Each night, sometime between 8pm and midnight, I stop whatever I am doing, and simply read out loud to my kids. It has become like a reset button. However our day went as a family, that act has become a steady expression of love understood by all. Sometimes I begin reading feeling like a failure, knowing all the times through the day I was short tempered or distracted. As the words flow we all enter the rest of night reset and certain of our love for one another.
It is easy to fall into ranking our day by how much we got done. Reading to my children is a daily reset reminding me what is truly important. As the pages turn we are all growing, in learning, in understanding, in empathy. For me it has become a spiritual discipline. As I read to my children daily, I am practicing setting my own desires of worries aside, and treating my children as important as myself. Sometimes I just want to read my own book, watch my own movie, or go to bed early. These desires are not wrong, but in choosing to lay them down in a very small way I choose to follow Jesus.
Recently I tried to go to bed without reading. My nine year old came in and demanded that I read or else she wouldn’t be able to fall asleep. I was tempted to get angry. Her attitude was not entirely appropriate. Then it struck me, my daughter expects that her father will read to her each night because he loves her. She expects to be a priority. Not because she is spoiled or disrespectful, but because that has been her experience. How cool is that? My children expect to be a priority in my life. I was humbled and immediately got up and came and read to them.
Every time we pray, worship, and read our Bibles, we should be filled with the same expectation. God wants to spend time with us. He takes a personal interest in each of us and has plans for us, He knows who we are and loves us beyond what we are able to comprehend. When we live life expecting God to listen to our prayers, hear our worship, give us wisdom, and see us for who we are. We are living from the experience of knowing God.
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