We have been going through an extra-difficult time with parenting lately. With our daughter approaching 3 and our son just turning 18 months, they have both hit new levels of disobedience and mischief-making. Our busyness and exhaustion hasn’t been helping anything either.

This morning I thought they were sleeping a bit longer than usual. Ha! I opened their bedroom door to find this.

In case it isn’t clear, there is a large patch of paint that was peeled off the wall. And, no, I didn’t take this picture when the kids were present!

Yesterday, there was a little bubble of paint that my little girl was picking at by her crib, and we discussed that she wasn’t allowed to do that anymore. But, lo and behold, she certainly didn’t heed my instruction!

She was on a roll this morning. Later she dumped a bowl of milk and cereal in our carpeted dining room while throwing a fit.

Why doesn’t she just obey? Why does this have to be so hard? Doesn’t she know that things are already hard for me right now?Just obey…darn it!

While there are a multitude of ways that we can continue to train our children, the recent uptick in disobedience reminds me…we are ultimately unable to fix our kids’ behavior. Only God can change their hearts. Only when they see Christ’s perfect obedience in their stead will they truly desire to obey. I don’t want my children to obey simply because I want them to obey. Well…actually I do. But I’m learning not to want that.

My prayer is that the Lord softens the hearts of my children to see His glory, and goodness, and grace. That He teaches me patience and kindness. That He works despite me, and sees fit to use me to teach my children about Him.

I recently received a copy of “Give Them Grace” by Elyse Fitzpatrick and her daughter Jessica Thompson, which is about how the gospel should affect our parenting. I have so much to learn and I am so eager to read it! If you’re interested, the facebook group Intentional Womanhood will be reading and discussing the book online starting June 13. I plan to join in and I hope to “see” you there!