“BEHOLD, CHILDREN ARE A HERITAGE FROM THE LORD, THE FRUIT OF THE WOMB IS A REWARD. LIKE ARROWS IN THE HAND OF A WARRIOR, SO ARE THE CHILDREN OF ONE’S YOUTH.HAPPY IS THE MAN WHO HAS HIS QUIVER FULL OF THEM; THEY SHALL NOT BE ASHAMED, BUT SHALL SPEAK WITH THEIR ENEMIES IN THE GATE”
As a mother to five, and yes I am a mother of five….and I know it with every ache of my back and swollen feet and vivacious movement of the life that grows inside. Please hear me clearly, when I communicate with other mothers, I am constantly aware of my words and try in earnest to not say anything that would make someone feel less than, concerning motherhood and family as to their choices of numbers of children. It can be taxing to constantly hide or hold back such a passionate and deeply rooted part of your heart….but, for the sake of peace and unity, I for the most part refrain. I choose to let our choices and lives speak for themselves. I’m human so despite my love and desire for gods glory in my heart and thoughts, naturally I struggle with criticism when I hear the phrase, “one and done” or people expressing the perfection of a boy and girl completion. When these things are spoken to me I try to surrender “me” and ask god to fill me with love and grace for whomever I am encountering and most of all to guard my mouth. Don”t get me wrong, I am not judging you for your choices, I simply have an opinion as every one does.
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!!!!! It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard of Aaron, Running down on the edge of his garments, it is like the dew of Hermon, Descending upon the mountains of Zion; For there the Lord commanded the blessing—- Life Forevermore” Psalm133
For the sake of unity, I refrain, most of the time from the deep explanations of our choices and my opinions. I would rather love a fellow mother through her journey than to scathe her experience and position through pushing my opinion. Plain and simple. The sad thing is that from the side of the spectrum this approach seems to be rarely taken. For instance, almost 100% of people, mostly fellow Christ following mothers have SOMETHING to say to me about our choice concerning family. We hear everything from,
“yall are crazy”
“better you than me”
“thats not for me”
” I could’nt imagine WANTING more kids” and the list goes on and on and on……….
I”ll spare you my knee jerk responses to these comments…but you can just imagine.
Allow me to preface the next part of what I have to say with being so raw as to tell you and shoot down the idea that I have continued to have children because I do not HAVE to work. We live day to day financially. There is NO CUSHION, no savings, no money hidden somewhere for emergencies. Sometimes, there is $7 period. Period. We choose for me not to work, because together we have decided what we believe is GOOD and we make whatever sacrafices that come along with that choice. To us, its worth it….it makes sense. Bearing children, me staying home….having a large family for the glory of god is worth whatever the cost.
I have had numerous encounters with people lately asking me how I am gonna have another baby and what I am going to do?… as if Im about to get the flu or something worse. People, I’m about to be blessed and given the desire of my heart. I wish in the moments of these questions I could find the words to answer truthfully…..instead of feeling dumbfounded and at a total loss for words. If I could communicate clearly my answer would be…….
First, I am gonna get to experience my heart expand times a million as a gaze in pure amazement, priveledge and adoration at the gift of life that I have been entrusted with again…and then I am going to watch and marvel as I watch my oldest son be surprised and grasped by the pure wonder of life and the reality that it is ALL so much bigger than him and beyond what he thinks about and feels like doing. I am gonna watch the beautiful and magnificent grace penetrate his heart and mind as he stares at his second baby sister. Another to hold. Another to love. Another to have the privilege of having. Knowing. Im gonna watch, heart full, mind blown as he is completely arrested in tender touches, smells and beauty that ONLY a new life held by tangible flesh can bring. Im gonna drink and eat that moment like nothing I ever have. Im gonna cry and laugh and remember. Dwell right there and for a moment in time all will be right with the world. AND THEN…. Im gonna watch as the only daughter I have known meets, gazing into her eyes and soul, the long awaited treasure of her life, my life, a beloved sister. The thing I can not share with her, the experience I do not own. I’m gonna watch and wonder at how marvelous it must be, a friend forever, a love I have not known. Beloved sisters. Hearts to hold and cling to one another when Russell and I are long gone. I’ll see all of hope and surrender and reward for the work….the sleepless nights and sibling fights…the broken conversations and longed for grown up vacations, summit together and it all make sense. Forever. Then my darling and prize ,my Wilder….will forever change me again and again as I experience a love so fierce and strong that you can not believe it lives in the heart of a four year old. SIMPLY overwhelming….as he can not stop staring. Another us….first baby sister to see, youngest and delicate. He will look at me and tell me incandescently of how much he loves…loves…loves OUR baby. Ill cry, laugh and Ill smile and breath in every second. I won’t want for anything else. And then…..my baby whom I kissed as my baby for last time that morn….Ill invite into my bed, through pain and awe and help him to hold her. Ill watch as he stares as nothing else exists and want to squeeze her to pieces. Ill watch us become one more, Ill stare at my husband and know what its all for. We will move deeper in love, silently. Ill watch his strong hands handle the most fragile one, his second daughter…Ill watch as his heart takes over and its as if she has always been. Part of him. Part of me…equally and forever. Another to love, TOGETHER. Forever. eternally and tangibly..in spirit and flesh. The experience of growing in persons, new life abounding…from the two of us plus LIFE himself. Miraculous….we will live in the miracle and it will fuel every day of the future. Its the tides that hold. Its LIFE that molds…..All of it makes US. IN HIM. Its what we have given our lives for….and its worth it down to every ounce. the blood, sweat and tears. Its the LIFE we love.
We aren’t accidentally growing, this is what we want. If you have heard anything negative about this pregnancy from me…please know that I WANT MY BABY. We want a fifth child. I am hating being pregnant in 90degree weather, however we are longing to meet our daughter and there is nothing we want more.
SO PLEASE… dear, beloved and fellow mothers lets be careful with our words and gestures. Think before we speak..past our own desires. Lets be careful that what we imply does not put one in a position of feeling the need to apologize for loving the gift of life over and over again. Lets be careful that we do not leave one another feeling the need to defend their family size, whatever it may be. Lets be careful that we don’t believe that parents of less children aren’t really parents!
It is of one of the most unnatural experiences to be faced with the heart of another mother as to why you would choose to mother, multiplied. Yes, it is hard, incredibly inconvenient and there is very little of me left at the end or the beginning of the day for that matter. But its not me that I need more of anyhow..Its JESUS. I need Jesus. They need Jesus and if there is anything that has made me see my need for Jesus….its this. The mothering, family and all its mess and glory. Trust me…I know that mothering on any level with ANY number of children is of the most significant and brings its joys, trials and breaking. I am not saying I am more of a mom or we are more of a family than you or anyone else. I promise. We are who we are by the grace of god……and so are you. Let’s love past our opinions…find the beauty in one another. Honor one another. For goodness sakes this is tough stuff, lets take the time to know and love one other into our purpose.