Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Challenges of Parenting

So, it's finally happened.

The thing I've dreaded (and, at times, fancied myself immune to) for months. Maybe even years.

It's a scene we're all familiar with: a haggard mom is desperately trying to rein in her wild children while out shopping, seeming to need at least another pair of hands (or two). And we all look on with a mix of pity and haughtiness, imagining that if those were our kids, they would not be acting out in such a way. At least, I have done this numerous times in the past - and now all of my ignorant ways have caught up with me.

Nora will turn one year on December 3rd, and for the first time on Monday, I was a bit embarrassed by her behavior while I was out shopping at a local craft store. She was impossible to calm and was throwing full-blown temper tantrums when she didn't get her way. Which, for her, was basically that she wanted to practice her walking or get out of the shopping cart. Still. I can't believe that I'm already in "that stage" of life, and how did it come so quick?

On the one hand I greet this phase with excitement. My Nora is growing up, and with that, she is becoming her own person. I am already seeing her personality start to shape. A few things I already know: 1) She is stubborn. She will force you to help her walk around the kitchen table thirty times, and if you dare stop, she then proceeds to flop to the floor, throw her head back (thereby hitting the floor), and then cry even harder. The little spitfire. 2) She is insanely joyful. The girl never stops smiling, and when my husband or I (or really, just about anyone) walks into the room, she greets you with her greatest smile, no matter her mood. Just today, her charm worked its magic and won me a free drink at Starbucks. The man behind the counter didn't stand a chance against her happiness. 3) One more thing that is worth noting (although, if I could, I'd write sweet things about her all day), she's a bit sassy.

This leads me into the second emotion that I am wrestling with. It is one of gravity. I am slowly becoming more and more aware of this new job title I've been carrying for a year and all of its responsibilities. I'm a mother.

When someone asked me how motherhood was treating me, for the longest time I would answer that it was perfect because I was essentially Nora's buddy. I wasn't disciplining or correcting her. She didn't do anything worth correcting. She ate, slept, played a bit... That was essentially it. So I just kept her company.

But now I am entering into the next phase. This phase will see several different faces, I know. I will have to grow and adapt and humble myself. And mostly, pray. Each day will present a new challenge as my husband and I try to discipline and instruct Nora in the ways of the Lord. And it is more than just a bit daunting.

But mostly, as I said, exciting.

I believe and pray that God will do great things through her. She is strong-willed and spirited. And as her name means honor, so I believe she will have to be those things in order to be honorable in a fallen world. She must have strength of will and character to hold fast to her convictions.

As I am struggling to harness some of her sassiness, I don't want to break her spirit. I know God gave it to her for a reason. Join me in praying for wisdom and discernment as we raise our children. Without God, we would fall short each and every day. Thankfully, he is available as our greatest resource.

Praise God!

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Katie Vogel Media

Katie Vogel Media