The best part of who I am is my children.
That is the honest truth. I can say that and mean it with all that I am.
My children are far from perfect. Frequently, I am amazed at the people that they are. They are smart, funny, thoughtful, they have goals and plans.
They pray, they read the word of God, they desire to do a work for Him.
Being a mother has been the easiest and the hardest thing I have ever done.
It has been easy because there is so much love in me for them.
I remember vividly how it felt to hold each tiny life in my arms. I remember the sweet smell of their baby breath on my face. I remember the tinkling laughter that filled my heart with such joy.
I can tell you, unequivocally that love has only grown. I look at them and think "Wow, really Jesus? You really love ME just this much?"
Even now, when they are big, *grown* adults, though, there are times when being a mother is the hardest thing I have ever done.
I made a promise to them a long, long time ago. I made a promise to do what was right even when it hurt.
I made a promise not to take the easy path, not to just let things go that I knew were not right.
I made a promise to tell them how I felt and WHY I felt that way concerning things that I felt were dangerous.
And I have tried so very hard to live up to those promises. Because, you see, when you love, really, really love, it is not always easy.
I can remember when they were little I would tell them, "If you do *this* I will have to do *this*." And then when they did I would tell them, "I don't want to do *this* but I have to, because I told you that I would."
I remember when I was a teenager laying in bed one night, crying because my parents were so unfair. I told my mother, "I just want to be like everyone else."
I am sure my children have felt the same way. But, like my own parents I did not change my mind.
I told my daughter today that carrying the load of responsibility you carry as a parent becomes so heavy at times.
But you cannot put it down.
One of my favorite sayings that my children have heard more times than they probably want to admit is "It is my job as a parent to make sure that when you grow up you don't have regrets because I was not doing my job as a parent."
Sure, I could have let them do whatever they wanted. I could have said of their mistakes "You did this to yourself," but that would not have been entirely true. Some of the blame for their youthful follies would rest on me.
So, in the name of my love for them I have said "No" when it hurt me to say no.
I have denied them things that other parents allowed their children.
I have made them do things they did not want to do and not allowed them to do things they so desperately wanted to do.
In the name of love I have given them the best I know how to give. I have been the best I know how to be. And, as always, I pray I have been enough, done enough, given enough to the precious lives I was entrusted with all those years ago.
Thank You, for loving me this much, Lord. I want nothing more than to be worthy of You.