As promised, below is the conclusion of the lessons I’ve learned from my children. I pray you enjoy them and perhaps even see some of your own life lessons in them.

I’ve learned to see the positive in all things. Not the Pollyanna kind or the rose-colored glasses way. But I have learned that, even in the midst of trials and tribulations, if we look hard enough, we can find something positive there. Truth be told, there are times I have to look very, very hard to find it. But I’m never disappointed. There is always something uplifting or encouraging to see. This comes easy to my children; they have been excellent teachers.

I’ve leaned about joy. The joy that comes from within, no matter what is happening outside. My children have that. No matter how bad their day has been, they are always willing to let it go and be joyful. It is amazing to see how quickly they can move from disappointment or sadness to joy, choosing to let things go and to have fun and laugh instead. I often need more practice on this one, but I am working on it.

I’ve learned about gentleness. I’ve learned that not reacting with my first instinct is often a good thing and to choose gentleness instead. Proverbs 16:24 tells us that “kind words are like honey—sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” Sometimes I need to walk away or count to ten so that I can choose gentleness. But it’s always for the best. In the process I’ve learned that I can still be firm gently—that’s it’s all in the delivery.

I’ve learned contentment. I’ve learned that true contentment doesn’t come from outside things or titles or accomplishments. It comes from inside. Being content with where I am and who I am and all that I have been blessed with has changed my attitude for the better. It’s hard to be upset when one is content. My son asked me recently, “Do you think of what life would have been like if…?” I told him that I didn’t think of “what could have been” because I really like the life I have, drama and all.

I’ve learned peace. This sure was a hard one for me. Especially when the children were young and there were so many unanswered questions and their futures were so uncertain. Peace is a hot commodity today. And while I don’t know what the future holds for my children, I know Who holds their future, and I find peace in knowing His plans for them are so much more than mine could ever be.

I’ve learned unconditional love. I have experienced for myself the love of a Father and the love of a child. And while I’ve been told I’m the meanest mommy in the world and that I just don’t understand, I’ve never stopped loving my children and they’ve never stopped loving me. Sure, we have our moments when we don’t really like the other, but it passes. And no matter how “unlikeable” one may be, we always have love in our heart for each other.

Now if you asked my children what they’ve taught me, I don’t think they’d come up with this list. This was no cliff notes version of learning, either. These things I’ve learned in the early mornings and late nights of life with children, when I am often the only one in the classroom.

And while I didn’t realize it while it was happening, I have learned so very much from my children. More than I could ever have imagined. And because they are young, I still have a whole lot of learning to do. I don’t want to be one of those know-it-alls. No, I want to be a life-long learner, whose life is richer and more meaningful because of the lessons learned along the way.

What lessons have you learned from your children? Feel free to post some of your own lessons learned in the comments below and we can compare notes. I look forward to reading about your personal learning experience.