I’ve received a plethora of gifts from my kids over the past 25+ years. They’ve given me pillows, coupon books good for clean rooms and made beds, jewelry, trinkets, stuff for my garden, CD’s, and books. My daughter has painted a couple of pictures just for me.
I have valued and appreciated every Mother’s Day, Christmas, Birthday, Anniversary, and Just Because gift my kids have ever given me.
I think, however, that all moms agree that the most precious gifts one can receive from our kids cannot be tied with a bow. They are words—words from the heart.
My daughter, Gia stopped by yesterday to do her laundry. What will we do when she can afford to get her own washing machine? We’ll never see her!
But I digress.
Gia gave me a great gift yesterday—she told me how grateful she was that I never gave up on her. She has told me this before, but I need to hear it again every once in a while, and I think she needs to say it. She usually finds a new context in which to frame her appreciation.
“Dallas and I have discussed this so many times. We both know that if you’d given up on us, we’d be dead.”
I know how exhausting it is to raise strong-willed kids. I rarely had days all to myself when we were raising Dallas, Drew, and Giana, but I sure appreciated every millisecond of “me” time. And when the strong-willed child becomes a drug addict, a mom’s road becomes more harrowing and unpredictable. She never stops worrying and praying, and somewhere along the way—she forgets to sleep!
I know moms in that situation and I always encourage them to never give up. I KNOW it’s easier said than done—especially when the road is longer and more treacherous than they ever imagined it would be!
Giana told me, “If you had ever said, ‘I give up on you’, I would’ve shouted ‘FREEDOM’, and I would’ve been gone!” She went on, “and today, I’d be dead”.
Wow! Those words make all the sleepless nights, tear-stained pillows, desperate pleas to God, financial investment, and personal loss SO worth it!
I’ll never forget sitting in front of the Junior High pastor at our church when Dallas was 14. He was telling me that Dallas was “too hard” and he told me my son wasn’t welcomed back at church. “I’ve given him chance after chance”, the pastor said, “and all he does is bite me in the butt.”
I responded, “Is that what Jesus says?”
“Don’t throw Jesus in my face!”
That pastor was one of many tired teachers who gave up on my son. Tom and I, however, never surrendered, as we believed the battle would be won.
I know how hard the journey is for the mom (and dad) of a prodigal. I know how tough it is to raise a strong-willed child, or a special needs child. But the journey IS worth it!
Don’t give up. Never give up!
Dallas, Drew, Giana…I LOVE YOU GUYS!!