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The “Tuck-In”

Most of these thoughts occurred to me last night after I’d been asleep for an hour, so don’t hold it against me if they end up sounding ridiculous. Here’s how it went: One of my kids woke me because he couldn’t sleep and wanted to be “tucked in.” So, I sent him back to bed and lugged myself up and staggered to his bedroom. I tickled his back and prayed and laid my head down next to his for a few minutes. Then, still half asleep, I hauled myself back into bed and begged God to tuck ME in; to help ME get back to sleep. Before I dozed off, I thought, ‘there has got to be a blog in this somewhere.” It didn’t take me long to review my history of “tucking-in”. My husband and I are notorious for “over-the-top-tucking-in.” What takes normal people about 5-10 minutes to do, would take us close to an hour by the time we read to, prayed with, laid by, tickled, listened to and made countless trips to retrieve whatever necessary items they had forgotten to bring to bed but without them could never even THINK of getting to sleep. Things like blankies, stuffed animals, pacifiers, water and more water. I love the bit by Jerry Seinfeld where he evaluates how the whole “tuck-in” process has gotten completely out of hand these days. He said, “you want to know what MY bedtimes story was? DARKNESS!”. No books. No water. No tickling. Just lights out and door shut. End of discussion. My kids are teenagers now and most nights I still tuck them in. It looks a little different (as in, no more pacifiers or stuffed animals) but is still a significant part of the bedtime process in our home. I have to admit that just like when they were little, I sometimes try to sneak past their room lest I be summoned to do one of them a favor by turning off/on their light, taking their cup to the kitchen, removing the pesky cat, bringing them a phone charger or running downstairs to record a show they started 5 minutes ago.

So how does this information qualify for a blog? Well, primarily because when I evaluate my own attitude toward the “tuck-in”, I have to be honest and tell you that there are times when my level of patience and positivity toward the whole process basically stinks. Some nights I just want it to be over so I can get to bed or have some time to myself. For my kids, the “tuck-in” matters because it helps them feel safe. It gives them comfort and security. It is time for one-on-one connection and affirmation. It’s a time to be embraced and be heard. Just for that time period, all my focus is solely on them. This, it occurred to me, is how my relationship with God is, or could be,  every minute of every day. Not just when I lay down my head at night. But lucky for me, God is never distracted or resentful that I need just “one more” hug, glass of water, moment or one more “chance.” He’s never too tired to hear just one more story or to listen to me vent about my day or cry over someone who was mean to me. He never rolls his eyes when I call out from my bed for a bit more time with him. He never tries to sneak past my bedroom door so He can do more important things. He  lingers there. He actually likes it when I stall. He relishes the time with me. And with you. He is the ultimate “tucker-in-er”. And like my kids, I hope I never get to old to be “tucked-in.”

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