Thursday, May 2, 2013

our family is outside the norm

As a family of unusual size, we know we're outside of the cultural norm.  We are aware.  Our family doesn't fit into the typical sedan, and we often have to wait longer for a table at a restaurant.  When we were traveling last summer, we had more than one hotel inform us that our number was too great to book a single room.

And then there are the remarks.  It's not uncommon for my husband and I to hear "You know, they've figured out what causes that!" and comments even more clever than that (!).  I fear that Jeff hears it more than I do, being out in the workforce.   In my homeschooling circle, having a large family is more common, although that certainly isn't the case at the church where we attend and serve.  Still, there's no doubt about it, we're the family that's not like the others.  And we're okay with that.

It didn't used to be this way, though.  Larger families used to be common and celebrated.  For a number of reasons, which I won't discuss today, our society has changed its view of what the "ideal" family should look like.  Is it for the best?  I don't believe it is, but that's a different post for a different day...

My husband and I have made a point of growing less sensitive to the comments.  We realize that, as an anomaly, we are more likely to draw attention, thoughtless remarks, and criticism.    There are people in our life who find our brood highly amusing.  I can't imagine why, but they seem to find it hilarious that we are raising five children.  They never miss an opportunity to make us the punchline of a joke.  Others have been more encouraging and supportive, though, and we appreciate these folks more than we can say.

It's not always easy to live outside the parameters of what our culture has decided is "normal."  We find that it's worth it, however.   And we didn't choose this life to appease culture.  Heaven forbid that ever become our goal!

Why am I writing all this?  I suppose I want to encourage you today, to examine your own attitude toward children.  Our society views them as a burden - but in truth they are a blessing!   THIS POST sums it up very well, and I highly encourage you to take a look.  

Today I'm asking you to consider how our culture views children, and then ask yourself how God views them.  Examine the Scriptures, pray.

And for goodness' sake, be kind in what you say.   I don't want my children to hear people talk about what a chore they are.  They are blessings.  They are our treasures.


Jill Foley said...

With Kevin's family - we are the ones outside the norm because we only have 2 kids.

I think God calls us to different things. Our family may look small, but we have 26 kids around the world that we call our kids. I know it's not the same....but God has called our family to minister to others in this way. Is it normal to sponsor and write to 26 kids? Not for most!

txmom24 said...

What an awesome post Mindy, so well spoken. Also, something I really needed to hear this week with my 4 blessings. Thank you!