Take a moment and consider this number: 12,966!
Although I wish I could say this is the amount of money in our savings account…
Or, perhaps, the number of sit-ups/swim laps/jumping jacks I finished at the gym.
Maybe it could be the number of meals, we as moms prepare.
Or, the loads of laundry for a year.
Is it how many times I go to the grocery store in a month?
Or, the number of friends you have on facebook?
No, it is none of these.
You see, I have four children; Levi is 5, Isaac 6, Violet 10, and Caity 20. 12,966 is exactly the number of times I have said this “classic children’s prayer from the 18th century” to each of my children from infants to teen, tween, and every night in between! ” The new version printed in The New England Primer goes:
Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep;
if I die before I wake,
I pray for God my soul to take.”
So, 12,966 times! Yes, and I am completely serious about assuring that this routine happens nightly. Sometimes our children get a double dose as daddy also repeats prayer time as well. It is also when, after what normally is a crazy and chaotic day, we each have our own one on one time together. It is the time when each little Hott has mommy’s ears, and God’s, all to themselves.
And yes, I am serious. Allow me to share how this prayer changed on May 5th, 2010. And please, keep this a secret between us. Following this date, as my babies go to sleep with our traditional Hott nightly prayer, this mommy adds yet her own personal prayer line: “Pray, dear Lord, their HEARTS to take!”
Isn’t that the most precious thought to behold? That our dear Jesus would literally cradle each of our babies’ hearts in his loving, gentle hands? On this date, a cardiologist told us that it was possible that our children could have inherited a crazy rare gene that would cause their hearts to have an electrical malfunction. Based on their daddy’s diagnosis of Brugada Syndrome, it is a fatal condition without an Internal Cardiac Defibrillator, and it is genetic.
I spent many long hours walking around my sleeping house as I checked to be sure all hearts were functioning. This was, by far the scariest thing I have ever done and I could feel my faith turning cold. After several days with little sleep, I literally handed over my babies’ hearts to Jesus. I placed it all in His hands and asked Him to watch over them as they slept. Then, this simple prayer brought on an entirely new meaning and I found myself feeling foolish for not realizing it sooner.
When we wake up to another day after reciting this simple little prayer, we are reminded that God is in control, not mommies. He is there in the little things, even when life gives us really big things to handle. And then I look at this really big number! 29,391! (I’m 45 years old so I added my “night time prayers” to 12,966!) It keeps me connected and gives me hope that my children will someday teach their children to see God in the little things; sometimes they’re not so little!
Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it. – Proverbs 22:6
Copyright © Angie Hott, Moms of Faith, All Rights Reserved