One step at a time.

pc: Penny Hayward









My darling two year old daughter is turning three next month… and if I didn’t know better, I’d think she was turning fourteen. The sassiness is unending as she tries to declare herself independent — a “big girl”, and I can feel myself coming undone not only at the thought of her actually growing up (there’s nothing I can do to stop that, right?) but each time she pushes back at my gentle (and #truestory sometimes not so gentle…) guidance.

And just when I think I can’t handle one more blatant opposition to my asking her to put her shoes on so we can leave or go to the potty so she doesn’t have an accident she says it one. more. time.


What the heck, kid!? Seriously. Haven’t you learned by now that I’m your mom and I love you and I’m only here to help you learn and grow and not pee yourself? I feed you and love you and hug you and we laugh together and cry together and play together. You depend on me for EV. RY. THING. and yet you still oppose me on the simplest of instructions.

I know with my daughter that this is simply a milestone. One where she’s learning her independence and asserting herself. Learning boundaries, pushing them, pressing beyond them, and swinging back to center. Competencies, as a parent, I hope to both foster and help hone in her as she grows. Beautiful, wonderful, vital skills that will be used her whole life long.

And then it hit me like a ton of bricks. That’s how God operates with me these days — hitting me over the head with bricks. That’s really the only way to get my attention right now since I’m constantly being pulled in approximately fourteen different directions by two small children, head spinning, mind racing, having to make decisions in a snap all day long to keep us all from physically and emotionally perishing. I know some of you feel me on that.

The brick came and fell fast and hard:

I don’t want to, either.

I don’t want to do what you’re asking me to do, God. I don’t want to.

I don’t want to be a writer, I don’t want to put myself out there. I don’t want to be vulnerable and share my words and be exposed — naked for the whole world to see and judge. I just don’t want it. It doesn’t feel safe.

Recently, God placed a new calling in my hands. One that feels uncomfortable and strange. It doesn’t feel like it quite fits me yet. It’s not something I wanted to do or asked to do or prayed for, but something I’m being trained up to do by obediently walking with Him. One step at a time.

He asked me to write. He gave me a gift and told me to use it and is opening doors and giving me space to do so. I don’t know what this is supposed to look like, but He continues to promise me that He will give me the words to say if only I will do my part by sticking by His side and putting pen to paper… or fingers to keyboard.

So, here goes, my friends. Here goes…


7 Responses to "One step at a time."

  1. Your voice is unique and you are sharing what God has put on your heart! You can’t go wrong. It is so scary (I know!) but it is obedience and oh, how you will grow. Press on, sister!

  2. I’ll be cheering from the sidelines as you run this marathon…Yay Janine! You can do this!

  3. Deb says:

    Sweet pea
    You are an amazing writer and artist and I’m thankful you are going to be exploring these gifts ! I love your heart and your remarkable talents .
    As for “A strong willed child ” don’t fret – do the best you can and then forget it . I remember someday soon of being to tired to fight it ! Then other days i shanked because they could find the shoes! The years are short but the days are long . You are a great mother . Love u deb hite

    • Deb says:

      Not good writing ;(
      I remember some days of being to tired to fight.
      Then other days I spanked them for not being able to find the shoes

  4. Laura says:

    Isn’t the Lord great that He is still so gentle with us no matter how many times we tell him “I don’t want to”. I just hope that he doesn’t stop telling me what he wants just because I am not listening. 🙂

  5. annie says:

    Lovely pic and great writing. I have one little tip that helps me when my brain can remember. If the instruction is not an option, give choices in other ways. Like “do you want to go potty after a snack or after you put your shoes on” or ” Do you want to go potty in this bathroom or that bathroom?” Suddenly there is the discussion of when or where to go potty. It doesn’t always work, but 90% of the time.
    I have so been there with the crazy strong willed child and personally feeling like death warmed over.

    • janine says:

      That’s a great suggestion, Annie! I’m always looking for new ways to approach my strong-willed one. It seems like most of the time I just have to try to stay one step ahead of her, so I appreciate your suggestion on how to tackle some of the everyday occurrences we battle! 🙂

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