When Daly Kay was a baby, she was a happy little bundle of joy, and everyone used to tell me, “Just wait. Wait ’til she is walking.” I thought the world would end for me when she took those first steps! But the world kept turning, and even though she was born with quite a little temper (I have no idea where THAT came from!) she was still a precious treasure. Sure there was work, yes she made some days pretty tough (well, more likely I made it tough on myself, first time mommy!), but overall every day was a blessing. “Just wait,” they all said, “wait until she turns two!”
So when her second birthday came I kept thinking any minute the sky would fall, but she just kept growing and learning – just as David and I were growing as parents. There were struggles and questions, but I never experienced the terrible twos like everyone warned, so I began to call them the terrific twos!
“Wait until she is three,” they began to say. Well by now thankfully I had caught on to this game. I began to instead refute those naysayers boldly to their face and research endlessly the Scriptures and find encouraging friends who believed that raising children was a joy-not just something we are meant to endure as a hardship.
The naysayers kept coming, and kept spouting their doubts and disbelief all over the place. God proved faithful and kept providing wisdom at every turn, faithfulness at every fear, and comfort on the days that really were tough. “Wait until she is a teenager,” was of course next in their list of things we could not possibly enjoy as a parent.
And that, my friends, is where I draw the line.
You see parenting a small child has so many joys, but the challenges and the work involved really can be overwhelming. It can feel never ending. Many times, those of us not raised with a “servant’s heart,” learn the hard way exactly how a servant gets treated…pushed aside, their needs met last, their wants not even addressed, and expected to complete hard days of work no matter how tired or sick they may be (can I get an amen from anyone who has had to parent multiple small children with no help while everyone in the house has the flu-including you??? Been there-done that-lived to tell about it).
But now those naysayers were trying to scare me out of the result all those years of work with the children in their character training, work ethic, and heart issues. I thank God for the growing confidence He gives us to enjoy and reap the reward of having labored in the trenches long enough to have gained our children’s respect and admiration. They will thank us constantly for the hard line we have made them tow. Terrible Twos–troublesome teens? Not a chance! Terrific twos, and absolutely amazing adolescence! Don’t let the naysayers scare you, and for heaven’s sake, don’t ever be one!
“Therefore, encourage one another, building each other up, Just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11