“ God Bless you, sleep tight, and have sweet dreams.” My parents used to say each night when they tucked us in. I too now do this for my own kids. How nice to read an insert in our Church bulletin about how this simple statement has so much to offer.
“A blessing from one’s parents is a small gesture that carries with it extraordinary richness and meaning. Through this action, the parent entrusts the child to God and ask for all that the child needs, for the child to feel God’s presence, and for his or her peace of body, spirit and heart.”
(Home is the domestic Church, Jan/Feb 2013Catholic Parenting Newsletter)
Unfortunately I do not always read the Catholic Parent Newsletter thoroughly, but it always amazes me, that on more than one occasion when I do, I read something perfect for that very moment in my life. I guess it’s true, God is listening always. Now my “God Bless you, Sleep tight and have sweet dreams” is said with more heart after reading this, but there was more in this article than this that encouraged me to write.
Over the past few months I have repeatedly heard parents say “Praying for my kid’s safety today”. It can be a scary world. Sometimes, as we should, all you can do is put it in God’s hands and say your prayers. That helps us as parents have a little peace, but how can we help our children learn to feel safe and at peace when away from us also?
The article discussed parents blessing their children at bedtime AND at their comings and goings each day. Just as the good night blessing is meant to give your children peace as they go to sleep, why not give them that same peace when they leave each day. What better way than to remind them that God is with them each day, all day.
Here are a couple ideas to try. Each only takes seconds, since typically for us that is all the time available to say goodbye because we are rushing out the door to catch the bus each day.
Ideas for a departure Blessing:
· Suggested in the article: “May God bless you and watch over you today.”
· Simply make the sign of the cross on their forehead, mouth, and over their heart. A gesture we use in church each week and at many special church occasions. In simple terms, may God be in your thoughts, in your words, and in your hearts.
· The Guardian Angel Prayer: This is one I learned as a kid and seems appropriate for the start of your day. “Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here, ever this day be at my side, to light and guard and rule and guide. “
· Pray Scripture Over your children: This was suggestion in a comment made on one of my earlier posts.
Maybe by adding this simple routine we can put our minds as well as our children’s at peace as we send our most precious gifts into the world each day.