"Put those toys away - now. Clean your room - now. Do your homework - now. Stop fighting with your brother! Now! OK! Go to your rooms!" Later: "You have to have the car back before midnight!" And the hours of dozing on the couch until the back door opened.
Often I lost my temper. Often I didn't think I could take ANOTHER MINUTE of listening to arguing and whining and lame excuses.
Then suddenly I had a little body on my lap or a teen's feet in my lap and life was beautiful and serene again. I loved my babies and teens so much. Somehow i got the energy to keep going.
Deep down, I believed and believe now that God had given me my children, and trusted me to raise them - for Him. How amazing - each time I held a baby, I knew I was holding a being who would live eternally. What in my life could be more important than raising these children well? Teaching them values? Teaching them that they were our beloved children but first of all God's beloved children? Teaching them responsibility and self-discipline and prayer and love?
My greatest blessing was and is that my husband and I have the same beliefs and values. We discussed those beliefs and values while we dated. Knowing we both wanted children as the greatest gift we could have was one of the reasons we married.
We both had to grow spiritually to help our children grow spiritually, had to practice what we preached. Had to learn to control our tempers, learn to keep on loving even when our children seemed unlovable. Had to learn to lean on God's strength rather than our own. Had to trust that if we failed them through a lack of wisdom and maturity, that He would provide. Every day we prayed - and continue to pray - "God, cover our children with Your Love."