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A humbling bedtime habit

my bedtime routine

Few of us have thought biblically and strategically about how to glorify God at the end the day—even though the way we end today can clearly affect the way we encounter tomorrow.
~ C. J. MAHANEY, Humility: True Greatness

I need a headstart. Because it takes me longer than Jeff to get ready for bed each night, and we want to get in bed at the same time, I have to start earlier.

I like to make sure the garage door is down, the doors are locked, the blinds are closed, the child is kissed, the face is washed, the teeth are brushed, the books are near, the mp3 is loaded, the cell phone is off.

But for the past 142 nights (minus one when we totally forgot),
we’ve added a bedtime habit for both of us:
praying together.

Jeff prays first on the odd days; I take the evens.

It’s an act of humility.
But I didn’t know it would be.

When we started, it seemed nothing but sweet.

I didn’t realize there’d be so many nights I’d rather just pick up a book.
Or whine about something. Or watch Jay Leno. Or be quiet. 

Or just go to sleep.

Praying aloud together hasn’t been as pain-free as I expected. And I never thought we’d keep it up past our original agreement of 40 days.

But I sure am glad we have.

Because we need it.
Individually. And as a couple.

We need to bow together before the Lord to discuss our day.
To lay pride at his feet. Our worries over friends. Apologies over disagreements. Pleadings for change. 

And to say thank you, Lord.
For all good things we received that day came directly from him. We need to let him know that we know.

It’s a nightly offering of humility—to God—in front of each other.
And it’s an opening for grace in the day yet to come.

Is there any better way to end one day before starting another?

* * *

What habits help keep you humble?



Dianna said...

Beautiful post, Lisa. "It's a nightly offering of humility-to God-in front of each other." Precious.

tinuviel said...

Thank you for sharing the challenges of this habit and not only the great blessings. I see humility in your transparency.

I need a head start in the bedtime routine, too, and also must check garage door, locks, etc. :)

Intentional gratitude is humbling for me, as is receiving more than giving care.

God bless you and yours today!

Lisa notes... said...

It’s always amazing to me how God works things together. Since I’m concentrating this year on depending more on God and worrying less, I’m learning that so much of that has to do with humility. Last year I read Andrew Murray’s “Humility” and this year I’m reading C. J. Mahaney’s “Humiilty.” Both are good, but both are convicting…

How’s your mom? Praying she has continued to improve.

Lisa notes... said...

You hit on a hard thing for me too: receiving can be more humbling than giving. Yet I’ve received SO much from God—I should be REALLY humble by this point….

Pride is such a blocker to changing character. Lord, humble me more in my receipt of more grace…

Barbara H. said...

What a lovely habit to share.

Cherry Warrick said...

Thank you ... appreciated your thoughts. Especially this ... "It’s an act of humility. But I didn’t know it would be." Need to think on that ... so true.

kd sullivan said...

This has encouraged me to be more consistent in my prayer life with my husband. I think prayer is particularly humbling because it forces you to become vulnerable in front of each other...thanks for sharing.

Brian Miller said...

amen. we need to be more consistent in doing this...we always lay there and talk but we dont always pray together...thanks for the encouragement...

Kati patrianoceu said...

What an interesting segue from your overall bedtime routine to the spiritual discipline you've incorporated. I have to admit that I have been less and less disciplined with my nights, almost intentionally, wanting to do that which will get me to sleep, nothing more and nothing less. I guess I should fix my mindset on that.

Angela said...

I, too, have found praying with my husband to be a very humbling experience. And like you, there were times when I'd rather have myself busy with something else.

Praying with him actually showed me a lot about me.

Monica Sharman said...

Hey, I check the garage door nightly, too! Especially since we've had rattlesnakes around the neighborhood.

The fact that your habit is an act of humility, but you didn't know it would be---how God surprises us! For me, whenever God brings my attention to humility, it's always unexpected.

Thanks for sharing about a precious habit that you do as a couple. Humbling, indeed.

Southern Gal said...

What a great habit to have. Yes, humility when we pray together and lay it all on the line.

Heather Mattern said...

Such a beautiful post! I need to embrace this habit. Thanks for sharing it with us, I love coming here and getting encouraged and convicted!

Mommy Emily said...

lisa, i love how personal this post... and i could really relate. i always take longer to get to bed too--it would seem we women are the ones to tuck the whole house in, no? :) and this praying together, we take turns too. it is hard some nights, but i never regret it. :)

Shanda said...

I have never thought about prayer keeping us humble and yet it does: before God and each other. I have to admit that my husband and i do not pray together as much as we should and it would help with pride issues. Thank you for this.

Jenny said...

Oh this is beautiful, this humbling act of laying bare your very soul.

Amy Sullivan said...

You know, my husband and I used to be so good about adding prayer to our bedtime routine, and then, I started staying up late to write, and now, it's gone. Thanks for the motivation to change that.


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