***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:
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.