Don’t Give Up

   May your father and mother be glad; may she who gave you birth rejoice!  ~ Proverbs 23: 25

Elise's first Easter

Becoming a mother was one of the most anticipated moments of my life. Finally conceiving after trying for two long years, I thought everything would be smooth sailing from here on out.

Boy, was I wrong.

My beautiful little girl, Elise, was born with a definite mind of her own, and believe me, there was no changing it. From the time she was 18 months old, I knew I had my hands full. I thought she’d just entered the terrible two’s a little early. Wrong. This was her personality and I was going to have to deal with it.

This wasn’t easy for me. As a first- born myself, I could can be a little obstinate as well. It was a stand-off most days as I tried to get her to follow my rules while she was busy making her own. My husband would come home and wonder what in the world all of the fuss was about. I’d be in tears trying to deal with this little person whom I had no control over and, being the baby of the family himself, he couldn’t understand why I just wouldn’t let it go. Hmmph! He wasn’t the one home all day trying to deal with her.

Our darling little daughter was so obstinate she would stand at the top of the stairs screaming at the top of her lungs (she was eight when she started this) wanting us to come up and tuck her in one more time, get her a glass of water (there was a bathroom upstairs with little paper cups) or any other excuse she could think of. Me and my husband would lie in bed, him laughing at her while I wanted to run upstairs and turn her over my knee. Eventually, she’d stop and go back to bed, but not until she’d completely worn herself out.Me and Elise

I finally broke down and read Dr. James Dobson’s book, The Strong-Willed Child. Elise most certainly fell into this category and I needed help. Instead, I ended up in a puddle of tears thinking there were only two options for my daughter—becoming the CEO of a major organization, or prison. The latter one being the future I most likely envisioned for her. There were no other options, or so I thought. Maybe I should have read the whole book. Anywaaaay…

I suffered through many of her obstinate spells over and over and over again, continuing beyond even her middle school years. Some days I believed my bright girl was going to be a rebellious teen who’d never want to come home.

Boy, was I wrong.

Today, when I look at my stunningly beautiful, both inside and out, 20 year-old daughter I am so humbled. She now attends a wonderful Christian university where she is part of a group that travels each weekend singing and sharing the gospel of Jesus. She has one of the biggest servant hearts I’ve ever seen, always putting others first, sometimes even to her detriment. She’s majoring in marketing and wants to go into real estate, while possibly continuing her singing in evangelical venues.

Best of all, she loves to come home. According to her, it’s her favorite place to be in the world. 🙂

She is my best friend.

When she was working on her senior project in high school, she decided to write three songs and record a CD for her submission. Below is one of the songs she ended up recording.

Mama Remember

Verse 1

elise's cd coverDo you remember your little girl

With her hair in messy curls

It seems like now so long ago

You look at all the photographs

Wish that we could all go back

And relive all the times…relive all the times




Mama remember… when all the times

got tough

Mama remember… you’d comfort me with love

You taught me everything I need to know

Always there watching me grow

You believed in me and all

my possibilities


Verse 2

me and elise at graduation

You saved me through those school years

So many days full of tears

Kept me moving in the right direction

You gave me strength to overcome

You picked me up when I was down

You always got me through… always got me through


Verse 3

This little girl time has changed

Now a woman moves away

Elise's senior picture

You made me the person I am today

Gave me courage to chase my dreams

Now it’s time to spread my wings


You made me who I am… made me who I am


As she read me the words to this song, I began weeping uncontrollably. When she finished, I cried for a solid half-hour.  I couldn’t help it. My daughter, whom I’d worried and fretted over the last 17 years, had risen up and called me blessed. All of the tantrums, frustrations and tears had been worth it.

I don’t tell you this to brag on me or my daughter. I tell you this to you to give you hope.

If you’re in the throes of motherhood right now, dealing with a child you can’t imagine becoming a productive and contributing member of society, don’t give up. It will be worth every moment you’ve invested into that little life to see them one day grow up and appreciate what you’ve done for them. You’re my hero. And you’ll become their hero, too. Our society needs moms who are in it for the long haul. Just ask my daughter…


Taylor's Team
Joyful Sound – North Greenville University


Do you have a story of hope born out of the difficulties of motherhood? Please share it below. You never know what mom needs to hear it today.


10 thoughts on “Don’t Give Up”

  1. Oh how I can relate to that strong willed child! But I can also relate to the hope. I’ve seen it too. We mom’s must just persevere, and if we raise them as gifts from God, when we release them back to Him they will most assuredly surprise us 🙂 Great post and love seeing the pictures!

    • You know, Celeste, it really is a gift we can give to other mothers, offering hope in the midst of the daily chaos. I didn’t realize you had dealt with the same thing. The more I learn about you, the more I find how much we have in common! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. I, too, have lived through raising a strong-willed child. He’s 40 now, so we both made it through! It’s always helpful to see someone standing after fighting a similar battle. For others still in the midst of the battle, I would recommend John Rosemond’s books. I discovered him after I needed him, but found that I was doing most of what he recommends.

    Good post, Carol! Thanks for sharing…

    • I wish I’d have met you 18 years ago, Carol. It sure would’ve been nice to have someone to give me hope during those difficult years! Glad we both made it through 🙂 Good luck with your speaking ministry. I love your humor and know others will, too!

  3. What a special post, Carol! We never know why God wires our children the way He does, but we know nothing is by coincidence. Elise is a strong, confident, and beautiful woman (just like her mom!)

    • You are just too sweet, Cathy 🙂 You’re right, God knows what kind of personality they’ll need to get them through life. We just have to trust Him! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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