The Sampler – I Have A Three Year Old

sampler-main-180-pix.jpg5 Minutes for Mom brings you exclusive samplings from the best mom blogs in our weekly column, The Sampler, hosted by 5 Minutes for Mom contributing editor Shera, from A Frog In My Soup.

Amanda blogs about every day life at her blog, I Am Mommy. As I was browsing around Amanda’s blog and stumbled upon her “100 Things About Little Ole Me” post and discovered a few things that I simply had to share with you. Amanda loves Jesus, she’s mother to two boys, but wants 10 kids, she refers to her husband as “hot”, and she’s obsessed with vacuuming … just to name a few. She truly does love her children and her hubby and really enjoys spending time with them. In her own words sh’e also “a very amateur photographer, a very amateur writer, a slightly addicted blogger and interested in getting into the study of apologetics.” To get to know Amanda better, be sure to visit her blog!

I have a three year old.

When I say it, I never know what feeling it is going to inspire in me.

Sometimes I even feel a bit of boastfulness at his demeanor. He can be thoughtful, insightful, and oh so obedient.

And other times I am feeling happy just to have made it through the day without anyone screaming, hitting or biting. I have a 3 year old, and I am surviving!

Often in the presence of others… “Oh really? You also have a 3 year old who is reading, writing and reciting Shakespeare, speaks three languages and always shares?” I am sure mine will catch up…. right???

And just plain Fear
Is he going to erupt in the middle of Aunt June’s funeral? Will he start screaming and throwing a fit in Target because I won’t let him pretend to turn on the vacuums? Will he throw his food at strangers in McDonalds? Will he say that he wants to go to Fuddruckers (which he always mispronounces) again in front of my pastor?

But today, I added a whole new set of feelings to my repertoire.

This morning, my little angel started shoving his 2 year old brother off of the couch and throwing his matchbox cars across the room; when I tried to correct his behavior, he punched me in the thigh.

I sat down, with all the grace and patience I could muster, and spoke very calmly to my baby. “Honey, you are not allowed to hit mommy or throw things or push your brother. Those things are mean and make us hurt and feel bad. Please say your sorry and ask for forgiveness. We need to learn how to play with each other and how to respect others.”

My child, my precious first born, looked at me with almost tears brimming in his beautifully large watchful eyes and said…

“No mommy. Not sorry.”

I could not have lacked grace, understanding, and patience more in that moment. That child saw the momentary confusion in my horrified expression, took it as an immediate sign of weakness, and ran away.

As I sat and fumed and felt thoughts of disgust and anger at the total absence of compassion in my child, I recalled a lesson I once heard preached. It was a story from a book written by Chuck Swindoll called The Grace Awakening (greatly paraphrased on my part).

Hypothesize you have a small child…a son, the light of your life; your pride and joy; the apple of your eye. One day something horrific happens to him – he is murdered. The police catch the murderer and he is prosecuted. You are totally unable to live with the legal system and how it handles the murderer, so you hunt him down and take his life; An eye for an eye.

That is vengeance.

Suppose that instead of choosing vengeance, you submit to the court system. You allow a judge and jury to decide the fate of the murderer; the murderer is found guilty and sentenced to life in prison. You accept this verdict, and slowly move on and rebuild your life.

That is legal justice.

Consider, instead of just allowing the judge and jury to decide the fate of the man who murdered your son, you plead on his behalf. You act as a character witness in court. You are so compelling, the judge and jury decide to let the murderer go. And when that murderer walks free from that courtroom, you run to him, embrace him, and offer him total and complete forgiveness. You offer him a place to live. You offer him unconditional love.

That is grace.

Now, I know of no man on earth that can offer that kind of grace.

Only God is capable of that, and He does it for us on a daily basis.

It does not matter what sin we have committed against Him, He is always willing to forgive us, as long as we ask and truly repent.

I can only begin to tell you how many characteristics of God I have strived for since my little one first made his appearance in the world. But the one I have often felt most necessary to achieve is grace. I know I have to teach my child what respect, love, compassion, and grace feel like, but more importantly, what they look like. I am grateful for knowing I have the greatest Teacher in the universe to guide me and be my ever present example.

I take great comfort in striving to be the parent to my children that God is to me. I love knowing that when we allow Him to guide us, we are following the best Example that was or ever will be.

~ Written by Amanda of I Am Mommy.

If you would like to be considered for The Sampler please review The Sampler Guidelines.

This column is Hosted by Shera. She can be found at A Frog In My Soup


  1. says

    That’s a great way to look at it–striving to be the parent to your children that God is to you. SUCH a hard thing to attain, but if I could be more mindful of that I’m sure it would help me keep my composure and make an even greater effort to correct in love rather than from anger or frustration. Thanks for the perspective!

  2. ElizaBeth says

    Grace and mercy in discipline— I’m still working on that one. I’ve found it harder as they get older. I thought the more you practiced the easier things it becomes. Guess thats why its called growing and not accomplishing. Its so wonderful to see it played out in writng, to know there are others that have “one of those days” too.

  3. says

    Amanda seems to be intersting mother and I just want to go to her blog. 10 kids huf! I cant manage my only daughter jessie all these days sometimes she will be crazy even now…! you know she studies fashion designing in college!!
    Yours is anice blog.

  4. says

    You’ve completely captured life with a 3 year old! Mine hasn’t uttered “not sorry” yet, but I know the day will come. Thank you for presenting the possibility, and some sane thought behind how to respond (as opposed to the classic, “then I’ll give you something to be sorry about!oh you will be sorry!”)….Grace and unconditional love in discipline. I like it.

  5. Linnea says

    Awesome, Amanda! I laughed out loud more than once. You definitely have a gift in writing! Thank you for the inspiring words.

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