Who’s In Charge Here, Anyway?

***I know and love many beautiful, generous, small families, and truly… family size has nothing to do with family quality.  I also know some of you are in the throes of infertility and/or miscarriage or other health issues and would give anything to walk in my shoes.  I know, because I’ve been there.  Please understand, this post is about my family and our decisions.  Not yours.***

We have 4 healthy, beautiful children to raise (and one on the way!), after once thinking we may have none.  We also have a 1,500 square foot home with 1 bathroom.  We are 37 (that’s me) and 41 (my husband).  We are busy.  We are tired.  We are blessed.

Why would we want more? 

Well, truth be told, we didn’t know if we wanted more.  We weren’t actively seeking more when we were happily surprised a few months ago.  We don’t know if we can afford more.  We don’t know if we can handle more!  And we’d really like to take that Alaskan cruise we’ve been planning for the last 10 years.  ;)

The thing is, raising children isn’t about what we think we want.  Our earthly desires.  What size our house is.  What we can afford.  What we can handle.  This isn’t about us at all.  Thank goodness, because I already know I’m not enough. 

Parenting is about accepting God’s greatest blessings when and how He chooses to bless.

Then we step back and marvel at how well He does His job.  (See, our job’s easy!)

It never ceases to amaze me, modern America’s desire to be in control of all things.  Don’t you know what causes that?  Yes, yes we do know.  And we could prevent it, if we wanted or needed to.  We could “fix” it.  (We’re actually quite skilled in Natural Family Planning and have very successfully spaced our children, and conceived! with that method.)  But to us, preventing pregnancy is like turning our nose up at God’s outstretched hands.

Something like this:

Dear God,

Thanks, but we’ll take it from here.  You see, well… the thing is, we know you love children.  We love them, too!  They’re really cute and all, and yes, they absolutely are our greatest blessing, but well, we just can’t handle any more.  We’re tired.  We’re outnumbered.  And we’re tired.  (Oh, did I already say that?)

I hate to tell you, Lord, but your design for the family is a little out of touch with reality.  Modern families can’t possibly be expected to be fruitful and multiply whenever you choose to give the gift.  Gosh, we’d all have 20 children if that happened!  And do you have any idea how much it costs to load even four children on a plane and spend the week at Disney World?!

While we understand that you’re all-knowing and omnipotent and all that, we just can’t trust you with this one thing.  Clearly, we do know better than you in this situation, so we’ll take the reins from here.  Thanks so much for blessing us, but that’ll be all for now.  Stand by though, will you, because even though you won’t be needed in this (fertile) capacity any more, (yes, we’re the same crazies who were begging for babies years ago) we sure could use your help with some other things, ok?   Thanks, God!  Now step aside, please.

Yeah, you’re right.  It’s not exactly like that.  But still.

God’s gifts are good.

After 3 years of infertility and 2 miscarriages, I can also firmly assure they are not a sure thing.  Perhaps that’s why my husband and I remain in continuous dialogue with each other and in constant prayer about our family size, inviting God to show us His desires for our family.

Our way is not perfect, friends.  We struggle with selfishness.  We long for the day when all of our children can buckle themselves in and we don’t have to mess with those blasted car seats.  We wonder if we’ll ever again get to go to bed when we want, wake up when we want, and sleep through the night.  We worry that we’ll be too old to know and play with our great grandchildren.  And we fear the unknown.  How in the world is it possible to be blessed with five healthy, perfect children?  Will He?  Really?  (Yes, we are ridiculous.)

We don’t know what the future holds.  None of us do.  For now, though?  We rest.  We rest in His promises, and we excitedly wait to meet our newest blessing in August.

Every good and perfect gift is from above. 

James 1:17

 

 

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Comments

  1. I love this post. And I have SO much respect for how you’re living out your life according to how God calls you. I also have so much respect for those couples who feel called to adopt rather than have more biological children. Or to foster. I have so much respect for those families who are called to step outside their comfort zones and travel to help those who are struggling in other areas. I have deep respect for those women who honor their husbands in submitting to their family visions, too. You’re right– this post is about your family and your decisions. And how God is working in your lives. And I think it’s awesome. :)

    • God grows families in all different ways!

    • Your comment reminds me too of families I know who had 2 kids, then 18 years later looked at each other and said, “you know…something is missing” and had another kid or two. Being open to life and God’s plan is an ongoing and evolving process.

  2. What a beautiful post and what a beautiful family the Lord has so graciously blessed you with!

  3. I love and respect your thoughts on this topic. you share your heart (and truth, for that matter!) with grace and humility.

    We just had our 2nd little girl 4.5 weeks ago (after one miscarriage in between them) and once I get a little rest I can’t wait to see what God has in store for our busy, growing family!

    Thank you for always speaking words of truth and love!

  4. Amy, I recently read another post right along this line from Get Along Home….and they both touched me. It’s nice to find other like-minded women. :-) Thanks for this post.

  5. Joy Carlton says:

    I don’t think I have ever heard such a profound post. It is a blessing that there are people like you still left in this world. Over the past several years, working as a nurse for thirty years, believe me, I have heard many arguments from both sides. I am truly proud of you for your stance on this subject. Thank you.

    • Thank you, Joy. It’s a little hard to “put my heart out there” sometimes, but this community is wonderfully supportive!

  6. Lyndsey R. says:

    Thanks for the post! This picture is so awesome, so much attitude! I love it!

    lyndsey.rullman at hotmail dot com

  7. Thank you for this post…this is such a sensitive topic. We just had our 4th a few weeks ago and are earnestly seeking God’s will in how to handle this area.

  8. i really love your honesty and sincerity. we just had our second child (baby girl) last november, and hope our family will continue to grow. have a wonderful day!

  9. Lovely post! I’m the youngest of five so I think it is great!!! :)

  10. Yes, yes and yes! I’ve experienced the waiting and grief you went through. Now we have 2 and 1 on the way, and I relate to your worries and exhaustion. I also want to be open to God’s plans and blessings, because His ways are higher and better. Besides, I have NO desire to go to Disney! :)

    • Ha! The Disney comment makes me laugh, because that is totally the last place my husband wants to ever go on vacation. And since we’re in the middle of Kansas? It’s not likely… ;) We’ll take a cabin on a lake in the mountains, though. Care to join us?

      • We love cabin (or tent) vacations, but if we saved enough money to spend a week at Disney the savings account would be labeled “Europe”! You name the lake, we’ll bring the fishing poles.

  11. What a beautiful post! You have a beautiful family! My husband and I believe that children are blessings from God as well and hope he sees fit to bless our family again. We currently have 3 blessings and an angel in Heaven. Our biggest struggle has been with family members who just don’t understand our beliefs. They only see the things we may not get to do or buy rather than the love that will fill our home. Thank you for your ministry. It’s so comforting to be able to connect with others who share or beliefs! God bless your family.

  12. I’m currently 30 1/2 weeks pregnant and you made me cry. :) After a long time trying to get pregnant with our now 2 year old son who was born at 34 weeks, and then 2 miscarriages of 3 babies in between, this baby is a miracle we don’t take for granted. We’re just trying to keep her in for another 4 weeks at least! With all of the pain and joy and unexpectedness we’ve experienced with all our children, we’ve certainly learned only God knows exactly what each family is supposed to look like. Isn’t it awesome that we get to trust the Creator of the universe to create each perfect life for our families? There’s no one else I’d rather be numbering my children or their days.

    • “Isn’t it awesome that we get to trust the Creator of the universe to create each perfect life for our families? ” Yes. Yes it is!

  13. Angeline says:

    Thank you! Love this post, it contains so many of my own feelings about God’s plan for us. Keep sharing your prayers with everyone :) God bless you with this pregnancy.

  14. Thanks, I needed that. We only wanted 2 kids and we have 2 kids and now i am pregnant with baby #3….I have been struggling b/c i dont know how i am going to handle 3 little ones and how we will afford it…For 2 yrs we used the same method- the 1 time we didnt- thats when GOD blessed us with another one- i was mad, i was frustrated-you name it -that was me…AND then i came to the conclusion- GOD wanted us to have another one- THE FIRST CHANCE HE GOT- HE BLESSED US! How could this be a mistake? Right..

    • Tess–I was touched by your post as well as the original. I was pregnant with our #2 child when I lost both of my parents in an accident. I was severely depressed and exhausted and already had a 3 yo and an infant and fighting desperately to get myself together and salvage our family life and suddenly along comes #3. Immediately. Our boys are only 13 months apart.

      I’m shedding a few tears as I write this, but I have to admit that I did not think I wanted our little #3 at first. I really didn’t. I couldn’t BELIEVE it was truly happening. What on EARTH was God thinking?! I didn’t even tell DH until I was almost 14 weeks along. I was mostly in denial. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to have more children EVER, but certainly not right now!

      But I can tell you that our little #3 has been the BIGGEST blessing to us! Maybe we’re more in-tune to it because we both went through that ugly period of being unhappy about it those first couple months, but we just can’t even begin to imagine our life without him or who/what our family would be without him.

      He’s been such a blessing that my heart was opened to having even more–and it turned out that we probably CAN’T. Apparently God really, really wanted us to have our little guy, because our window of opportunity was very, very small and He made sure to fit him in there. I promise, God DOESN’T make mistakes! :)

    • “GOD wanted us to have another one- THE FIRST CHANCE HE GOT- HE BLESSED US! How could this be a mistake? ” I love that so much. Wish that exact sentiment could be shared with all women facing a surprise.

  15. Love, love, LOVE this post! I agree wholeheartedly :)

  16. What a beautiful, insightful post. I’m so happy for you and your family and can’t wait to see the newest little one!

  17. Love this post, Amy! I feel the same way about our tendency to take this one thing away from God. It frustrates me to no end. It is great to read such a well done, honest post about this topic.

  18. Wow, Amy, I saw the hand of God writing this post (as in, helping you). I’ve always struggled knowing that I didn’t want as big a family as the community around me all seemed to have. My parents and in-laws both had four children and around here that seems small, and I didn’t even know if I wanted that much. Wow, there’s a lot of “I’s” so far ;). And now…. I’m just hoping and praying that we at least get one more blessing. It’s amazing how once you think you know what you want and you don’t get it — God really knows what He’s up to and doesn’t always give you your desires of the heart right away. That way I don’t take things for granted. Beautiful post! Thank you!!

  19. Hi Amy, Just wanted to let you know that I enjoy reading your thoughts and today’s post could not have been said any better. As long as we follow God’s Will for out lives, what we say and do will not make sense to the modern world. We too are expecting our fifth later this year. While I am tired, overwhelmed, and often wonder how to make the next move, I am so grateful that God blessed us with one more awesome little one. I haven’t told anyone but my Sister-in-law and now everyone else in cyberspace (LOL), but I am so excited about this new life. Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. What an awesome thought to remember.

  20. I love this! As a mama to four, with one on the way, in a 1250 sq foot house, I can totally relate. This post was such a blessing to me!

  21. This is one of those topics that can get a little touchy. When I got maRried, I didn’t want any children. As the oldest of five, several of whom are a lot younger than me, I felt like iI’d already raised kids. But God worked in me and changed my heart and by the time we reached the agreed upon time, I was dreaming of a little baby. Thank goodness I’d been on birth control for the previous two years, though. I have a medical condition that frequently causes infertility, but the Birth control had trained my body so that I actually had regular enough periods to get pregnant within six months of trying. I’ve never gotten a better Christmas present than that little pink plus sign.

    Fast forward a couple years and I was starting to question our plans for a number two. Things weren’t going very well in our marriage and I was fearful of where that might lead. But I started to have some irregular bleeding that I suspected was caused by the bireth control. When I stopped taking it, I got pregnant almost immediately. God has ways of getting what he wants. Right now, I have no desire for more children, and since we had to go to food pantries last year just to feed the two we’ve got, I don’t think God wants me to have anymore either. But if he starts that tug in my heart, I have definitely learned that it’s futile to resist. But I still use birth control to regulate my illness, and I don’t really feel guilty for that (not that I think that was your intent, but some people do have that intent when they talk about this topic).

    Even without the illness though, I’d still be on the birth control and not feel guilty. Two of my brothers were conceived while my mom was on the Pill. So between that and my experience with my second, I really don’t feel like birth control is a barrier to God’s plan. Not even science ccan defeat Him.

    ((I apologize if there are any weird typos in my comment. I’m post from my phone and for some reason it likes to only show me half of the comment box and the rest of my typing is invisible to me so I can’t check myself.))

  22. Grace Franklin says:

    You are! Do you honestly think that God is in control of what happens in your bedroom?

    • I absolutely do, actually. (When we give it up to Him.) Christianity isn’t a pick-n-choose smorgasbord. God wants my heart. He wants my finances. He wants my life. ALL of it. I fail (DAILY) at relinquishing MY ideals, but I’m a work in progress…

      Seek ye first the kingdom of God…

  23. Congratulations to you! We do choose to use contraception to keep from happy surprises (we’ve had one), but we firmly believe that the Lord gives revelation to His followers and that if we maintain a dialogue not only with each other, but with the Lord, He will help us to determine what timing is best for our family and when we need to be done. If it were up to my husband alone, we would have been done after two. If it were up to me, we might keep going for a while! But as it is, we put it in the Lord’s hands to ask when is right and whether it’s right. Everyone is absolutely different, though. Everyone has different beliefs and different finances, capabilities, etc.

  24. We have six blessings ages 20-2, I would so love to be blessed with one more and feel like you that the LORD should control our family size. My husband is about to be 45 and feels he is too old. I keep praying for God’s will would love to either have one or receive one that needs a loving home. I just want to be in God’s will not mine or the Worlds! This post was so encouraging, the Lord was already speaking to me about this early this morning.

    • “I just want to be in God’s will not mine or the Worlds! ” Yes, and there’s no way to know that without constant communication with Him.

  25. It’s so encouraging to read your work! I consistently battle with the want to be in control and I fall into the trap of not always trusting in His provision.

    Thanks for the story this morning and the challenging thoughts!

    • I think the “control freak factor” has something to do with our amazing technology and the true ability to have (nearly) everything at our fingertips, instantly. It’s fun… when it works. ;)

  26. Great post! Thank you! I’m one of eight children and #7 & #8 were born within a year (and #8 was overdue!) At one time we asked my dad if they had planned for all of us. His response was, “Sure we did… after we knew you were coming.”
    I firmly believe God doesn’t make mistakes – especially in giving life!

  27. I’m one of those people who tries to control everything! My husband and I have been ‘on the fence’ about having a 3rd baby. I know if we went for it, we’d wonder how we ever got along without the new baby. It seems so hard to just take the leap. Maybe it is God’s way of saying we’re not ready? I have no idea, I do know that ‘we plan, God laughs…’
    You did a great job with this post… I’m going to try and stop controlling everything and if it happens, it happens:)

  28. What a beautiful post. Brought me to tears. We have four beautiful children-3 boys and a girl. I would love to have more, but God said “no.” It has taken me a long time to come to peace with that. Congratulations on your newest blessing!

  29. Wow! I just subscribed to your blog. This was an excellent expression of your faith. I was moved by it especially since we are currently struggling with infertility. I do also believe that important aspects of life like these are best left in God’s hands. He knows and want what’s best for us. My husband has been struggling with 2 kinds of cancers with multiple surgeries and now we are faced with chemo. God has a plan for us and I am not sure we could take proper care of children right now. I have left it in gods hands and will take every blessing as a gift. We have hope and most of all faith in our future that whatever we get, it is gods plan. Thank you for sharing this. It means a lot.

  30. Great post Amy! This is a topic that we’ve struggled with in our marriage from the beginning. We currently live in a 1300 sq ft home with 3 boys and baby #4 due in Aug…but we do have 2 bathrooms :) My husband always jokes that he was “happy with 2 kids” and I always joke that “I’ll always want just one more”. I’m working hard on just turning it over to God and trusting His plan for our family.

  31. I love this post. I am currently 33 weeks pregnant with our fourth little blessing! Although we are very excited, when friends find out they look at us like we are crazy, our pastor even asked us if the baby was planned! I too have had a miscarriage and wonder how we could possibly have 4 healthy babies! I struggle with letting go and trusting in God’s plan. Thank you for the post, it is nice to know that others have the same fears and struggles as you do.

  32. Lovely, honest post! Everyone thinks they’re in control of things when they say NO. When you say YES and God says NO, you start to understand how things REALLY work.

    Congratulations!

  33. Great post! I just had #5 and I am 37. We really did not “plan” on our last two but God did :) We also live in a smaller house with just 4 bedrooms and 1 bath but so far we make it work.

  34. Amen! Such a beautifully written post.

  35. Amy -

    This post came at the perfect time. I (a total control freak) have been talking with my husband about whether or not to try for #3. I can come up with 100 reasons not too (finances, house, sleep, Disney LOL) but I keep having that nagging feeling. I just told my husband maybe we should just go for it – if God can love unconditionally and perform miracles, don’t I think he could provide for us on this? I love this post, esp. since we live in an area and with family where having a third is a crazy thought. We are constantly told that we just need to stop with two. It is comforting to hear from someone with a heavenly view on the topic!

  36. We had multiple miscarriages with one miracle baby boy mixed in. Since then we have adopted 3 amazing little boys from China. Right now our house is very busy with 4 boys ages 4, 5, 6, and 8!!! Adoption is so wonderful and I’m so happy that we were obedient to the Lord. It would be so hard for us to say that we are done when we know how much need there is for loving families to adopt.

  37. Thank you so much for this beautiful post on a day when I have been struggling with being a stay at home mom. I needed this reminder that my children are wonderful blessings that I hope I am worthy of.

  38. I am trying to hurry up and have lots of babies! I never knew what amazing blessings they were until we had our little girl. Now my husband will frequently tell me “We need at least 3 more of these!” We were married 5 years before we started trying for her and our biggest regret is that we waited for so long, thinking kids were more work than blessing. Now I’m 30 weeks with our little boy and hoping God blesses me with a big family. I need to remember to put this in God’s hands, if we had done that from the start maybe I would already have more crazy little kids running around making me laugh. I bought the world’s argument that kids are work, expensive, exhausting, draining. I thought of them as “abstract blessings” where they would run me ragged all day but at night after they went to bed I would be grateful for them anyway…I’m not sure. Now I see what an amazing gift our little girl is! She has taught me so much about our Father’s love, about surrender, about my own lack of holiness :) I pray God blesses me with more! I love it!

  39. As a mommy of 6 beautiful children… the last 2 not being in “our plans” at all – I can honestly say that I agree whole-heartedly!! We both came from families of 4 and always wanted 4 children. However, we clearly aren’t as successful at NFP as you are and wha-la.. we have 6 and wouldn’t trade them for anything!! I did have my days of tears, and “why God why?” and wondering how we’d afford a bigger vehicle and more bedrooms (we’re still in a 3 bedroom), but I got through it and God blessed us again and again! Congratulations Amy!!

    • Really, extended breastfeeding and the family bed helped us out a ton. Now… when this fifth one is weaned, then we’ll see how good we are with NFP. ;) By the way… I’ve shed those same tears. Always briefly, but still. Letting go of what we think is ideal isn’t always easy!

  40. Debbie Jennings says:

    Children are a gift of God, but He just loans them to us. They aren’t really ours to keep. There are two things that you need to give a child. The first is roots. (That’s the easy part.) The second, is wings. (This is the hardest part!) And if anyone tells you that a baby doesn’t come with an instruction manual, they are dead wrong! God gave us one. It’s called the Bible!

  41. hippie4ever says:

    Yay Amy! I’m so happy for you and your family.

  42. loved this…beautiful!
    congrats on your newest blessing too! =)

  43. Amy, you are so lovely. I applaud your outlook and lifestyle and dedication to your husband and family.

    AND I just gotta say…your brown bag burritos are the bomb diggety! I have two starving teenage boys and those burritos keep things hummin’. They are delicious and it’s such a timesaver to make a huge pile of burritos and tuck them into the freezer.

    AND lastly, I’m glad God put your on this earth, because you are wildly inspiring and genuine.

    That is all.
    A big fan in Minneapolis xox

  44. This is a wonderful post, Amy. We completely agree…but we’re in the throes of infertility, so it’s very hard to understand what God’s plan is for us. We desperately want biological children…I desperately want to exerience pregnancy and breastfeeding…but that doesn’t seem to be what God is planning.

    We are moving toward domestic infant adoption, as that seems to be where God is leading us. Thank you for your thoughful words!

    • As a mother of adopted twin girls, I can tell you that you’ll be truly blessed! I know it’s hard to understand now, but when you meet your baby you’ll know it was worth it all! I’m a labor and delivery nurse so I know how hard it is because I’m constantly surrounded by pregnancy and breastfeeding! I hope someday God blesses me in that way too. But if He doesn’t, I’ll be content with the children he’s given me!

      • Thanks for your kind words, Katie. I think it’s awesome that you have twin adopted girls! What a lot of work. :) But wonderful work, right?!

        How hard it must be for you to work in L&D – props to you for blessing those new moms in that way. :)

    • Your comment brings tears of remembering, and even having been there it’s hard to come up with comforting words. I do know that adoption is beautiful and God creates family in the most amazing ways. I pray for the day when all this suffering will be wiped away with a babe in your arms.

      • I pray for that day, too! :)

        We have been slowly learning that God does build families in different ways. In all reality, that seems to be easier for us to accept than it does for our family and friends to accept. (i.e., we hear things like “Well now you’ll get pregnant since you are adopting!”….uhhh, not helpful, people!!). We have learned that there’s so much more to infertility than just not being able to have a baby – and so many others don’t seem to get that.

  45. Congratulations! I love your godly attitude.

  46. Don’t forget about also being open to where God leads when it comes to adoption/foster care. There is a great need here and we (the Church) should answer the call!

    • Absolutely! I never forget about adoption, I just don’t feel “qualified” to talk about it here. I can only speak of what I know personally…

  47. Great post! I think it’s interesting that people question God’s plan whenever things don’t go their way. Both infertility and surprise pregnancies result in the same anger or fear for some people. Your post gets right to the heart of the issue- we get angry when we’re not in control. When we give that power back where it belongs- in God’s hands- we get our peace back!

    We too have been using NFP in our marriage for about 7 years. We’ve used it to pace our selves with starting our family while we finished our degrees. When we conceived our son, I think we felt a little surprised. Now, we’re definitely ready for more children, and we’re trying to be open with each other and to God’s will. Pregnant or not, we’re trying not to be surprised. It’s a work in progress!

    • “When we give that power back where it belongs- in God’s hands- we get our peace back!” Yes! In every aspect of life.

  48. I love your heartfelt post! We went thru over 7 years of struggle with having a family and learning about God’s time and not in ours. I had a total of 16 miscarriages/losses (all with out fertility help…) and all the specialists that we went to eventually could not explain why I couldn’t hold or keep a pregnancy. They litterally had no answers for my husband and I. They said, “just give up on it”…and sadly I did. Then I started not giving up on everything and one day at the towards the end of 2005 we found out I was pregnant after a few years of nothing…Xzavior was born in 2006, Quinton in 07, Docen in 09 and we just welcomed Wentworth on 2-24. We just had to give way to knowing with all my being that it was with God’s timing. We were going thru an adoption custody battle and God thru that in for us :o) My midwife told us that my mommie parts just grew up…Thank you again for your post!

    • Oh my goodness, Amber. What a struggle and a triumph! I pray that someone reading this who is struggling with similar issues will feel hopeful!

  49. Oh how I love this, and it’s just what I needed this morning! I feel the same way but have trouble finding the right words to explain it. Now I can just post a link to this page :) We have been blessed with 7 children (ages 12 to 6 months, 5 boys, 2 girls). We try to use NFP (for both trying to conceive and preventing) but it’s hard at first while breastfeeding (I seem to be fertile when the baby turns 6 months, regardless of cosleeping, no supplements/foods, or pacifiers). I too feel that I’d be turning from God if I didn’t allow him control of my life, and have been feeling distant from Him lately. This topic is something my husband and I have been struggling with for awhile now. Thank you for reminding me who my father is, and that he is a perfect, all knowing, powerful, and loving God. He can open your womb and close it. He knows what he is doing. His timing is perfect. :)

    • It IS a struggle! I don’t want anyone to think that I want a dozen children. That’s GREAT for people who do… I just don’t want to turn to God and say “No, thanks.”

  50. Love, love this. Beautifully stated and lived out. Congratulations! Yes, children are such a priceless gift. We thought we were done after having our first 4 in three years. I know, how did we do that?! And then my husband wanted one more. I laughed! But she is here and 4 years old and of course, we can’t imagine life without her :).

  51. Connie Sue says:

    What a blessing to know that God’s plan is perfect, that He is in control, and that the plans for His called are for good and not for evil.

    I have 5 beautiful children. God surprised us with a pregnancy this past Christmas that we found out in January was really #6 and #7. To our sorrow God took them home in February.

    Thankfully I am not called to understand God’s plan, just to trust and obey.

    Thank you for writing on such a personal subject.

    • Oh, I am so sorry to hear about your loss. :( “I am not called to understand God’s plan, just to trust and obey.” Yes!

  52. Okay Mom, LOVE YA, I respect the heck outta of you! And looking back, would I have had a 4th, yeah probably So…But we made the choice to stop at 3…I LOVE my 3 kiddos, and wouldn’t change a thing…But I don’t believe I made a mistake in Gods eyes by NOT having more…(on a side note) Besides if I’d had a 4th one, it would have been another boy…I don’t think I could have handled that ;), maybe thats why God choose the path for us we took…I believe so much in Fate and paths choosen for us…and our path is to help, carry, lead and push our 3 kids down thier path of fate/life! I believe if that 4th path was meant for us, it would have happend!!!

    Loves and Hugs Momma!!!!

    • Ha! THIS is why I put my little “disclosure” at the top. MY story, not anyone else’s. Everyone has their reasons, I can only talk about mine. ;) (Aren’t we due a get-together sometime?!)

      • Oh I saw ur Disclosure, but I needed my therapy for the day! Plus I just couldn’t resit “Stirring the Pot”!!!

        Yes we are due for a Saturday afternoon play date!!! We will come to you!! Lets set a date!!! :p

  53. Loved this post, Amy! We certainly share a similar perspective. God is a perfect family planner. And, I am so,so,so happy for you guys. :o)

    We figure our highest calling as Christians is to advance Christ’s Kingdom–and what better way to do that than to populate the world with disciples?! It’s not easy, convenient, or cheap (though it certainly doesn’t have to be nearly as pricey as some make it out to be)–but it’s a good work, and absolutely, 100% worth all the trouble. And really? Most days, it actually is downright *fun* (what in the world is better than baby giggles and chubby feet running around the house?!). :)

    The only spacing technique we’ve ever “used” is breastfeeding–I do that primarily for the health benefits for our babies, though I do definitely think that the way it spaces out pregnancies for most women IS a Providential design.

    If my health were to start failing or my body started totally falling apart (not in a cosmetic way, but in an I’m-stuck-in-bed-and-can’t-take-care-of-my-people way) I know we would probably do NFP (or something) to space things out so I could get healthy again. But we really hope to never be in that position…so I try to stay as healthy as possible. :)

  54. Great post! I am 37 and have 5 children. My biggest regret is that we waited 8 years until we were “ready” to have kids. We finally figured out that we would never be ready. LOL

  55. This post is great! It was a good kick in the butt for me, so to speak. I am always trying to be in control when I know I need to sit back and let God take the reigns. I am one of nine children and my father is one of nineteen, so having a big family doesn’t scare me. However, the c-section that I would have to have with my next one does. I had an emergency c-section with my 1st and wasn’t ever told that I had an option to do a vbac with my second. So by the time I had my third and wanted to try it, I was told it was way too risky and most doctors wouldn’t do it. We’ve always done the Natural Family Planning also. I keep telling my husband that “we’re done”, but I know that I am not in control. I guess we wait and see what God has in store for us. In the meantime though, I do plan to get rid of some of the baby stuff that is overtaking our house. My luck, I’d end up expecting a month later. :-) But, you are absolutely right…they are all God’s Greatest Blessings! My father always says, “You will NEVER regret having another child.”

    • If it’s any consolation, I do have a friend who has had 5 c-sections, and her youngest is 13. However, I don’t know if any of hers were emergencies, and I know that can make a difference. Blessings to you and your family!

  56. Love your post :) I agree!
    We’re having our 8th later this year. Oldest is 14. We, too, live in a 1500sq ft house and one bathroom! House size is fine..but I do wish we had another bathroom!

    • Ok. I’m going to think of you the next time we have a “line” outside the bathroom door. ;) Congratulations on your newest blessing!

  57. I knew there was a reason I found your website!

    We just found out that we are pregnant with #3… we wanted #3 but could never decide on the timing. Well, lo and behold, God decided for us. If we were to choose, there would never be the right time for anything. We also live in a 1100sf condo, and this child will put us at the maximum limit per our HOA. Sadly, we will also get a lot of looks where we live. No one has more than 2 children… and it is thought you are not entitled to more than one or two. And if you do, expect to get all sorts of comments. UGH.

    Thank you for the beautiful post and the reminder that God is in control and that all we need to do is trust in Him.

    • “If we were to choose, there would never be the right time for anything.” I agree with that so much, and have many a friend who wishes they wouldn’t have waited for the “perfect time” because it does not exist.

      I’m sorry you’ll have to deal with ugly looks where you live. Know that you have friends here! :)

  58. Debbie Jennings says:

    You know, when I was expecting my #3, my grandmother told me I needed to get a diagram or something. She was so serious, too. I told her I already knew how, I needed to stop! And I did. But I was 21 years old when I had my last baby. When the baby was 3, I had to have a hysterectomy. The biopsy showed pre-cancerous cells and if I had waited for 2-3 months, I would have had full blown cancer!

    My advice to all of you out there is this; When someone says something about how many children you have, just smile at them and say, “We are supporting them, you aren’t.” It is nobody else’s business how many children you have. That is between the parents and God! Good luck to all of you new and new to be Moms!

  59. You are so wise my friend! After I miscarried and even now I wonder what the plan is, but I do know that there is a reason for every thing. I just have to keep my faith and know that His plan is an awesome plan. In the mean time I soak up my boys and enjoy them as much as possible!

    I am so excited for you!! Congratulations again!

  60. Would someone refer me to a good place to research natural family planning? I have two kids and had one miscarriage. We just had a pregnancy “scare” even while on the pill and I am so over it. I would love to try this method, since it does actually seem to work with so many people….

    • We use the sympto-thermal method, and I highly recommend the Couple to Couple League for teaching that and providing resources. I’m not going to tell you that NFP is “easy” (when is anything that takes dedication and sacrifice ever easy?) but it IS effective and I don’t have to worry about chemicals in my body.

  61. Amen.

  62. Really greatful to have found your blog. the scriptures are awesome reminders of Christ sovereignty.

  63. So, I know you posted this many months ago, but re-reading it today touched me. We had our first baby this year. She’s almost 7 months old (HOW did that happen?!). I’m 32. We both work full time (I’m the main breadwinner). We had originally talked about having 3 kiddos, but I now go back and forth: I’m tired. This is hard. I can’t imagine doing this with a toddler/older child to tend to on top of it all. Oh, but I love my baby. I don’t want to make decisions out of fear. Do I really trust God with EVERYTHING? I’m rambling now, so I’ll close with: thank you for this reminder to rest in Him and His perfect gifts and promises.

    • Deborah Jennings says:

      Lisa, as a 61 year old mother and grandmother, I would have to say “Yes, trust God in all things. And in all areas of your life. I had 3 babies in 4 1/2 years. I was 21 when I had the last one. Yes, it was hard, but we all survived it. I was lucky in that I didn’t “have” to work. I think it would be harder if I was the main bread winner in the family. Trust in the Lord! He will never leave nor forsake you!

    • If it’s any consolation, our year with our first baby and me working part-time as a teacher was one of the hardest. It got easier… for us. ;)

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