To the Mom of Spirited Children


Christian mom and blogger Courtney DeFeo prays for three gifts for parents of spirited children.

I interrupt your holiday madness to talk about your spirited children.

If you follow me on Instagram and see the oversharing of my Tars, you know this kid is a piece of work. I wrote about the topic before. She was just what I needed.

I thought I had figured out this mom thing with Ella. The truth is that Ella came out saying “yes ma’am” and sitting nicely in a high chair. There’s something a spirited child does for your soul, your faith, your grey hair and your headaches.

She’s just magical. And defiant. And hysterical. And an absolute delight and challenge.

She’s tough as nails and probably the funniest human I know.

She’s smart as a whip and sweet as a bunny.

She doesn’t miss a beat.

She loves big and fights big.

She’s my sweet baby Larson.

For those that are facing challenging moments like me, I have three gifts I am praying for us this Christmas.

1) Self-control:

Some of you are born with this gift and some of you are like me – it’s not in you. I haven’t been able to stick to a diet, um ever. I can’t put down my phone, um for a second. I have trouble with budget. Self-control is an area God is continuing to wave in front of my eyes as a MAJOR growth opportunity. Isn’t that a nice way to say that? The truth is that Larson needs my self-control. She needs structure. She needs my yes to be my yes and my no to be my no. She is so smart. She has learned to break a rule and make a joke and get away with it. I need to set boundaries (AGAIN) and stick to them. She has to know Ron/I are a team and as strong as her spirit proves to be – she is not going to break us. Oh, no ma’am. We are the parents! (Imagine us in capes locking arms.)

2) Teachable Spirit:

I have been asking her for a week to play with this friend in her class and her answer is, “NO! I don’t want to!” Another child of mine would say (after a sweet devotion and talk about God’s love for all friends), “Ok Mom, I understand. I’ll play with her tomorrow.” Now, if I went the reverse with Larson and said “don’t play with her!” She’d probably agree to it. That little stinker. (Don’t worry I’ll delete this before she railroads me into an iPad one day). I was so frustrated tonight that my brilliant teaching on friendship wasn’t working. I just starting praying. She covered her ears and I kept praying. I prayed out loud about friends and how great she was at making friends and how others loved her. How much we loved this girl and wanted her to have so many friends just like Larson. Then, I silently begged God for a teachable spirit in my child. I want her heart open to his Word and making wise choices. Yes, she is four. I know. But we can do better than this.

3) Expectations:

This one opposes the last advice a bit – but I need to manage my expectations. The things I ask this kid to do are way beyond the level for 4 and 1/2. She is my second. She acts 7 and often older. She thinks she is 12. So, I treat her that way often. And I’m disappointed and shocked when she acts 4. I am praying tonight that I have a refreshed set of expectations with my girl.

Hang tough sweet mommas. They are tough, but you are still the MOM. Say it… I am the MOM!

Thank you LORD for this firecracker, ball of goodness. I mean, who else would coin “spirit toes” and show her mom for 8 hours in the car?


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