Friday, October 17, 2014

The Joy in Raising a Large Family

Over a year and a half ago, my husband and I received the joyous news that we were expecting twins. We have always had this dream that twins would be so great to have! Not too many husbands are wishful for twins, but my husband was always hopeful with each pregnancy.


When people first saw that I was pregnant when I was out alone, they would congratulate me on my "first" pregnancy, not knowing that I had four more children at home. The conversation would go as follows:

"Congratulations, you must be ready to have that baby," says stranger.

"Well, it's twins and I have three months to go," I would respond.

"What? Twins? You are going to have your hand's full," gasps the stranger with a shocked look on their face.

"Thanks, yes we have four others at home," I added on. Now, comes the jaw drop from the stranger and cricket sounds in the background.

(At 39 weeks preggo with twins)

Fast forward the time to now and what happens when I go out in public with children. Around me, I get every kind of comment from others. Sometimes, people are just naturally curious and other times, they are downright rude. I've had someone corner me at the dentist's office with comments about how I am contributing to the overpopulation of the earth. I've been asked if our family has a TV. I always get the questions such as, "Are they all yours?" and "Are you done now?" And I must get the comment, "Wow, your hands are full," at least three times in one outing. My children always hear the comments and sometimes, they are distasteful. For example, someone will ask me if they are all from the same father.  Worse yet, someone will make remarks about how my husband should get fixed or I should have my tubes tied.

Are my reproductive organs up for discussion with others? Absolutely not. Is it anyone else's business to pry into my personal life? No! And for the record, I am not just some pathetic woman taking orders from my husband. We are two that became one on our wedding day. We are following the calling He has for our lives. We enjoy raising the family He has given us. And no, we are not missing out on other things. This is the life for us. Furthermore, while it's not as common in today's society, it's something people insist on making comments on. It'd be easy for my to reply back rudely but then what am I teaching my children.

Ephesians 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Romans 12:14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.

Matthew 15:14   But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.'

In my early years of parenting, I never thought I'd have six children. I remember wondering how a mom would go about having a large family when I was struggling with the first two that I had. Then, one day, God laid it on our hearts to have a large family. Through friends and from reading the Bible, we felt a strong call to follow God with His plans with our family. I truly believe that when you are convicted of something, you should seek wisdom and follow whatever it is God is calling a person to do.

Psalm 127:3-5 Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.  Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.

When my husband and I courted, we used to talk about how much fun it would be to have a large family. But it wasn't until after we had our third, that we felt like God had more in store for us. Families come in all kinds of sizes. For us, God was telling us to have more.

The most common words others say to me when they find out I have six are:

1.) "You must have a lot of patience."

2.) "Pregnancy must be easy for you."

3.) "I could never do what you do."

Usually, I explain that my patience runs dry just like any other person. Pregnancies are not easy and I experience sickness and other symptoms just the same. And finally, I don't do it without relying on God's strength. I could never do it alone either.

God calls each of us to different things in life. As a little girl, I always wanted to be a mom. I played it, imagined it, and hoped for it. Before I married my husband, I knew he was the perfect guy for me because he loved children as much as I did. As a father, he works hard, encourages each one, and is great about spending time with each one individually as well. We make a great team together and we enjoy what God has given us.

There will always be naysayers when you follow what God wants you to do. It's the enemy's way to discourage you and I am not interested in listening to his lies. There are always hurdles and even those close to you can be hurtful in the process. I truly want to live out my faith. Each new blessing God has given us brings us a greater amount of joy. They contribute to this earth a strength laid out for them by their Creator. On this journey through living a life of unspeakable joy, I refuse to be broken apart by the world around me. I will be face-to-face with Jesus someday and I want to raise a new generation to live in the world ready to carry on His message.

I never need to worry about what others might say about the existence of my children.  They are not an accident. They are not a mistake. They are a gift, a treasured gift. My heart explodes with the love and joy they bring to my life. It's amazing and I am thankful for each one.

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