It has been a difficult time this past month. Being Norah's mother hasn't been easy. My head has been spinning as she throws curve ball after curve ball in behavior. I'm not sure what's behind it, whether it's simple sin and pushing limits, or if she's feeling insecure or unsettled in any way. It's hard to know.
The challenge in all this, beyond simply dealing with each disciplinary action needed, is to keep a proper perspective. It is so easy for the devil to speak discouragement at times like these. Doubt and insecurity about my own parenting creep in. Is she going to turn out alright? Am I presenting the Gospel clearly enough? Will she repent and turn to Christ? When? What if she doesn't? What will we do if she doesn't get things together and get this behavior under control? What will family and friends think? Are we really doing this badly?
But that's not what God says. God has promised that I am sealed with the Holy Spirit. God has promised that His word will give me all I need pertaining to life and godliness. He has promised that trials will bring about perseverance and faithfulness. He has promised that He will be glorified in all things.
So, if God is going to be glorified, and if my desire is to glorify Him in all I do, then it will happen. I may stumble and struggle through this time of testing, but so help me, I will glorify God as His strength is made perfect in my weakness.
As to how I think of Norah, that is another battle. When children push buttons or repeatedly disobey, it is easy to label them as bad or think poorly of them. I won't let that happen.
Norah is such a bright and intelligent little girl. I look forward to helping her mind expand and grow in new ways. I look forward to seeing her understand new things and use that intelligence to figure out problems and discern what is right and wrong as she gains wisdom. She is tender-hearted. Norah watches out for those that are littler than her. You should see how she dotes over babies and toddlers younger than her. It is a joy to have her younger cousins around, as Norah watches out for them. Just the other night, I knew as a four-year-old, that she would do her best to watch her one-year-old cousin as he was in her bedroom. "Watch that he doesn't put anything small in his mouth." She did. Of course adults checked on him and the rest of the kids, but it was a proud moment for me to know that she would do her best to watch out for the little guy.
Norah is full of energy, and makes us laugh. Even in the womb, she rolled around, pushed, kicked, stretched. And when she entered the world, she kept going! Norah will talk and play and move from activity to activity. Though this is, well, exhausting, at times, she is a blessing to see with the spark for life that she has. Norah loved crafts, and coloring and singing and making music- none of which produces something that anyone would say is lovely, but to me, it is sweet- though often LOUD!
So I will keep these things in mind when I am tempted to be dismayed over my daughter's behavior. I will remember that she was created excellently by her Maker, and endowed with a personality and gifts all her own. May God give me the grace to help direct those things for His glory. And may the Holy Spirit draw my daughter into relationship with Christ- because all the sweetness of who she is won't matter if it's not lived for Him.