When I am afraid, I put my trust in Elton John.

December 11, 2008 at 10:50 am 37 comments

In the last couple months, our oldest boy Orison (who just turned 4), has gotten into the “I think there’s something in my room!” phase. He comes running out of his room crying and telling us these elaborate tales about the rhinoceros with red eyes that’s in his pillow, or the giant in his closet who’s going to eat him.

This mostly happens in the 30 minutes right after we close the door and say our final goodnights. See, Orison has one of the most active imaginations I’ve ever encountered. He often pretends about pretending. So, we’re trying to be sensitive to the things he fears. But I also don’t want to coddle him too much.

We usually say Psalm 56:3 right after we’re done praying: “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you [God].”

Then we go through the litany of “Mommy and Daddy are going to be here the whole time you’re in bed. You’re not alone. We’re here and Jesus is here.”

Then there’s usually a round of, “There’s nothing in your room except you, your toys, and your books. It’s the same room in the day and the night.”

Finally, there’s suggestions for good things to think about. Usually we talk about good things that happened during his day that he can remember and think about. Or think about a story he’s read recently that he liked. Or a video he’s seen recently on YouTube. The one he likes best right now is this one:

So last night I suggested all kinds of things he could think about. But after two times of running out of his room crying, Abraham went in to have a little heart-to-heart.

Orison (through high-pitched, heaving sobs):

Mommy said to think about good things.

Elton John is a good thing.

I will think about that.



Entry filed under: Family, Life, Orison.

How to Fold a Fitted Sheet: A Video Tutorial Happy 29th birthday, Abraham.

37 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Shannon Archer  |  December 11, 2008 at 11:30 am

    I hear on the hmmm…while I am a big fan of Elton John’s music, I can see how you are skeptical otherwise:-) Josiah sometimes gets to go to sleep with the radio on, that seems to calm his fears.

  • 2. Kristin  |  December 11, 2008 at 11:45 am

    Wow. This will keep me giggling through the day. It is Elton John and the muppets and one of his best songs.

  • 3. jennapants  |  December 11, 2008 at 11:49 am

    and this is how blogging can diffuse frustration!!!

    (by the way, avery is watching and asked elton john was a girl and dryly commented that elton john is NOT the best musician ever.)

  • 4. mark  |  December 11, 2008 at 11:57 am

    A + anti A = good thing?

    A – Jesus, the Sovereign of the Universe, my Savior who purchased me with His blood, is the example of godliness to us

    anti A – Elton John denies the Supremacy of Christ in all things, believes the Bible is just an old book full of myths, lives a life contrary to Biblical principles

    yes, I agree with

    aren’t life choices more difficult for us when we inhabit the middle ground?

  • 5. Molly Piper  |  December 11, 2008 at 11:57 am

    We’re not avid Elton John fans around here. Here’s how we landed on him, though: Orison really likes watching “The Lonely Goatherd” from “Sound of Music,” then when that’s over, it suggests a Julie Andrews performance with the Muppets, then after you watch *that*, you see Elton John with the Muppets.

    And since Orison wants to be a “piano man” when he grows up, Elton John fit the bill. He doesn’t seem to notice that he dresses funny. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. πŸ™‚

  • 6. Molly Piper  |  December 11, 2008 at 12:02 pm


    Don’t think I didn’t suggest thinking about baby Jesus in the manger. That’s been the story *every night* for ten days now as we celebrate Advent.

    But you don’t really have control over what a 4-year-old thinks about, do ya?

  • 7. Karla  |  December 11, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    Our youngest just turned 5, and we have been through this quite often with her, too. We realized that, with having older siblings, sometimes she was watching things that were fine for them, but a bit too much (as far as intensity) for her. And we are pretty conservative about what we let them watch, anyway. We also started doing an age-appropriate devotional with her at night and praying. She still prays that she won’t have any bad dreams. And the Lord has been faithful to answer that.

    This, too, shall pass. I enjoy the little videos of Orison on your husband’s blog and love your blog and his.

  • 8. Steph  |  December 11, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    I think this is hilarious and is one of the funnier things I’ve heard in a while. Kids are awesome, aren’t they?!!

  • 9. shari  |  December 11, 2008 at 12:31 pm

    Funny! :o)
    We love watching the MUPPETS on Youtube as well.. wouldn’t it be nice if the MUPPETS made a come-back? Just think, that used to be the equivalent of prime-time only a decade or two ago. Times do change.

  • 10. Jake  |  December 11, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    If we’re talking pre-“I’m Still Standing” Elton John, then he is indeed a good thing. (Musically speaking, not theologically or morally.)

  • 11. No No Nanette  |  December 11, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    Funny, Molly. My son also has a very active imagination. Sometimes a small flashlight helps – he can “shoot” the monsters away with the light.

  • 12. carissa  |  December 11, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    i was excited to read this post and watch the video because i love the muppet show AND elton john. but i do hope orison will find things even better than elton john to think about. :]

  • 13. Em  |  December 11, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    How not to deal with the “wardrobe monster”.

  • 14. Lindsey  |  December 11, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    That’s hilarious. The aforementioned 3-year-old I nanny for has sunglasses just like Elton John in that video (and several other similar pairs) so I call them her Elton John glasses. We’ve been watching Bennie and the Jets on youtube just to round out her “education.”

  • 15. Shawnee  |  December 11, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    I remember as a young child going through these same fears. My parents went out and bought a stuffed alligator and put it under my bed to protect me and ward of any monsters. I was around 4-5 at the time and I kept that little Alligator, affectionately named Ally under my bed until I was 12 years old and decided Ally could have a home somewhere else because my room was safe.

  • 16. Melissa Parnell  |  December 11, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    how funny! last night when the pipes would knock (or whatever sound you want to call it) he kept asking what was that, was it a bear? I told him no, that it was just the pipes singing. to which he replied to me, “Oh, mrs. carnell, pipes don’t sing!” now, he might think there is something wrong with my imagination, but i felt for sure he’d play along with it. next time i’ll tell him they are singing an elton john song!

  • 17. ToilingAnt  |  December 11, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    I dunno, Elton John scares the snot out of me. Especially when he’s decked out in neon clothing. πŸ˜›

  • 18. Abraham Piper  |  December 11, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    ToilingAnt: If you think the neon scares you, you should watch this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OX2WErOvD4

  • 19. Elizabeth Esther  |  December 11, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    LOL! Oh dear. That’s good.

    I tell Jewel to take the bad, scary thought and throw it in the trash. Then I say, before you go back to bed, put a good thought in your head. Keep thinking that good thought until you fall asleep.

    NExt time I’ll tell her about Elton John. LOL

  • 20. Melissa  |  December 11, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    We like to watch the Lonely Goatherd, too!

  • 21. Deron Arnold  |  December 11, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    Well, being a father to two nearly 4 year old boys, I can certainly empathize. To borrow from one of Elton John’s friends, “Whatever gets you through the night!” (within reason, of course).

  • 22. Krista  |  December 11, 2008 at 8:26 pm

    I can see how that’s so appealing. Doesn’t Elton look ridiculous enough to be a Muppet himself?

  • 23. Courtney  |  December 11, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    Our son also has a very active vivid imagination. He’s seven now so he realizes there is nothing in his room to fear, it’s what’s in his head that makes for the nightmares. He began, probably a year ago, adding this line to his bedtime prayer, “God, please take all the garbage out of my mind and fill it up with You.” It seems to do the trick.

  • 24. Angela  |  December 11, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    Oh wow! Great story! I definitely didn’t expect that one but it’s so adorable when little ones are sincere yet hilarious!

  • 25. Nikki  |  December 12, 2008 at 12:24 am

    I love it. πŸ™‚ It’s a fun song that makes him happy so that’s what he thinks about when he’s scared. So childlike and sweet.

    And yes, Elton John blends right in with the Muppets there!

  • 26. Chris  |  December 12, 2008 at 5:35 am

    It sounds like there was some concern expressed about his interest in Elton John. You can always include him in your prayer time for friends and other people that you pray for.
    I can’t say we included people we did not know personally in our prayer time when our kids were little, but we do now that they’re older–and I wish we would have then.

    One of our friends was curious when her kindergarten daughter brought home a craft from church–it was a little prayer booklet with a prayer printed on it and a blank to fill in a name of who the children were going to pray for. Her daughter had written “Britney” on it.

    “Who’s Britney?” the mom asked.

    “Britney Spears.” replied the little girl.

    “How do you know Britney Spears?” the mom asked, shocked, since they did not listen to any secular music in their home or car.

    “We sing her songs every day on the playground at school,” the daughter explained. She has prayed for Britney Spears every day since then.

    Her brother has prayed for Michael Jackson every day since the Free Willy movie (I think his music was used in the film–he’s connected somehow–I never saw the movie).

    It might seem like their lives are still going out of control, yet we cannot see what God is doing in their hearts as these kids (and others I’m sure) have prayed. I know it makes a difference–even though at this point, we are not able to know what would have happened if people had not prayed.

    One of our pastors used to say, “Every time you pray, something good happens that would not have happened if you had not prayed.”

  • 27. Anna VanEaton  |  December 12, 2008 at 5:40 am

    So, what did you say to that one?!?

  • 28. Jane  |  December 12, 2008 at 8:29 am

    Orison stories just keep getting more and more adorable.
    All of my children have had these “imaginative troubles” when they were young. One of my boys was particularly descriptive of his “monster”, so I had him describe it in detail and one of his brothers drew a picture of it. Believe it or not, that drawing helped to remove the “threat” of the imaginative beast right then and there.
    As a ‘scrapbooker’, I made a page with the actual drawing of the monster that I had saved.
    Here is a link:



  • 29. Stacey  |  December 12, 2008 at 9:11 am

    Which Elton John is a good thing….the “In the Closet Drug Using Elton John” or the “Out of the Close Rehabbed Elton John”……my person preference is the “In the Closet Drug Addicted Elton” there is nothing like music from an emotionally stifled artist…..once they come clean it is all down hill….he might as well retire. Candle in the wind makes me want to gag (no disrespect to Diana of course) but that doesn’t come close to Benny and the Jets or Rocket Man.

  • 30. Amber  |  December 12, 2008 at 11:15 am

    LOL that’s the greatest bedtime scared story ever! πŸ˜€

  • 31. Greta  |  December 12, 2008 at 11:17 am

    Your child c-r-a-c-k-s me up…even if it is via the www.

  • 32. Kendall  |  December 12, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    Just watch: he’ll walk out of his bedroom wearing a pair of gigantic-glasses, piano hat, and a drawn-in goofy beard like that, yet. πŸ˜‰
    Thanks for posting this – I needed a laugh today. πŸ™‚

  • 33. kendra  |  December 14, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    hahaha, my 3 1/2 yr old son is referring to elton as “she” as we watch…

  • 34. Jennifer  |  December 15, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    This is so great! I think it’s fun that you got this post instead of your husband… although I think it would be difficult to appropriately set the context and story for this in 22 words! πŸ™‚

  • 35. Barb Romanowicz  |  December 19, 2008 at 6:50 am

    Molly,You & Abe are awesome parents. I wouldn’t worry about Elton. All kids go through phases. It’s putting his mind at ease,which is your goal. Who knows? In a few yrs. he may like Elvis! Want me to talk to him?(snicker) Again you are wonderful parents!

  • 36. Steve  |  December 29, 2008 at 1:10 am

    Perhaps you might tell Orison that there’s more than one “piano man”. And if neither Elton John or Ray Charles is to your liking, then perhaps suggest Billy Joel (my personal fav) or Stevie Wonder.

  • 37. Emily-Kate  |  April 9, 2009 at 4:57 am

    I have just come across your blog via another blog(http://majorscoop.blogspot.com/).

    I decided that I needed to post a comment, because I have cried and now laughed as I read through some of your blog entries.

    Your family is beautiful and your little boy Orison is so adorable, escpecially in the video on Luke 2!

    The most beautiful aspect of this blog is definitely your posts on your daughter Felicity. Loved, cherished and honoured.

    Molly, your God amazes me.


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