About the Author

Sarah Mae has a past that would be her present if it weren’t for Jesus. A blogger, author, and co-author of Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe, she’s currently writing The Complicated Heart, a book for broken-hearted lovers of Jesus. Learn more at @thecomplicatedheart on Instagram or...

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  1. I can so identify! I had the exact preconceptions as you and was praying the same prayer the other day for our ‘twooooo’ year old! Just last night her giggling and defiance were unbelievable! My husband said the other day that he thought our kids were going to be so quiet and well behaved – God had other plans!

    She’ll be 3 in July – I pray she changes! Scary thing is that her 5.5 month old brother seems to look at her with a ‘hmmm, that looks like a good idea, I might try that one day!’ look when she’s up to her antics!

    May our wild daughters be wild for the Lord – AMEN!

    (I have way too many exclamation marks in this response – lol!!!!!)

  2. I could have written this! Thank you for reminding me of future hope for that fire and to not keep trying to squash it, but to channel it. My older daughter came through it and she will too, but my goodness it’s hard work sometimes!

    • We have to persevere in the hard work. My MIL says these are the days that will help determine how they are when they are older.

  3. This is my prayer also, though my wild spirited child is 12 and knows faaaar more than her mother, and lets me know on a daily basis.

    I’d rather have the terrible twos back!

  4. Oh I remember that age well, especially with my second daughter. She was a monkey, monster all rolled into one. She is now a fiercely independent teenager with a passion for social injustice.

  5. Oh, I’ve been reading&loving your blog:) I especially love what you have said of your little Princess:) I have three girls !! All fiery &strong willed -yikes- but I wouldn’t have it any other ! May they all be trail blazers for the Kingdom:) blessing s Lisa …

  6. I have one of these! I think I wrote a very similar post for HOTM a few months ago. Thinking I was a great mom until….. Whammo! Here she comes! LOL!

    And Yes, God has a wonderful plan for her- watch out world!

  7. Oh, I’m with Carrie on this one. My wild, defiant child is 9, turning 10 in December. However, it is ADHD that is causing her to be like that – not that she was well behaved at 2 or even at 2 months. But I love this girl more than life itself, even through the difficulties.

  8. Oh, I love this! Especially the part about ‘duct taping her to her bed!’ Hilarious!! Haven’t we all been there? Thanks for being REAL and transparent!

  9. So Funny! I love this reminder that our kids’ greatest “weaknesses” are really potentially their greatest strengths in life and in the Kingdom. Oh, may we not break the spirits of our wild ones!

    My daughter said to me the other day that if I didn’t do something she wanted,

    “Jesus is gonna punch you right in the face.”

    Nice– maybe she could be friends with your daughter? πŸ™‚

  10. Neither one of our girls went through the terrible two’s, but when they were both four, I remember quite the challenging times and a whole lot of discipline! They are adults now, and both are wholly following the Lord, and I thank God for them every day!

  11. Thank you for sharing this! I have a 4 year old who is very spirited. Sometimes it is good and sometimes it is difficult to harness. But you are right. The day that her spirit collides with His Spirit will be a glorious one! Thank you for the reminder that great things can be done through kids who have great wills! πŸ™‚

  12. Amen! Your daughter and my daughter, they sound so very much a like! I pray for the same thing for mine, that God will reach her and turn spirited energy for His glory!
    Thanks for sharing.

  13. Oh, I love {LOVE} that you recognize the fire that could burn for Him! How wonderful that instead of seeing the negative you are seeing the positive. She is very lucky to have you for her mama!

  14. I have a Caroline too! She’s 17. πŸ™‚ But my real wild woman was Julia. She’s 13 now, but when she was 2 or 3 I never thought I’d make it with her. I prayed constantly over that child. It wasn’t until she was in about 3rd grade that I started to see changes in her. Big changes. I’m here today to say DON’T GIVE UP PRAYING. It is a beautiful thing to see what God does in our kids’ lives when He gets ahold of their hearts. Today my Julia is a beautiful, calm (!), encouraging child who really loves God with all her heart. Seeing the changes in her over the years has been a true testament to God’s sufficient power in the lives of our kids.

  15. Wonderful Post!
    Raise them up in the way they should go…
    Mine are boys…and adults now. I can tell you though, one is on FIRE for God with all the trimmings; Drummer and singer for our praise team and Youth Leader. The other, my prodigal, is out there…Yet I know that I know when he returns his fruit in the Kingdom will be amazing. When He returns to his First Love…when God calls and takes hold of him…watch out world!
    Praying for you to survive the twinkle in her eyes and those terrible twos!
    Blessings.

  16. Wow, can I relate! My fire ball (Caroline Hope – we call her Hope), will be 3 in a week and we’re still working through this stage. But even through my discipline exhaustion I catch glimpses of the strong and amazing woman she will grow up to be if we keep our eyes focused on the Lord’s leading as we train her. Thanks for this great post!

  17. Oh wow – I so know where you are coming from! My little one will be three in less that six weeks and seems to take delight in frustrating her mummy at every turn!! Just last week she learnt the term ‘crazy!’ … her darling auntie (!) … and has taken it to heart, regularly (and repeatedly) crying out “I’m CRAZY!!” with emphasis on the ‘crazy’ and giggling her head off while falling all over whoever has the honor of being her (then) current audience at that particular moment! CRAZY!!

    “I pray for the grace to get me through this season (and to not duct her to her bed). I pray for a Kingdom heart to be molded into her, and I pray that her fire would be stoked by Jesus…and then burn wild for Him.”
    — Thank you for this wonderful reminder that, what may at times seem to be frustrating disobedience, may simply be her way of expressing that fascination, wonder and delight in all that God blesses us with each day we live here in his creation. It may be his way of helping her express her ‘true’ self, in order that in the future she will have the confidence to use that authentic self to bring glory to His name, no matter the objection she may face. Your words encourage me to stoke those fires of joy and uncontained energy into ones that will one day demonstrate God’s love and passion to those around her, rather than disciplining simple joy in her surroundings and life.

  18. Hey … I have one of those, too! She’s my little lion and once God gets a hold of her heart … watch out! Praying that she will be strong-willed in the right direction! πŸ™‚

  19. It’s comforting to know that I’m not the only one going through this!! My 2 year old, Ellie Faith, has been difficult since birth. Each day is a challenge, but I’ve learned that I can’t go one second without God’s Grace. Ellie has never been content to play with toys, but is always on the go. Her favorite activity recently is to sneak out of the house. She has learned to unlock every door in the house. We plan to get a dead bolt. I feel like I can’t relax because I never know what she is up to next. I used to see children who would throw theirselves on the floor and have a melt down. I would shake my head and say “I would NEVER have a child that does that!” Well, with child #3 I got a child that does just that. I’ll never, ever judge another parent again. Thanks for the encouragement that God has a special plan for my daughter!

  20. I smiling…BIG…because I so, so SO “get” this post… πŸ™‚

    Last week I asked our boys to watch our almost-2-year old (so pray for me because I’m not even truly into the year of TWO yet) while I took out the trash. By the time I got back inside they’d hooked two of our dog’s leashes to her belt loops and had anchored them on chairs on opposite sides of her because “she WOULD NOT STAY IN ONE PLACE”!!! That is sometimes how I feel as well… πŸ™‚

    She’s our fifth. In the mix of the rest of them…we were committed to the same principles and methods of training and teaching and discipline. I’m actually thankful we had another one like this as well because I look at that child, whose heart I am MOST convinced now is dedicated to the Lord…and whose passion is directed (for the most part πŸ™‚ in a way that honors God.

    I think God sometimes knows we need that reminder that parenting is not a formula…we do our best to follow His wisdom…but God is the changer of hearts.
    I love the photos your chose (and this whole post)….I can see that familiar “stinker sparkle” in her expressions πŸ™‚

  21. Oh, I laughed out loud just reading the title and seeing the first photo before I even read the rest of the post! Those first “easy” children can lull us into confidence before the “normal” kids arrive! So funny. My nephew called his second child “my little hornet.” You get the picture.

  22. Oh, can I ever identify with this, Sarah Mae! My oldest is free-spirited and independent, and some days are such struggles. But my husband and I are excited to see how God can use her big personality. (Just praying that she walks with the Lord through her teenage years, or I could have a rough go of it!)

  23. My precious, independant daughter is now 14 on the eve of starting her high school career. She is and amazing young woman who ministers to me often. She stands firm in her faith wherever she is. At two her first full sentance was “I do it” and she is still doing it herself. I am very proud of the strong Christian young woman she is.

  24. AMEN sister! I pray that too, as my first enters teenage years and the whole world goes crazy around him. My best only goes so far. God is the one who will complete the work and that is the hope I cling to and claim!

  25. SarahMae, I can so relate to this post! I have 3 children ages 8, 7, and 2. My older two were so close in age that they went through their “terrible two’s” at the same time but it was nothing! I never had to deal with tantrums, and screaming in grocery stores and I thought to myself, “Wow, what does everybody flip out about?” Then my baby girl came along….
    So very different from her quiet, demure, and compassionate older sister. She is assertive, outgoing, demanding, and outspoken! She has a big personality and at times an even bigger temper. I pray the same thing over her. That her fire would not be put out (even though at times all I can think about is extinguishing it!!!) but that it would be used to bring people to Jesus, and justice to a hurting world!

    Thank you for reminding me yet again, that I am not alone…

    In His love,
    Nicolette

  26. I’ve no kids yet,but the way you tell your story about your adorable girl…it kinda make me feel how it is to have a child…it’s awesome! thanks for sharing it to us! God bless you Sarah!

  27. I taught 3 &4 year olds for years and I believe with all my heart that the children with “sparkle” will be the movers and shakers in our future. They will be able to stand up and say no when they should and yes when it is right. It is channeling the strong will in the right direction. Prayer is essential for wisdom, grace, and patience.

  28. I join u in the prayer for your daughter and lift up my own right now too! In the same way, I pray now that my three beautiful children’s spirits will collide with the maker of the universe and burn passionately for Him for all of their days.

  29. Oh my, Sarah Mae! I have one of those, too. We keep praying for guidance on how to channel all that strong will into positive action. And in the meantime…that we survive! Ha!

    Also? I often try to guess who wrote the day’s (In)Courage post as I read it, but after I saw the first pic of that sweet cherub I KNEW today’s had to be yours! She is the spittin’ image of you! πŸ™‚

    Happy Mother’s Day!

  30. I think your Caroline & my Cadence have the same number. My first wasn’t easy in terms of fussy & developmental stuff; however, she was pretty compliant. And then there was Cadence (whom we call Tay). Marches to the beat of her own drum & ever since she was around 15 months I saw that fire you speak of. We’ve been praying the same prayer over her as you pray for your girl. We should share stories at Relevant (over coffee of course).

  31. This post made me want to cry. Thank you, for reminding me that the passion & determination will one day be used for much good. There are days when I just do not know how to mother my 2nd daughter, my oldest was so very easy. Thank you for turning my thoughts of defeat into prayers for her future. πŸ™‚

  32. You are so wise to see that fire as a gift with great potential to be used in the Kingdom. My two girls were both like this at two (and three and four) but they were both very independent teenagers who were willing to stand out from the crowd. One is now 30 and teaching remedial reading and has such a heart for the hurting people in our area and in other parts of the world. Our youngest is 21 and is finishing a degree in children’s ministry. Although it may be hard in the middle of one of those battles of wills, continue to praise the Lord for that spark he has placed in them!

  33. My lil man is just like this…. I only found your blog post today 3 or 4 days after you posted it but I have to leave a comment…. my son is 2yrs and 3 months and each day is a struggle for me with “I do it all by self”, “I am staying right here”, “you do what I said”, “don’t talk to me like that” and “okay grouchy being his favorite things to say, not to mention climbing on everything, not wanting to wear diapers but then not using the potty- I never knew the carpet needed to be watered on a daily baisis…. with a new baby on the way in 5 weeks I can only pray that this next one is the calm one who has the joy to obey!!!

  34. My youngest wild woman ( I have 2!) is three…just had the plummer out the third time in a 3 week period to retieve things this little woman flushes down the toilet! SIGH….but she is the cutest little princess ever!

    Love your post! as always…

  35. Keep praying, girl! I was that little girl. My mom will tell you that she needed a LOT of God’s hand in my life to get HER through my growing up years. As a crib-bound child, they had to restrain me to my crib as I climbed out all the time. I was the naked kid running up the street. I was the one who sent others upon whom I had unleashed my “spirit” to the front door to tell my mom I had hit, bit or otherwise harmed them in my fervor.
    Now, my spirit and passion are for the Lord and when you get me going, I hope it pours into your soul as well!

  36. Oh, girl, do I hear you! I have the same mentality for my second– so many of my stories begin with “I was a good mom, and then came Henry.” God really has a sense of humor, doesn’t He? I cannot wait to see how God uses that passion in my boy for Him. One day I will look back on these days with fondness and not remember the sheer exhaustion I feel on a minute by minute basis.

  37. I know exactly what you mean. There were times when my one son was 2 (then 3, and 4) that literally wondered (in fear) if he was possessed or something. It was not pretty. But, he was not in fact, possessed…but he just had a fire inside him he didn’t know what to do with. Now he does. He is a passionate, tender, Christ-follower. He’s 10, and reaching out to his friends to see them come to Jesus, had led worship at our church twice, and has a passion for worship. You are exactly right…one the Spirit of God is directing that fire, they are most definitely a force for the Kingdom!!! Hang in there!!