Miss Emma Bean.
She loves music and bright colors!
Her favorite rock star outfit!
She loves animals!
Where's Emma? Oh, playing with the animals.
She is silly!
She loves to laugh and make others laugh too!
She is willing to try new things!
Skateboarding? Let's go!
She is strong willed and determined.
A few years ago she spent nearly the entire summer practicing cartwheels until she could perform them perfectly. I was very impressed!
But every coin has two sides. That strong will and determination that kept Miss Emma Bean practicing those cartwheels is the same strong will that sometimes causes her great grief.
When Miss Bean wants something her way but cannot have it her way, when she wants to do something she is not allowed to do, or when life will not conform to her expectations, her strong will and determination move her to fight for what she may not have.
Miss Bean fights. She yells. She stomps her feet. Miss Bean is left hurting and sad. Not just because she isn't getting her way, but also because when she calms and stops fighting she feels very sorry for her behavior.
What Miss Bean cannot do yet, is distinguish between when it is good to fight...like for those who cannot fight for themselves or to correct injustice...and when it is not good to fight...like when getting what she wants is not good for her or isn't possible at the time.
As Miss Bean's parent it is not easy to hold my tongue when she begins to fight against me. There are times I want to yell right back.
I'm learning a greater measure of patience because of my Miss Bean. Because what I know, what I pray she learns sooner rather than later, is that her strong will and determination, if used for God's glory, will be a great blessing to her and those around her. It is my job to train her, to guide her, and to correct her now, so that her gift of a strong will and determination may become that blessing.
So I will work to remain patient. I will tell my girl that her strong will is a gift! I will tell her that that gift comes with the responsibility to learn when to put it to use, and when to reign it in. It may take some time, but I know she'll get it. She'll get it because my girl is strong willed and determined! And I love her for it!