Generation Cedar

“The lady in the next line exclaimed, clearly shocked, ‘You’re PREGNANT?  Was it planned?’ I didn’t say anything, too busy getting my jaw off the floor. But the little girl thinks and says, ‘God plans everybody’. -Mary

baby

“And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.” Genesis 4:1

That verse struck me when I read it out loud.  You don’t hear that much from a woman who has just given birth.

The thing is, we are unable, in the familiarity of technology and the ability to control almost everything, to step back, and with child-like eyes, the eyes Eve had, consider the subject of reproduction in its simplicity, and just be willing to see it for what it is.

Could I kindly steer you away from the “buts” and “what ifs”…I don’t think it matters at all about whether it’s wrong or right to use birth control, what methods are acceptable, etc. I think what matters about children and God’s gift of bearing them is that we start at the right place, longing to know and share God’s heart about His creation and embracing the revelation of that as it is written both in His Word and in our bodies.

“I have gotten a man from the Lord”.

Adam and Eve knew one another…the beautiful, holy, unaltered marriage bed where conception is only seen as a “gift from the Lord”, not something to fear or avoid.

Is that how I view my own reproduction?

Do I have child-like eyes of faith?

When once I get that the Lord gives children, my heart is changed.  I am now grateful with an unspeakable awe that He would grant such a gift.  Perhaps the barren woman has a better understanding of the miracle of an open or closed womb.  Does that require a rigid set of rules concerning my fertility?  No.  When my heart says with Eve’s…”the Lord gives life“, it is enough.

24 Responses

  1. Kelly, I am the barren woman. There are people I know who can make up their minds that they want to have a child, and get pregnant almost by thinking about it. And yet they voluntarily close their womb. If they had any idea what an absolute gift they were refusing, or what a miracle it would be for me to be able to open my own womb as easily as they have closed theirs, I would like to think their perspective would be different. Of course it is difficult for me when friends announce that they are pregnant. But I am able to rejoice with them for this new life. What breaks my heart is not all those pregnant people–it is the ones who have been given an unspeakably valuable gift, and throw it away as though it is nothing more than an inconvenience. Sisters, do not take for granted the gift of an open womb! It is precious.

  2. I think this message is for me tonight. This is exactly what I am struggling with right now. We have two children and my youngest is three. I am longing to have another baby in my arms. To hold another precious new life.

    But…..I let doubt and “what ifs” creep in my mind. Can we afford it (our insurance doesn’t cover maternity), will I be able to keep up with homeschooling while sick and pregnant. Can we, will I, but what if….I know i’m being silly about it. I know in my heart that I should have the “eyes of Eve” and I trust God with everything in our lives. Why am I struggling so much with accepting God’s gift of bearing more children? When it’s something we want so badly.

    “He’s still working on me.”

    ~Brandi

  3. Then I read April’s comment and I am humbled. I am being foolish and selfish with my worldly worries.

    I am receiving a word from you ladies tonight. My heart is open, and I am hoping my womb is too.

  4. April,

    Your words fall heavy. Thank you so much for being willing to share what I’m sure is a painful reality for you. Trusting the Lord –either way–can be so trying. May His grace be sufficient for you…

  5. Brandi,

    What a sweet revelation when we can say with the Psalmist, “It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves”, and then fall back into the arms of Him who supplies all our needs according to His riches!

  6. Yes and Amen!

    April’s comments resonate with me. After losing two babies, though I have 3 living children, watching other throw thier thriving healthy babies away by abortion, or listening to them complain about their ‘misery’ as mothers just kills me.

    I have no trouble at all rejoicing for women who are pregnant, even though I desperately wish I was too. But I have a lot of trouble restraining my anger towards people who turn God’s blessing on it’s head and call it a curse. It is most heartbreaking to see among Christians who will acknowledge God said children are blessings, but don’t live it or speak it into their children’s lives.

  7. I am a young mother, 21. I have two boys ages 2 and 18months. I got pregnant when my oldest son was only 4 months old. I am now 9 months pregnant expecting a third son anytime now. I love my children!! They are such a blessing. I do not view children as burdens, I have been actually quite adamant that child spacing should be left to God. I enjoy raising my children, and do not mind how close in age they are, that is not the problem. I can handle the children with joy, no matter how many little ones under age X there are. Children are not related to finances for me or my husband, we have always kept those two things very separated.

    With that said, It is the pregnancies I struggle with. I have good pregnancies, I am a healthy young woman. Every thing is normal. I am very open to having more children, and have believed I would be happy with as many as god gives me. I just dislike pregnancy so much. I have found myself looking into NFP and other non-abortive methods of birth control for when this pregnancy ends….so that I might have more space between this pregnancy and the next.

    I have always looked at the women who are “quiver full,” and they were all (for the most part) over the age of 30. They had an epiphany at some point that God wanted them to trust their family size to him. It seems so conveinient that they only have a good 10 maybe even 15 years of fertility left…..and most women after age 30 have a significant decrease in fertility….they are just not as fertile as they were in their 20’s, its a fact.

    My point is…. it is easy to throw all caution to the wind when your fertility is in decline to begin with…. however it is a bit harder when you are faced with the possibility of having a pregnancy every year for the next X number of years! (once again, it is not the babies it is the pregnancies, and I do not believe in pain killers for labor…)

    And I breastfeed, exclusively for a year. My pregnancies are still closely spaced.

    I know it sounds as if I am complaining…and maybe my tune will change once again after this baby is in my arms…It is hard to remember the paycheck when you are working your shift. I know it is worth it….but it’s hard to remeber! I guess I am just reaching out for encouragement on a random blog… lol. I want to let God plan my children and control my fertility….but then when your nine months pregnant just waiting for the baby to come any minute….and he doesn’t….it is so hard to think about doing this again anytime soon!!

    Sorry, I know I rambled!! And I know that I should be more aware of how precious a gift a pregnancy that results in a healthy baby is…I guess lately I have had a hard time keeping that in focus…I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, I know many women would be so happy to be able to be able to be pregnant, but my question is….would they still feel the same if they weren’t barren? If they hadn’t experienced the emptiness? If instead of no pregnancies they couldn’t help getting pregnant?

  8. Mrs. K – Hugs and kudos to you for your honesty! And I like what you said about it being hard to remember the paycheck while you’re working the shift. I think that is true in SO many areas of life, especially for Christians.

    I wanted to make clear, just in case anyone were to misunderstand me (not that they have–just being cautious), that my comment was not out of bitterness or self-pity (though I definitely struggle with both from time to time!), nor did I want to lay a guilt trip on anyone. It’s just so easy to forget how blessed we really are, and I wanted to remind people of that. I have never known true hunger, but I’m sure if I spent some time in a third world country and saw hunger face to face, I would have some perspective on my growling tummy when I’ve gone a little while without a meal. I know that what I (and Kelly) said may be convicting to some, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I just hope that it is encouraging as well.

    Oh, and thanks for the hugs. :o)

  9. This an excellent post. Mrs.K I often have the same thoughts that you are having. I had my first child at 21 and now I am 27 with 4 children. I know am blessed. We are open to more children, but haven’t gotten to the point to totally leave it up to God. But, we have come along way. It’s not easy to reprogram a life time of believing that birth control is the responsible way to go for a married couple. Well, my train of thought has stopped, maybe it will run again later lol

  10. Great picture Kelly with this post! Especially as I am expecting #8 next spring/summer.

    Mrs. K…your honesty is refreshing. I had our first child at the age of 23 and by 30 had had 4 children and one miscarraige. These were the years we also used birth control and nursed 2 of those kids.

    Then I decided not to use the pill and see what God had planned. My fertility has NOT declined in my 30’s….and was just as robust as ever. Through the years I have struggled to maintain God’s perspective on life and how awesome it really is to be a tool in the creator’s hand …..like a first assistant…in the making of another little person. In our circles, there are not many other Christians with the Biblical wisdom of children to draw encouragement from in the midst of a pregnancy, homeschooling, or to ask for valuable hands on practical help.

    This pregnancy is miserable….although I know it will bear wonderful fruit…it’s just getting through the misery to that joyful end that I struggle with. The all -encompassing tiredness, the lack of understanding /support from husband and kids,…the constant yucky feeling…ect.

    My husband has been wanting to “stop” and call it quits in the child-bearing department….but, I can’t help wondering: ” What if God has something more in store for us….is there another little person he is waiting to hand to us? And what would it say about our beliefs if we truly believe that children are gifts from the Lord?

    I’m willing to share my all-day sickness with anyone who wishes it was them! 😉 blah! And the prison diet I am trying to keep down as all other food other then bread and water is just hard to swallow at this point. ( And all the tricks in the book don’t always work for morning ….whoops…all-day & night sickness)

    Don’t mean to complain….just wanted to share it’s hard to keep perspective when you’re in the middle of the stream.

  11. Children are a gift. I am one of those who has had great fertility in her 20s (4 kids in 5.5 years). If I’m fertile until I’m 45 like my mom, we’d easily end up with a total of about 18 children! There are legitimate questions about affording enough house and food and education for them (which I believe are biblical considerations). We don’t live in a perfect world.
    But, like in everything else in our Christian life, it is something that we take to the Lord. As my husband and I grow in our prayer life together, we learn to discern what we believe is the right thing for us. We study the Bible together to help us answer our questions. We are working continually to let God prove that He can and will do more than we can ever imagine, and no matter what happens, we will live in peace of making our decisions with the guidance and counsel of the Holy Spirit.
    When I get to my deathbed, and then meet Jesus and discuss the way I lived my life, I want to be confident before Him that I did my best to throw off the things that hinder, and did my best to yield to His voice, direction, and guidance. I know I’ve rambled… but my message to others and myself is simplified in, “We must make our fertility and marriage bed decisions a serious matter of prayer, not a matter of what everyone else says or seems to be doing.”

  12. Mrs K, I can imagine your worry about closely spaced pregnancies.

    I would like to say, though, that not all QF families are “older” folks.

    My dh and I married when I was 19. We have never used birth control, and had five pregnancies in these 7 years, though only three babies born alive. This last pregnancy came at exactly the *wrong* time, practically speaking. I didn’t even get a positive test until dh had been in Africa for 3 weeks, and he will be there most of the year. But I tell you what, after we lost that baby, I would give anything to have back the inconvenience and sickness and human worries of that pregnancy, and to hold that little one in my arms next Spring. 🙁

    I have numerous friends who either started marriage QF, or came to that conviction in their mid-twenties, leaving them with the real possibility of several decades worth of fertility.

    The way I look at it, we are not guaranteed control either way. I certainly would have imagined that we’d have a horde of children by now, and that was my hope from early on in my life. Three boys sometimes seems like a horde, lol, but truly, I have come to understand that it *is* God only who gives us these children and it is *his* plan, and for *his* glory, even when it doesn’t fit with our human plans and desires.

  13. Children are a gift, however God brings them to your family. I also am barren, but God has blessed our family through adoption. The story of how we received our daughter is a miracle and she is a blessing and the joy of my life. We have adopted three children and are hoping to adopt a fourth, but that is not progressing as quickly as we had hoped.

  14. It is so beautiful to see the love and compassion one towards another here while all are in different places. This is the Body in its beauty….

  15. As a mama who feared early on that we would have hordes of children if we surrendered my womb to the Lord, let me assure, it probably won’t turn out like you think. You have no idea if your fertility will continue, if you will get pregnant but lose those babies to miscarriage, or have as many children as the Lord gives. Fifteen years into this, it is not how I thought it would look, at all! I don’t have nearly as many as the “odds” would say I would.

    we don’t deal with odds, we deal with a sovereign God Who already knows how many children will complete our quiver.

    It is so hard, from my experience, to just let those thoughts go, finances, housing, health, ect. and just trust. His plans are perfect no matter if they involve endless pregnancies or miscarriage after miscarriage or barrenness. My body is His to do with as He pleases. If I am blessed to only carry a baby for a few months only to give it back to the Lord before I hold him/her who am I to question my Lord? Behold, the handmaiden of the Lord. . .

    You need to know I am preaching to myself here too, not trying to step on toes, I guess I needed to ‘hear’ it. LOL
    A quote I read today:
    “Rest in the knowledge that My ways are perfect and My grace is all-sufficient. My help is adequate, no matter what may befall you.”

  16. It was hard to see at the time, but the 11 months that we waited for our little one were such a blessing, not just in terms of where we are now as a couple, but also to give us the chance to experience how much of a blessing from God this child is. We have to see her as a gift, given out of the loving care of our Father in his own time rather than simply conceived out of our own wills. She is not really ours, but His, shared with us to steward for a little while.
    We hope to have more children and I am so grateful that He gave us the opportunity to see the interplay between our own attempts at wisdom and His perfect provision for us. We will probably never go all the way to QF, but I hope that we will welcome each child as thankfully as we do this one, regardless of whether it was an unexpected gift or one long awaited.

  17. Hi, I found you through Lady Why’s blog, and I must say, I am intrigued by this post and the comments.
    I can add yet another perspective to this mix. My husband (after our 4th child in 6 years) had a vasectomy because he just thought, financially and space-wise, we couldn’t handle any more children. I very reluctantly agreed (the baby was only a few weeks old..not a good time to decide).
    Now, 6 years later, I am so convinced we made a terrible mistake and my heart is broken. We have talked about a reversal, and I have presented my reasons to him Biblically about why we should have trusted God, but he is still worried about finances.
    I love my husband and he is seriously one of the sweetest, most kindhearted men I know, but I genuinely think he is giving into fear (and some uncharacteristic selfishness). It is so hard, and I have had such a hard time waiting on the Lord as I beg him to change his heart.
    He is working on me, though. I am praying for contentment, no matter what the outcome.

  18. Gayle,

    That must be so difficult! And just maybe, sometimes God gives us one circumstance to refine us in a different area. Encouragement: this morning we read about Joseph’s horrible fate in Genesis. It took 14 years for him to see how God was working every detail out for his good!

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