The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.
When I was a young mom with young children and following my husband's Navy career up and down the New England coast, I was frazzled to say the least. I was out of the baby stage and heading into the talk back stage, the terrible 2's, 3's, and 4's stage, while trying to be the perfect picture of what the unknown perfect Navy wife looked like. (I still have yet to know exactly what she looks like, only that she was a figment of many imaginings).
Nevertheless, I tried. The more I tried, the more I cried. The more I tried to read the child training books and try to be a by the book mom, the more I tried and failed and you guessed it, cried.
At some point in those years, when I had a 2, 3, and 5 year old, I listened to the Focus on the Family radio broadcast regularly. One day after feeling a greater dose of frustration than before, I heard a woman on the program talking about yelling at her kids and how she felt like she was always yelling at them. My ears perked up, I stopped what I was doing (probably yelling at one of my monkeys) and listened to her tell the story how she found she was yelling all the time and somehow she finally got on her literal knees and prayed for God to help her.
That program burned in my ears and my heart, and the next morning, after I got up, I immediately went to my knees on the side of my bed, for the very first time ever, and prayed to God to "give me strength." I didn't know what else to pray for or about, and frankly, I didn't have time to make a long request, the only words I could say were, "Please God, give me strength."
The simple prayer of "Give me strength," became the only prayer I prayed for about five years. I didn't have any big, long listed prayers for anyone or anything but myself to have the strength to do the job He'd given me to do. Be a Wife (a Navy one at that) and a Mom.
I had know idea what I was doing, I just knew that I needed strength to do it. That is the only secret I have for raising kids, asking God for strength to be the wife and Mom He created me to be.
He taught me to rely on Him for strength. We all survived - the kids turned out pretty good, despite those early years of constant yelling. (They don't appear to be too scarred and in need of therapy for years).
He is my Strength.
S is for Strength.