One of my children is currently testing my patience to the max. The other day, it had been an especially trying day, and I was feeling ready to pull my hair out. I walked into my closet and cried out to the Lord in desperation:

“I can’t do this anymore. I’m so tired of dealing with the same issues and attitudes again and again. It seems all of my efforts aren’t going anywhere. I’m ready to give up, God.”

Right at that moment, when I was feeling exhausted, spent, and at my wit’s end, a still small voice spoke to my heart and asked, “What if I had given up on you?”

My mind immediately was flooded with so many examples of times when I stubbornly refused to follow where God was leading. When I went my own way, even though I knew it was the wrong way.

Yet, when I least deserved it, God extended His grace toward me.

When I failed Him, He didn’t fail or forsake me.

When I made a complete mess of things, He didn’t stop loving me.

He’s had every reason to give up on me as I’ve bumbled, stumbled, grumbled, and fumbled my way through life. But He hasn’t given up on me.

I left my closet with a renewed appreciation for how much my Lord loves me and a renewed dedication to keep loving my difficult child in the same way my Heavenly Father has loved me.

This child is still struggling and there are still moments that I feel like throwing in the towel, but the Lord continues to whisper to me, “I didn’t give up on you” and it gives me hope and strength to press on in this rough season of mothering.

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  1. I recently had the same experience and God lovingly told me that He never gives up on me. Quite humbling!

    1. Me, too. God is so good to us.

  2. This is so good, Crystal! Thank you for being open with your heart and your own struggles.

  3. I needed this reminder today. Our foster daughters are testing my patience and I so badly want to give up and send them away. I need to rest in God's timing for their return to their home and love them as I have been loved.

    1. Oh, I remember the day perfectly when God spoke to me. I was at my wits end with our 3 yr old foster son and wanted to send him back to his mother whether she was ready or not. I was telling God all of the reasons I didn't need this extra frustration and head ache. It was also taking my energy away from my four forever family children! God let me rant and rave and then gently, but loudly said. "Angie. you are my child. I have never quit on you and Adam is forever going to be a part of your heart. I will let you know when it is time for him to move back. BE STILL." Wow, my attitude was able to get back in line.
      I am praying for you and your girl.

      From some that understands,

  4. I am there just about every day, it seems! The repetitive struggles just wear me out. But without God's grace and forgiveness, I absolutely wouldn't be who I am today. I owe it to my children to love and forgive and walk through these struggles with them. Just some days it seems impossible and some days I don't even know where to start.

  5. I really needed this today! My (almost) 2 year old is constantly wanting something different this week, she is not eating anything I make even when she requests it by name (and she does know what she is asking for) and just go go go go go for her this week.. It's hard, but thank you for the kind words, it seems like they were for me today =]

  6. Tammy Shelton says:

    I can't tell you how many times I've had moments like these. I THANK GOD that I have faith in Him and that He loves me so unconditionally. I THANK GOD… that He Never Fails me.

    It's hard to love your kids the way God loves us. I'm not sure it's totally possible, but I sure try, and I BEG GOD to tell me when I'm not loving my kids the way He would. I don't want to ever get so out of line that my kids don't know -without a shadow of a doubt- how much I love them. That would just break my heart.

    Thanks for your post and today's kick in the pants to remember to love my kids like God loves me.

  7. I am so very much there right now. Thank you for the encouragement and the reminder!!

  8. I think I needed to be reminded of this as well. Thank you!

  9. I needed this more than you know today. Our oldest daughter, our miracle of adoption, has Epilepsy. The week before Thanksgiving she became sick with a virus, but a virus for her is not necessarily just a virus. She ended up in the hospital, thankfully just for one night. She was released on Thanksgiving day. Well, that night our youngest daughter came down with the same virus. It of course reacted differently with her and it took a week for her to get over it. Today our oldest had to leave school due to a severe ear infection. I am beyond exhausted and wondering why, oh why, is this happening to us. Reading this made me realize that I would not be continuing to move forward if God were not carrying me. Thanks!!!

  10. Thanks for posting this! I needed a humbling reminder that God has stood by me and abundantly provided for me even when all I wanted to do was my own thing! bookmarking this for another time when I will no doubt need another reminder of God's grace!

  11. Thank you for sharing this experience. God has perfect timing doesn't he!

  12. Elizabeth K says:

    Thank you for this. I think you may have been inside my head when you wrote this piece, because, you see, I have this 6 year old (and a 4 year old and an almost 2 year old). My 6 year old and I clash. A lot. I think a lot of it is because we're very similar in a lot of ways. I'm ready to run some days. I need to remember that God hasn't given up on me yet. Thanks!

  13. I am a long time follow of money saving mom and I just love that she talk about things that we moms go thru. Kids can really test your nerves and patience. I know our pastor had preached about how to handle kids especially teenagers when they know what button to push. Great Read!

  14. Thank you for this. It is exactly where I have been this week. I've said things and thought things I regret. If God can have patience with me, I can certainly do it for the children in my life…

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  16. Hi Crystal,

    Thanks for writing this article and giving your honest experience and feelings with your children. I can relate to your feelings in this article. I have a almost 5 year old who I have struggled with his behavior and high energy level. He has always been very demanding of attention and I never felt like I was giving him enough of my time. There has been so many times that I have felt hopeless and been in tears with my son, and his behavior problems.

    I just want you to know the struggles and issues have gotten better for me with age. In my personal experience when a nurturing, structured, and fast paced environment was added, the problems and behaviors became less frequent , over time. He is now in his second year of preschool and I rarely see the problems I saw when he was a young toddler. He loves school, and in fact, when he was sick last week he was begging me to let him go to school. I feel the busy day my son has in daycare helps him to diffuse his high energy level in a more positive manor.

  17. Amen! i've also heard Him whisper, "Show them mercy, because I have shown you mercy," when I've been close to yelling at them…and I've also heard Him tell me when I was complaining about being overwhelmed with my kids that it wasn't my kids that was causing me problems, it was my own lack of discipline. Wow.

  18. As Mom's we always seem to feel that we have to have it all together … all.of.the.time.
    Letting go a little, going with the flow and the moment and listening to the small voice we know is trying to reach us just requires us to stop a little, wait a little, pray a little more …
    but I know these days well, oh yes, I do.
    Much love to you …

  19. What timing! Both my toddlers have been working my patience and I so understand this story. God has an amazing way of showing us how He has dealt with us through dealing with our own children. :

  20. I wish i could believe in God he would help me understand why my husband left me, or an answer if maybe it could happen.

    1. Oh, Karen! I pray that you will! It must feel soo terrible to have your husband leave you. Even when our lives are crazy and out of control, and we feel like the earth is shaking, God is constant, true and good. I hope you can find someone to encourage you (in person) to take that big jump and allow yourself to believe that God is real and that He cares for you. In the meantime, can you look up the book of John from the Bible and read it? maybe 1 John, too.

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  22. This is very similar to what Michele Dugger quotes in her book. great testimonies!

  23. 🙁 I feel the same way. Days go by and I’m merely in survival mode (5 children but a hubby that’s on the road 5+ days/week). I need Gods love, grace and mercy daily! I thank Him for strengh & patience and remind myself how fast seasons change (and sometimes sadly – come to an end). I pray daily to appriciate them, love them and teach them in Gods ways ! Thanks you for transparency and let’s keep one another in prayer!! God bless all, especially us praying moms:)

  24. Thanks, I needed that for many reason other than my two kids! Reminds me that God is amazing and that I am not the only one out there with these problems.

  25. Words can't express how much I needed to read this today. Thank you Crystal.

  26. Thank you for sharing your story. I am a single stay at home mom of three beautiful children ages 11, 7 1/2 and 4 1/2. There are MANY days I feel like throwing in the towel and giving up. This is the hardest job ever and doing it alone makes it that much harder. Of course I would NEVER give up on my children but there are some days that I just want to stay in bed and pull the covers over my head. I truly believe God gives me the strength to carry on even if I feel like I'm doing it on autopilot most of the time.

  27. As a Mom of Many 3 older one in middle school and 3 little's I can honestly say I think we have all been here. I would like to add pace yourselves ladies My oldest is 26 and just recently was still trying my patience. I your Read to give up when they are 6 , 4 and 2 think of all the years you have yet to let them try your patience!
    Life is short enjoy it all ! With my 60th birthday upon me that is the main message I have for those behind me.
    Enjoy it all!

  28. I have been in the closet a lot lately, crying out to my Father about my kids. I have a 14-year-old son, and two daughters, ages 3 and 8-months. I am also a homeschooling mom. My teenager has done a complete 180 on me in the past six months. I have come to the conclusion that I have to accept he will no longer be my "Little Bear," that I have to make way for my "Young Man." This is extremely difficult for me as he and I have been through some really tough times in the past when all we had was each other. I am struggling with the end of his young season and "welcoming" the winter season, when we will be emotionally distant as he trains to become an adult. The mechanics of our relationship are changing so drastically in a relatively short amount of time. I do have two other children to help keep me on my toes, it's not like I am not paying attention to them and enjoying their childhood. I just didn't know how painful it can be to change from being Mommy to Mom with my first-born. So anyway, thank you for being you, Crystal, and for helping us other Moms feel like we are not alone in our struggles.

  29. A couple days ago, I was aggravated because my daughter just sometimes does not listen to me. I heard in my spirit,after getting on to my daughter for the who knows how many times, God tell me I was the same way. I was taken aback, but I see many times I did not listen to God, instead choosing to do things my way. I truly understand what you have written. God bless you.

  30. Thank you, Crystal! This was so soothing to my soul. This week has been tremendously difficult. It is like a bad attitude virus was unpacked when we pulled the Christmas decorations from the attic. I have screamed all week long. I cannot imagine what it would be like if God grew so frustrated with me. I pray that I become more of a parent like He is.

  31. Thank you for sharing this information. I have actually started to feel like I'm at the breaking point as I work full time, go to school, and taken care of my 19 month old. My husband works out of town for 6 days but when he is home for his 3 I still feel stressed as I have my home the way I run it. When I ask him to please watch our son so I can get some overtime in, I am still interrupted by my son as my husband is not able to grasp multi-tasking right now. I'm really at my wits end and feel like my depression is on the rise as I'm trying to do everything, as I am sure all of us women feel. Finances, family, work….when do we have a chance for ourselves. I wish to have a second child but until I am able to grasp a schedule with my current situation. I'm finding myself more and more praying to God and even talking to my grandma (who passed away back in 2009).

  32. Stephanie says:

    I would like to send you on CD a song the Lord gave me entitled Trust in Him. Maybe it would also be an encouragement on the days that it seems we are "going it alone" even though we know we are not! I would need your physical address. Thanks for the great things you offer your readers/followers. : )

  33. Thanks! I needed this today!

  34. oh, Crystal, I know that feeling so well! Sometimes it is so hard to be a mom, but God is so faithful and has given you the children that you have to bless you! My children are 17,15,13,11,9 and 2 and I can tell you that with consistency and the grace of God that one day you will look back and think, "When did _______ stop doing ______?" He has a way of changing our children from the inside out.

  35. Kimberlie Todd says:

    Thank you so much! For more than a year now we have been raising 6 boys – 3 of our own (the oldest named Silas!) and 3 foster boys. It is really hard, and lately I've been feeling hopeless – about "fixing" the foster boys and helping them overcome all the damage that has been done to them, and about parenting my own boys well during this chaotic time… You're absolutely right – God must be just as frustrated and exhausted by my sin as I am with our daily life. If he was still willing to give everything, how can I not do the same?!

  36. I too, have had similar problems. Whenever I am in the throes of my own frustration, God reminds me to love as He loves me. It is amazing how we forget about His love for us when we are so emotional and cannot see that He loves us all the same.

  37. Wow, you said everything I've been feeling lately. Thank you for being so open and honest. I was feeling like a really terrible parent for having feelings like that and it's so nice to know there are others out in the world feeling the same way. Hang in there sister!!!

  38. I read this last Friday when I was feeling really low. I feel like I was led to this site because I had never been on it before. My children are grown, but one is really headed down the wrong path and this just spoke to me so much. I cried when I read it because everything you said is so true. I usually don't comment online but after three days I felt strongly I needed to thank you for your words.

  39. You are a blessing. I really needed to read this today.

  40. Hi Crystal. My name is Crystal and I am a mother of 3 young children ages 7,6,4. Today and for the past 2 weeks I have been feeling awful. Depressed, and just battling an ugliness of different emotions. I am a stay at home mother. I know some days are worse than others and it gets so hard. It’s easy to give up and that’s what I’ve been dealing with. I went to google and typed in: “when you feel like giving up.” and this post of yours popped up. I praise Jesus it did because your words truly warmed my heart. I believe that I was led to read your words as God spoke to me through you. He didn’t give up on us, and knowing that I will continue to fight back against the ugliness inside of me. Thank you for your beautiful uplifting words. Reading this I feel better already! P.S. It’s amazing that we’re both named Crystal, have 3 young children, and are stay at home moms.

  41. Sharon Bowman says:

    I know God loves me and has not given up on me and that’s why I keep going everyday. But sometimes I give up on myself as a mom the most I guess. I’ve been dealing with my daughter for years now and now she’s 18 and a senior in high school and quite honestly I’m just done with her and that’s what makes me feel like such a failure. I just don’t want to deal with her anymore.

  42. God is so good. My middle son is constantly fighting with my youngest son and right before bed it started again, I’ve been going through a depression and anxiety and is harder to handle situations. And then I find this words exactly how I feel and what I’m going through because of sending my kids to my mother has crossed my mind. God gave me this life even after all I have done. Thank you for sharing your story.

  43. Just wanted to say thank you. I needed to read your piece today, and it helped!