Generation Cedar

Recently, I received this comment and question:

We are exhausted of hearing about birth control and you bragging about your large family.  The women who read here already want big families so why do you keep talking about it, beating it like a dead horse?  Why don’t you talk about something we care about?”

It could have been a valid question without the “snark”, (and I’m tempted to be flattered that this reader obviously believes my personal blog is the only one in cyberspace) and maybe others wonder as well, so when I received this email (not uncommon from many I receive),  I thought it answered better than I could precisely why I keep talking about it.

May it also encourage ALL of you to know that your role in mentoring, teaching and encouraging other women matters! I am just one woman, not unlike any one of you who can share your heart and passions with those around you.  It is so exciting and amazing to me to watch how the LORD can use a seed-word, dropped along the soil, and water it to make it bear fruit. We must remember the increase comes from Him, but know that He delights in using our feeble words to plant.  Don’t take lightly the opportunities God gives you to speak truth with your lives and your words!

“Kelly, I recently found your blog through a Raising Homemakers post you authored. I became interested in you, not because of that post, but because of your larger than average family. I gave birth to my 3rd child in May and since then my husband and I have been trying to figure out what to do about delaying another pregnancy for a while, or stopping having babies altogether. We were both praying and seeking God and felt that he was calling us to trust him with when and how many children we should have. The idea of having a huge family was overwhelming, so I went looking for other Christian women who had given up their wombs to the Lord to find out their thoughts and testimonies. I think I read almost all of your posts on the subject of birth control and children in one day.

I just want you to know that God really used you to speak to me, encourage me and has really changed my heart toward my current and future children. I went from being terrified of having too many children to so excited that I can’t wait to get pregnant again. (emphasis mine) I feel like a radically changed woman and I know that my life and my children’s lives will be forever changed. Thank you Kelly, for your heart to serve the Lord, for your passion for the Word and for your dedication to speak the Truth even in the face of opposition. Be encouraged and keep up the good work. You ARE making a difference!”

Sincerely, Kayci

To God be the glory, great things He has done!

70 Responses

  1. Oh, how very precious!

    We have been so deceived to believe that children are a burden instead of a blessing. Each of our children enrich our lives in ways we could never imagine before they arrived.

    And I know that having more children requires me to be more dependent on the Lord. Through this role, He matures me in ways He wouldn’t be able to if I had no children, or less children. I often joke that I am a permanent student in the Lord’s Remedial Patience Class. 🙂

  2. I was tickled by her inconsistency in saying, “Why don’t you talk about something we care about.” This is your blog, and you, obviously are going to talk about what you care about. People are free to come and read, or not to read, as they choose. I’m sure there are other blogs that talk about what she’s interested in. The real question is – why keep coming back to this one? Does the topic interest her, but she’s loathe to admit it?

    But why keep talking about it? Becuase it’s a matter of life or emptiness!

    I was raised with one younger brother and once we were in our upper teens, Christmas lost it’s luster. Thanksgiving seemed empty with just us four and 2 grandparents around the table. Then for 10 years our family was stagnant – no new people and gradually the grandparents were gone. It was a long time before either of us married and there were new people around the table, and then 5 more years before either of us had a new baby. FINALLY – Christmas could be joyous again. All those years I had an empty ache for the younger siblings (or older ones) that never were, and the children that had not yet come. I decided I wanted a large family (I would say “four to six children” and one time somebody misheard it and thought I had said “forty-six” 🙂

    I think I’d rather have the chaos and the smiles, tickles and numerous opportunities to work on relating with others than the loneliness and inherent selfishness that came with being only one of two. (Not everybody in small families is selfish, but it sure is easy to only think of yourself when there aren’t many other people to think of beside yourself!)

  3. Well, I love your blog and the truth that you write about, if I could only articulate my words are well as you do…You inspire me to be a good wife and mom….Thank you for your blog, Heidi

  4. Kelly, I am constantly amazed at the emails and comments you receive! This is your blog and you write what the Holy Spirit prompts you to write. Whether it be inspiring, controversial, funny or educational it’s all God-led. I appreciate your openness, your boldness, your compassion. I have learned a LOT from you just in how you respond to others’ negativity.

  5. Kelly, I know you’ve heard this from me before but you are a blessing.God has spoken to me many times through you.I am so greatful.Often you have put words to my beliefs in away that I could not.You have help people in my everyday personal life understand why I have so many children.Thank you thank you thank you always.

  6. I’m not sure who the “we” are that the first email is speaking of. I choose to join with Kayci and praise the Lord for the voice you give to His truth! Thank you. WE are grateful that you write of the things that the LORD cares about!

  7. I have been following your blog for about a year now and it has really been a blessing to me spiritually. Birth control is something that I thought did not have any moral implications apart from choosing a method that would not destroy a life that was concieved. The idea that not having children or preventing them from coming into the world after having “enough” as a moral issue was foreign to me as a Christian. Thanks to you and other ladies who blog on the topic this is now a subject of prayer and study.May God bless you and your family.

  8. Hello
    I just want to say. My husband and I were raised in a family that you used birth control and you only had a few children. So after we got married we thought we would do the same. Well three years into our marriage God decided to show us what the real meaning of life is about. We started watching the Duggars on tv and were completely amazed that someone can have that many children and still raise a Godly family. We have been watching the Duggars since 2006 and we are proud to say that with much prayer and bible reading God has not only refined our hearts but our minds and attitudes. We now homeschool our children and are leaving everything in our lives including children up to God. I am so greatful for families like yours who put your family out there for the world to see. We need more Godly families like yours.

    PS how is the new pregnancy comming a long?

    Kasey

  9. But it is also not necessary to throw away all forms of birth control to be considered a good Christian.

    Judge not lest ye be judged is often forgotten on this blog. The Holy Spirit compels me to visit here and say this, with the hopes that you will find more compassion for those who do not live as you do.

    Blessings

    1. Miri,

      You must be careful to not ascribe to me accusations of which I’m not guilty. I’ve never said you can’t be a “good Christian” (though I don’t know that I believe in that term) if you use birth control. All throughout history, Christians have been misled by one teaching or another and it is our responsibility to raise questions when we believe there’s an area in the church that has adopted some thinking not rooted in Scripture. It is in love that I challenge readers, not because I am judging.

      “Judge not lest ye be judged is often forgotten on this blog”….

      A careful reading and understanding of the passage (which is mostly misquoted) will help you to know that talking about something the Bible talks about is not “judging”. I have never condemned anyone here for using birth control; I simply talk about the realities of it, what the Bible says about the sacredness of life and the blessing of children, and challenge readers to consider if the birth control mentality reconciles with all these things.

      You may *feel* judged, but that is not my doing.

  10. Hi Kelly
    Please don’t stop talking about it – after all if someone isn’t happy they can go to other blogs to read.
    Let me share: Through various things- one being yours & other beautiful christian women who are ‘mums of many’, I have been convicted of how much of a blessing children are (as well as just loving spending so much time with the precious 4 that we have). Well I asked my hubby to pray about this over a year ago & God has worked in his heart & well he feels the same way I do – that children are indeed a blessing – so much so that next week he is having a vasectomy reversal.
    So thankyou for what you say & for the challenges you put out there. God is using your work on this blog
    From my heart
    Renata:)

    1. Our testimonies regarding this are quite the same, Renata. My husbands reversal is scheduled for exactly one month from today. God is so good! I’m praying for you!!

  11. Kelly, I know you will not, but just to encourage you: Please don’t stop!
    You are a blessing!
    Eze. 33:7 “So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.”

  12. “Judge not”, is more often than not misused, in response to a comment above.
    I was also raised with a birth control mindset. My heart was changed after I became a Christian, and we have gotten many snide comments for having 6 children. We know that we left it to the Lord, and are very blessed with our children.
    Almost 3 years ago, after much prayer and wrestling about it, my husband had a vasectomy, for medical reasons on my part. On this side, I like to forget the medical problems and grieve for the season that ended at 29 for me. I love my husband, and would have had 100 children with him if my body would have allowed it. We tried to make the best moral decision we could come up with, as we are against any chemical birth control. We decided other methods could allow a pregnancy to happen, but not thrive, like a tubal. I think we both secretly hoped it would fail. My husband was adopted, and I have wondered if our natural children season ended so fast because we are meant to bring in children who are not of my womb. I pray always that the Lord will lead us as He wills.
    I have enjoyed reading your posts about this issue, and feel the same as you do. This was the hardest thing we have ever had to decide, and I would hope your readers take great prayer and thought when they decide how to handle the issue of birth control.

    1. Samantha~It was such a blessing to read your comment. Our experiences sound very similar. My husband recently had a vasectomy as well for my health. And like you, I would have all the children from my own womb with him, but my health will not allow it. I also believe that there may be adoptions in our future. I am grieving that I will never hold a wee one from my own womb, but I trust that the Lord will bless us in other ways if it is His will. We have 4 beautiful children and we will see what is in the future.

      Kelly~I’ve been blessed often by your blog and we stopped using birth control pills from information and thoughts that you had posted. Thank you.

      Lots of love,
      Sommer

  13. I want to think I’ve been reading you blog for something like four years now. Never once have I become tired of you message. Rather have found it SUCH an encouragement as my family size has doubled to 6 children in that time! There are still so many women out there to reach so I pray that you continue to “exhaust” us all!

  14. I really, really appreciate the constant encouragement you all give to ME. I know I often discuss hard things and sometimes the criticism can weigh heavy, but again, I praise God who has created this little community in the corner of the web and I don’t take lightly the opportunity He has given me to speak to a few women.

    It is always a blessing for me to hear your stories, your struggles and the details of your journey. It makes all of our lives a bit easier, I think, when we share them.

    Thank you for being willing to share with me!

  15. Kelly, you already know our story, but I feel compelled to say again that God has used your words immeasurably in conjunction to what He was already showing me through His Word.
    Don’t ever stop speaking Truth. I can’t imagine where so many of us would be if those of you who felt the burden to teach the rest of us what God has so graciously shown you decided to take the easy road. It is painless to stay silent, but it is courageous and faithful to speak up. It solidifies that more of us need to share what God has shown to us. Much love to you, my sister.
    “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

  16. Amen!!! So glad your calling from the Lord will not be thwarted by a few naysayers. It is such a blessing to come to your blog! Thank you so much!!!!

    To those that think certain issues are talked about too much: Interestingly, “the opposing view” certainly does not take a vacation from trying to deceive and cause Christian families to make unbiblical choices either concerning children or other important issues. It is even more important that we as believers keep speaking the words of Scripture concerning every issue in life. We don’t just read a verse or passage one time and then move on to never consider it again. We should meditate, revisit the Word daily, over and over again. We are to renew our minds. We as believers should always be prepared to give a “defense” for the hope that is within us. That means equipping ourselves. Just like it takes consistent and repetitive application of exercises to develop muscles; It takes consistent and repetitive application of the Word to develop wisdom and be able to see the truth. There is no unbiblical “judging” going on here just the plain teaching of scripture applied to life and the deceptions of the world revealed.
    blessings, jen in al

  17. Kelly, I also want to thank you for speaking the truth here on your blog. I am sure the people that comment here are only a small percentage of your actual readers, so the truth-seeds you share are being planted in the hearts of many women. Even the commentors that are rude and argumentative, are having those seeds planted, and even if they say “I will never listen, I will never change…” the truth can penetrate a heart that seems to be of rock. You may never know the impact you are making as a willing vessel of His, until you meet Him face to face. Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no vision, the people perish…” Thank you for having the vision of speaking the truth. God bless you and your precious family.

  18. Kelly, I’m glad that you “keep talking about it”. Maybe if more people beat on this horse, it would actually be dead! The fact is, we live in a culture where most Christians don’t give birth control a second thought, don’t consider its implications, and don’t ask themselves what God would have them do in this area, in light of His Word and His promises.

    I used to think that couples that didn’t believe in birth control were having a contest to see who could have the most kids–and I found it obnoxious. Then I caught the greater vision of what God’s purpose was for me and my family, and I started to see the issue in a whole new light. I look back at the attitudes I used to have, and I cringe…but I didn’t have but one or two people in my life who challenged me to think any differently. Everyone else around me had the standard American two-children-per-couple mindset.

    All this to say that this is definitely not an issue that “everyone” already agrees on, so keep writing! You never know who might be reading…

    God Bless,

    Tiana

  19. Oh yes, do not be discouraged, I love that you blog about birth control (or should I say lack thereof…). I need to hear it and I need the encouragement. I love your blog. Keep up the good work! 🙂

  20. Kelly, I only read about 2-3 blogs and I love yours. Don’t stop talking about birth control if the Spirit is still leading you to. It affirms what the Lord shows me and I need the encouragement in my 3rd pregnancy. Plus, there is such a push to use birth control in the world and even the church that the blessing of children needs to be talked about often.

    I honestly do not think your posts are judgemental…maybe convicting! You are into turning people’s hearts towards the Lord’s, not just merely setting up a bunch of rules. I am suprised when I read contrarian commments sometimes that people don’t just find another blog to visit. God is using that though too.

    Please continue on sister and remember Matthew 5:11– “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.”

  21. Kelly, I wanted to ask how many children you have now and what your age is? The reason I’m asking is I am nearing 47 years old and have eight children. I have never taken birth control or tried to tell God how many children I wanted. I think God should be in charge of giving us 12 or giving us zero. So throughout my younger days I was very much on board with giving all of that to the Lord. However, I do find it harder to have faith the older I get! (You would think it would get easier). Along with age comes health issues (I have arthritis that has left several joints damaged and deformed). Also, as one ages giving birth and bouncing back from it doesn’t come as easy as it did in the 20’s and 30’s age range. The Lord knows all these things though and I trust Him with all of that…I just wanted to prepare the younger ladies with the fact that faith is a daily thing and sometimes the older you get the more it is stretched. God is faithful though and His word is true…”Children ARE a heritage of the Lord AND the fruit of the womb IS HIS REWARD!”

    1. Susan,

      I am 38 and my 9th baby is due in March. I think you are right–faith IS a process we never “learn” but continue to grow in, being required to give up new fears all our lives.

      My encouragement to you is, don’t fear what hasn’t happened. Most women stop bearing children around the age of 44 or 45, so it is quite likely your quiver is full! Also, if the Lord has sustained you this far, He is certainly faithful to do it again if He wills it, as I know you know.

      In the case where we’re merely dealing with age, and not a reproductive malfunction or illness, we can rest in God’s creation-perfection…if a 48-year-old has a baby, it is because the Lord has created her to do that, despite the warnings of “too old” 😉

      Just my two cents…

      1. Thanks for the reply. I agree it takes faith and if it’s not a baby God uses to teach us faith then he will use something else! A baby is definitely more fun that an illness though! The Lord bless you and this little one as he/she develops in your womb.

  22. I stop by here daily to see what new post you have. I do not reply very often, but I just wanted you to know that your blog is also an encouragement to me. My husband and I are hoping the Lord will bless us soon with our 4th.

    My DH and I have always agreed to not use hormonal BC or to ever sterilize ourselves, but DH would prevent in other ways to space our children. Our first and second and our second and third are both 2.5 years apart. Our baby is only 13 months and after much prayer and searching we have decided to leave this area of our lives in the Lord’s hands as well.

    It does make me fearful a bit, but at the same time it increased my faith in the Lord to provide. I am just happy that there are blogs and sites such as yours to encourage those of us who are going down a path that is not only against what the world believes but also what many Christians believe.

    So again many thanks to you for being brave enough to speak the truth and ask the hard questions.

  23. Kelly,
    Another note of confirmation and encouragement…
    God has used many avenues to show my husband and I He is not through providing children for our family. After our fourth child in 3 years (set of twins), my husband went for a vesectomy (that was a HE decision, not a WE decision)! I cried and cried… God is faithful. He has changed my husbands heart and he now realizes that decision was made on selfish grounds. Your blog is one of the many ways God has shown us His heart for his precious children! Thank you… we are now pursuing adoption… at my husbands leading:)

  24. The assumption that women reading here want a lot of babies is incorrect. Women reading here want as many children as the Lord sees fit. They want His will in this area of their lives (and hopefully all areas) 😉
    We have one. When asking God, He told us that was all we were having. Later, I learned I had really bad endrometriosis (sp), which makes getting pregnant really hard. I just thank the Lord that He led us to ask Him how many we were going to have. If we had not, we would have had heartache wanting more, but not getting them. Because of seeking Him, we were at complete peace because we knew His will for us was one.
    As it turns out, I am many spiritual daughters who are early 20s (I am 35) who need a woman my age to be their “mom.” HIS PLANS are perfect for HIS FUTURE for us!

    Also, I love this blog. I am unsure whether I agree 100% of the time (although I cannot recall I time I haven’t), but it does not matter. I know God has used you to speak to women, and I am thankful for your obedience.

    PS I love the exhortation to all of your readers to utilize their sphere of influence as the Lord leads. Sometimes we wives and mommies forget the little things we say and do impact others as much as they effect our homes. <3

  25. Kelly, you can add me to the list of readers who would’ve never even given birth control a second thought until reading your “Catheters and Birth Control” post. My maternal grandmother (WWII generation) never used birth control (yes, I actually asked her that!) and only had three children, but always wanted more. According to my mom, my dad “wouldn’t let” her have more than two, so ever since I got married my mom and grandma have encouraged me to “have all the children that they didn’t get to have” … but it honestly never occurred to me that the Lord could decide when and how many, and in my worldly mindset we waited until my husband was finished with college (although that didn’t stop us from getting married at 19) and after 7 years of marriage to start our family. Now, four years later we have three and are trying to figure out how many we can fit in with probably only about 10 fertile years left. Needless to say, you have been a great inspiration to us both and I believe my husband is more willing to go completely au natural than I am, since my first 2 are 14 months apart.

    So all that rambling was to say, would you mind listing all your children’s first names and ages for those of us that can’t quite keep them straight in our minds? Or is there somewhere on the blog that it’s already listed? I can’t ever remember where the boys are in the lineup!

    Thanks again for everything you write. Keep at it!

    1. I love hearing that your grandmother never used birth control and only had 3 children. That brings me some comfort:-) Wouldn’t it be neat to know how many children everyone would have IF they let God decide?

    2. Amanda,

      Sure…sometimes I need to list them so I can keep them straight 😉

      (On a side note, most of you know what I’m talking about, but when I went in for my first prenatal visit this time they made me fill out all the forms AGAIN, even though I’m there every year.

      So there I am, forced to list, on the spot, each child, birth weight, birth date, length of gestation and a few more things. It’s the most challenging “quiz” I’ve taken since my last calculus test. “Can’t you just look at my form from last year, for pity’s sake??? So I had to warn them that the info was probably slightly different than last year’s.)

      Bria–16
      Ashton–11
      Alexa–8
      Avalee–7
      Brooks–6
      Mallie–4
      Kyla–3
      Ellia–1

  26. Okay, I have another actual comment. Has anyone else noticed how non-Catholics always accept the Catholic Church’s position on birth control as a given, but when a Protestant says anything against birth control even non-Christians get their feathers ruffled? I’ve always heard people say, “oh, yeah they’re Catholic so that’s why they have so many kids” like it’s nothing, but I don’t see that same reaction to large Protestant families.

    1. That is a good question! I guess I’m always wondering where are all these big Catholic families? Is birth control being taught by the Catholic Church now?

      1. No, it most certainly is not. The Catholic Church regards use of birth control as a sin. Of course, as in most denominations, secular thinking and relativism has reared it’s evil head. Many *prominent* catholics have NO business whatsoever opening their mouths bc their beliefs and actions are in total disharmony with the church’s teaching.

        I personally love the birth control posts; but remember even people who do not practice BC may still have small families or even no children at all. We have to be careful not to assume :))

        Keep up the great work Kelly :))

  27. When an infertile couple finally gets pregnant, we praise and thank God for this blessing, and rightfully so. However, when a couple is expecting their 5th or 6th child, we say, “Again? For pity’s sake, enough already”, etc. So, my question is, when does GOD quit getting the credit?
    I’m thankful, too, for your blog. I began reading when you began blogging, and you’re one of just a few that I take the time to read each day. I know, at 39, my child-bearing years could be over soon. I always want to encourage those who are fearful of the possiblity of having “lots” of kids, you’ll never have more than the Lord wants to give you!
    The Bible does NOT say, “Thou shalt not use birth control, in any way, shape, or form.” But the Word is clear in this: God is the Author of life, He says children are a blessing, and He can be trusted with our entire being. That’s all I need to know!

  28. I come here for encouragement as well. I have six children and my oldest is 12 and youngest just turned 1… that means we, yet again, give this area over to God. It is hard in one way (I find it a selfless act)… in another it brings peace knowing that God is in control. I thank you for your honesty. My kids are always thrilled when we announce another baby is on the way… It takes me a little while to get used to the idea. Then I fall head over heals in love and wonder why I wasn’t thrilled in the first place!

  29. Your children have such pretty and cool names. I love parents who do that: the Pearls have a Shalom and a Shoshanna, plus a daughter-in-law named Zephyr. Mrs. Piper’s first name is Noel. Love them 🙂

    I can’t believe that lady accused you of bragging about your family’s size. All you do is show your kids and express that you’re proud of them; what parent would do less?

  30. I have to say that when I first started reading this blog, and a few others I found through LAF I hadn’t thought much about birth control and letting God plan your family. Ironically when I was young I had a friend who was the second oldest of a family with seven children, one boy, six girls. Sometimes when we’d have slumber parties and pray together her mom would pray for us, our future spouses and for us to have “as many babies as God wanted us to.” At the time I used to add to myself silently “But I sure don’t want seven!” Fast forward many years later, and my attitude and mind have changed greatly, due in no small part to this blog. Because of medical issues my DH and I were faced with the possibility of never having any children, but God did bless us with a little boy. Then came other medical issues. After many tears and prayers and finally surrenduring my hopes for more babies to God we find ourselves pregnant once more! I really had to come to the point where I could say “If God wants me to have more babies, I will. If not, then no amount of kicking and screaming will change that.” he truly is the Giver of life. I can truly say any babies I have are miracle babies!
    Thank you for this blog Kelly, you really have made me think about so many things.

  31. Just because you give up your womb to the Lord, doesn’t mean that you will have a large family. My husband and I are infertile and have three beautiful children through adoption. We really want more children, but for some reason the County isn’t coming through for us. This has been a struggle for me because why wouldn’t God want us to have more children? Especially since we adopt from the foster care system and these are the children who really need homes. I don’t know what God has planned for the size of our family, and if it’s 3 kids, then I’m going to have to deal with that, but it all boils down to submitting my will to God’s.

  32. I love this blog! Here’s my question…I read a lot from moms who stay at home and have many children. What about the moms who work AND have many children? I have always said I want a small school bus of children, but I just don’t know how that is possible with two parents who work full-time. We are also thinking about homeschooling our children. Is there anybody out there who works full-time, homeschools, and has more than 4 children?

    1. I currently work full-time (during the day) and my husband works 3/4 time (at night) and attends Bible college full-time (online). We have 3 children and are expecting our 4th. We will be homeschooling next year. All I can say is it is a challenge, but well worth the effort. At every turn and obstacle, God has provided a way for us to manage our home and family and other commitments. The most important thing is keeping God at the center of all we do and we often just say “no” to a lot of extra-curricular activities that take our very precious family time away.

      Hope that helps!

    2. I do not have a large family, but we are hoping that the Lord will bless us soon with a fourth baby. Right now I am working, part time as a RN, 3 weekends out of each month. DH works full time mon-fri. We homeschool as well. I will say that it is a challenge and we are working towards me working less or not at all in the future. For us that has meant living with one car, getting rid of debt and not gaining more debt.

      I just wanted to say AMEN to this
      “At every turn and obstacle, God has provided a way for us to manage our home and family and other commitments. The most important thing is keeping God at the center of all we do”

    3. Tiffany,

      One simple truth has proven true for us…”where there is a will, there is a way”. Especially when the Sovereign Lord is batting for you! Can you downsize your house? Revamp your budget? Sell a car and buy a used one? (I don’t know anything about your circumstances, so I’m just throwing random thoughts out there.) When I quit my job it DID NOT make sense on paper. But we were so certain that our children needed me home, we just stepped in blind faith. It has been hard. A lot. I won’t lie to you. It still requires sacrifice. But we never question the sacrifices because they don’t compare to the peace and certainty we have with me at home.

      I hope that encourages!

      1. I also agree with “where there is a will there is a way”. My husband and I did not grow up in Christian homes. When we had our first baby, I went back to work at 6 weeks like I was supposed to. I was an RN working fulltime and making more money than my husband, we never thought that I should be at home. We also said 2 maybe 3 babies at the most. After our 2nd child, God began to convict me that I should come home at least part time. My husband thought that I was crazy! I began praying that God would show him also. Halfway through the pregnancy my husband told me that he felt too that I should only go back part time. During this time we also used birth control, God had other plans. My third son was born just 18 months after our 2nd. I went back to work just prn. God was also working on our heart about birthcontrol. The pill made me sick all of the time and the doctors kept encouraging me to use an IUD. I wouldn’t think about this due to the fact that it could end a pregnancy. We finally gave this area up to the Lord, and also decided that I needed to be home with our children. This decision did not make sense on paper, and our bills were more than my husband made. We made sacrifices and cut back. Every month the money was there. We gave up a little to gain a lot. Now several years later God has blessed us with 8 children in 11 years. My husband’s job is enough to take care of our large family, and it is not the struggle that it once was. I believe this is in part from being obedient to Him. We are now in our 10th year of homeschooling, my oldest just started 9th grade! (Yes, God showed us that we should also teach our children at home during these years) We are so thankful that we didn’t listen to those that discouraged us for years about having more “blessings”, we would have missed out on someone very special and precious in our lives. During my 8th pregnancy I began feeling that this would be my last, and my husband did also. We just felt a peace about it. Before we always felt there would be more. I believe God gave me this peace because right after his birth I had major complications that led to a hysterectomy. I am so thankful that I had this feeling of completeness that God gave to us, it helped with the longing to have more babies. Anyway, after saying all of this I would like to say that I appreciate your blog, and it is an encouragement to me. Also, all of the younger and older mothers out there that feel God leading your families to more children or homeschooling, just be obedient to Him and He will provide. Don’t listen to the naysayers, from experience I know there are many, and just follow His will for you and your families.

        1. Stephanie, I just wanted to say your post has increased my faith today. Dh and I have come a long way in our marriage of 8 years. We knew from the beginning that I would make more money than DH(I am also a RN) and we were ok with that. Well after first baby came we knew we wanted to be home with him and we have worked around each other schedules since. We have now added two more kids and hoping for more and I am down to working only 6 days a month. But I still make a good bit more than DH and we are praying and working towards me getting home full time. I know it is a desire that God has put in our hearts and He will fulfill that desire. I just love hearing stories that are so close to my own. I am waiting patiently, not so patiently some days for the Lord to open up more pay to DH or for the Lord to lead my DH to tell me to quit. 🙂

  33. I have 3 children and have just found out that I am pregnant with our 4th. I am actually afraid to tell my mother because she feels we are being “iresponsible” for not using birth control because we are not as financially well-off as she would like us to be. True, we don’t have a huge amount of discretionary income..okay, none. But our children are well-cared for and there is always food on the table and a roof over their heads. My mom is a good Christian woman who has guided me through life and been an inspiration with her faith, but on this one area, we just cannot seem to come to terms with one another. How do I handle this fear of telling her…or really, the fear of her reaction?

  34. For me, I found this blog when I went looking for someone like-minded in my beliefs about birth control. In my community of believers, my husband and I are the only ones who have decided to leave our number and timing of children up to God. I get great encouragement from hearing other believers who have come to the same conclusion.

    I think many young women have never thought through surrendering this part of their lives to God. My husband and I probably wouldn’t have either if we had not struggled with infertility for so long. We HAD to surrender our womb to God because that was the only hope we had. We decided long before our first child to let God decide our family. We are now expecting our third in three years and all signs of the condition that had hindered our infertility are gone! We are thrilled by whatever size family God sends us.

    Keep up the good fight! More Christian couples need to openly challange the “sacred cow” of the acceptable birth control mentality that has such a foothold in our community!

  35. What a treat for me to get a small glimpse into the lives and hearts of you all…thank you for taking the time to speak a word here! I love every comment and look forward to them so much.

  36. I am very thankful for web sites like yours that talk about birth control and large families. It was the magazine Above Rubies which God used to convict me of my lack of faith in Him. You see, my two oldest children, both boys, have developmental delays due to medical problems as infants (hydrocephalusin my oldest and failure to thrive in my younger son). Because of this I thought there was something wrong with me, that it was my fault, and I was fearful of having any more children. However, I came to know peace and I gave birth to my third child, a healthy and vibrant girl. This time, though, three days after we came home from the hospital, I started hemoraging badly and had to be rushed to the emergency room where I had a D&C to stop the bleeding. I thought this was my body’s way of telling me we were through so about 4 months later my hubby had a vasectomy. Fast forward about three years I became convicted as previously stated and at first my husband reassured me our family was complete. Early this year my husband then surprised me by saying, “What do you think about having more kids?” So we did some research and on April 29 my husband had reversal surgery with Dr. Wilson in Oklahoma. It’s been 6 months now and we’re waiting on the Lord, praying for another blessing. We’re hoping to have at least three more, more if God wills. I love hearing about big families and am against any form of birth control. Thank you so much!

    1. My husband had a reversal by Dr. Wilson in July of ’09. Our son was born in July ’10…success!! God is so good and I am just overwhelmed at His mercy because I know I don’t deserve it. I’ll be praying that your husband’s reversal is just as successful :).

      We have decided to no longer use birth control. There were very serious complications with this last pregnancy, potentially life threatening for both the baby and me. Sadly, the chances of the same complication increases with each subsequent pregnancy. Any advice for dealing with fear and lack of faith would be greatly appreciated. If this post sounds incoherent it’s because I’ve been holding my sweet and fussy baby since 3:00 am…never thought I could be so grateful for sleep deprivation!

  37. Well, I for one am not exhausted hearing about birth control and I haven’t seen any bragging…she must be talking about another blog! 😉

    I haven’t read an uninspired post yet – keep it coming!

  38. Oh I am so blessed by your blog, please don’t stop, but rather write more on this subject! My husband and I are now eager for more thanks to you, and I can think of a few babies that now exist because I shared with their parents what you shared with me. Kelley, you have your own precious children, and a whole heritage of spiritual children that exist because of what you have shared on your blog. There must be hundreds of children, now in existence, because of your boldness in Christ and dedication to the application of God’s word. Please challenge me more!

  39. I just came across your blog, searching for coconut oil/home remedies for thrush while breastfeeding, nonetheless. ?? I can’t wait to sit down and peruse your site! It’s a gold mine of inspiration, information, and resources! I love reading about the issue of birth control and the choice to give control of your womb to God. My husband and I want a large family, but I have had 5 cesareans (not by choice) and fear the complications I’m placing on myself and my babies with each pregnancy. I worry about getting pregnant too soon after births, but I’m uneasy with the idea of using any form of birth control, which in my case would be natural family planning, as the other forms are not even an option since they often cause abortions. What would you say about my situation, where it is risky to continue to have surgical births but also risky to approach VBAC after this many? Breastfeeding is a nice natural spacer, but I’ve been getting pregnant right around 9-10 months postpartum. My youngest is 9 months now, so this has been on my mind a lot lately! Furthermore, I have many fertile years ahead of me, so if I went at this rate, I could have many more children, but that many cesareans is unheard of. Oh, how I envy mothers who don’t have this restriction, who can keep having babies without worry. And how I feel sorry for those who avoid pregnancy and miss out on so much when women like me long to be able to give birth without restriction! Oh, and if you have any advice on thrush while breastfeeding, I’d love to hear that, too. 🙂

    1. Courtney,
      I am in the same boat as you and can’t really offer any advice but wanted to offer encouragement that the Lord will lead you in what you are supposed to do regarding more children and thus continued c-sections. I have also had 5 c-sections, my last one was this past June which was baby #6 (1st c-section was mulitples) and I am 36. I don’t get pregnant as easily as it sounds like you do:-) but also worry about continued c-sections. After my last 2 c-sections we have made sure to ask my OB to assess the state of my uterus while performing the surgery. After my last one almost 4 months ago he said that everything looks great and that I should be good for 2-3 more (he thinks we are crazy but he always seems to take good care of my uterus). My husband and I have agreed to take it one c-section at a time. If my Dr. says that I can’t have anymore at some point then we will seek out a 2nd opinion. If it ever becomes absolutely apparent that I shouldn’t have another surgery then we will pray about what to do regarding preventing pregnancy however I pray now that it never gets to that point and that my childbearing years end the way God intended them to end. I wanted to share a website with you that I got a lot of encouragement from. She had 9 c-sections and I believe she tried V-Bacs for the 1st 5 or 6 pregnancies. She has the story of each of her c-sections on her website. It is manymcdaniels.com. I know there are others out there that have had many c-sections. It sure seems that we are few in number as most people tell me I am crazy to have gone past 3. I would love to have others to encourage me in having a larger family via c-sections so I wanted to make sure to encourage you.

      Blessings,

      Angie

      1. Angie, what an encouragement you are! I would love to contact you and keep in touch. Do you have a blog? I hardly know of anyone having gone past 3 or 4 and certainly don’t know anyone personally. My OB has been great. I feel confident in his care, even though I’ve wanted a VBAC so badly with the last 3. He has been good about assessing and sharing the status of my uterus after each one, but he was out of town after my last one and I had another doctor, one who I feel did a more sloppy job…staples in crooked, half falling out, a gaping opening for about 6 weeks, A LOT more pain – about 5-6 months of pain and I still have periodic pain 9 months later!
        I will definitely check out that site! I just struggle with worrying about getting pregnant with the increased risk but not wanting to control my womb, wanting to let God decide how he will bless us. I have some other circumstances that affect the way I approach this and my apprehension with interfering with God’s blessings, but that’s another story…
        I’m just so glad to hear I’m not so alone, not that I thought I was the only one. I do feel like I am rather young to be 5 already, though, and so many child-bearing years ahead of me. I’m 29, so it will be a while. Oh, how I wish I had all those years to be free to bring more children into this world without the worry of the health consequences. But I am grateful for the amazing blessings God has given me!!!

    2. Hi Courtney, Just wanted to share some ideas for dealing with thrush while breastfeeding. There are different things you can do to treat thrush. Because thrush is really a yeast issue that originates in the digestive system, the best long-term solution is probiotics. You can get an infant probiotic powder, mix it with a bit of olive oil to make a paste and feed it to the baby with your finger. Do this 1 to 3 times daily and keep at it even after the signs of thrush are gone because it takes time to restore good flora in the digestive system. 🙂 You should also take probiotics yourself because often mom and baby both have it. I have usually combined this with an anti-fungal cream like Monastat that you apply on your nipples after each feed. This helps kill the yeast that is left on you, gives you relief and does NOT need to be cleaned or wiped off before baby nurses again… so it provivdes the baby with some relief too. Remember that thrush can survive on your nursing pads, toys the baby chews etc.. so cleaning is important (vinegar mixed in with water and soap helps eliminate thrush on clothes and toys etc..). Some people get a Nystatin prescription but we now know that 40% of strains of thrush are resistant to Nystatin. Gentian Violet (a purple-colored tincture available at most pharmacies without a prescription) is also an option but can be a messy process and does have some warnings that you may want to read up on before trying it… although some say it’s very effective. A trick with Gentian Violet is to rub olive oil around the baby’s mouth and on your nipples before applying it so it doesn’t stain as much. But, as a remedy for thrush, it hasn’t worked for us. Thrush can be a long-term issue but don’t lose heart. As long as your baby and you are not in pain or discomfort, think of it as a minor inconvenience and don’t forget the probiotics! Blessings! Enjoy nursing your baby 🙂 Julie-Anne

      1. Thanks, Julie-Anne! Some of this I’ve tried and some I haven’t heard. We do probiotics. I use probiotics and I start my babies on probiotics shortly after birth, but I don’t always stay on top of it since it’s sort of a hassle. I’ve lagged behind lately! I upped our probiotic dosage, cut sugar out {almost} completely, rubbed apple cidar on after feedings, coconut oil (pure, unrefined) on me and baby’s bottom, and lots of garlic. I wasn’t sure if garlic even phases yeast, but since it is a mild antibiotic, I thought it might help to get a leg up on some of the bad guys. 🙂 The one other time I had a candida issue with breastfeeding, I tried gentian violet with probiotics and garlic. Oh, and both times I rubbed yogurt on baby’s bottom in addition to lots of it to eat. Gentian violet sure does stain, doesn’t it? I did come across something about it being linked to cancer of the mouth. Hmm, probably okay once in a blue moon, but I don’t know. ? I haven’t heard of mixing olive oil with the probiotic and the gentian violet. Great idea! I usually either just put it on my wet finger and let them suck or put it in their food when they’re big enough. I used to use one that was a pearl and they could swallow. It was better b/c it released in the gut, bipassing the acidic stomach, but it was a lot more expensive. I didn’t know that 40% of yeast is resistant to Nystatin. Good to know! I’m trying to clean toys and wash in very hot water, but that’s hard because I have a 2 and 4 year old that share toys and diapers (not the 4 year old in diapers!). I think I need to use disposables for a while, huh? My 2 and 4 year old have battled a rash which I think is yeast. It didn’t present itself as yeast in the past, so I thought, but upon searching for pictures now, I think it is. The main issue is that it actually causes so much infection/soreness on the penis that it sometimes forms a scab and urinating is difficult for them for a day or two until we get it under control. This only rears its ugly head every few months, but it’s no fun, and of course spread b/c of diapers. Do you think that’s candida? Strange the doctor didn’t think so, but she wasn’t much help. Thanks again for your help! My tingling/soreness/burning/itching (breast) has gone away, but it’s gotten a little worse in my son. I’ll keep at it.

        1. Courtney, just checked your response today. Sounds like you know a lot about dealing with thrush already! It is such an nuisance isn’t it? I’m sure some of the rashes you are dealing with are related to thrush. As you know, thrush originates in the gut but manifests in the mouth and on the bottom! I have to say I always struggle to remain faithful with probiotics and washing toys regularly is nearly impossible with all the children around! Anyways, keep at it for sure and I hope that things improve for you with it! Blessings!

  40. I’m glad you talk about it. And keep talking about it. I think the person who emailed you is looking for something to be angry about, because it certainly isn’t the primary subject of your blog, just an important one.

    Yes, I want a big family. Don’t know if I’ll get my desire, but it’s my dream, anyway. But guess what, I love the encouragement! I love to know that I am not a lone nutcase in this desire. I love to hear how you manage the practicalities of a large family, as that knowledge is not inborn as far as I know. I love to see that life is not a dreadful mess when you have lots of kids.

    So thank you, Kelly! Keep on talkin’.

    1. I should add, I am one of those who does not use birth control and does not have a baby every year. In 8+ years of marriage, we have three children.

      Whatever I want, my ultimate goal is to be submitted to God’s will, which is what I see in Kelly’s birth control posts as well. It’s not a numbers contest. It’s a state of the heart and a way of life.

  41. Kelly,
    I too have been so blessed by your blog. I live in an area where when I go out with my 4 little ones age 6 and under people say “are they ALL yours?” I had been feeling like perhaps we were choosing wrong, like maybe I couldn’t really handle having more children. But reading your blog is so encouraging. It’s GOD that has given me my children. If He blesses me with more, than HE will sustain me to raise them in Him.
    Our culture (especially Christian culture) is so backwards that I was always taught (outright or implied) that children are a burden to a marriage and should be put off as long as possible and kept to a minimum.
    Yes, my little ones are a daily challenge, but I can’t imagine my life or marriage without them. They have only made my love for my husband stronger as we work through our struggles together.
    God bless you – keep blogging girl!

  42. Aw! This is so sweet! LOVED the second letter!
    I felt pretty strong in the way I believed about God being in charge of my womb before I found this blog, BUT this blog has helped strengthen my belief and also makes me feel less alone. I enjoy reading about these things over and over again (besides it’s not like the post is exactly the same every time… each has special jewels of it’s own 🙂 ). Especially being in the minority with this belief, it helps to be continuously encouraged and reminded what the Bible teaches.

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