Sometimes that sparkle is sheer twinkling delightfulness and at others ... glitter-encrusted sass. When she was about two, she developed a method of sibling problem-solving that primarily involved sinking those sharp little baby teeth into any body part Peter wasn't quick enough to withdraw. This, all done, with great verve and astonishing speed.
In an attempt to halt this behavior (and fear of getting ourselves kicked out of the church nursery) we tried a little Pavlov-love. You bite with your mouth, you get something yucky in your mouth. First up? Lemons. She chowed down with gusto. Next? Tabasco. Bring it on, baby, this tot likes it spicy. Act of desperation? The bar of soap. Munch, munch, smile and a declaration of "I like it."
I began realizing, in a new way, how little control I had over another person's behavior. Even as a parent, we can only command so much. Obedience and behavior that is rooted from the heart? My imperfect efforts only go so far.
I had always prayed for my children. But over time I've realized that it is utterly imperative to intercede for them as the child and myself as parent. The only time I really see deep change in my life or those around me, it has involved prayer. Nothing fancy. Just serious, earnest, regular prayer.
Lucette is a little precocious, yes, but oh, how I love her spunk. What's more, I see God refining her character and maturing her spirit all while keeping her zesty personality. A tribute to our parenting? Hardly. A reflection of God's abiding love, care, and faithfulness? Without a doubt.
When it comes to raising children, there is very little I know for sure. But this I do: I am a better parent when I pray.
This daughter of mine, I adore her. She makes me laugh, she challenges my own perspectives, she makes me proud to be her mother. She'll look back and know well my failings, but may she and her siblings also remember and know ... my mother prays for me.
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.