The soul is healed by being with children.
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky

My children are a deep source of joy to me. They keep me young. They keep me honest. They keep me humble. I can never hide anything from them because they can see right through me. They have taught me what forgiveness looks like because I am the one who makes the dumb “grown-up” mistakes and I keep having to ask forgiveness. And they give it to me readily and so generously.

My children make me laugh. There’s not a day when one of them sets me off. Even when I’m not with them, funny moments will come to mind and I would chuckle to myself. My husband says that we have raised a bunch of fruitcakes and I agree with him wholeheartedly.

There are always challenges in raising children. Raising a child involves pain, sacrifice, stomach ache, headache, heart ache and even heart break. Infancy, toddling years, tween years, adolescence, college, and beyond, every stage has its own special brand of challenges. But I have grown to see those challenges (most times) as opportunities to love, opportunities to grow, opportunities to help the child, my husband, and myself, advance in reaching our full potential as human beings.

Raising a child with love is hard and even messy, but the rewards far outweigh the sacrifice. I cannot begin to count the number of hugs, kisses, and “I love you’s” I have received over the last 27 years of being a mother. Those moments of affection are like rivers of healing waters to my soul.

I am so grateful for these joys of my life. They have taught me to live my life to the full.

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
~ John 10:10

This picture was taken by my children for a calendar they gave me last Christmas.  Nerf gun wars are fought in our home to epic proportions.
This picture was taken by my children for a calendar they gave me last Christmas. Nerf gun wars are fought in our home to epic proportions.

Today is Day 18 of 21-Day Gratitude Challenge.