After going “to bed” at 7:30 last night, Susanna woke up hungry at 9:30 and acted as though it were the middle of the day: she ate, and then she wanted to play (her routine is eat, play, sleep, (play), eat, play, sleep). I wanted to keep her calm for going back to sleep, but engaged so she’d tire out quickly. I kept her on my lap, cradled in my knees, with just the dim light on, and I spoke to her. She loves the rhythm and repetition of the book Goodnight, Moon but this time I did something different. I repeated a Bible verse I’ve been wanting to memorize (this one’s from the new Living Translation). Each time I repeated the verse, I emphasized a different word.
The unchanging plan of God has always been to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. Ephesians 1:5
I read a blog by a woman who often uses the phrase “I had to preach the Gospel to myself” when she is describing her need to refocus after not showing grace to a child or husband or friend. I really like this phrase because I want my life to be Gospel-centered, especially in correction and discipline. Yes, the most important command is to love God and love others, but if I’ve learned anything in my life as a Christian, it’s that neither can be done without the Gospel. Without the Gospel, even that command is just law, like everything else.
Now I have a really good verse that sums up the Gospel in my spiritual toolbox for when I need to “preach the Gospel to myself.” And, bonus!, I preached the Gospel to my little girl 25 times last night.
If only I had remembered to preach the Gospel to myself at 3:30 (and 4:30, and 5:30) am because she wouldn’t go back to sleep.