Years ago a friend approached me and told me I was wrong to use the word “proud” when I wrote articles because it is not a godly attitude. I didn’t immediately disagree with her because I wanted to think it over. Many times over the years I’ve reflected back and each time I have decided to stick with my word – a word that perfectly expresses how I feel at times toward another person, especially my children or grandchildren.

I don’t use the word “proud”  in a way that causes the reader to think that I am exalting myself or putting myself above others. I merely use it to express how I am grateful for some progress or behavior in someone I care about. Someone once said that to be proud of your son or daughter meant that you were glad that child was yours and no one elses. I think that’s a fair description of the pride I’m talking about.  I’ve spent many years very proud of my children and many years hanging my head in sadness over them. Since we have 15 children, many of whom are special needs, you can imagine the things we’ve experienced as their parents. But today I am focusing on the good things – just because I can.

Let me tell you some things I’m proud of – some things my kids have done to generate that peaceful goodwill feeling of pride – a happiness that God made me their Mom. A happiness that I’ve seen fruit of my efforts to raise them for God’s glory. Many of my kids have made their share of mistakes and caused all sorts of consequences to fall on themselves and their family. But today, I’m reflecting on the recent events that for this moment in time, I am swelled with pride. If that is a sinful attitude in the eyes of my reader, then I guess I’m guilty without excuse. I think it is a good thing to be proud of your children. Here are a few blessings I’m counting today – my 5 oldest daughters.

April is such a good mom. I choke up every time I think about her with my grandsons Isaac and Hudson. To watch her parent is something that makes the world OK. What a blessing to see the love she has for those two little boys that I so adore.  She’s the one who was always there, like my shadow that is there every time I turned around…even on the dark days. 

Lauren has turned her heart toward her God. He showed Himself to her recently and she saw Him for the first time in all His glory. What an event! We talk by phone often and most of the time we share about how good God is and how He’s working in her life. God was kind to both her and me when He took her out of the world and planted her in my lap. 

Katie is like a porcelain vase that sits on the shelf reminding me of all the beautiful things God has created for my enjoyment. She’s the one who reminds me that there is a quiet consistency in God’s love. I smile in my heart every time I think of her because she is a tried and true child of God who is a perfect example of God’s loving heart.  To this day, I can say she has never grieved my heart.

Devin is a good example of God’s grace because of what she’s overcome. Her beginnings could have caused the strongest man to fold, but not her. She found herself a kind hearted husband and has built herself a life out of the ashes. Her desire to have and be close to family is very encouraging to me. When I wonder if we’ll ever be one tight/solid family, I think of Devin and what she’s accomplished.

Marissa has found her sweetness. When she was younger I saw a sweetness in her that I knew some day would mark her as special. As a teen she was never content to just be near, often times she would find the little corner left on my chair and park herself right there. Today I found that sweet girl again when she called me to let me know that she was reaching out to encourage her brother. Wow. She’s really grown.

I could go on and tell you about how Levi has helped me with the house today or how hard Jacob has worked these past few weeks for college money. Or I could write of how Jesse  respectfully listened to my counsel on the phone earlier, or even about the three “out of the blue” presents Jillian gave me yesterday, but I won’t. I’ll save that for another day. For now, this moment in time, I sit here with my white chocolate flavored coffee and chocolate chip Chewy Dipps granola bar, blogging and basking in God’s goodness.

Tomorrow is another day. Tomorrow I have to endure a bitter sweet moment when I take Jillian to the airport and have to return home without her. But that’s tomorrow. I’ll wait and deal with that tomorrow – there’s too much good stuff to dwell on today.