As my sweet little girl grows deeper and deeper into the toddler stage it has never been more apparent that we are born with a sinful nature. I never worked to teach her selfishness and manipulation, yet she is learning every day how to leverage these things.

This is a new realm of "tough" in parenting.

I love my daughter. I want with all my heart to believe that she will forever be sweet and innocent and obedient. But sadly I know this is not the way it will be. Not in this sinful world we live in. And lately I am beginning to see the root of sin - selfishness - creep into my little girl. She doesn't mean it to do any harm, but I can tell that her actions are turning into the result of the question, "What do I have to do to get what I want?" Sometimes it is sort of sweet... like insisting on never ending hugs and kisses at bedtime so that I won't leave her room. Other times, like the past couple of nights, it is screaming and crying until Mommy comes into the room - then the waterworks turn off and she wants to play and read books. When did she learn to manipulate like this?

It is really hard to be an honest parent. I have to admit that my child really ISN'T an angel and that she was born into sin in a fallen world, just like the rest of us. My job description is beginning to get longer. I can't just get by with meeting her basic needs anymore. She is reaching an age where teaching and training will become crucial in shaping her behavior. She will need to learn to obey, and more importantly learn about the One who gives us the strength to obey even when it goes against our human desires.

I am (and always have been) excited to watch my little girl grow. I love watching her learn and seeing her gain independence. I'm so proud of who she is becoming. But at the same time I'm a little terrified at how major a role I play in shaping who she becomes! I thank God that I have him by my side... and an awesome church home to help me out as well. But I sure do wish that they could stay innocent forever!
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