by Major Danielle
I’ve got a six and
old who have something wrong with them -
massive hormonal swings and extreme reactions. I think
this is the case with all kids, but I’m sure it is with mine.
Crazy ideas like “clean up time” and “homework before screen
time” are met with wailing fits of protest. They rage against
the injustice of it all.
When I’m able to look at it from a distance,
it’s funny. But mostly I just hold in my own hormonal
response. What I want to do is scream and shout louder. But I
don’t, because I’m an adult. I think it’s rather big of me to
stop the cycle.
As I reflected on the most recent fit, I saw
myself - my own inner emotional
response to God’s invitation to put first things first. Prayer
before action? The nerve! No one has time to pray … all the
other kids don’t have to … I want to GET SOMETHING DONE.
I rage against the discipline and rush past
the prayer closet, in the hope of getting on with the “real
work,” sulking over my divine parent’s nerve in steering me to
what will help get the real work done.
Making time for relationships? Are you
serious? I’m swamped already. Plus, let’s be honest
- I’m so awesome I don’t need anyone! And the inner
I seem to be a perpetual spiritual toddler
- my initial reactions are almost always extreme.
The only difference for me is that it’s an internal
battle. I shout and scream and pound the floor in my own mind,
heart and will.
And then I take a step back and look at
myself, raging out of control, and feel the parent in me
rising. Let’s review, I think. What has God asked of me? I go
over it in my mind. Why has he suggested this? I realize that
if I participate in this journey, it’s going to lead to
Much like my six-year-old, who was reluctant
to practice his letters, I find the practice of prayer
journaling to be liberating and infuriating. But when he was
finished, he looked up and smiled at me, and said, with a
great sense of accomplishment, “I did it!” It made me remember
how I feel when I finally relent to God’s instructions, as he
teaches me what really matters.
I may always have toddler tantrums on the
inside, but I’m so glad that God is patient and kind, and
willing to keep inviting me to put the things that matter
first. Maybe you need to take a moment in the midst of your
own emotional reactions to be reminded of God’s promise to
discipline (instruct, enforce boundaries, give direction) to
those he loves. Then count yourself blessed to have that kind
of parent, and do what he asks. Because in the end, that’s
what really matters.