a napless day

Yesterday Asher didn't nap. At all. We tried, and we tried hard, but naps were not in the cards for this family. Then after twelve straight hours of being awake, Asher pretty much imploded so hard that he was heaving for sobs and succumbed to crying hiccups in between. It may have been the saddest thing I've ever seen. So we rocked and sang lullabies and cuddled and snuggled and kissed. He calmed down and crashed asleep.

Gracious parenting is so critical and so encompassing. It involves innumerable small acts that somehow add up into something grand and lasting. The children in our lives are soft and impressionable, and gracious living impacts them deeply.

Gracious living requires so much from parents, and Josh and I are far from perfect at it. But we try, and sometimes we do a pretty great job. I have to believe that all those small things are adding up to something big for our sweet boy.

We wait and walk behind him as he insists on climbing up every single step every single time we go upstairs.

We let him steer us to the deadbolt on the front door, the key hooks by the garage entrance, and the window locks in the family room so that he can inspect them over and over.

We let him examine his yogurt with his fingers, even though it's messy.

When we have to say no, we hold him close while he cries.

We read Goodnight Gorilla over and over and over so he can roar like a lion.

We lift him up to touch the leaves and stop on the sidewalk to say hello to the puppies.

Gracious parenting is both taxing and instinctual. It demands patience and compassion. My mothering is far from expert, so I do my best to take each day as it comes, making small decisions to create a gracious home where Asher feels loved, accepted, and wanted. I want him to feel God's love through us, because His love is the most gracious of all.

This post is part of a 31-day series on gracious living. You can find the other posts here.


Jessica said...

Beautifully written! Sometimes its easy to forget that these little ones are people too! Sounds funny to say it, but they have feelings and desires and interests and frustrations just like us. It's easy to not take the time to look at the situation from their perspective and try to compromise, but I think that is what gracious parenting is all about. It's all about LOVE!

Jessica said...

Oh and I was going to say that those days with no nap are the WORST! That is when my parenting is tested to the limits!

paws said...


All Fun Family said...

You are so frequently spot on with what I need to hear! How do you do that? I didn't have a name for it but I have been trying to be a more gracious mother, trying to connect more with my girls and be more patient with them. It is hard to be gracious all the time with my children, but I find that when I am, I feel such tender love and affection for them, and it is as if I catch a glimpse of how Heavenly Father sees them and feels about them. It is beautiful.

The Peter Pan List said...

No nap days are the pits, but he's pretty cute!

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