Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Why So Many Children?: Part 3

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See "Why So Many Children?: Part 1"
and "Why So Many Children?: Part 2"

During my unplanned pregnancy with our fourth child, I began to have preterm labor around the 25th week. Our third child had been born exactly one month early, so my doctor ran some tests and sent me home with wires and Velcro straps and a metal box that hooked up to my telephone so I could phone in the readings.

It turned out that I was having consistent contractions pretty much all day long, so my doctor admitted me to the hospital and administered all manner of drugs to try to stop the contractions.


Did I mention there were three children at home? Ages six and under?

Our church family immediately came to our aid and brought meals, did laundry, drove the children to the hospital to visit, and did pretty much everything else that needed doing. They even took up a collection of over $1000 to pay for the deductible our insurance didn't cover.

It was during that time in the hospital, feeling completely burdensome and helpless that I told my friend, a mother of seven who had come to visit, that more children were definitely out of the question.

She sat quietly as I tearfully yammered on and on about how we didn't have the money for this, I wasn't the patient type, nor was I organized, and my body apparently wasn't equipped to handle pregnancy.

When I finally finished, she asked me if I thought God was capable of supplying our every need. Well... yes... sure I did, but we have to recognize our limitations, right?

That's when she gently suggested that maybe I was limiting God and not just myself.

For the first time, I looked at her with new eyes. I realized I was talking to a woman whose sixth child had been born with no arms, whose very existence the doctors encouraged her to cut short. She had been told that the baby would not only be born without arms, but likely with other mental and physical defects and an abortion would be the best course for such a disabled child.

Not only did they joyfully receive that child into their family, but despite the challenges of caring for her, went on to have another baby a couple of years later.

She explained to me that they didn't have a large family because they thought it would be fun or easy. They welcomed children as God provided because His word tells us children are a blessing, and that He will provide for our needs.

They had a large family because of their faith in God's blessings and promises.

Ding! Ding! Ding!

I could hear bells ringing and angels singing and I saw a spotlight shine down on me as this new idea sank in.

It was like extreme sports. Only extreme faith.

Very interesting indeed! But I still didn't think that had much to do with me. Because I have difficult pregnancies. And I need time to myself. And I might not be able to afford Starbucks if we kept having these "blessings".

She could see that I was contemplating this new way of thinking and asked if I would like to read a couple of books that had impacted her and her husband greatly.

I took her up on the offer and sometime thereafter I found my self reading borrowed copies of THE WAY HOME by Mary Pride and A Full Quiver : Family Planning and the Lordship of Christ by Rick Hess.

To be continued.

See Part 4 here.


Blessed Mommy said...

I just wanted to say how much I am enjoying this series. I have 5 children and I am at a turning point. My husband thinks we should stop having children, being good stewards of what the Lord has given us. I agree, but I also feel it is the Lord's choice if we have more...not mine to make. Anyway, thank you for sharing your story. I just love reading your blog and I always feel encouraged. Thank you! Kassandra @ Blessed Quiver

ERK said...

I am enjoying the series so much! Thank for writing it! My husband and I have been debating this ever since the birth of number 3, 10 months ago. I have read A Mom Like You by Michael Farris's wife. It made really start to wonder about this area of my life. If I believe God's word and trust Him with every other area of my life, then why not this area too! I look forward to part 4of your series.

Kim said...

This is a wonderful series and addresses questions that people are afraid to ask. Thanks for being willing to share ;)

Amy said...

Thank you for this series!

Mommy Cracked said...

What a blessing to have THAT kind of friend in your time of need. Sometimes all we need is a fresh perspective from others to help us through.

Anonymous said...

Dearest my sweet sister Connie, when I read this part 3 and I crying, crying which I didn't know about it. I knew God always be w/ you entirely time as 24/7 and I love you so much. Love sister, Shellie

Lauramamadoula said...

I just wanted to say how very very much I've enjoyed this "series" of yours!! =)

thanks for sharing it with us all!

The Pauls' Family said...

Thanks for writing this great series. So many times I get caught up in 'it's all about me' thoughts when really it's all about HIM!

Katie LaPierre said...

I enjoyed this series as well. My husband and I continually talk about trusting the Lord with our family. We have been married almost 3 years and we have 2 year old and a 7 month old. I love being a mom but I often feel like you in regard to my lack of patience :0) is one of my most encouraging blogs to go to to encourage me to let the Lord lead in the area of "family planning". I have very difficult pregnancies and have to take a drug called zofran all 9 months to keep from continually throwing up. (it is what they give chemo patients). There are always reasons to stop having children. We look forward to number 3 whenever the Lord chooses to bless us again.

Laurel said...

Just found your blog. Look forward to reading more.

After 2 kids in 14 months, everyone thought we should stop: we had the "perfect" boy and girl.

After 3 kids in 30 months, everyone really thought we were crazy.

After 5 kids in 4 years, people started telling us that we really needed to stop.

After 6 kids in 6 years ... people gave up telling us what to do.

Those 6 are now all young adults. I would be facing an empty nest this year, if I'd stopped at "only 6". But ... no ...

I have 7 more wonderful blessings that will keep me homeschooling for another 11 years. No empty nest headed my way.

While my peers don't understand me at all (my husband will qualify for our church's "retirement ministry" this year), we couldn't be happier with the choice we made to allow God to design our family.

mama of 13
(ages: 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 16, 18, 20, 20, 22, 23, 25)

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