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Monday’s child is fair of face, Tuesday’s child is full of grace,Wednesday’s child is full of woe,Thursday’s child has far to go, Friday’s child is loving and giving, Saturday’s child works hard for a living, But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.

~

He was ten months old when it struck me.

This kid might be the death of me.

I’m a strong girl, ok? Embarrassingly enough, I set the wall-sit record for my high school–for over an hour. People, I know how to persevere and hold my ground!

But this boy. 

He would stand up in his crib, and I would lie him back down. He would stand back up. I would lie him back down. He would do it again. A hundred-and-some-odd times. For hours.  I remember, then, in desperation, trying to rock him to sleep. He cried, fighting against my arms, for two hours. I was drenched with sweat and in tears myself by the end. At ten months old he climbed out of his own crib, falling down on the floor without a cry, then opened the door and crawled out of his room.  We worked at potty training for months. You name it, I did it. Drink, rewards, games, discipline, cheerios in the toilet. He’d then proceed to go poop in the corner behind his bed. 

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Teaching him to read had me in tears. Taking him to church had me in tears. Disciplining him eight-thousand times a day had me in tears. I’d shake my head at the end of the day and think, I can’t do this. I’ve met my match. 

And while I don’t believe in fortune telling whatsoever, I often thought of my sweet boy, Thursday’s Child and thought, Yes, he has far to go

We’re only seven years in and I have cried more over this child than anything else in my life. Hands down. He is incredibly intelligent, incredibly strong-willed, and doesn’t give a rip what anyone else thinks. Peer or social pressure carries zero weight with him. This is good, he’s no approval-addict, but it means that all discipline and character needs to truly come from the inside out–out of a submissive, obedient heart, a love for God and us, and a desire to do what’s right. I can’t rely on him wanting to appease people. He doesn’t.

So often, so often, I have cried at night, looking over all the struggles of the day and thought, Ohhe has far to go. 

And then, this week, something is slowly shifting and I realized, 

YES. He DOES have far to go

i.e., HE WILL GO FAR. 

As I watched him consciously submit his will to my commands. As I watched him obey cheerfully, even though I could see the inner struggle. As I heard his tender voice after visiting a particularly unpleasant place, “Mommy, I’m glad we did that.”  As I watched him do his very best at writing, which he hates. As I watched him devour his new Bible, reading for hours on end. As I watched him gently hug and kiss his sister, even when she was moody and pushed him away. As I watched him exercise self-control, keeping his eyes away, when I told him not to look or read the tabloids at the supermarket. As I watched him play kindly and calmly with five little girls. As I watched him up late, every night, reading his encyclopedias by the low light of his lamp. As I watched him pray, “Dada God, please help me to obey.”

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Oh my boy. You DO have far to go. You will indeed go FAR. 

You will go far for the Kingdom. You will go far to bear the good news of the Gospel. You will go far to love others. You will go far to provide for your family. You will go far to work for justice.

You will go far, for the glory of God.

This I believe. And now, as you turn seven, I confess to God my own weakness, and how often I fall short in raising and training and loving and nurturing you as I should.

But I commit afresh, to go far.

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I will go far for you.

Far beyond my tiredness. Far beyond my impatience. Far beyond my natural abilities. Far beyond my comfort zone. I will go far for you, my son, because I believe you will go far for God.

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Happy birthday, Dutch. I love you so much. 

And now, off to make cupcakes… 😉 Thanks for reading.

  • Shirley Stephens

    Thank you for reminding us that it’s a hard job to be a Mom but it’s one with the greatest reward! We do our best then give them to God to do the rest. Praying that you walk your journey knowing that when you are weak He is strong! Blessings!

  • Elizabeth

    my friend, you are such an encouragement. happy birthday to your sweet boy!

  • Kari, what an encouragement. Thank you.
    I am five years in with a strong little woman who, on a daily basis, succeeds at making me feel as if I’d just get out of the way she’d go ahead and raise herself. Sometimes I feel like I’m alone. Or losing it. Or both. This post served to remind me that that I am neither. Thanks again. I’m on the right track and I can’t wait to see what God has planned for her. 🙂

    Also, I love your blog and look forward to each post. Merry Christmas!

  • April

    Oh that was a tear jerker!

  • I am so blessed for reading this. I wish I could sit with you over coffee and discuss how you managed to persevere an what tactics were successful in the end. I am knee deep in my own parenting struggles with my oldest daughter (almost 2). I know, young! But I can see that personality and eyes. So often I feel like I am at a loss. So encouraged to see there is an end in sight!

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