The day each of my children came into my life is permanently etched in my mind. I can remember each detail and the moment I held both of them for the first time. I remember thinking about the things I was excited about for each of them...my dreams and hopes and expectations. Ava was a very peaceful infant. She didn't cry much...she ate, she slept, she cuddled. She was pretty easy...until age 2. The year from age 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 was my hardest year as a parent so far. We struggled with attitudes, fits, complete melt downs, and tears (on both our parts). I constantly questioned (and continue to question) what we are doing as parents and how to raise this strong-willed, confident, and opinionated child well. This past week we had another complete child-parent melt down moment. Ava was being incredibly selfish and I was about at the end of my rope...did I mention she had been screaming for about 20 minutes at this point? One of those dreams I talked about is that my kids would be willing to hold their "stuff" loosely and willing to give freely...super easy, right?:) I have noticed lately that Ava is very concerned about getting "stuff." I know we have perpetuated this and I wanted to figure out how to end it. I told her that she had to go home and pick something out and give it away to someone...I don't care what it is, but you have to give it away. She said to me "Maybe I can pick out something I don't like and never use." Wow. Our sin nature is rough even as kids! She was pretty mad at me and told me for the first time that I was a bad mommy. Yikes. After about 20 minutes she apologized and said that maybe we could start over (this is what she says when she knows she is in trouble for a bad attitude). She went into time out and I went and prayed that I would survive until Caleb got home. After a few minutes I went to check on her and asked what she was doing. She told me "I am asking Jesus to come into my heart." I asked her what she meant and then we got to talk about Jesus being the Savior of her life. We prayed together for Jesus to forgive her of sin and for Him to be with her each day. This will just be one moment in Ava's spiritual journey but it was a huge moment in mine. To be able to pray with my almost 4 year old and have her aware that God loved her so much that he sent Jesus to die to take away her sin was a priceless moment. We will keep talking. We will keep praying...she will keep asking questions but I am grateful to get to be a part of the amazing journey she is on. The next day she asked if she was being a good listener. I told her yes and she said "It's because Jesus lives in my heart and I am trying to be a good listener." My prayer for you dearest Ava...as you read this many years from now...is that you are still making decisions and looking at life through the lense of your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.