Bedtime for Frances was first published in 1960, and it is still in print! Why? The wording is perfect and playful, the illustrations (involving anthropomorphic badgers) feel familiar yet fascinating, it is both humorous and (for children) mysterious, and . . . we are all Frances! Well, at least I am. No matter how old I get, I revert back to being Frances in an instant if my husband is away on business and the doorbell rings late at night, or I hear a strange creak, or a neighbor slams their door. Before I know it, thoughts of worst case scenarios have spilled over my mind and are churning in my stomach. There I am (lying in my seemingly peaceful bed) living right in the middle of all that imagined pain!
Bedtime for Frances reveals that our nighttime fears, if brought into the light, are nothing more than crumpled bathrobes or harmless moths thumping the glass with their wings.
Though we cannot make the sun come out at midnight, we can ask God to shine his light into our minds. Recently, when my husband was traveling, God led me to this verse:
“I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8
Isn’t that a comforting nightlight?!!! God alone has the power to give us tomorrow. Worry cannot add another hour to our lives (Matthew 6:27). Psalm 4:8 is more effective than melatonin. Whisper it again and again, like a lullaby. Let it sink into your heart, your memory. Trust Your Shepherd. Exhale the worries. Trust the Lover of your soul. Inhale His peace.
P.S. Fernando Ortega wrote this beautiful song when he had a new baby. His desire to protect her was great, so fears tried to take hold at night. He wrote “Jesus, King of Angels” to remind him (and all of us) of the truth.