About this time last year I wrote raw words about what it’s like having 10 children with the possibility of more. You made it close to your favorite post, sharing it over 10,000 times on facebook alone.
“I simply look at each of my children with more love than I can believe my heart will hold, and I know that I didn’t choose them and I’m so glad God gave them to me anyway. And I think the thought of missing one–even now–if I decided to stop for the sake of not having to endure anymore criticism, or another sleepless night, or whatever thing–breaks my heart.”
And this year, I get to feel those words, not just in my heart, but in my body by a little kicking fellow we will welcome into the world next year.
People don’t ask many questions anymore, not after you’ve had 10. But I know they’re there. They were once my questions to another mother. “Why?” I truly thought it was odd, as many people do, since our society has set a norm for family size.
But my heart changed the way it felt about children along the way. I see them differently. I see motherhood differently. There are no bounds to that love, not even the ones attempted by snide comments or telling glares.
And as the Lord has consistently provided for our every need, and as my health has thrived, (I think because of the good stuff in pregnancy and nursing hormones), I can find no reason to purposely stop having the last of my children. Yes, it flies in the face of “normal.” But normal isn’t really what we’re called to. My child-bearing years are coming to an end, and if I can love one more baby, enjoy one more unique person that adds just a little more depth to our family, raise one more soldier for the glory of God, be a vessel to usher one more saint into the Kingdom, far be it from me to try to escape that task.
Some see a spaghetti-smeared baby; I see a whole new generation.
Don’t think I’m saying having a house full of people to raise is easy. It’s the hardest, most gut-wrenching thing I have ever set my hand to do. If not for God’s grace, I would have already given up. But as anyone who has read here long knows, I think raising people is a pretty profound job and I’ll not look back with any regrets about the occupation I didn’t choose (did you see what I did there?). (Regrets galore about how I did it, but not the choice itself.)
My big take away from motherhood:
I can’t do it. Period. My hands are open, palm-up, my heart laid bare, tears that drive me to Him helpless, but hopeful. Because it is only when we are fully aware of our weakness that His strength can become perfect. He tells us so. (2 Cor. 12:9)
Paul David Tripp said:
“Hopelessness is the doorway to hope. You have to give up on you before you will be excited about the hope that is yours in Christ Jesus.”
Do you just love that?? It’s when I feel so yucky (helplessness is a yucky feeling) that the Lord is best able to work in my life and the life of my family.
I love the way our Father uses such weakness and foolishness to confound the world. You can rejoice if you’re feeling like a mess some days. Rejoice! And then run to your knees and give Him your mess. He makes beautiful things from our messes.