My daughter, God bless her, is such a joy. She is enthusiastic and full of life. She cares for others and is always ready to help. She is quick with a hug or a kiss on the cheek. She loves fully and gently but is tough as nails and can hold her own in any punching match. I cannot imagine life without my daughter and the joy she brings to our family.
But, this was not always the case for Ms. Austin. There were days when she was not very nice. There were moments when she was not very sweet. In fact, there were times when she was down right mean.
There was a time when my daughter, like a dog protecting its food, would position herself between her siblings and her toys and growl. She would curl her upper lip and emit a deep rumble from deep in her throat. When they would back off, and they always backed off, she would shake her curly red locks and walk away. She had all her shots but we were concerned. It was quite a sight to see and many people, even to this day, find the truth hard to believe. If it were not for the one picture above, no one would ever believe it.
Of course, this was behavior we did not want to encourage. In fact, we did everything in our power to put an end to this. We tried scolding and loving. We offered bribes, spoke sternly, sent her to her room, but nothing seemed to work. And so, we did what every good parent would do. We prayed.
Every morning, every evening, every meal, we prayed. “Dear God, thank you for our daughter. PLEASE make her sweet.” And one day, she was. There came a day when my daughter became sweet. She stopped growling at her brother and put her arm around his shoulder to help him up. She did not curl her lips and bare her teeth but offered a drink of her milk. She laughed at his jokes. She gave him a kiss on the cheek. She shared her toys. In a word, she was sweet.
Today, my children are fast friends. They care deeply about each other and miss one another when one is gone for any length of time. It is truly a blessing. And their relationship serves as a constant reminder of the power of prayer and God’s ability to change people. It is a lesson I will never forget.