Yep. I did that. The broken window? All me. The trigger? A sweet little four-year-old that goes by the name Adeline. You see, God decided to gift me with a strong-willed child. Did I just say gift? Yes, you’ll see why later. I knew she was spirited from the moment she was born. From that day to this, she attempts to live life on her terms–every moment of every day! The idea of obedience isn’t her thing. She is a deal-making, don’t-back-down, deeply convicted individual. Or as my husband likes to say, “She takes the day by the balls.” His words, not mine; however, that’s probably more accurate.
How Do I Handle This Child in a God-Honoring Way?
On a particularly ball-grasping day, she broke me and I was left wondering, “How do I handle this child in a God-honoring way?” I can usually maintain my patience, tone, and consistency in discipline, but there are times when the clashing of our wills causes me to yell, grab her, shame her, or on this particular occasion, shatter a window.
On that day, I literally reached my breaking point with her. For a solid four hours, Adeline decided to defy everything I said. She was in testing mode and in no mood to back down. After hours of battle, I was headed to the sink to refill my son’s cup when another bullet from her arsenal hit. In fury, I threw the cup down into the sink. At least that was my intention. However, it landed a couple of inches higher than I anticipated, smashing the window just above the sink. I truly did not intend to break the window in my frustration, but regardless, I did. After that came the sobbing, my sobbing. As I cleared away the broken glass with tears soaked cheeks, Adeline sang a beautiful original tune about how we all make mistakes. She then lovingly ushered her brother out of the kitchen explaining that mommy needed to take a break.
I Just Needed Time Alone
My husband arrived home five minutes later–what a scene to welcome him home! I sat crying in the living room as both children exclaimed to him that mommy broke the window. He attempted to console me, but I just needed some time alone. As I sat on my bed trying to process the afternoon’s events and the aftermath of my actions, my two-year-old son reminded me that there’s no such thing as being alone anymore. He doesn’t believe in that concept. He looked at me with his sweet brown eyes and asked, “Mommy sad?” I said yes and then he grabbed the Bible beside my bed and ordered, “Mommy read.”
His wisdom led me to open the Bible randomly and I instantly fell upon Jeremiah 29: 11-14: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord….”
I felt the Holy Spirit reassuring me that Adeline is God’s plan for me. He chose me to be her mother. God knows I possess everything it will take to raise her in a way that will glorify Him, even if I can’t always see that. To succeed as her parent, I need to continuously seek Him, as the strong-willed child requires constant and diligent training.
Learning to Walk More Like Christ on a Daily Basis
I also realized at that moment that Adeline’s personality was crafted in a way that enables me to become more like Christ. If our daughter were a compliant child I would not be challenged to grow in my areas of weakness. Raising her is allowing me the opportunity to grow in my patience, anger management, and trust. Because of Adeline, I am learning to walk more like Christ on a daily basis. I will fail, naturally, but once I recoup, I’ve found another piece of the puzzle that slowly reveals Christ’s image (in me). The battles she wages are for my blessing.