During my unplanned pregnancy with our fourth child, I began to have preterm labor around the 25th week. Our third child had been born exactly one month early, so my doctor ran some tests and sent me home with wires and Velcro straps and a metal box that hooked up to my telephone so I could phone in the readings.
It turned out that I was having consistent contractions pretty much all day long, so my doctor admitted me to the hospital and administered all manner of drugs to try to stop the contractions.
FOR A MONTH!
Did I mention there were three children at home? Ages six and under?
Our church family immediately came to our aid and brought meals, did laundry, drove the children to the hospital to visit, and did pretty much everything else that needed doing. They even took up a collection of over $1000 to pay for the deductible our insurance didn't cover.
It was during that time in the hospital, feeling completely burdensome and helpless that I told my friend, a mother of seven who had come to visit, that more children were definitely out of the question.
She sat quietly as I tearfully yammered on and on about how we didn't have the money for this, I wasn't the patient type, nor was I organized, and my body apparently wasn't equipped to handle pregnancy.
When I finally finished, she asked me if I thought God was capable of supplying our every need. Well... yes... sure I did, but we have to recognize our limitations, right?
That's when she gently suggested that maybe I was limiting God and not just myself.
For the first time, I looked at her with new eyes. I realized I was talking to a woman whose sixth child had been born with no arms, whose very existence the doctors encouraged her to cut short. She had been told that the baby would not only be born without arms, but likely with other mental and physical defects and an abortion would be the best course for such a disabled child.
Not only did they joyfully receive that child into their family, but despite the challenges of caring for her, went on to have another baby a couple of years later.
She explained to me that they didn't have a large family because they thought it would be fun or easy. They welcomed children as God provided because His word tells us children are a blessing, and that He will provide for our needs.
They had a large family because of their faith in God's blessings and promises.
Ding! Ding! Ding!
I could hear bells ringing and angels singing and I saw a spotlight shine down on me as this new idea sank in.
It was like extreme sports. Only extreme faith.
Very interesting indeed! But I still didn't think that had much to do with me. Because I have difficult pregnancies. And I need time to myself. And I might not be able to afford Starbucks if we kept having these "blessings".
She could see that I was contemplating this new way of thinking and asked if I would like to read a couple of books that had impacted her and her husband greatly.
I took her up on the offer and sometime thereafter I found my self reading borrowed copies of THE WAY HOME  by Mary Pride and A Full Quiver : Family Planning and the Lordship of Christ  by Rick Hess.
To be continued...
See "Why So Many Children?: Part 4"  (The Conclusion)