Thursday, March 21, 2013
how I became a mother of five
My husband and I have a larger family than I ever dreamed.
Back when we were dating, we had the talk. You know: the one about family size. How many kids did I want? Two...maybe three. But my husband? He wanted six. Yes, six. I wrote him off as a little crazy and decided that I ought to be able to have the final say because, after all, I was the mama.
I really was pretty meek and mild, but on this I was firm. I wasn't having any six children.
The summer I was pregnant with our third son, we talked a lot about whether or not we were "done." I was feeling finished, and I thought Jeff was on the same page. Still, after our little one was born, my husband didn't have peace about closing the door on more children. So we waited and talked, and talked some more. I must admit, I was a little annoyed. I thought we'd had a deal. I thought, "Okay, we've had three healthy, gorgeous kids. We've had the births we wanted - safe, perfect waterbirths. Let's stop while we're ahead." Besides, our house was feeling a little crowded with three boys under the roof.
But my husband didn't have peace about it. So we waited.
And you know what? The Lord completely changed my heart. It's true, and do you know how I know it was the Lord? Because I never, ever would have chosen this way of my own accord. I wanted things neat and tidy, easy to manage. I wanted things wrapped up in a neat little bow. Three kids. Three bedrooms. The minivan. No extra chairs needed at the dining room table. Convenient.
But He did, He changed my heart. It was a complete 180. And when I decided to let Him call the shots, and to respect the way He was leading my husband, I had the most tremendous peace about adding more children to my family.
If they weren't all healthy? That would be alright. If we ended up having a less-than-perfect birth experience? We would be okay. And bedroom arrangements, we would figure those out too.
So we opened up to the idea of God growing our little family. We let go of that control, we relinquished some of our preferences. We opened our hands and our hearts to receive what He might give us. I experienced so much joy at that letting go! There were times of anxiety and nervousness, but we believed God would be faithful; He would lead us.
Since that time we gave been blessed with a perfectly delightful daughter and a dimpled son who is absolutely bursting with charm. They are gifts to our family. They bring us joy every day. Of course they stretch us. Of course there are times when things are hard. But they are worth it.
God has been faithful to us on this journey. He has provided us with a spacious home - but we would be fine if He hadn't. He has graciously allowed us to experience two more beautiful home waterbirths - but if that wasn't to be, we would have coped. He has provided. We don't know what the future holds, but we do know this: He is faithful. He gives grace daily to parent this little brood He's given us.
It's not always neat. It's not always tidy. Yes, there's more laundry and we go through more food than some families. I am regularly amazed at how often I run the dishwasher. And I often play the single parent when my husband serves in church on Sunday mornings and sometimes manage five bedtimes (not to mention baths) all by myself. But I've learned how to do what needs to be done. With God's help, with God's grace, you figure it out.
It's not always convenient, or neat, or tidy. But this is our family. These are our children - our beautiful, amazing blessings from above. And they are worth it.