If you are a mom of a toddler or even a preschooler you know this pattern all too well. This stage is hard; I know I feel like a broken record at times. I was reminded by a dear friend recently that this season of life also has the potential to bear much fruit.

The last day or so has been challenging with constantly correcting Toby and Wyatt's behaviors, disciplining them, and then watching them repeat what they just got in trouble for. I just want them to get it... you know how I feel!! In your head your screaming, "seriously child??? Am I speaking in English? Do we need to get your hearing checked?" If you have a toddler or preschooler, I'm sure you have been in my boat- especially if it's your firstborn or they are as strong-willed as one of my kids.

It's in these moments that I see the worse of both of us come out. Sometimes, I feel like the Lord is smiling at me saying, "you asked me to point out your you see them?" You see it's not just my son who is being corrected time and time again; I too am being pruned by Christ. It's in parenting that I have seen my ugly sin patterns come to light. Oh, friend, it's in these moments I grimace at the ugliness in my heart and then know I need to go before my Heavenly Father and ask forgiveness and help in changing my own heart.

Lately, my heart has been encouraged that we as parents aren't enough for our kids. They too are in desperate need of a Savior. I have been called to point them to Christ; even amidst my own flawlessness. He will be there to guide them the rest of the way.

 Specifically, the Lord has been showing me the power of prayer for our kids. We need to be in constant prayer for them because we are in a constant battle for our kid's hearts. We are at war every day with someone we can't see but who constantly tempts us to sin. Praise God we have a great warrior on our side; His name is Jesus. The secret to winning this daily battle is calling upon his name! He already claimed victory over death and sin- all we have to do is cry out to him and He rescues us. You see we have a great tool on our side and it is the power of prayer and the Word of the Lord. Paul says in Ephesians 6:13-18, that we are to "...take up the full armor of God"; this Paul goes on to say, "...includes the Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" he also says in these verses that we are to be "praying at all times in the Spirit". In his first letter to the Thessalonians, he tells them to "...pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and again in Colossians 4:2, we are to "continue steadfastly in prayer..". We see  in Luke 18:1, Jesus tells his disciples "...that they ought always to pray and not lose heart." You see there is verse after verse, in directing us to pray and how to pray to our Father. How encouraging to be able to ask for help from a loving Father who bends down and hears our cries and prayers.

So, friends, I hope that when you are discouraged this week in the midst of a kid throwing a tantrum or feel guilty for speaking harshly in return, that instead, you are able to get on your knees and pray for help! This is my hearts prayer for you this week, as we together strive to discipline our children in love and show them Christ's love and his beautiful story of grace and mercy, that you not forgot to get on your knees and pray for help.

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