Parenting Bull

I’m convinced that parenting a toddler is one of the most difficult things in life. Add to that the strong will of a bull (can I get an AMEN from parents who didn’t think they’d be trying to discipline a bull up in here?) I think Reagan believes I’m shaking a red flag in front of her face at all times.

Truth be told though, I was really convicted the other day. Maybe it was being forced to stay inside due to hurricane Matthew blowing outside…but inside we had hurricane force winds from Reagan, and I was NOT having it.

“No we can’t go outside, there’s a hurricane.”

But I’m a bull and due to that, I’m uncompromising in nature. I have an unbending, stubborn personality. And just because there’s danger outside, that doesn’t affect my desire to be out there and my will to get out there.

I swear if Reagan could talk those are the EXACT words she’d be saying.

GOOOOOOO TOOOOOO TIIIIMMMMMEEEEEE OOOOOUUUUUTTTT!!!!!

I feel it’s best to yell that at a toddler so they know you’re serious. And also so they can mimick your own attitude right back at you. Like a mirror.

Sometimes being a parent is the worst.

I needed to have a break and I needed some encouragement. So I went searching for this book that Rob and I actually have several contributions to. I’ve had it for months, but never even opened it because…this.

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Refresh. Spiritual Nourishment for Parents of Children with Special Needs is the book and it’s filled with accounts from parents like us.

In one chapter, a mom is recounting a conversation with her husband, asking about whether God gives us more than we can handle. And her husband wisely answers yes. If we could do life without him, we wouldn’t need to call upon him.

The thing about Jesus, is he doesn’t judge me, or my parenting fails, he gives me grace. He gives me what I need, all I have to do is ask him. I have to chose to not do this alone. When I feel like I can’t do this, the author reminded to put “without you” on the end of that sentence. I can’t do this life Lord, without you.

And then, The Lord gave me this to think on: “If I disciplined you, like you discipline Reagan, how often would you want to run to me? How often would you look to me for help or comfort?”

Major conviction. Because honestly guys, I’m rolling my eyes at the tantrums, I’m yelling back, I’m stressing to meet dietary goals and typical milestones, all the while trying to convince Reagan through sheer parenting force that it’s MY WAY or the highway, girlfriend. Best step in line. I want to control it all and I can’t control any of it. Gosh, if God loved us like that, through force, we’d never stop kicking and screaming. God loves us perfectly, his perfect love is how he draws us in. He is perfect in ALL his ways, yet we still kick, push and scream back at him.

I kick because God, you don’t know what im dealing with here in parenting Reagan. Except he does. I’m watching what it’s like for God to discipline me…while I try to parent Reagan. And this is why, this is why I cannot do this, without him.

My prayer is to love Reagan how God loves her. To see her strong characteristics as assets because we need strong willed people like Reagan in this world, they teach us things others can’t. God didn’t make one mistake in making her, or allowing her crisis. And I want her to know that while frustration may abound at times, that I love her and I value her. I value her thoughts, her ideas and I want to foster an environment for her to be who she was made to be. Fully and completely.