Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Driver's Seat

Have you ever been a passenger in a car that was driven by someone else?
Wasn't that terribly irresponsible of you?
I mean, my goodness, you had very little if any control over what that person was going to do!  What if he drove too fast?  There you were, hurtling down the highway and you had no control--in fact, had you grabbed the steering wheel, you likely would have gotten hurt.
Did you know the exact route the driver would take?  You couldn't know for sure; he or she could easily go to the left or the right and you wouldn't have any control over that.
How did you know you would arrive at your destination at the right time?  Could you really trust the driver to get you where you needed to be, when you needed to be there?
Were you in the back seat, telling him how he really should be driving?

Or...were you content to sit in your seat, trusting that the driver knew what he was doing?

This is another way to look at my views on birth control:  I am trusting that my Driver knows what He is doing; that He has a plan for my life and for my children's lives.  I trust that He knows what's ahead and that He will send whom He will, when He wants because He is trustworthy.

I am excited to see what He has in store for me on this ride that is my life.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Quotable Quotes

"Having a lot of children wasn't something we decided to do in order to be popular; it wasn't very popular when we were making those choices.  It wasn't something we did for financial gain; it really wasn't cheaper by the dozen.  It wasn't a choice we made because we needed extra hands to labor; usually more work is extended than what is gained.
We simply trusted that if God said children are a blessing, He meant exactly that."
~Kelly Bates

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Miss Ivy--the Ballerina

My pretty two-year-old was outside playing with the rest of her siblings.
She would be happy to be outside all day long if I let her.
She would be happy to be outside all day long even if I didn't let her.

She was feeling so lovely because Linnea had done her hair in a bun that day,
declaring it "ballerina hair."
Her wispy blonde hair glistened in the sunlight.

When she wanted to be off her horse,
her knight cowboy came to her rescue

and when Miss Ivy said, "Push me--swing!" he obliged.

She has a rather convincing way about her.

I decided to get my little point and shoot camera out so that I could run a short video of her.
I love how she talks.  Please excuse the way I do.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Who's In Control?

There has been this big "block" in front of me lately, sort of a writing block...there's something that I want to "talk" about on here but it's one of those things that I want to make sure I say correctly, coherently, and concisely, and accomplishing those things requires some time and thought.
I think a lot, but don't have a lot of time to put my thoughts on paper or on a screen.

I started this post back in January and it's been before me since then.  I've tried to write around it, always feeling like I was avoiding something; sort of like when you tell your kids to pick up in their room and they dilly dally or actually play nicely for the first time that day (or week.)

Wanna know what it's about?  It's maybe not hard for you to guess.

Birth control.

Dun, dun, duuuunnnnnnnnnnn.
Shocking, I know.

Now, could I ask a favor of you?  Could you just read this with an open mind and heart?  Would you please not get offended and then not read my blog anymore if you disagree with me?  If you leave a comment, would you please be gentle if you disagree with me?  Even if you disagree wholeheartedly?

After hemming and hawing my way through many attempts both in my head and by way of typing them out, I decided the best way is to just say it.

So here goes.

Birth control is, well, taking control.
As a born again Christian, I want God to be the Lord of my life.  I am surprised at how often I hear believers talk about surrendering their lives to the Lord but who insist on keeping this part of their lives under their own control.  Sort of like, "Send me wherever you wish, Lord.  I'll go to the ends of the earth to do what you ask and to tell others about you, but I won't have a baby unless it's on my terms."

NFP (Natural Family Planning) and FAM (Fertility Awareness Method) are still birth control.
In my opinion, this is still trying to manipulate or control something that I believe is a complete miracle and as such, completely up to God and His timing.

Yeah, well, God gave you a brain, right? Shouldn't you use it? and other such comments
Yes, God gave me a brain and I do use it.  He also gave His created a command:  Be fruitful and multiply.  It has never been rescinded in all of Scripture.
I read once where someone likened the declining of a child in this way:  Yes, children are a blessing.  So is food.  But I need to control how much food I take in.  
True.  But the Bible warns about gluttony.  Nowhere in all of Scripture does it ever speak of children as anything but a blessing and a reward, a heritage.

Isn't that like jumping off a tall building and saying "Ok, Lord, if you want to save me, You can!"
Um, no. That's the part where you use the brain God gave you.

God can be trusted.  He is trustworthy.
I have nothing to add to this.

Trusting God with your family size does NOT necessarily mean you will have a bunch of kids.
First, let me say that it would be ridiculous for me to assert that a family equals a certain number.  A husband and wife are a family, whether they have children or not.  My point is that I believe it's something that should be up to God.
My grandparents never used any form of birth control and they had 7 children.  While I know that that may seem like a lot, it's certainly nowhere near the number 20 that is commonly purported. "If we just left that up to God, we'd have like 20 kids!!!"
Seriously, do you think God is caught off guard?  "Aww, snap!!  I knew I should have kept a closer eye on those two when he started that back rub!!  Now I'm going to have to go and make plans for another one of these humans!"
I say no.  I don't believe God is surprised at new life.  I believe that God has a plan for each and every person, as stated in Jeremiah 29:11   I believe that that begins even before conception.  God says so in His Word. Psalm 139

If I may be so bold (why stop now?) for many Christians it's like saying "I trust God but not that far. I mean, let's not get crazy here..."
And you know what?  That was me.  I used to think that way.  Our first four kids were born with me thinking that way.  That's when we began to see that the control wasn't ours to possess.  And I'm so glad the Lord intervened--because I wouldn't have had the opportunity to know them.  They wouldn't be here had God not shown me, in His mercy, that His plans were and are better than mine.

Is someone really more worthy of life just because they're first or second?  But fourth or maybe fifth in line, sorry!
We bemoan the fact that in some countries, babies are tossed away simply because they are a girl.  I wonder, is throwing someone away just because they're the wrong number any different?

Along these bold lines, how about...Permanent Sterilization
I hear things like "but God gave us doctors who can do surgeries so you don't have to worry about having more babies."
To this I say, just because it can be medically done, doesn't mean it should be done.  Gender re-assignment comes to mind.
Also, please consider this:  vasectomies and tubal ligation are procedures/surgeries wherein a functioning part of the body is rendered broken/non-functioning.  Typically, surgery is to fix what is broken, not to break what needs no fixing.  Ironically, it's called "getting fixed."

I believe God is the Creator and Author of Life.
I have not been given any special insight into who should live and who should not.  When it comes down to it, this is the biggest reason for me. It's not up to me.  I don't want the responsibility of deciding who should live or not because that is something WAY bigger than me.

It is no act of my will that creates a child.  That is purely God.  Even if I sought after conception with all kinds of medical intervention ie, in vitro, etc. the creation of a life still rests in the hands of the Creator.

Could we talk now about chemical birth control?
Read the package insert.  I'm not making it up and the pharmaceutical companies openly admit it.  There are three mechanisms of the Pill/Patch.
1) inhibiting ovulation
2) thickening cervical fluid
3) thinning and shriveling the lining of the uterus to the point that it is unable or less able to facilitate the implantation of the newly fertilized egg (medical speak for "baby").

The first two mechanisms are contraceptive; the third is abortive.  When I learned this 7 years ago, I was shocked, saddened, disbelieving and finally repentant.
Did you know? In America, chemical abortions are estimated to kill more than 7 million babies each year--while surgical abortions kill about 1.5 million babies each year. (source)

I highly recommend this article and book:

In her book, Lies Women Believe, Nancy Leigh DeMoss says "as a destroyer of life, Satan is definitely not into encouraging childbearing."  She, in turn, quotes Mary Pride's penetrating book The Way Home,
Family planning is the mother of abortion.  A generation had to be indoctrinated in the ideal of planning children around personal convenience before abortion could become popular.  We Christians raise an outcry against abortion today, and rightly so.  But the reason we have to fight those battles today is because we lost them thirty years ago.  Once couples began to look upon children as creatures of their own making, who they could plan into their lives as they chose or not, all reverence for human life was lost... 
 ...Abortion is first of all a heart attitude.  "Me first."  "My career first."  "My reputation first."  "My convenience first."  "My financial plans first."  And these exact same choices are what family planning, which the churches have endorsed for three decades, is all about."
Trust me when I say that I am not writing this to any one person in particular.  In a way, though, perhaps I am.  Maybe there is one person reading this whose heart God has been preparing.  Maybe.  It is my hope.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I'm Working On It

I have some things that I'd like to say in a few different posts but I'm having a hard time gathering my thoughts and typing them out.

Honestly, I think I'm experiencing some opposition from the enemy because what I want to say concerns life.  Life--you know, what Satan hates.

I've been wanting to write about it for months now, but never seem to have two hands with which to type or any time to myself to write it out uninterrupted.

Hopefully soon.

Just didn't want you to think I'd gone away...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

We May Have Something In Common

When I meet people who "only" have a few kids (their words, not mine), they often think their lives are quite different than mine.
But we may not be all that different...

If you are tired of trying to come up with a meal that at least most of your family enjoys, we may have something in common.

If you've heard your name (Mom) spoken in love, fear, anger, panic, desperation, joy, or all of the above, we may have something in common.

If you hear your name (Mom) spoken a bajillion times in one day, we may have something in common.

If you can't remember the last time you used the bathroom uninterrupted, we may have something in common.

If you know the bring-you-to-your-knees pain of stepping on a lego, we may have something in common.

If you've now come to the point where you interrupt yourself,  we may have something in common.

If you have told someone you needed to "use the potty" and that someone was not your child, we may have something in common.

If it has taken you more than three attempts to get to the right child's name (Natha--Isai--Li--Andrew!) we may have something in common.

If you've looked at your spouse over the heads of your children and realized you can't even remember what life was like before you had them, we may have something in common.

If you have nursed your baby during an eye exam, we most definitely have something in common.

If you have ever used the bathroom while holding a sleeping baby because you were so desperate for the baby to stay asleep that you dared not risk him/her waking up by laying them down,  we may have something in common.

If you've ever considered using instant coffee granules as bath salts, we may have something in common.

If upon seeing a tube on the bathroom counter, you have gone to your 3 year old to make sure that she didn't just brush her teeth with diaper ointment instead of toothpaste, we may have something in common.

If you have looked over this list and realized how many of these real-life-occurrences have to do with the bathroom, we may have something in common.

Monday, March 5, 2012

I'm Blessed

We hosted an Open House for my parents' 40th anniversary yesterday.
I wrote about them here.

I snapped this picture of them
and wanted to share it with you.

I'm so blessed to have them as my mom and dad,
to have been raised in their home and under their guidance.
I'm so thankful for our immediate family
and our extended family who came to celebrate with us.
We are so blessed to be able to have get-togethers that don't contain petty or large disagreements that divide.

I'm blessed that all my life,
this is the image I have of my parents:
Not only do they love each other,
they genuinely like being together.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Encouragement for New Moms

Recommended by my friend Theresa,
this post is just too lovely and too helpful not to share:

For me one of the most helpful things after Elizabeth was born were the meals.
I said more than once that there were three main things on my mother-plate at that time
1) caring for the children and Dennis
2) laundry and general upkeep of the house
3) cooking 

It seemed I was only able to keep up with two of the three.  
If the kids got dressed and I got a meal on the table, then there was no way the clothes got washed and there were toys and junk everywhere.

If I kept the house from being worthy of a visit from a social worker and got everyone fed, then it seemed like I hadn't even held the baby or cared for the other children.

If I made supper and the kids were in good shape, then no one had clean clothes to wear!
(Some may say to just re-wear and we did to a point.  But on a farm it's pretty imperative to keep up with the laundry!)

Not to mention that along with the major life-event that is childbirth and the sleep deprivation comes a numbing of the mind--the seeming inability to put things in order enough to assemble a meal, much less put it together and serve it even remotely on time!

Hence, it was SO HELPFUL to not have to worry about that one aspect on the days when I had help with meals.

Once when we all were under the weather and I was newly pregnant and feeling crummy from that,
a friend sent me an email and said she'd be over on a certain day, she'd be able to stay for about an hour, and for me to think of what I would like help with during that time.
This was so helpful because it
1) gave me time to think {remember the numb mind?!}
2) let me know she was coming for more than a visit {A "plain" visit is great--don't get me wrong!}
3) gave me time to prepare
I had her help me wash the kitchen floor.  
Had she just stopped by for a visit and said "what can help with?" my personality is such that I could never have asked her to wash the floor because I wouldn't have had time to sweep it first!  (I'm easily embarrassed by our messes.)

What have been your most helpful experiences?
Maybe not even with a new baby--maybe it's been during an illness or after a loss.
If you'd like to share, I'd love to hear!

Thursday, March 1, 2012


I really do wear my baby--see?

totally hands-free when needed
sweet baby dreams...
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