And God did continue to bless me with children, and drew me closer to Him as the years went by. Every child was such a tremendous gift, and I rejoiced like Hannah: "For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him." I Samuel 1:27 I still praise God and thank Him for each child, while praying for the ones still on earth, nearly thirty-four years after the day my first foster child was laid in my arms, entrusted to me.
As life went on, my two most frequent personal requests of my Heavenly Father was to be given strength, and patience. At times I was given a child who presented unexpected and great frustrations. But because so much prayer had gone into each adoption, I believed that each was the right one. Many times I asked God to show me the reason. And in time, He did. After all, God never said life would have no frustration or exhaustion. And how would I grow in grace with no trials?
In general, I believe I was and am a cheerful, loving mother. I was consistent, strict and as fair as I could be. I wasn't the best housekeeper, but I was very good at organizing my family. My greatest goal was to help each child develop to their full potential, and become the most capable, and happy adult they could be.
I was not a perfect parent. My greatest trials in life have been exhaustion, and my own self. I so yearned to be perfect for the God I loved so much, and could not. Lack of sleep was the hardest thing. Daily life did not exhaust me. My life, my family exhilarated and fulfilled me! But a prolonged lack of sleep could break me down. Much grief and prayer was about this very thing. * * * Thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth. Oh turn unto me, and have mercy upon me; give Thy strength unto Thy servant. Psalm 86:15,16 * * * For Thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon Thee. Psalm 86:5 * * * Knowing that God forgave my sins when I asked Him to, comforted me beyond measure. I always believed that things would improve, and God would give me the resources needed to cope. And things always did improve. Many times I remembered the verse: "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31
Thus saith the Lord that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee: . . . I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring: and they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses. Isaiah 44: 2a, and 3-4 * * * Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 * * * Jesus promised: I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight. Isaiah 45:2 * * * For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Matthew 18:20 * * * A powerful verse rarely quoted, applies to my love for my children: "for love is stronger than death". Song Of Solomon 8:6b And it is. For even after my child has died, our love continues. For all eternity, we will be together in Heaven, loving each other still, and with the purest love of all.
It's been a wonderful, rewarding thirty-three years of parenthood, and I fully expect to have at least thirty-three more. I still love nurturing, and I still need to be needed. My children continue to amaze and delight me, particularly their personal walks with the Lord. Every one of them who is able to understand, is a born-again Christian. That is the greatest joy of my life. Three are married, two are parents, one is a teacher, one is a police officer. I am proud of every one. My daughter Skyla, who is in a wheelchair, is married, and runs her own household with no help. That is a career to be proud of! To God be the glory, great things He has done! My most frequent prayer is a joyous exhalation: "Oh Lord, my Lord, how magnificent is thy name in all the earth!" * * * "I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name forevermore." Psalm 86:12.