The Great Smoky MountainsThese three pictures were taken in Cade's Cove in Tennessee. We drove through this little community on Christmas Day and saw over 50 deer. The boys tried to see how close they could get.
This past week has been different. I have not gotten much done around the house, but I can’t say that it is because I have been busy. Indeed, I have merely been holding sick babies and children and a husband. I have been caring for my family’s most basic needs – love and comfort. And I have truly enjoyed every minute of it. Each day, it seems, someone different has gotten up in the morning and not felt well. Even daddy was sick last night. And now I have mastitis, due to Tyler’s extreme fatigue during his illness, I think.
We have a good-sized family right now, not what I would deem to be extremely large compared to some, though. I love the size of my family. I love babies. Nine months after we were married Elisabeth Joy showed up, and we have had a baby almost constantly since then. We have often struggled with what God would have us to do regarding the size of our family. Well, I guess I should say that I have struggled with it. I have come to a point in my life where I can completely trust my husband to make the decision that God wants him to make. When someone asks him about it, he says, “I just don’t see anywhere in the Bible where children are anything but a blessing.” I agree. They truly are a blessing. Much work, but a blessing.
As I was reading my Bible the other day, Genesis 1:22 “And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply” really stood out to me. Again in verse 28, “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.” The way that God blessed His creation was to give them the ability to be fruitful, multiply, and replenish the earth. All three of those words carry a connotation of reproducing. Some folks assume that if you give your fertility to God you will end up with 20 children. Some folks do, but some folks do not. I know of a woman who only had one child. She never did anything to prevent children, but God only gave her one. Another lady had four children each five years apart, without ever trying to space her children.
Four years ago, I was feeling overwhelmed and was counseling with Bro. Marvin Smith. At the time, I had five children. Some of my thoughts were, “I am such a terrible mother. I grew up without a mother, yet God has given me five children. What was He thinking? Is He punishing me?” Bro. Smith looked at me and said, “God trusted you with five children. He only trusted me with two.” Wow! God trusts me.
Some people look at me each time I get pregnant and say things like “Don’t you know what causes that?” Or, “God expects you to exercise some common sense.” I agree. And yes, I do know what causes “that”, but it’s just so much fun! ;o) But over and over again in Scripture I see that God is the One that opens and closes the womb. Prior to 1960, the birth control pill was not approved for public use. And, prior to 1960, you saw many “large” families. It was just the way it was. Mom stayed home to care for her “babies” and daddy went to work to provide for the family. Families these days are so small because no one is home to care for them. Children are deemed by most as a huge inconvenience.
I, too, have often fallen prey to thinking that my children are keeping me from my true purpose in life. That if I didn’t have my children I would be able to do so much more for God. I have been guilty of believing the devil’s lie. The truth is that there is nothing greater I could do with my life than to pour myself into my children. To train them to train their children and to reach others for Christ. If we all eagerly took the job assigned to us by God of training our families for Him we could do so much more for Him than if we limit what He is trying to do in our lives.
I am so thankful that God has indeed blessed me beyond measure with my seven beautiful children. He may or may not continue to bless me in this way, but I am trusting Him.