Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Our Strong Willed Child

Lula Mae has a wonderful heart. God really gave us an amazing little girl to raise. She is so loving, caring and devoted. She is so smart, articulate and knowledgeable. She loves to help, give gifts and learn. She is also so incredibly strong willed. I say this often "Lula Mae's highs are high and her lows are low". We have more highs than lows I would say, but the lows seem to drag on because they are no fun to be in. All in all, the good outweighs the bad.

We just got out of a low. Probably her lowest. It took a lot out of me, a lot out of my husband and even more out of Lula Mae. We are all quite strong willed and the lows always make us butt heads. I love Lula Mae so much and it amazes me how I can get so irritated and frustrated with her. I don't like that feeling, but it does happen. She will annoy me, push me so close to my breaking point, drive me nuts all day long.... but at the end of the day, I am madly in love with her. Every inch of her!

I don't think many parents admit that. I think parents worry that people are going to think they are "bad parents" if they admit that. You can't tell me that every second of every day that you are so thrilled with your children that you never feel frustrated, exhausted or over whelmed by them. If you can then you are a better parent than I am I guess. I know that they are "gifts", trust me, I have been through a miscarriage so I am well aware of that. I also know that they are a huge responsibility. I want to do the best job that I can raising them for God. I do not love my children any less because I get mad, irritated or annoyed by them. I think perhaps I love them more. The frustration, exhaustion and overwhelming emotions I feel are all linked to the fact that I want my children to be the best that they can be. I refuse to let my children run their own lives. I love them too much to do that. God gave them to me to raise, not to sit back and watch raise themselves.

The past two weeks have been full of these things. Lots of tears on Lula Mae's part, lots of stern but loving discipline on our part. We know that during the terrible lows we just have to stand our ground, be consistent and press on. That is exactly what we do. Over time, she figures out that what she is doing will never work and she returns to the sweet little girl we know so well. Is it easy? Nope, not a bit. I am blessed to have a husband who is so strong. He helps me to stand firm. We help and encourage each other through each and every storm. I don't know what I would do without him.

Lula Mae is back to her old self again, for now. After each low we go through we see an even sweeter little girl emerge. One who is stronger, more confident, more understanding and more mature. Her lows are just "growing pains". She is learning how to be a person. How to work together in a community (family). How to make decisions. How to deal with consequences. I am so very proud that she can read, but I am more proud that she is learning these lessons. These lessons will take her far in life.

"That energy which makes a child hard to manage is the energy which afterwards makes him a manager of life." -Henry Ward Beecher

She is one of a kind. I look forward to seeing what God does with her life. It's going to be amazing!

Lula Mae, I pray every day for you. I pray during the good and the bad. I am so glad that you are strong willed. God made you perfect little one. Use that strong will to do something great for God. I love you.


Tiffany said...

Oh Amen friend! We walk the same road with our girls, almost on a daily basis. One thing that keeps me going is praising God when I am able to catch them being defiant/naughty/mean/whatever. Because I am able to catch and correct the sin - it doesn't remain hidden.

Be encouraged, friend. You are doing a great job with Miss Lula Mae. It takes a lot to raise strong-willed girls - I know! And just keep swimming!

Rachel said...

How amazingly said! I really love the fact that you understand that your emotional feeling of the moment does not ever undermine the deep love you have for her.

We can all get annoyed and frustrated even with our spouses and siblings and yet... family is still such a gift.

So thankful for your investment into her life :)

*Crystal* said...

What an honest post! I agree many parents are afraid to admit that they can't handle their children sometimes. Everyone has good and bad days. It's the same with any loving relationship. I know my Hubby gets fed up with me at times but does that mean he loves me any less. NO. The same goes for your children.

Lauren said...

We are going through the same thing with Olivia right now and it seems like a huge battle/trial that we have to walk through everyday. Please pray that I stay consistent in my dicipline and I will do the same for you.

Emmy said...

I always like to say I always love my children, somebdays I just don't like them very much.