The little girl threw herself on the sidewalk, screaming. “NOOOOOOOOOOO! Stay outside! Say hi to doggie!”
“Sweetie, it’s time to go inside,” the harried mother said with forced calmness as she bounced her fussy seven-month old on her hip. Teething and tantrums – it wasn’t even 9 a.m. and already it was proving to be a challenging day. Sigh. Clearly, it was a mistake to walk across the street to see the little doggie that was tied up in his front yard.
Neighbours sat on their porch and watched the drama unfold, their newspapers forgotten on their laps. They were glad that their children were all grown up. They had escaped the toddler stage only mildly worse for the wear.
The mother could feel their eyes on her as she stared down at her defiant two-year old. Waves of red rolled across her face and she gritted her teeth. “Stand up!” she said. “It’s time to go inside!”
“NOOOOOOOOOOO!” the little girl screamed even louder. She began to sob violently. Her arms flailed and her little legs pumped the air.
The mother pulled the girl to her feet and somehow managed to pick her up. She crossed the road and walked into her house, a crying child on each hip.
The neighbours glanced at each other, shook their heads, and returned to their morning papers.
Do you ever have days like this? Children are such a blessing! They say and do the funniest things. They give the sweetest little sticky kisses and the best hugs. But, sometimes, they have a strong little will that tries to assert itself, to feel out its boundaries, to push the limits, to test and test and test.
It’s not a bad thing, provided it’s dealt with properly. A strong-willed child grows into a strong adult. A strong leader. A mover and a shaker.
My pastor and friend, Mary Leach, posted this facebook status today: “What you BELIEVE in your heart you become. It wasn’t until Abraham believed the promise that it actually happened.” (Rom 4:13)
I think this goes for our kids too. What promises has God given you for your child? What we believe in our hearts about them, they will become. Why? Because when we get a vision for their lives, we parent intentionally.
It’s so important to fix our eyes on Jesus. To focus on HIS plans for our children. Through the molding and the shaping, the disciplining and the teaching, to speak words of destiny over our kids.
It’s extra important to do this on those days that seem slightly more challenging than usual.
And on that note, it sounds like morning nap-time is over. =)