Whenever I went out in public with the twins when they were babies, after people would gush over how beautiful they were, they would add, “you’ve got your hands full.” And of course I heard things like, “double trouble,” and “two girls – they’ll cost you’re a fortune!” My quick response was, “It’s the best gift I’ve ever been given.” And truly I felt that. Two baby girls at the same time – what a dream! They really were the best gift I’ve ever been given. Well, I must confess that over the past year, my response to all the twin cracks hasn’t been one of gratitude for this gift. I’ve mostly agreed with the quick negative comments from some random strangers, “yea, it’s not easy!” As life with little sisters has become more challenging through their bickering, competing, and growing independence, I’ve started to sour a bit. The other day they were giggling together and playing for about a hour without any yelling. As I sat in the other room, listening to the laughter and silly conversation, “It’s the best gift I’ve ever been given,” came to my mind again. It’s easy to get angry, annoyed and frustrated with the childish behavior of almost 5 year olds!! It’s easy to lose sight of my responsibility to train them up and encourage them along the right path. As I continue to meditate on my New Year's Conviction -Joshua 1, I am convicted that the “be strong” part of “be strong and courageous,” isn’t only talking about physical strength in battle. It’s also talking about Spiritual strength and emotional strength. The enemy is alive and always trying to tear us down and devour us. The negative comments the world throws our way as they pass by are meant to tear us down. The daily quarrels amongst children can eat us up. We must be strong in the Lord and not allow these things to distract us and steal our joy. We must protect our minds against the lies of the enemy. I have a conviction to look at my beautiful twin daughters as the best gift I’ve ever been given – fights and all! I was honored that God chose me to have two babies at once and I’m honored that He has chosen to refine me through their challenges!