dropping one by one into their beds. Once again, I'm more exhausted than they are, yet they are the ones who get to go to sleep. (Do they know how lucky they are?) As much as I'm tempted to cut the bedtime ritual short, I simply cannot release them to slumber without blessing the four little heads. And so I pray. First with the girls, and then with the boys. And I never regret it.
Tonight, as always, I prayed that the Lord would grow in my little ones the fruit of His Spirit. The children know the list well by now, and since "self control" always comes at the end, it always raises the most questions. They have a hard time waiting through the rest of the prayer, and the minute my lips utter the final "amen," the pent-up questions are released.
"What does self control mean?" wonders Avery. (I challenge you to define that one in terms that will speak to a three-year-old.) I quickly tried to mesh theology with the pre-school word list and came up with something rather trite like, "Self-control is when we try to make sure that our bodies do the right thing." Her mind is fast. She's got it, and would like to prove it by way of an example: "When someone pokes their tummy on the top of a mountain, their tummy will have BLOOD." Perhaps my definition was a little misleading. But if not, woe to the someone who lacks self control.