Alysa from Alysalovely.com is sharing about a special nighttime routine that her family does with her daughter. This blessing has many benefits for babies and families with children of all ages. Our family has had similar traditions but I love how Alysa and her husband incorporated this blessing into their daughter’s bedtime routine.
How a nightly blessing can benefit your family
When my daughter was born, we received a book from one of our friends called The Family Blessing by Rolf Garborg. In The Family Blessing, Garborg describes the benefits of saying a blessing over your children every night before bed. We received the book when our daughter was less than a month old, and I devoured it. I couldn’t wait to get started!
A few months later, when we were actually giving her a specific bedtime, we decided to add a blessing to her bedtime routine. At four months old, her routine was looking like a diaper change, a massage, putting on pajamas, then a story, breastfeeding her on both sides (if she took it), her blessing and then bed. The nightly blessing we read to her is the same one they use in the book:
May the Lord bless you and keep you
May the Lord shine his face on you and be gracious to you;
May the Lord lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace.
We then add “in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen.” Tell her we love her, and put her in her crib.
Putting a baby to sleep in her crib in her own room by herself isn’t easy when she’s not used to it. The first few nights were pretty hard. There were even nights where she recognized the words we were saying to her, and got upset as we were saying her blessing because she knew that the next thing to happen was going to be putting her in her bed. Luckily, that didn’t last very long.
We have been saying her nightly blessing to her for over a year now, and I have to say that it is one of the most valuable things that we do for our daughter. Here is why this nightly tradition has come to be so important to me:
It gives the very end of the bedtime routine a sense of calm
After my daughter got over the feeling of betrayal when we’d get to the blessing just before putting her in her crib, I believe that it has become something that calms her down for bedtime. More often than not, when we put her down, she rolls into a comfortable position and goes right to sleep. It’s a great part of her bedtime routine because it helps create a real sense of calm in the room, which is perfect for someone who is right about to sleep.
It reminds her of the love of her Father in heaven
Above all, these are God’s promises to us, which is what makes this particular Bible verse so perfect for our nightly blessing. We want our daughter to grow up knowing exactly how loved she is, both by us and by God.
It reminds us of God’s grace, especially when we’ve all had a bad day
Parenting is really hard, and sometimes we finish the day thinking back on the things we wish we didn’t do, or the things we wish we hadn’t said. It’s so easy to get caught up in all of that and go to bed upset. Doing a blessing like this one also tells us that there is the grace of God, and whatever we did that we felt was wrong is forgiven. May the Lord be gracious to you. It helps remind all of us of God’s grace for her, and for us.
It’s something we can do as a family
At this point in time, my husband and I do bedtimes together. Well, to be more specific, he does most of bedtime, and then I nurse her and he does the blessing. We’re all together for when I nurse her and when we do the blessing and put her to bed. It has come to mean a lot to me that I get to be part of the blessing as well. I love that we can spend that time together every night as a family.
It’s something that is just for our daughter
Part of the blessing is inserting our daughter’s name into the verse. This way, we are speaking the blessing directly to her as well as over her. We want her to know that this is something we’re doing just for her. We hope that as she gets older, she’ll be able to go to sleep knowing God’s love, his graciousness, and his peace.