Generation Cedar

Financial fears are the number one reason we’ve heard, and continue to hear (even from strangers), why having children at the rate the Lord gives them to us is a bad idea. It’s the number one reason I hear others giving for why they can’t/won’t have more children. Finances seem to rule us with fear and dominate our life decisions, regardless of what the Lord has reminded us about His ability to provide for those He loves.

I hesitated to write this post. I’m sure I’ll be misunderstood, but still, the nagging whisper, “tell how much the Lord has done for you” (Luke 8:39) compels me. And, it is all for naught unless it can be used to strengthen and encourage someone else.

The first of our struggle

It’s true. Early in our marriage we began struggling financially. Part of it was because we didn’t make much money. Add to that, I quit my job, cutting our already meager income by at least 35%. Then, when my husband became unexpectedly laid off, and began his own business for which we were ill-prepared, we made some knee-jerk, foolish decisions that increased our debts.

So there we were, living off too little, paying too much, and the Lord prompting us to give our child-bearing to Him. Dumb? It sure felt like it, even to us. Add the criticism of family and friends around us, and really, I still don’t know what gave us the tenacity to surrender. It was truly God’s hand that would not let us go. Looking back through Scripture, it’s amazing to see how many “dumb” things God has asked of His people. I think He really does delight to show His power through what looks like the impossible, if we’ll let Him.

There’s more…being laid off means no insurance. I still remember the “breaking point” for us. I was nursing a four-month-old baby, (typically a form of natural birth control). I can still remember a man–one who embraced the blessing of children–talking to my husband, learning we had no insurance and saying, “You better hope she’s not pregnant.” Turns out, I was.

I wrestled with God. I told Him He obviously did not know what He was doing and finally, I had proof. And He spoke back, actually through a radio program by Charles Stanley, I think, and though I don’t remember the message exactly, I remember tears streaming down my face, my feeling ashamed at my own lack of trust, and a relinquishing, that night, to whatever God had for me.

Long story short, my husband got another job, and in the mean time, insurance laws had changed to pick up a pregnancy, no longer regarding it as pre-existing. First important lesson learned.

But we continued to struggle. That is, we struggled to pay our bills, but our needs were always met. We never went without food, or heat or air or lights (and really, those are the extras). I can’t count the number of times an anonymous gift card showed up in our mail box, or an envelope with some cash, and one year, a mysterious phone call, directing us to a location where we found Christmas presents, carefully selected and wrapped for us. We never discovered the giver.

Do they really cost that much

The phenomenon is, as I think back over the years and calculate our living expenses, children really aren’t that expensive. That crazy number the media flashes to scare everyone out of having children is insane. Oh they’re expensive if you follow our consumer-crazed, recreation-obsessed culture and buy them all they want, give them all they want and carry them everywhere they want to go–if you live a child-centered life, yes they’ll drain you down to your last cent.

But to be a responsible adult raising kids? That’s not where most of our expense went. Regardless of the number, we still had to pay the power bill, the insurance, the taxes, the gas, etc. And as I’ve laid out in another post, larger families tend to live more frugally, often having an annual household expense quite less than the average family (bathing 3 kids at one time costs the same as 1). Diapers were always given to us in abundance as shower gifts (and cloth diapers remain a fantastic option), I nursed until they were eating regular food and they only eat a tiny more for several years. We always had more clothes than we could house–hand-me-downs or if not, consignment stores and thrift shops have brand new, cheap baby clothes…it’s really difficult to find where a new child adds very much, for a long time, to the family’s budget.

By the time they are more consuming, they can be more productive, paying for added expenses. (My daughter took a trip to NY this week because she had saved the money to do so. No biggie. She helps pay for gas to go to piano lessons and chips in on the family car’s insurance, and she paid for her on-line college course this year. She doesn’t drain us, she is an asset. Even the younger ones have earned money to help pay for things they want.) I have reflected much on what I know now is the blessing of not being able to buy everything we might have wanted for our children, because of the priceless gift it has taught them of the value of money and work, and being responsible for saving for things they want.

So I want to encourage someone who is leveraging a decision about children based on money…let it go. You’d be smarter to look into other areas of your life and decide what you can and can’t afford.

The irony of avoiding hardship

Humans avoid hardship as much as possible. And we are human and we didn’t like it. It wasn’t pleasant. And yet, it’s such an irony that the greatest lessons, the deepest character, the real molding of a person can really only come through hardship. We avoid what is usually very beneficial, often life-changing for us, skirting, perhaps, the very instrument God had designed to make us more like Him.

Financial hardship has given us the unique opportunity to depend on God in ways we couldn’t otherwise. I can’t teach my children that God really is able to provide our daily bread–I can’t learn it myself, unless we literally must pray for daily bread. We don’t recognize Him as much in plenty; it’s in lack that we really see Him.

“We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” -C. S. Lewis

Lessons are learned but opportunities are born too. It’s similar to the adage, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” Our circumstances pushed us to find solutions. One of those was the beginning of this blog as a means to sell things our family made. I had NO idea what the Lord was doing leading me in that direction, but what an incredible blessing, in far more ways than financial ones, this on-line community has been to me!

The rest of the story

There were years of tears, years of wondering when or if God was ever going to reward my husband’s unbelievable hard work and faithfulness, though we had resigned that since much of our trouble was self-inflicted, we deserved the work of digging out. And digging out we did. Many of you have read my ebook (another blessing born from the adversity), Finding Financial Freedom, where I share all the many ways we cut our budget and the long hours of working to make ends meet. We had almost paid off our consumer debts ($38,000) after six or seven years of intense effort.

And many of you also know the rest of our story….that in April 2011, the largest, most horrific tornado–one of the worst our country has seen, plowed through our neighborhood destroying everything. And again, through the tragedy, God showered innumerable blessings on us and our community. In the end, we were able to build half of our home back, be rid of the money-pit of a mobile home that we owned (the storm took it too) and get a fresh start with our finances.

Half a house. Plenty to move into. And boy were we overwhelmed at that. Never did we think we could own the before-rented home, debt-free. And God showed up in ways that were incomprehensible.

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever.” Eph. 3:21

But God wasn’t done. Two weeks ago, when we relived what seemed like another tornado tearing our upstairs apart, it turned out to be our roof and porch–traumatic enough having still been emotionally recovering and in the building phase for the last two years.

“Lord, why”, I asked. “I’m so tired, so scared and so ready to just live life again.”

And as my husband sat with me in the early morning hours, tears still brimming, he said, “God has a good plan.”

That plan, as it turns out, is that the insurance company paid enough for the damage to finish our house–another answer to prayer that we couldn’t see on our timeline!

The real point

But that’s not even the point of my story. The point is below, in these pictures. The faces of my precious children to whom we said “Yes”, when everything logical screamed, “No.” (And 2 more have been added since the original writing of this post.) The joys of my life, day after day, all of whom I could so easily have missed. The souls of those who love the Lord and will become a part of the throng in Heaven one day. People whom, I have no idea how God will use, but He has brought them here and He has taken care of them because He can afford it.

And through no glory of our own, but all to Him who IS able to do beyond what we can imagine, I give Him praise. He IS faithful, He CAN provide, He delights to work miracles and He never leaves us nor forsakes us.

And I want you to know that, wherever you are.

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101 Responses

  1. Hi Kelly,

    Congratulations on your new little one on the way. How exciting! Your children are beautiful!

    We have 8 children, and are so blessed to be their parents. Parenting, however, is challenging and I am very grateful to have blogs like yours that provide wisdom and encouragement.

    Thank you so much for the time you put into this blog. You have no idea how many people are inspired and encouraged by your words. I, personally, just wanted to stop in and tell you how much you are appreciated!

    Cynthia Goetz

  2. I have never commented before, but wanted to thank you for your words today. Baby number four is due sometime in the next thirty days. We are moving this week to smaller housing, so that I can stay home and quit working. So very many comments have come our way this last month. Comments like…. why have more children if you cannot afford them? Why move to a smaller home when your numbers are growing? Why not put the children in school and get a ‘real’ job so that you don’t have to move and you can keep your belongings? It hurts (and if I am being honest, it sometimes causes small doubt), but I know that what we are doing is right. And I know it is right, because even though we will soon have ‘less’, for the first time ever I feel as though we have never had more! Again, thank you for your words about God’s provision. It was just what I needed to read today.

  3. It is so refreshing to hear encouragement of this nature, Kelly…Adjusting to financial constraints is a struggle…as I hang the next two loads of laundry on my lines inside the house, waiting 12+ hours for them to dry…As I lay on the couch last week coughing- my-lungs-out sick, knowing that I had to feed the family, and wishing we could afford a take out pizza…and couldn’t… or simply feeling apprehension over the fact that we have 4 active, curious boys whom I would love to provide with more skills/learning than I can offer (like piano lessons or some other such thing that I can’t teach) but know that we can’t afford to do so! It is a test of faith and contentment, and a real shake down of priorities and motives… and can really expose materialism at the heart of the matter…that despite all we say about the “evils of loving money”, truly so do we, and we need God’s reminding of the fact that it is HIS provision and not our own…(besides, when I see so many families and all the activities they do, and everything they own, and all the debt they’ve probably incurred, I’m more happy with our little bit, and can sleep at night, ulcer-free 🙂 )

  4. What encouragement! I’ve been taught from an early age that being afraid for our finances is not a reason to turn from following God, and it’s wonderful to see how He has blessed your family. I know that you’ve been through times that haven’t been easy(as have I and pretty much everyone else I know), but God’s providence is just beautiful.

    And congratulations on the new little one! What a blessing!

  5. Thank you for sharing the story of God’s faithfulness in your life and family. I am in the beginning of this journey of trusting Him with our family size and timing and it is so incredibly important for me to hear women like you speak up. The world’s way of thinking about money and children has permeated and devastated the church. We need voices like yours. Hearing how things were hard for you (being 4 months pp and expecting again, for example) are so good for me to read. I do not know anyone who has opted to give up birth control. It is very hard to stand alone. I’m sure you know all the things people say. You say what should be said. This online community is so very important. Thank you so much!

    1. Anna,

      Hang in there. We have One audience. That’s another thing that has really helped me–trying not to be concerned about the reactions of people, as most are very misguided in this area anyway.

  6. Really excellent points! Also, giving up your womb to the Lord doesn’t even mean you’ll get to have a lot, like you’ve mentioned before. So this whole thing of not being able to afford something you have no guarantee of having is just speculative. We have one. But trusting Him for and in finances is a reward unparalleled, even more awesome than having more kids. 🙂

  7. God bless you Kelly. I only have three children. But I have learned you cannot see and know the greatness of our God without living through the opposites. In the darkness we understand more of what walking in the light is. When we are lonely and tired, we understand HE is our strength and He never leaves us or forsakes us.

    So often you put into words all that is in my heart. You are a blessing. Your children are beautiful and how exciting it is to know that they were planned and sent by God (as all children are truly). But there is such expectation in what God will do in and through those children because of your submission to God’s will for your womb. This makes me look at all children differently ~ as sent by God and planned for such a time as this, with purpose.

  8. I really appreciated your words today. I have a friend who is due any moment now with her 6th child and many in our community are giving her a lot of grief over having *so many children.* I only have two children and up until a couple of years ago, I, also, would have been giving her grief. However, through blogs like this one and several great books I have read, I have come to discover that while our culture views any family with more then three children to be *large* – the Lord desires us to fill our quiver with arrows I wish I’d had this insight 10 years ago. It is too late for us to expand our family now, however, I can encourage and support others because of this gained knowledge.

  9. This is so amazingly true! And I think having children is just like everything else that is good and worthwhile. Yeah, it’s going to be hard and it is a sacrifice. But it is so worth it! “I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it.”

  10. When my sweet son was born with Down Syndrome, my very wise husband said to me, “God knows what we need in our lives to make us into the people He designed us to be.” I think people say “No!” to unpleasant circumstances (if they can) because they don’t realize good comes from walking through those dark valleys.

    Speaking of storms, you remember that Biosphere they built twenty or thirty years ago? A complete ecosystem under a glass dome? After several years, they discovered that the trees were weak…because they had never had to withstand the strong winds of a heavy storm. The pressure of the storm forces us to strengthen our roots and grow stronger.

    It seems to me that other people’s opinions about our choices are a form of storm and standing firm against them will strengthen us.

    1. Annie~

      I so agree with your comment! The Lord used my very precious son who has rare metabolic disorders and cannot speak (according to the world:)to draw me to Him (I was an unbeliever before he was born). Praise God your sweet son was born into your family!

  11. Congratulations!! How wonderful!
    I so appreciate your post today. It frustrates me how quick I am to concern myself over what others are thinking/saying about some of the choices we make. I am encouraged every time I read something like what you’ve just written.

    1. I hear that. I’ve finally learned to just stop talking about things I don’t wish to hear others’ opinions about. (It’s gotten pretty quiet in my life!!)

    1. Great to see another Aussie that reads this blog! I’m from Queensland, Australia. Hope everything goes well for you and your new baby in December.

      1. Sorry that was meant for Katherine – not sure how I managed that, must have pressed the wrong ‘reply’ or something.

  12. Thank you, that was so encouraging to read! I read it out to my husband and he was grunting his agreement the whole way through 🙂

    After seven years of marriage (where God was our contraception for perhaps five of those years – he told me to finish my teaching course and he made it easy for me!), a miscarriage last year and much grief following I am pregnant again at age 27, due at the start of December. I have been following your blog for a long time now, I think back when you had seven children was when I started reading! You have influenced me and my thinking a lot and you are a great source of encouragement to me, both here and on facebook.

    Tasmania, Australia

  13. We also have not found our kids to be a huge drain on our budget – in spite of my husband working only part time for the past 5 years, we’ve managed to keep all 4 of the kids in nice clothes (almost completely hand me down’s or saved from older sibs). Food has been a bit of a stretch, especially when our gardens died instead of thrived – but every time our cupboards really start to look bare, a friend brings boxes of items with comments, “I hope you aren’t offended, but we cleaned (somebody’s) kitchen and they are getting rid of all this extra food/spices/stuff … can you use it?” Ugh … sure! And we’ve gotten some pretty cool stuff – such as the day the baby prayed for Cheerios because she had run out several days before – and that afternoon, a friend stopped by with 3 jumbo boxes of Cheerios along with 4 other boxes of food stuff. We homeschool – and never have we spent more than $400 per year … last year, we spent $50. I’ve worked hard to purchase as many reusable items as possible. This year it looks like it will be $50 again, and most of that will be for our preschooler. God has always provided our needs … and sometimes even some of our frivolous wants.

    1. “…the day the baby prayed for cheerios…” just made me cry. Thank you for sharing that! What an inheritance she has already received!

  14. Congratulations! So happy for you. You have been a wonderful encouragement to me. Thank you for sharing what God has done for you and how He has worked through circumstances. You are a blessing to many as you proclaim what God has taught you, and encourage us to press on where God is leading.
    Praying for you and this new little one on the way!

  15. Sometimes I feel excluded from the “ranks” of large families because we never were struggling financially. (we are almost done raising 7 children) We certainly had to choose to live within our means, and I can say without a doubt that much of our financial situation stems from good priorities (based on God’s principles). But, still, there is so much of the time this strong suggestion that we can’t possibly be spiritual “enough” or understand life because this is not our hardship. You don’t imply it here, but it seemed like a reasonable time to bring it up. Thanks for listening.

    1. I agree that not everyone has the same struggle or the same burdens to bear. Ours has never been financial, either. But I believe we are here to fund the kingdom work. It is all about perspective and obedience, like you said. Last year was the 2nd year in a row we took a pay cut. Between the pay cuts and the insurance increase right after Obamacare, we lost $700 a month. Not nothing. We made a commitment to God that we would not cut back on our tithes (especially) or our giving. Do you know what? My husband got so many extra gigs that we made $25,000 extra that year. Instead of a pay cut, we got an increase! We were able to help so many ministries and missionaries far more than we ever had in the past. God is who He says He is!

      On the other hand, our daughter has had very bad pain from growing since she was 5, sometimes unable to walk. Because of that, she gets injured more easily, stretching tendons and all. She is on a drug to combat that (hard for a mostly homeopath). I know if I could pick a burden, it would be financial, but I know God has allowed this in my life for our family, and I will remain grateful that He is still our everything for ALL areas of our life, whether we struggle in them or not.

      If we are listening to God, doing what He says and teaching our children to do the same, anyone’s problem with our blessings (or anyone else’s) is just their problem with God. He is the one who gives. I thank God for the blessings He gives us and for the solid rock He gives us to stand on when there are trials.

      1. Kelly,

        I really do think we underestimate God’s promises about “testing him” and giving him our first fruits, and the windows of Heaven being opened. Thank you for sharing.

        1. After all God has done, I don’t even think I walk in faith anymore, I walk in proof because of how He has never failed one of His promises. 😉

  16. We are having a difficult time financially at the moment, due to my husband’s job loss, he has now been working for himself, which has been a struggle. We surrendered our womb to the Lord just over a year ago, and we had baby number four 8 months ago. Alot of people are very negative about a forth child – especially since there is almost an eleven year gap between the 3rd and 4th children. As far as financially, our situation would be much the same having the forth baby or not.

    We get alot of hand me downs for the baby, opshop clothes for all the children, we homeschool, we use cloth nappies and wipes, breastfeed, make our own baby food etc. Our beautiful baby costs us very little – even though people tend to look at me like I’m insane when I say that. Not to mention when you say that you hope to have more babies.

    It is so precious to have another little one when I didn’t think we ever would – his siblings love and spoil (is that even possible?) him so much – we don’t think there is another baby on the planet more loved than him.

    Thanks so much for this blog it has helped me so much in our decision to trust the Lord in EVERY area of our lives.

      1. Thanks Kelly, my husband just told me that as he’s in the building industry here in Australia, it is suffering a downturn at the moment, alot of others he knows have no work. He has never been without work – God does provide! Especially when you trust in Him.
        Congrats on blessing number 10.

  17. I love this! You are truly right in your reasoning. It’s all about bringing those wonderful, beautiful children to God our loving creator. That “dumb” idea that you shouldn’t use birth control has made you Good in the eyes of the Lord. You can only worship one God and you remained faithful to Our Father rather than to Greed or to the World.
    May the peace of God be with all those who choose life!

    1. Wait! I didn’t miss it! I remember your first first announcement. My brains must have fallen out between now and then. Getting off the internet now, before I do some real damage.

  18. I guess it goes without saying that I agree wholeheartedly with the rest of the post. Got distracted by that baby thing and forgot to say so. 😉

    1. LOL! I have *no* idea about distraction, forgetting, and in general, feeling like my head is buried in the sand most days in terms of what is going on outside of here.

  19. Love these examples of obedience, Kelly and how the Lord blesses that obedience and is faithful to His promises. We too shouldn’t be able to “afford” so many. One of my favorite examples is in our reversal. When The Lord changed our hearts, the cost of a reversal seemed more than daunting. In Gods providence someone gave us a large monetary gift to take a fancy family trip…we instead used it for the VR. We had to borrow a vehicle to make the 300 mile drive to the doctor, we were so broke. Nine years and 5 children later God has *always* provided, even above and beyond the basics.

    Also love your thoughts on children being assets. So true. Once children actually begin to cost something, they also contribute! So it’s all great 🙂

    One of my favorite posts of yours!

  20. AMEN! I could have written a very similar post myself. Even now that we are expecting number 10, we still get people telling us that we can’t afford to have more children. I just keep pointing them back to the fact that God hasn’t failed us yet and I don’t think He ever will!

  21. What a wonderful post! Thank you!

    We welcomed our precious 6th child on March 1st and then watched in awe as God opened the floodgates and has provided a new-to-us 12-passenger van debt free 3 weeks later. And then within a week, He opened doors we never would have believed possible to allow us to buy our first home which is worth over double what we are paying for it. Our payment will be less than rent on our home now with almost double the space AND all new appliances (can I say I can’t wait for my oversize new washer and dryer – lol)!!

    I keep telling people that it is just a miracle – but I believe with all my heart that this miracle began with us joyfully welcoming our children, even though 6 little ones in 7 years can be stressful.

  22. What a great post. Thank you!

    With six children ages 1-9, I’ve really struggled with wanting more. Overwhelmed with eight of us in a small 2 bedroom house, I’ve learned that what the world tells us we need is really just wants. We have all we need. As I look at my youngest, cloth diapered and in hand me downs, I can’t really name more than a handful of things I’ve had to buy for him. God provides. We have struggled often, but God always provides.

  23. My husband and I went to a Voice of the Martyrs convention this weekend. One story that really impacted me was about a tribe of Indians in Columbia who had lost everything due to a volcano and earthquake aftershocks. They were sleeping on the ground, no running water or electricity, with just the clothes on their backs. When VOM came and asked how they could help, the Indians said they had their bibles and their lives and so had everything they needed. What they really wanted were more bibles so that they could go evangelize the next town. Really puts things in perspective. There is so much I don’t need but think I do. We only have 2 living children, and there are not likely to be more, but I will hold them close and consider myself RICH!

    1. Joy, I was at that conference this weekend as well and enjoyed it very much. I, too, have 2 kids and 2 more with the Lord, and there won’t be anymore. I struggled for a long time wanting more children, but within the past few months, the Lord has given me peace in being content with my 2 sons (which is more than many have)and enjoying them to the fullest. So, I understand. Love to you. Kelly, love the post–keep telling the truth!

  24. Kelly,
    Wonderful post! I can’t wait to share your testimony with hubby. Praise the Lord for the wonderful blessings He has given to you and your family! God has been blessing us too, and continues to teach us the precious lesson of faithfulness in all things.

    I have to admit that I’m still smarting from an email from my dad that essentially said, “Congrats on number six–now please, stop!” I chalk it up as another test, a challenge to pray for someone who has hurt me. I know he did it out of concern for his “little girl,” but if he could only see it from our perspective–what a blessing it would be for him!

    And congratulations (again) on the wonderful addition!

      1. Oh, and you know what this post kind of reminds me of? If you’re familiar with the West Ladies, their song on the Homestead Blessings website “Greenbeans in the Garden.”

  25. I cannot begin to explain how amazing this article was for me today. I literally just finished journaling over when my husband would get a job w/ insurance (he is free-lancing now) and over my baby (due in Oct. #5) and how on earth all of this was going to work.
    Your article also hit me in another place, our town was destroyed by a tornado in April 2011. Our home was safe, but my husband suffered from PTSD and his treatment led to side effects that then made him lose his job a few months later. He’s been free-lancing ever since then, and the Lord has been sustaining us, meal by meal, mortgage by mortgage.
    We didn’t “plan” on having another baby right this moment, but our hearts were longing for another, we were just prioritizing finances before life. I am thankful for this little one that will come as a new chapter in our faith.
    thank you for your words.

  26. Reading the comments convinces me that your prompting to write this was truly from the Lord. So many women seem hungry for encouragement in this area. Thank you, Kelly, for your Titus 2 ministry!

  27. By God’s grace we have not struggled financially either, but I am just now learning how to trust Him to give me the time and energy that I need to take care of my family. Like y’all having to learn to budget and spend your money wisely, I have had a lot to learn in terms of time management and self-discipline. God has been so faithful to show me where to find the extra minutes that really make a difference in the quality of my work at home.

    1. Amanda,

      I think it such an important point that my story only reveals one, tiny area where God is able to provide and show His power. There are a million ways in which we are called to trust Him and follow Him, often in blindness.

  28. I just wanted to let you know there are several women on the freejinger website that are saying they are reporting you to cps because of your post about being frugal. They think you are under feeding your children and are therefore making it their business to send the child thieves after you. Those disgusting women have nothing better to do or decent lives of their own so they do evil things to others. Just a heads up.

    1. Anne,

      Oh, they’ve threatened that since the day I wrote the post (several months ago). You may be reading an old thread. I’ve so looked forward to chatting with the CPS in our area as we know most of them and have a great relationship with them, my parents having run a children’s home my whole life. I think, as insane as most of the FJ women are, that they know one step into my home and all accusations of starving my children would afford a great laugh. (The accusations, as you might know, is over putting 2 chicken breasts into a casserole; more than any vegetarian does ;-))

      I do wish they would come; maybe it would be the beginning of a lawsuit against FJ, or maybe just a fun chat with some old friends and a lesson to my children about the foolishness of being a busy body and lying about people because you are insanely jealous and bitter.

      Thank you for caring to tell me about it though.

  29. I love this! Sometimes people can say hurtful things without even realizing what that they are doing it. The Lord is sovereign. He provides. He is amazing through and through every trial! Thank you for being so bold as to post this. I’m sure so many couples would enjoy reading this.

  30. Love the post! We are expecting our first reversal baby in July! The Lord is faithful! He has also convicted us that I need to quit my part-time job (which is mainly from home) because it is distracting me from fully embracing the godly woman’s calling to be keepers AT home, loving our husbands and children. Titus 2:3-5. We have struggled with letting the job go because of financial fear. But just like He convicted us about surrendering the womb, He provided the funds for the reversal and blessed us with this growing child…so He has convicted us in this area and He will provide! Thank you for sharing about the Lord’s faithfulness in your families life!!

    1. Thankful for God’s Grace,

      We also struggled with fear about finances when I resigned from my piano-teaching home business ten years ago. I was pregnant with my fifth child at the time, and really needed more time with my family to address a number of issues at the time, but it was difficult to give up that income because it was what we used to pay our property taxes. So my husband’s income would have to stretch to include paying for those (which are very high in our state) on top of everything else — we were pretty much living paycheck to paycheck at the time.

      The Lord showed us that He does indeed provide, and we have not once been late with a property tax payment in the years since then.

      Congratulations on expecting your reversal baby! Many blessings to you in your marriage and parenting as you come home. 🙂

      1. Thank you for sharing your experience of God’s faithfulness, 6 arrows! It is calming to hear other testimonies.

  31. A great post. Whether you have been blessed with one, none, or many, living within God’s provision is always in order. We can all commit financial suicide by continually and capriciously indulging in unnecessary excess, including what we spend on our children.

    Having lived in the heart of Silicon Valley for over 4 decades, I’ve seen the definition of “necessity” change dramatically in my lifetime. Most parents around us are incurring great debt to give their kids every experience imaginable for the ultimate designer childhood. The real price tag? Stressed out kids and parents, with no one particularly happy.

    It is possible to live on one income, even here in the SF Bay Area, but oh so many are not willing to make the choices necessary for that to become a reality. Dare I speak the dreaded word? Shhhhh…it’s called sacrifice. God has revealed His will to us for our family, carried us through difficult tests, and provided for all our needs. It’s up to us not to confuse genuine needs with fleeting wants.

  32. Kelly, Thank you for this wonderful, timely post. I gave birth to our fifth child, at home, ten days ago…a beautiful, huge (10lbs. 14oz.) baby boy. We chose a home birth this time around and saved over $3000 by paying out of pocket (our insurance doesn’t cover homebirths) for our midwife’s fee over what we would’ve paid by using an OBGYN and hospital through our insurance. There were times we didn’t know how we were going to come up with the money, but the Lord provided for us and we are thankful. We’ve struggled financially since the beginning of our marriage but have always seen the Lord provide for us. My husband isn’t shy of gritty, grimy, sweaty, hard manual labor and it is in his eagerness to provide for our family that I truly believe God has blessed us. We haven’t had people give us needed items or money, but rather, job opportunities open for my husband in conjunction to his full time job that most people wouldn’t be willing to do. That is God’s way of providing for us. The Lord has also brought to my attention over the last few months, ways that I can help stretch the money that my husband works so hard for. So, it may not be anonymous checks or bags full of food showing up on your doorstep, but opportunities to work hard, save a little more, make things last longer, or something that requires work from US, that is God’s way of providing our needs….He says He always will, but I think sometimes it requires some work on our part too. He is good!

    1. Hi Charity!

      Congratulations on the birth of your son! 🙂 I hadn’t “seen you around” in a while and wondered if you had had your baby. Glad you got to do your homebirth!

      Blessings to you and your family with the new little one (well, not so little, but littler-than-the-rest young one!) 🙂

  33. Kelly-
    As always you are such an amazing encourager to many of us! It IS through the struggles that we draw closer to God. I have realized that myself and find I am able to actually THANK Him while we are going through struggles instead of turning away as I once did.

    Just a few months ago we were forced to move from our home, due to a foreclosure. Long story short…the very day we had to move – we still had no place to go and were making plans on storing the remainder of our belongings that weren’t already in storage, along with making a plan for the pets we hadn’t already rehomed. The plan was to be staying with one of our parents for a short period of time (until we got our income tax refund). My DH had just sold one of our vehicles and we had planned on using the money to possibly stay at a hotel and/or pay for boarding the animals we still had. My DH jumped on Craigslist to look at houses for rent once again – this has been a daily thing for him. Deal was he’d find a house & I’d pack, organize everything, and watch the kids during the process. Surprisingly that very day he saw a house advertised for rent at the exact amount we could afford for a home. It was on the other side of town – a good 30-45 minutes from our families. An area that our families told us to avoid. A location that we grew up believing was run down and full of unsavory people. My DH went to check out the house with one of the older kids and signed the papers for the house. We were able to move in the day we had to be out of our old house. God definitely provided for us exactly when it was needed! Best part – the house is 3 times larger than those in our old area that we could afford. We have over 2000 sq ft of living space…and a nice basement & attic to boot! The neighbors are great! We’re so close to so much stuff we can use – places we can take the kids for free, lots of family activities, and tons of churches to choose from. We have been so blessed! I still remember questioning why we were going through what we did. I still remembering not being stressed and knowing that God would take care of things. I figured we’d end up in a very bad neighborhood – in a much smaller house. God decided differently and I couldn’t be happier that I let Him lead the way instead of trying to do it my way.

    May the Lord continue to bless you & your family greatly! You are such a blessing to others and I can never thank you enough for being a part of my life – albeit online – but still a very important part!

  34. Kelly, as always your post is timely and encouraging. I have to say I was shocked that there wasn’t one negative comment 😉 I’ve been following you blog for about 5 years and love it as much today as when I first found you! My husband has had some health issues for the past few years that have made finances quite a struggle. We have continued to welcome children through it all. On February 1st of this year I gave birth to my 10th child, a boy. He was due March 25th but the Lord had other plans. I had to undergo emergency surgery for what was thought to be a ruptured appendix. The decision was made before surgery to keep baby in utero. Turns out I had a perforated colon and Crohn’s disease! I went into labor immediately after surgery and had to deliver him naturally with an open abdominal incision…oh joy lol. He was born perfectly healthy at 32 weeks 4 days at a whopping 5 pounds 12 ounces! He spent a couple of weeks in the NICU and is doing great. However, we have REALLY heard about it this time…the comments come from everywhere! Since he was born on the 19th birthday of my oldest child we’ve been told this is our SIGN from God, that we’ve now come “full circle” whatever that means, etc. etc. Reading your blog gives me resolve and strengthens me in my determination to keep trusting the Lord despite the circumstances surrounding Levi’s birth. It has been my hope that his birth was used to encourage someone. During his NICU stay I had the opportunity to encourage someone who was thinking of homeschooling her autistic child as well as discuss our belief that children are a gift with many people. Keep speaking your heart Kelly. Many of us need it!

      1. Reaching for sure! We are even with 5 boys and 5 girls so that’s clearly another “sign” that we are done. And here I thought the obvious signs were things like menopause or God just not sending another 😉

  35. Please pray for me and my husband that he will be convicted, as I am, that this is the path we should take. Right now, he is filling my role in the home (as he is laid off), cooking, cleaning, and homeschooling my son. I feel that we should leave children in the hands of God, but he is worried over financial troubles. I keep praying that his heart will be moved to put more faith in God over this, and it’s a huge daily struggle for me. I don’t bring it up anymore, as the last time it did, it led to him breaking down in tears, saying he was no good as a man because he couldn’t find a job that would pay as much as I make, enabling me to be at home and for him to give me more children. I don’t have an outlet for it, so I just keep praying. We really could use all the prayers that we can get…

  36. Loved this. As a mom to 4 kids 3 and under, I know many people have expressed to us that we need to be done now, because how can we afford it. We can’t. We won’t ever be able to, but we trust that God not only can, but that He will.

  37. Thank you for this!
    We have been on government aid while my husband is trying to get through seminary, and we would prefer not to be. As we look toward our future I’m encouraged to know that we can take those steps toward financial independence!
    And, really, “poor” is not so bad. I’m rich in spirit, hee hee!

  38. Thank you for this! Being the eldest of 13, I am amazed looking back and seeing how my parents “afforded” all of us. I never felt deprived and was given so much more than I needed. There are so many stories of how God provided for us. One that pops into my mind is our dentist referring three of my siblings to an orthodontist and our finding out our dentist had paid for all three to have braces! He loved our family and wanted to do something for us! Praise God!!! Now starting my own little brood, I am amazed at how expensive they could be but they aren’t because of our conscious decisions to save, cut where needed, and God’s amazing provision. Trusting Him is the best place to be.

  39. This was an excellent post! I always enjoy hearing/reading about how God blesses others. It also encouraged me to have more faith regarding having children. I always say it’s not time when asked if my husband and I will have them. I need to remember that God knows what’s best for my husband and I. He’s the Creator of everything in existence, surely He knows when it’s time for us to have kids (^_^)

  40. Thank you for this article. Me and my husband are in our early 30s and are expecting baby number 6 in August. I was very unhappy when I found out. I feel really ashamed sometimes because we cant afford all of these kids financially. We live with my father in law and it gets difficult living here sometimes. Family and strangers make rude comments about us having all these kids we cant afford. I feel like an irresponsible teenager sometimes. I really wanted to abort this baby but my husband was against it. Im trying very hard to be happy about this pregnancy but all I see is the negative. My job put me on unpaid leave because I couldnt perform some of the strenuous duties and my husband only make about $350 bi weekly. It seems like we will never be able to move

  41. Thank you so much for this! It is comforting to know that your struggles are not your own. My son will be one year old on the 30th and I worried so much about not being able to afford him that I missed out on enjoying most of my pregnancy. I gave up birth control in favor of God’s plan for my life and we haven’t looked back. Thanks for your encouraging words!

  42. I can’t tell you how encouraging this is to me. We don’t have children yet, but are planning on starting in the next few months. We want me to come home once the baby is born & raise & homeschool our children. That will take our income down by well over 1/2. My husband still makes very good money but we will have to be much more cautious. We are trying to come of with a couple of ways to make extra money on the side. If we could make an additional $20 thousand, we would feel a lot more responsible but your article is great to remind us that, God will provide regardless. Thanks for the encouragement. 🙂

    1. Kristy,

      Wonderful! If we can make it with several children and very little money, I know you can do it if your husband has a well-paying job. Dave Ramsey has been KEY for us. I would encourage both of you to read his book together (Total Money Makeover or Financial Peace University).

  43. Thank you for writing this! I am the mother to one sweet (unplanned:) 16 month old girl. Just two nights ago my husband and I were having the second kid talk and began throwing back reasons pos and neg but all that related to our feelings or finances (or lack there of). It hit me out of the blue during that discussion that what we really should be doing is seeking the Lord’s will for our family. I began to pour out my heart to Him seeking what He would have for us. Then yesterday I stumbled across this blog posted as a link on a friends fb page. It gave me strength and courage to pursue Gods plan instead of mine. I’m still not sure what that is but this has for sure helped me to be more open to His leading. Thank you again!

  44. I just found your website when a friend shared this post on Facebook. We are expecting number six and, while I know my account is with the Lord, it is still hurtful when people treat me like I am crazy or irresponsible, or make those little digging comments. I’m always in need of encouragement from others who would rather seek God’s way than the world’s way with our families and finances. What I think most people don’t realize is that they are often sacrificing their children for their things, while we sacrifice our things for our children. It is SO worth it!

  45. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. We are not in a great financial situation (having to accept the aid available to us right now), and the world has been telling us we should be done. We have three children, and God asked for our child-bearing shortly after the birth of our second. We just found out we are expecting #4, and we are so thrilled that God would choose us…. And yet, scared to death because we are needing to rely on state health insurance (though since I’m a VBAC patient, my birthing options are limited, and I’ll need to pay $1800 out of pocket for the birth….not sure where that will come from) among other things. The world is telling me how irresponsible we are. My mom has gotten more and more upset with each pregnancy because of our irresponsibility (I am dreading telling her that we’re pregnant again). Sometimes it really does feel irresponsible. But GOD…… He has provided for us in ways I can’t even explain. I’m really trying to trust that God will provide the perfect car when we are able to buy (which will hopefully be soon… our van seats 6 and we will max out in January…. our van, which is our only vehicle, also has 264k miles on it!), provide that $1800 we need to come up with, and provide in other ways as well. So far He has proven Himself over and over…. it’s just hard to trust when the world is screaming at you from every angle. Sometimes I wonder if we’re in over our heads. But this post is a HUGE encouragement to me. I’ll be bookmarking this for future encouragement! 😀

    1. A–I’m so glad you were encouraged. As a reminder of our personal experience, it was a LONG time before we were able to exhale and look back over all the Lord had done and was planning to do. Sometimes I think He really wants us to come to the end of ourselves–really, truly–so we KNOW that He is all-powerful and able. Of course we never stopped doing our part; my husband worked really, really hard earning, and I worked really hard saving, but then the Lord went beyond that and dumbfounded our expectations.

  46. *********************************Full Disclaimer*********************************
    I am not a Christian I am a deist however I am open to all philosophies if they are helpful to my everyday life. My husband & I have been married for 2 weeks but together for 5 years. I have some health issues which I am dealing with by having better eating habits/more exercise. I have a master’s degree, he has never finished college. Currently I am the breadwinner for my household & we cannot afford to have kids. Neither of us have health benefits, we only have 1 car, I have student loans, among other bad financial issues in short financially we cannot afford a child. However he wants to have a child as soon as next year. For the rah-rah spirit this site is good but logically it’s not as helpful. Is there a site that can give real solutions? I believe I am stuck telling him no. I cannot afford to take off work & receive 2/3’s of my pay & cannot rely on his.

    This problem has happened in the past right after I received my undergrad degree & we decided to get a abortion only to have him confess months later he wanted to have the child. I don’t want that situation either.

    1. Nyasha,

      I’m afraid that as long as you continue to live by your own human wisdom and understanding, your life will be complicated and there won’t be any clear answers. I don’t know what a “rah rah spirit is”, but I do know about the VERY real answers our God provided for us when we “couldn’t afford kids” and were in debt up to our eyeballs. (Read our story HERE–there are 3 parts.)

      There is a wisdom that comes from God and then there is His miraculous work where things look humanly impossible. We have lived it.

      I hope you find the only One who can help you solve your problems.

      1. Kelly, I clicked to read your 3-part story. I read “Where There’s a Bill, There’s a Way” and “15 Practical Ways to Save at Home,” but there’s not a link to the 3rd part. When you have time, could you share that link, please? Thanks!

  47. Hi there,

    I don’t know what else to say, except I needed this article. Currently my husband and I are $800 short a month, because we felt the Lord tell us to quit my full-time teaching job. It was overwhelming for me…and ruining our marriage, especially son my son, Nathanael was born. I’m so torn because I think satan is presenting all sorts of “part-time” job opportunities outside of the home to babysit other children, but then I wouldn’t be able to truly focus on our child, you know? Also, we feel led, like you, to leave our child-bearing up to him… $50,000 in debt from school loans and all… I’m sitting here crying because I am so confused. I want more children, but if I work outside of the home and have a 4 month old (Nathanael’s age) and am pregnant, I know that I will not physically or emotionally be able to do that. I know some women are super women….but I seem to not be able to juggle working outside of the home and being the “keeper of the home”, you know? Anyway, I’m rambling. I’m am completely willing to do something from home for income, but I don’t know what the Lord is leading us to. I would like to try to make candles maybe (I love candles!), and God has given me typing and computer abilities…and would love to do a blog like you do, but don’t know how… We just need $700 a month for sure – because of my loans that I aquired in college before I was saved. Anyway, I don’t know why I’m sharing my whole heart with you…I just know you feel the exact same way I do…and that God’s way doesn’t change. Have you ever read “Be Fruitful & Multiply”? You’d love that book.

    Well, if I don’t talk to you again, I’ll see you in Heaven some day. Thank you again for your extremely timely article…and thank You, Jesus…


    1. Michelle,

      I do feel for you and know what an excruciating place you are in. Let me encourage you to take a deep breath. Try to focus on one thing at a time. It would very helpful if you and your husband could seek some practical, godly counsel about how to tackle your financial situation head on. That’s the only way to deal with it. But where there’s a will, there IS a way. It may mean a temporary time of your husband picking up a part time job or it could be your finding some income from home. (You may consider signing up at for some clerical/typing work?) God always honors obedience and a pure heart. I think you’ve arrived there.

  48. Did you ever consider all of this may simply be coincidental? And or that your trying to connect the dots to see what you want? I’ve seen plenty if people who god hasn’t provided for too why not when they had faith as well?

  49. This testimony is very encouraging. I have an private prayer request/desire of my heart that I’ve only told my husband and one of my sisters — that we would be blessed with more children. I have to keep it “private” because, well, depending on who you ask, we can barely “afford” the two children we have now.

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