Part of my routine for the last couple weeks has been going to bed with Ben. As I've spoken about before here and here, it is never easy to put Ben to bed. Lately the 'routine' hasn't been much of a routine. We keep him up until I am ready to go to bed. Then Ben and I go to his room, read a little and then go to bed. Yes, I lay down in bed with him. Yes, that means I really do fall asleep and then wake up like an hour or so later. Then I'm so tired, I go lay down myself. (An inadvertent benefit to this is that I'm getting up earlier and getting more done before I leave for work.) Of course, Ben doesn't just lay down and go to sleep that easy. The routine he has created is as follows: I lay down and then he covers me up with 1 or 2 of his blankets. Then he arranges all his dolls and animals. He generally covers up one or two of those as well. By that time my blankets have been messed up somehow, so he fixes those. And the blankets have to be tucked under my chin. Once he fixes those, he checks on his dolls and animals again. Then he's ready to lay down. He will lay down and pull up the comforter. Of course, he's not comfortable the first time around, so he rearranges his dolls and animals and their blankets. He lays back down himself and then pulls up the comforter again. By this time, he has the bottom of the comforter in his hands, so then I have to get up and rearrange it because I don't want my feet uncovered. So I fix that and lay down and fix my blankets again.
Generally about halfway through this blanket ballet, I remind him he needs to lay down. I remind him at least twice gently because I understand this is part of what he needs to do to sleep comfortably. When we get all settled, he will lay there and look at me or his dolls. I remind him to close his eyes and he will until I do, then he opens them again. We do this a couple more times before I am too tired to remind him any more. Then I fall asleep and he falls asleep sometime after me. Although it is not the most efficient bedtime routine and it isn't always convenient, it is very sweet. I realize that this time will fly by and his blanket ballet will be a distant memory. I treasure these times and remind myself how quickly time will pass when I get frustrated.
So what does all this have to do with God? He treasures my blanket ballet with him. He knows what is best for me, like I know Ben needs sleep. However, he made me and he understands that there are certain things I need to get in order before I can comfortably settle into what is best for me. God loves me enough to let me arrange things and along the way he gently reminds me that I need to lay down. I need to lay down my plans. I need to lay down my arrangements. I need to lay down my ambitions. I need to lay me down, so I can pick up his plans, his arrangements, his ambitions. I need to pick up him. He waits patiently for me as I work my way to what he knows I need. He gently reminds me along the way to lay down and close my eyes. He reminds me to rest in him and in his plans.
I love Ben, obviously, and I love the time I spend with him. I love to hear him say, "Hi, Mommy!" when I walk in the door after work. I love to hear him laugh at his jokes and giggle when I tickle him. I love seeing him act out his shows for us. I love hearing him sing. I love watching him figure out a game on the Kindle. There are so many little things I love about him. I often just sit and watch him. And I realized this week that God loves me that much. I'm still not sure I can wrap my head around that thought.