Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Why So Many Children: Part 4

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Read Part1 here.
Read Part2 here.
Read Part3 here.

When I read The Way Home and A Full Quiver, I saw that there are many places in scripture where God calls children "blessings" or "gifts".

From Him!

The Creator of the Universe gives us gifts in the form of babies!

When I thought of it that way, I wondered what I would do if someone decided to give me a million dollars.

A million dollars would be wonderful to have! It would put an end to the stress our family faces when we don't quite make ends meet.

Then again, if I had a million dollars, I would need to make decisions about how to spend it, and that would be a stress in itself.

Would I be selfish and keep it all for myself? Would I help the needy? Which needy? How much would I give? Would I buy extravagant gifts for relatives? Would I leave any relatives off my "gift" list? Would I only help people I knew? Or strangers in foreign lands?

What if I grew to adore the money and I made it my idol?

In short, any blessing comes with responsibilities and sometimes even burdens. Does that make the original gift any less a blessing?

I realized that I, like so many people, saw children as blessings to a point. As long as they weren't too noisy or messy or needy, then yes, I could see that they were blessings.

What I realized after reading those books and searching the scriptures was that God has little gifts for me that He created in His own image that are meant to bless me, even though I, short sighted as I am, might view them as difficult at times.

Sure, there are responsibilities that come with the gifts, but I want to accept those blessings and do my best to have them glorify God.

Just as I would with a million dollar gift, I want to be thankful to the giver, when the gift causes me stress or gives me joy. I want to be diligent to use the gift toward His purposes, not just my own.

My husband and I also examined ourselves and the scriptures about how we believe God cares for us. Does God really know what we need and provide for all of those needs? Do we really trust that God is capable of doing that?

It was a leap of faith on our part to finally say, "Yes. We believe God will supply all of our needs." It hasn't always come easy to have that faith, either. There have been times when we have had steep medical bills that were not covered by insurance. There have been difficult pregnancies with months at a time spent in the hospital.

But one thing has remained constant. God has sustained us.

We have been blessed beyond measure, and through those blessings, we have grown in our faith, in our perseverance through difficulties, and in our commitment to honor God with the blessings he has given us.

14 comments:

Holly said...

And, well...there's the consideration that they are INCREDIBLY CUTE! :) What sweeties you have, Connie. :)

Good series!

Smockity Frocks said...

Thank you, Holly! (We were commenting at the same time.)

I reread my post and hope I didn't leave the impression that "it's ALL burden, but I'm willing to bear it because I'm supposed to believe it's a blessing." I definitely don't think that way. Just trying to convey that there ARE times when it is hard and I'm not just doing it because it's easy and fun.

Hope you are having a great week!

Kris said...

Even though I'm still totally jealous that you won the blog makeover, I left you a stack of awards on my blog today.

Btw, I'm really enjoying this series of posts. Great job!

jonash said...

I have thought that you have worded the last few posts very well. This one is no exception! Bravo! You've put into words many of my own thoughts. :)

Ashley
www.homesteadblogger.com/Jonash2004

Kara said...

Amen!!

Cardamoms Pod said...

Amen! So well written! THANK YOU!

For me, I find that mindset is everything. By God's grace, I have tried to guard against EVER thinking 9 children is too much to handle. Sure, there are plenty of times I'm throwing up my hands in frustration and crying out to God, saying, "I can't do this! I am not qualified!" Yet, deep down, I *know* that God has perfectly arranged my life, and that there IS a way to manage all that He has given me, but only in His strength.

CompleteLee Blogger said...

This was a fun series. I have 7 children ages 19 to 1. I get asked all those same questions. Once in a while when I am feeling especially brave, I have a good answer. When someone I don't know asks me if I am "done", I respond sincerely, "If you are really interested, give me your name and number and I will update you on our status in a couple of years." heh, heh, heh.

Thanks for your thoughts on this subject. Have a great day!

Jeri said...

I just learned of your blog this morning from Kim's post. I think you said it all. We were not able to have children, though we did finally have 1 beautiful son (shhh, don't tell him I called him beautiful again) but paid a high price with fertility treatments. God fulfilled our dreams with our adoption of our beautiful daughter from China. Then to our surprise He beckoned us yet again to adopt, this time 2 of the cutest little guys from Taiwan. We thought He was calling us to Haiti but instead we feel ourselves being pulled to the US.

We get the usual questions "are these yours", "are you babysitting", "are they really brothers/sisters", "are the boys twins". So many times I've stopped short of saying what I really want to say. With this being our 5th child (possibly more if a sibling group) we've been shocked at how many people have said "don't you think you have enough", "when are you going to stop", "don't you think you have your hands full already", and a therapist even said to me "you do know that 1 adopted child is the equivalent to 3 biological children (emotionally), don't you? so that means you have 10 children, don't you think that's enough?" It took me about 2 weeks to realize that using that stick he has 6 kids, and he's a single father! :o)

Living happily in God's grace and wouldn't have it any other way! Thanks for the post, it reminded me of where my eyes needs to be. Oh, and my husband read along too and was reminded also of where our eyes need to be.

Tereza Crump aka MyTreasuredCreations said...

oh, my!! my reasoning about seeing children as gifts from God is exactly like yours!! We are so ready to accept MONEY as a gift, but it comes with responsibilities and burdens... but we have so many prejudices against children. What a trust walk!! will be back to read more. :)

Kate said...

I found my way to you through MckMama's "Not My Child" series and was inspired by this series. I couldn't stop reading. My husband and I only have one (a ten month old daughter) and already we stress and dither and worry about how to afford any more. I will definitely check out those books you recommended. I'm the weak link in the faith chain of our family and it's so hard for me to really truly trust in God's provision. Thanks for the beautiful reflection on the subject.

Smockity Frocks said...

Thank you for stopping by, Ladies.

Kate, We are all weak at times in our faith. It is a growing process, and I find it gets easier with practice.

May God increase your faith!

*Mirage* said...

So all this time that God was leading YOU to trust Him in regards to having children, did your husband already believe this or what? I have recently been convicted to give my fertility to God, but my husband doesn't want more children. He wanted to stop at 1, then we had a surprise pregnancy which ended in miscarriage and made him realize he wanted one more. SO we had one more. Now we have 2. And he does NOT want anymore. He is afraid he wouldn't be able to take care of them all physically, spiritually... he thinks it would be impossible for 2 parents, one of whom is only home on the weekends, to raise 5,7, 10+ kids properly without neglecting them. Having been one of 3 myself, and my husband one of 3, we don't really know how large families work firsthand. I had a couple friends growing up who were one of 7 and one of 5, but the one family was kind of disfunctional and the other family I didn't spend much time with.
So I'm just praying for my husband that God works in his heart about having more kids and I'm trying to keep my mouth shut. ;) Just wondered if your husband balked at all at the concept or what...? :)

Anonymous said...

I found your post through a friends link on facebook and thoroughly enjoyed it. I wanted to say that my husband and I have 10 children, ages 4 to 23, with much the same journey as you have been on. We were blest with 3 children using three different forms of birth control- correctly, I would like to add!
Around the time I became pregnant with #3 we became aware of the book you mentioned, "Full Quiver". After the initial desire to ignore the book, first on the bookstore shelf, then the shelf at home both my husband and I began to read it. Although I do not agree with everything in it, the book did bring us to the point where we began to question our views on God and His soverignity. Did I truly believe that He knew best and that every child was knit together with a purpose? And why was I so ready to ask God for blessings (think Prayer of Jabez) to increase my land and my wealth but would (try to) tell God that even though He told me in scripture that children are a blessing, it was a blessing that I didn't want any part of?
From that beginning we have come to where we are-8 at home and one married and one engaged. When people ask, "Why so many?" I tell them that it's a theological issue but I would be happy to discuss it, if they would like. When they say, "Do they all have the same dad?" or "Are some yours and some his?" I can testify to the graciousness of God in keeping us together these last 25 years, in spite of hard times and times of blessing. Taking each and every opportunity to tell of God's provision is a blessing beyond belief.
As for grandchildren? We have one, but I have shared with my older kids that if God in His sovereigness chooses not to bless them with physical children, I would not be dissappointed. I would rather have spiritual grandchildren any day! Keep up your blogging. You are a blessing.
Mom of many, living it Texas

pandasmom said...

I enjoyed reading the posts on your large family. Sadly we only have 2 children, but one of them has severe, unseen to the public eye, special needs. This has been an incredibly hard year for DH and I and we have been looking to God for help in revealing his plan to us.

I really liked what you said about children being blessings - even beyond their being messy and noisy, etc. That struck a chord with me today as I sit in the hospital with my daughter. Thank you.

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