One Tool to Get into Your Child’s Heart

Pillow talk.
Did you know that our children’s minds review their day’s events every night? Every night in their beds, they review and contemplate everything that happened that day. Now, you have one of two options as a parent: you can stay up late as your child is processing and talk to him or her, or you can choose a tool called pillow talk.
Pillow talk is a journal passed between the parent and the child. At night, when children are processing the day, they can open up their journals and write down the greatest thing that happened to them, what part of the day was most disappointing, and that sort of thing. Children remember the good, but they also have regrets at the end of the day that they process at night—regrets about poor performance on a test or disappointing behavior or the way they treated someone. They also consider their wounds.
Actually, your children can end up monopolizing your time until the wee hours of the morning if you let them. I have many friends who stay up all night long with their children because that’s when their hearts are most vulnerable and open.
It sounds great in theory, but if you work or homeschool and need to be productive during the day, you cannot function properly without sleep. If you’re married, your husband may want some of your time, too. I believe if you stay up all night, every night, with your kids and make yourself available to them at every beck and call, two things happen: one, you lose intimate time with your spouse; and two, your kids don’t learn to process for themselves and communicate in a healthy way at an appropriate time. Plus, if you’re OCD, you need the time when your children are in bed to reorganize and clean up for your own sanity the next day.
Rest is an important part of healing, but I also don’t want to miss out on my time with my kiddos. I don’t want to miss out on their sweet, vulnerable hearts at the time when they’re processing. So what do you do? Do you clean and sleep or have late-night talks with your kids?
I personally cannot live without sleep. I’m exhausted by the end of the day. I’m ready for everyone to go to bed. I want to be horizontal. I don’t need to close my eyes, but I need to be horizontal. I found a tool that lets me into my children’s hearts and allows me to sleep: pillow talk. It’s a journal for the kids and me, and it’s a fun game.

I write a note to my child. I write what’s on my heart. I may write about something I’m disappointed about or an apology for some way I behaved towards her. I write about my life, being vulnerable and transparent. It may not even have to do with my child. Then I write some questions, such as, “Is there anything that has been bothering you lately? Is there an area in which I can encourage you more or an area where you’re feeling discouraged?” The answers dont have to be long; they are meant to help us have useful, quality conversations the next day when we’re awake and alert.

I slip this under my child’s pillow for her to read at night. It gives her something productive to think on and helps steer her thoughts. I may even put in a positive message of encouragement, a Bible verse, or a picture. Sometimes I draw pictures. I’m a horrible artist, but I draw pictures for my children’s entertainment. We sneak the journal beneath each other’s pillows and see if we can get in there without getting caught. It’s a lot of fun.

When it’s under my pillow, I read it and am able to see inside my children’s hearts. The next day, I pull them aside and make sure I have some one-on-one time to discuss what I read. It’s an open door to have healthy conversations with them at a time when we’re all rested.

Proverbs 31 Woman—No Problem!

Proverbs 31 has always been something I would read and think, Right. I won’t be sewing my own clothes. I can never meet this standard for a woman.
Until recently … No, I didn’t become superwoman!
I realized that I had always compared myself to the Proverbs 31 woman, seeing myself as one who could never measure up.
But today I looked at Proverbs 31 in a new way. I viewed it as if I were the Proverbs 31 woman. I rewrote it in my own voice as if I were these things already.
I started speaking to my future self. Even where I don’t measure up to this standard, it is where I am going! Ladies, we may never arrive at perfect performance. What’s important is that we start. Start what? Sewing? No! We simply need to see ourselves through the eyes of who God has made us to be.
We need to speak to our future!
Experts suggest that you will get whatever behavior you expect from your child. Isn’t the same true for us? Low expectations breed low performance.
Scripture says that we will eat the fruit of our lips. What are your lips speaking about you, your family, and your future? Are they filled with life and truth or death and lies?
You try it! Here is what I did:
  1. My husband and sons-in-law love Jesus and do not give their strength to loose women. My daughters and I do not give our hearts or bodies to loose men—only to our husbands. (Proverbs 31:2-3)
  2. Our family is called to influence. Therefore, we will not drink so that our judgment is not impaired. (Proverbs 31:4-7)
  3. I will care for the underdogs. I will teach them to fish, not just feed them. (Proverbs 31:8-9)
  4. I am a capable, intelligent, and virtuous woman. I am more precious than rubies and pearls. (Proverbs 31:10)
  5. My husband confidently trusts, relies on, and believes in me. I have no lack. I comfort and encourage him. I do him only good until I pass from this earth. (Proverbs 31:11-12)
  6. I work hard. I am not lazy when it comes to caring for my family. I prepare their meals. (Proverbs 31:13-14)
  7. I rise early. First thing, I bring my family spiritual nourishment. I assign tasks to each member of my family and each worker. (Proverbs 31:15)
  8. I am a good steward of what God has given me. I have the mind of Christ and wisdom from the Lord, and I use it in every business and financial decision. I don’t ignore my most important responsibilities. (Proverbs 31:16)
  9. I encourage myself in the Lord and in truth so I can be spiritually minded rather than carnally minded. I am physically fit. My arms are strong and firm so that I have the life to carry out what God has called me to do. (Proverbs 31:17)
  10. The work of God in me I acknowledge and remember when hard times press around me. God’s light continues to shine in trials of all kinds. (Proverbs 31:18)
  11. I work hard. I feed others who are poor in spirit. (Proverbs 31:19-20)
  12. I have skills that benefit my family (like sewing, designing, etc.). God will equip me with whatever skills I need. I dress like an ambassador of Jesus Christ. (Proverbs 31:21-22)
  13. My husband is known at the city gates. He consults with the elders of all the lands— pastors, teachers, and business leaders. (Proverbs 31:23)
  14. I write Bible studies, books, and skits and make videos, games, and fun things to help Christ followers know who they are in Christ. I build up leaders in my own and future generations to lead in their own circles. (Proverbs 31:24)
  15. Strength and dignity are my clothing. My position is strong and secure. I rejoice over the future. My family is ready for it! (Proverbs 31:25)
  16. My mouth is filled with godly wisdom, and my tongue is kind. I give counsel and instruction. (Proverbs 31:26)
  17. I refuse to be idle! I am not discontent. I don’t pity myself. I refuse to gossip. I look well to how things go in my home. (Proverbs 31:27)
  18. My children will call me blessed. My daughters’ hearts toward me are always pure.
  19. My husband boasts about and praises me. He thinks I am the cream of the crop. (Proverbs 31:28-29)
  20. I fear the Lord. I worship the Lord. I am in awe of You, Lord! (Proverbs 31:30)
  21. I will reap what I sow. My works will show the fruit of the Spirit. (Proverbs 31:31)
We need to stop comparing ourselves to others and just enjoy the fact that God is moving in us!

Love you, 
Sheri