I don't know how many times a week I have to defend the family of 8 the Lord gave to us. Perhaps it is just a peculiarity that draws comments for want of "conversation starters" or perhaps it is something more sinister. I'm a great one for being "too serious" so maybe it isn't that. In any case, this article from Large Family Mothering has me singing in the streets. I thank God for the timely encouragement. I've changed it here and there to be more relevant for our family stats. Here goes:
I do not think of my children as one group, or even as any certain number. Just the other day I even forgot for a moment how many children I actually have. It was a moment of relief when I asked the Lord to protect them wherever they were in the park. I got tired just for a moment of counting 6.
You see, I am in awe of everyone of them! Each is so different from the other and even from Mathew and I! I carried each one under my heart, rejoiced at the first fluttering I felt, prayed for them, talked with each one before they were ever even born, massaged all those tiny feet as they poked out from my enormous tummy.
It is assumed that, after giving birth so many times, it all somehow becomes old-hat. I suppose there are things that one can take for granted, but there is just no way to get "used" to carrying and giving birth to another precious life! In actual fact, the whole process has become more sacred to me with each new pregnancy. I found myself keeping each subsequent pregnancy quieter and quieter since the comments became offensive to me. Often unintentional, I guess, however it was hard to hear and still is today, things like: "Haven't you found the cause yet? Are you done yet?"
There is just no other treasure comparable to my sweet babies. Even as they get older, I simply can't believe I was ever privileged to be their mother. They are so very wonderful to me. I watch them as they have grown and there is disappointment and regret, along with defeat, but I am so blessed by their lives, just knowing the potential of 6 homes for the Lord.
The little ones still so small and funny, are so dear to me. Every day I get to spend with them is important. I know they need me, and it is such a joy to give of myself to them. Oh, I get tired and resentful of my time being interrupted but I always remember how I love to cuddle them and enjoy their silly-hearted antics, take pleasure in talking and joking around with them, discovering things together, planning, reading good books, sharing the Lord Jesus and especially praying around the dinner table each and every night, listening to their little heart speak.
I try to remember to stop whatever I am doing (even writing a post here) to press my face close to one of their perfect little faces when they talk to me--in this way, I communicate just how wonderful they are.
I try not to complain when they cause a bit of work, worry, or even interrupt me while I am busy. My husband and I love to sit out on my favourite porch with a cup of tea each afternoon when Daddy gets home from work. We have done this since Charlotte was 3. We call it Mummy & Daddy Time. It's a time to catch up, listen and talk with each other from our day apart. The children are like happy puppies playing around the sandpit or inside with a new vigour because "Daddy is home".
It is just so marvelous to have them all here with us. There is always something to do, always someone to care for, always genuine "meaning" to the mundane things of life. Sometimes life seems too mundane yet, so often this is our attitude that needs a "tweak".
We love the noise, the commotion, and the instant "party" whenever there is something to celebrate. It seems we are our own community.
The children are not perfect, in fact passion often overlaps into hearty arguments and moments but they are worth it. They are worth making the effort to work things out, even with some soul-searching questions, when they don't feel happy, comfortable or even receptive to us.
In reality, we have needed each one--even though they may be angry with us, misunderstand, or just want to try things their own way. We need them because we are not perfect people either; we need them because they are assisting God in our transformation.
Thank you Lord for each of them and all You are teaching us through them. May we be a good student and may You be glorified in each of their lives. Amen.