I have been through quite a year, facing one "punch-in-the-gut" disappointment after another, it seems, with just enough hope in between to entice me to stand up before the next blow. I have spent much time in tearful retrospect, second-guessing myself as a parent, a person, a Christian, but at the end of the day, I find that God never asked me to fix everything, just to be obedient and to do my best. I have done so.
At times, I find myself in a slump and wondering whether I have made a difference at all. But not always. In fact, a little while ago, I received a precious gift of affirmation from my youngest daughter via Facebook post. It read, "What I am most thankful for in my life is my family. My mom has always been a kind hearted woman of God that I want to be just like when I grow older. She is talented and no words could ever express how beautiful she is. My dad has set the expectations of a man for me. He treats my mom like a princess every day and he has never let me or my sister down. My sister is my best friend and I learn a lot from her from her success to her failures. She has always been there for me when I have needed her. Hartley is smart and beautiful and very strong. I would not ever trade any of them for anything." Now, how could I feel anything but blessed? Yes, I have been through some hurtful things this year, but overall, I must be doing something right. I am so thankful for such a tender-hearted daughter and for the positive words that she has spoken into my life today. I hope to always live up to them!