I get asked this question every time someone sees our family: "How do you do it?"
The short answer: "A lot of grace."
Family is a sort of hot-topic with me. That and homeschooling.
But you already knew that.
Oftentimes, I get this statement: "Well, we just couldn't afford more kids."
As if I can???!!!!
People ask how we afford all of their activities.
They don't have "activities."
Our kids don't do sports. I'm ok with that.
They don't do camps. I'm ok with that.
They do 4-H. This is cheap.
They live on a farm, play ball in the yard, swim at the lake, sled on our hills, make our own treats, cook our own food, and don't feel deprived.
Go ahead and ask 'em.
Am I saying that all large families are financially strapped? Not hardly.
We know many large families who are quite well off.
Our situation here has nothing to do with how many children we have.
God has provided over and over and over again.
I was telling my brother-in-law last night that I don't think there is anything in our pantry, freezer, or refrigerator right now that Dennis and I have purchased.
That is amazing to me!
It is all GOD, using other people to bless us with those things.
If I had to choose whether we would drive a nicer vehicle or have Elijah--I'd pick Elijah in a heartbeat.
If I had to choose whether our older kids would get to play sports or that we would have Ruby--I'd pick Ruby.
If I had to choose whether we would buy new clothes or wear hand-me-downs and have this coming baby--you guessed it, I'd pick the baby.
These children have eternal souls. They are forever.
Vans, furniture, clothes, camps, sports, eating out--these are all passing things.
I will not choose something over life.
I choose life over EVERYTHING.
Is it not an absolute miracle how babies are created?
Can any one of us say that we had anything to do with it?
Seriously--is it any action on your part that literally makes that baby?
Or would you agree that it is only because God is God and He alone fashions and forms those babies in the womb, causing all the cells to split and multiply, the skin to form, the placement of the eyes and nose and arms and legs and fingers and toes. That inside a mother is the perfect environment for that baby, temperature controlled, everything the baby needs is there. Without much participation from the mom, really.
Isn't it amazing that no one even knows what causes labor to start? All of our medical advancements and this remains a mystery.
It's not a mystery to me--God knew before time began when that baby would be born.
We had a sweet thing happen to our family after church yesterday. Dennis and I were asked to sing at a church in a nearby town.
Afterward, a dear lady asked us if she could take us out for lunch.
She asked where we would like to go, and I said (knowing that taking a family of 9 to a restaurant is costly) "McDonalds."
She insisted, "No, no, no, Silly. Somewhere where we sit down and eat all together. How about Pizza Ranch?"
I said that would be wonderful.
She told us over lunch that she figured we probably don't get invited out to eat much. I told her she was exactly right.
It was SUCH a treat for our family! We don't eat out--Ruby's nver even eaten in a restaurant. We had a delightful time of conversation with this dear Christian lady.
She is a widow and Sundays get long for her.
She was just beaming over our kids, laughing at the things they would say and just enjoying being with all the kids.
We thanked her profusely and she kept saying it was her pleasure.
Dennis and I didn't start out "sold" on the idea of a large family.
God did a work on both of our hearts, years ago.
We tried to "plan" each one. God had bigger and better plans.
He impressed on us that He alone is the Author of life.
Who am I to say that He should not use my womb? He created me. I am His.
It is my honor and privilege to be used of Him to raise up Godly children and to train them in the way that they should go.
3Behold, children are a gift of the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
4Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one's youth.
5How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them;
They will not be ashamed
When they speak with their enemies in the gate.
These are not my words. The very GOD of the Universe spoke them and they are true.
It is bothersome to me that in our culture today, we don't desire children. People surgically remove their ability to have a baby.
People say, "well, we have modern medicine now..."
It is a medical procedure where we take a functioning part of the body and disable it.
It boggles my mind.
I didn't know until a friend of mine told me that the birth control pill causes abortions. I only thought it prevented conception. But it also makes the lining of the uterus slippery so that, should fertilization "accidentally" occur, the fertilized egg cannot be implanted and is therefore aborted.
So many people do not know this. It's written right in the pamphlet that comes with the pills. Doctors sure don't tell you this. Go ahead and ask them about it, though, because they do know about it.
Here's what it comes down to for me:
Either God is God, or He isn't.
I know He is.
And because God is the Creator of life--well, He can use me.
Over and over again.