Why So Many Children: Part 4


Read Part1 here.
Read Part2 here.
Read Part3 here.

When I read The Way Home and A Full Quiver, I saw that there are many places in scripture where God calls children “blessings” or “gifts”.

From Him!

The Creator of the Universe gives us gifts in the form of babies!

When I thought of it that way, I wondered what I would do if someone decided to give me a million dollars.

A million dollars would be wonderful to have! It would put an end to the stress our family faces when we don’t quite make ends meet.

Then again, if I had a million dollars, I would need to make decisions about how to spend it, and that would be a stress in itself.

Would I be selfish and keep it all for myself? Would I help the needy? Which needy? How much would I give? Would I buy extravagant gifts for relatives? Would I leave any relatives off my “gift” list? Would I only help people I knew? Or strangers in foreign lands?

What if I grew to adore the money and I made it my idol?

In short, any blessing comes with responsibilities and sometimes even burdens. Does that make the original gift any less a blessing?

I realized that I, like so many people, saw children as blessings to a point. As long as they weren’t too noisy or messy or needy, then yes, I could see that they were blessings.

What I realized after reading those books and searching the scriptures was that God has little gifts for me that He created in His own image that are meant to bless me, even though I, short sighted as I am, might view them as difficult at times.

Sure, there are responsibilities that come with the gifts, but I want to accept those blessings and do my best to have them glorify God.

Just as I would with a million dollar gift, I want to be thankful to the giver, when the gift causes me stress or gives me joy. I want to be diligent to use the gift toward His purposes, not just my own.

My husband and I also examined ourselves and the scriptures about how we believe God cares for us. Does God really know what we need and provide for all of those needs? Do we really trust that God is capable of doing that?

It was a leap of faith on our part to finally say, “Yes. We believe God will supply all of our needs.” It hasn’t always come easy to have that faith, either. There have been times when we have had steep medical bills that were not covered by insurance. There have been difficult pregnancies with months at a time spent in the hospital.

But one thing has remained constant. God has sustained us.

We have been blessed beyond measure, and through those blessings, we have grown in our faith, in our perseverance through difficulties, and in our commitment to honor God with the blessings he has given us.

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Comments

  1. And, well…there’s the consideration that they are INCREDIBLY CUTE! :) What sweeties you have, Connie. :)

    Good series!

  2. Smockity Frocks says:

    Thank you, Holly! (We were commenting at the same time.)

    I reread my post and hope I didn’t leave the impression that “it’s ALL burden, but I’m willing to bear it because I’m supposed to believe it’s a blessing.” I definitely don’t think that way. Just trying to convey that there ARE times when it is hard and I’m not just doing it because it’s easy and fun.

    Hope you are having a great week!

  3. Even though I’m still totally jealous that you won the blog makeover, I left you a stack of awards on my blog today.

    Btw, I’m really enjoying this series of posts. Great job!

  4. I have thought that you have worded the last few posts very well. This one is no exception! Bravo! You’ve put into words many of my own thoughts. :)

    Ashley
    http://www.homesteadblogger.com/Jonash2004

  5. Amen!!

  6. Cardamoms Pod says:

    Amen! So well written! THANK YOU!

    For me, I find that mindset is everything. By God’s grace, I have tried to guard against EVER thinking 9 children is too much to handle. Sure, there are plenty of times I’m throwing up my hands in frustration and crying out to God, saying, “I can’t do this! I am not qualified!” Yet, deep down, I *know* that God has perfectly arranged my life, and that there IS a way to manage all that He has given me, but only in His strength.

  7. CompleteLee Blogger says:

    This was a fun series. I have 7 children ages 19 to 1. I get asked all those same questions. Once in a while when I am feeling especially brave, I have a good answer. When someone I don't know asks me if I am "done", I respond sincerely, "If you are really interested, give me your name and number and I will update you on our status in a couple of years." heh, heh, heh.

    Thanks for your thoughts on this subject. Have a great day!

  8. I just learned of your blog this morning from Kim's post. I think you said it all. We were not able to have children, though we did finally have 1 beautiful son (shhh, don't tell him I called him beautiful again) but paid a high price with fertility treatments. God fulfilled our dreams with our adoption of our beautiful daughter from China. Then to our surprise He beckoned us yet again to adopt, this time 2 of the cutest little guys from Taiwan. We thought He was calling us to Haiti but instead we feel ourselves being pulled to the US.

    We get the usual questions "are these yours", "are you babysitting", "are they really brothers/sisters", "are the boys twins". So many times I've stopped short of saying what I really want to say. With this being our 5th child (possibly more if a sibling group) we've been shocked at how many people have said "don't you think you have enough", "when are you going to stop", "don't you think you have your hands full already", and a therapist even said to me "you do know that 1 adopted child is the equivalent to 3 biological children (emotionally), don't you? so that means you have 10 children, don't you think that's enough?" It took me about 2 weeks to realize that using that stick he has 6 kids, and he's a single father! :o)

    Living happily in God's grace and wouldn't have it any other way! Thanks for the post, it reminded me of where my eyes needs to be. Oh, and my husband read along too and was reminded also of where our eyes need to be.

  9. Tereza Crump aka MyTreasuredCreations says:

    oh, my!! my reasoning about seeing children as gifts from God is exactly like yours!! We are so ready to accept MONEY as a gift, but it comes with responsibilities and burdens… but we have so many prejudices against children. What a trust walk!! will be back to read more. :)

  10. I found my way to you through MckMama's "Not My Child" series and was inspired by this series. I couldn't stop reading. My husband and I only have one (a ten month old daughter) and already we stress and dither and worry about how to afford any more. I will definitely check out those books you recommended. I'm the weak link in the faith chain of our family and it's so hard for me to really truly trust in God's provision. Thanks for the beautiful reflection on the subject.

  11. Smockity Frocks says:

    Thank you for stopping by, Ladies.

    Kate, We are all weak at times in our faith. It is a growing process, and I find it gets easier with practice.

    May God increase your faith!

  12. So all this time that God was leading YOU to trust Him in regards to having children, did your husband already believe this or what? I have recently been convicted to give my fertility to God, but my husband doesn't want more children. He wanted to stop at 1, then we had a surprise pregnancy which ended in miscarriage and made him realize he wanted one more. SO we had one more. Now we have 2. And he does NOT want anymore. He is afraid he wouldn't be able to take care of them all physically, spiritually… he thinks it would be impossible for 2 parents, one of whom is only home on the weekends, to raise 5,7, 10+ kids properly without neglecting them. Having been one of 3 myself, and my husband one of 3, we don't really know how large families work firsthand. I had a couple friends growing up who were one of 7 and one of 5, but the one family was kind of disfunctional and the other family I didn't spend much time with.
    So I'm just praying for my husband that God works in his heart about having more kids and I'm trying to keep my mouth shut. ;) Just wondered if your husband balked at all at the concept or what…? :)

    • I found this site and this series of posts through a link to a link to a link…etc., so the author of this comment may never see my reply. I have total faith, however, that God can change our hearts and our husbands’ hearts about issues of family planning and contraception, because he changed my husband, and not necessarily from a faith perspective. I felt convicted about cooperating with God with respect to my fertility. I knew there was no way *I* could change my husband’s mind – he was dead set against not using contraception and using natural methods of fertility awareness to respond to God’s call to life giving love. Several weeks later on a military trip, my husband was reading Newsweek and came across an article that proposed that one cause of infertility might be found in contraception itself; i.e., that it doesn’t allow the woman’s body to recognize the man’s biological contribution in the marriage act over time, and thus her body forms antibodies to the male gametes. His next sentence blew me away; he said, “maybe there’s something to Natural Family Planning after all.”

      Seriously – that was such a God thing – there is no way that anything I said could have caused that major mental shift.

      Will hold you in prayer, wherever you are. :)

      Pauline (who is just getting a teensy bit more sleep with baby 3 and contemplating welcoming life again in some fashion or another)

    • Hey Mirage! Saw your post and thought you might want to take a look at “Created To Be A Helpmeet” by Debi Pearl. It deals with issues like this. I hope you like it! :D

  13. I found your post through a friends link on facebook and thoroughly enjoyed it. I wanted to say that my husband and I have 10 children, ages 4 to 23, with much the same journey as you have been on. We were blest with 3 children using three different forms of birth control- correctly, I would like to add!
    Around the time I became pregnant with #3 we became aware of the book you mentioned, "Full Quiver". After the initial desire to ignore the book, first on the bookstore shelf, then the shelf at home both my husband and I began to read it. Although I do not agree with everything in it, the book did bring us to the point where we began to question our views on God and His soverignity. Did I truly believe that He knew best and that every child was knit together with a purpose? And why was I so ready to ask God for blessings (think Prayer of Jabez) to increase my land and my wealth but would (try to) tell God that even though He told me in scripture that children are a blessing, it was a blessing that I didn't want any part of?
    From that beginning we have come to where we are-8 at home and one married and one engaged. When people ask, "Why so many?" I tell them that it's a theological issue but I would be happy to discuss it, if they would like. When they say, "Do they all have the same dad?" or "Are some yours and some his?" I can testify to the graciousness of God in keeping us together these last 25 years, in spite of hard times and times of blessing. Taking each and every opportunity to tell of God's provision is a blessing beyond belief.
    As for grandchildren? We have one, but I have shared with my older kids that if God in His sovereigness chooses not to bless them with physical children, I would not be dissappointed. I would rather have spiritual grandchildren any day! Keep up your blogging. You are a blessing.
    Mom of many, living it Texas

  14. pandasmom says:

    I enjoyed reading the posts on your large family. Sadly we only have 2 children, but one of them has severe, unseen to the public eye, special needs. This has been an incredibly hard year for DH and I and we have been looking to God for help in revealing his plan to us.

    I really liked what you said about children being blessings – even beyond their being messy and noisy, etc. That struck a chord with me today as I sit in the hospital with my daughter. Thank you.

  15. I loved this post. We all have limitations, but truly, God is able to handle all our concerns. Looking forward to getting to know you better!

  16. I just found my way to your blog through MckMama’s ‘Not Me! Monday’ link up, and I am so excited about your ‘why so many children?’ post series! This is such an interesting topic of conversation amongst Christians, isn’t it?! My hubby and I went off of hormonal birth control early in our marriage, following the prompting of the Holy Spirit, and when we became pregnant with our firstborn we were ridiculed {by fellow believers} in a sense, with people saying things like, “Didn’t you KNOW that was going to happen if you weren’t using birth control?!” Anyway–I’m anxious to read the books you suggested–I feel like my heart lines up with the quiver full school of thought, yet so often Christian friends and mentors ‘argue’ in favor of birth control, which leaves me feeling confused and longing for the Lord’s peace regarding the subject. We currently have 3 children, 2 bio and 1 adopted, with another bio on the way…and we’ll just have to see what else He has in store for our family next! :) Blessings to you and yours, Tamara in MN

  17. I have no doubt that children are blessings, but I struggle with why, then, some women who abuse drugs and alcohol become pregnant so easily and irreverently damage their developing babies while others who do everything in their power to cultivate a healthy marriage, body and lifestyle still often struggle with infertility and go “unblessed”. I don’t know… it’s painful to me personally, since I struggle to conceive. Does this mean God loves me less than He loves mothers with large families?

    • Smockity Frocks says:

      @Mandy, I can only imagine your pain and I don’t know that anything I can tell you will make it better.

      I do know that God blesses us in many different ways. Some are blessed with wisdom, some with beauty, some with riches, some with amazing talent, etc.

      There are those born with severe birth defects (my own sister was born profoundly deaf), but I can’t say that God loves them any less than someone who has stunning beauty and talent.

      When Jesus asked “Why was this man born blind?” he answered, “So that his heavenly father could be glorified.” I think that when we suffer tribulations, it is an opportunity to praise God through adversity.

      I don’t know all the whys of suffering and pain and I don’t think any of us will, this side of heaven. We can only do our best to glorify God in spite of it.

    • @Mandy,
      I have had the same struggles as Mandy for many years. My husband and I have been married almost 13 years. We assumed that we would have children straight away and never used any birth control. Two years later we went to a fertility specialist, had tests and treatments, took pills and injections.

      Nothing.

      Then, I decided to change careers, and studied nursing. Not wanting to interrupt my schooling with multiples, we chose to stop fertility treatments and just let go. Deep in my heart I hoped that I would be pregnant as each month passed, and then as each year passed.

      Nothing.

      Then in my third year of nursing school, my husband had a major heart attack, which in turn severely damaged his kidneys, causing them to begin failing. In my fourth year of nursing school, the toxins in my husband’s body were so bad, that he had to quit work. He was so tired and swollen that he could not work. I had 4 months of school left, he said, you have worked so hard, we have given up too much for you to quit school now. We lost our home, declared bankruptcy and 2 months after I graduated from nursing school, my husband began dialysis 6 nights a week at a local hospital (6-10pm).

      Now I know that God had a reason for not providing us with children. Only he knows what he can handle in our lives. I work 12 hour nursing shift, 2 weeks days, 2 weeks nights, my husband works full-time (6-4pm), then goes to dialysis (6-10pm). We pass each other like ships in the dark half of the time. If we had 4 children like we had wished they would be shuffled around like baggage, and would most likely be with sitters or my mother most of the time. I am thankful that this is not the reality, for I would hate that life and would want to be the one raising my children not sitters or my mom.

      So, I am thankful that God knew what we would face, and chose not to have innocent children shuffled around without quality family time. But, I still struggle with the fact that my family tree ends here, that I have no children to care for me when I am old, and that my arms and womb remain barren. I love my many nieces and nephews and deliver babies for a living, but, still I struggle. Believing in HIS plan is hard at times. But, I am still learning.

      Sorry that I rambled, but I hope that I helped Mandy.

  18. Oh, I’m so happy I found your blog (via Olivia@OfSuchIsThe Kingdom). We, too, are a homeschooling family and are leaning more and more towards the Full Quiver. We have four (which to some is unbelievable), but my hubby told me a while ago that we might end up being one of THOSE families who end up with a lot of kids. (I love how the Lord is working on his heart!)

    Thanks for sharing your heart with us! I now can’t wait to read all of your latest posts!

  19. I have six of my own and am expecting #7 this Fall. My husband and I are asked the same questions you are about our brood (especially since we had our oldest six in only seven years), but we believe that children are a gift from the Lord and continue to trust that His will is perfect and He will always provide.

    It’s fun to meet other large families who share the same values and core belief in Christ. I hope you’ll visit my corner of the blogosphere sometime to get a glimpse into our life as a busy homeschooling family of soon-to-be-nine. I’m sure you’ll see we have quite a bit in common!

    P.S. I’m loving your live blogging today! :)

    • Smockity Frocks says:

      @Christine, I’m thrilled you stopped by! I actually met you at Blissdom, though I’m sure you don’t remember. I was quite starstruck and I believe I said something to the effect of, “Uh… big fan… your blog… huh-huh…”

      • @Smockity Frocks, You know what’s funny? I realized that we had met at Blissdom just after I hit submit for that last comment, but was too embarrassed to leave another one saying, “Um, I’m a dork… we’ve met.” Now I just feel silly. {{blush}}

  20. I stumbled upon your blog completely by accident while looking for cake recipes and wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed reading about your journey to your decision to have a large family. My thinking along the way has been just like yours. It made me smile and gave me reassurance that my love in the Lord will grow, and that my patience CAN and WILL grow. I, like you, have never been able to call patience my strong suit, but am trying everyday to acquire more and more of it. It also made me outright giggle to read people’s reactions to the size of your family….I have had similar reactions and only have 3 children…two of them are only 11 months apart, which is what “shocks” most people. Take care and God Bless you and your family. Thank you for sharing:)

  21. I’m so glad I came across you blog from We are THAT family. I loved reading your story and your family is beautiful and inspiring. My husband and I are talking about starting a family and I always knew I didn’t want (or couldn’t handle) more than 2 kids. He’s convinced me that 3 will be great. But God keeps prodding my heart with the desire to have more–as many as He would see fit. Would you pray for us as we begin this journey of faith?

    blessing to you and your family, Connie!
    ~Melanie

  22. I came across your site through raisingolives.com.
    I love your story. I am from a family of 7 children and my husband is from a family of 6. I have always dreamed of being a mother and having a big family. I LOVE big families! Pregnancies are getting harder for me though. We have 4 children now and would still like to have more, but we are concerned about my health. I think about it “how many more babies” all the time, and can’t help but worry. Thank you for reminding me that through God all things are possible and that I need to put more trust and faith in Him. Children are such a blessing and I know that with each child that joins our family, my heart grows bigger.

    Thank you for the book recommendations as well.

  23. Connie,
    Your testimony in this story of how you came to desire children in your family as the Lord planned reached me at just the time I needed it. I came across your blog and it was an answer to prayer. I want to thank you for your sincerity, your testimony and for sharing what you know and feel.

    You have shown me a perspective in raising children and welcoming children that I needed to read. Though my husband and I both are from families of 8 children (he loves children and wants many!),* I * needed to grow my own testimony about welcoming children into our family. We are parents to four children right now and after wrestling with this decision for a number of years, my heart is at peace and I have the answer I needed. Prayer and the Lord’s spirit aided me in having my own feelings and decision, but your testimony gave me courage. Like you said, it is faith in God’s promises.

    You have shown me a perspective in raising children and welcoming children that I needed.

    This world, with so many people, especially mothers like me, need who you are and what you have to give.
    I know you know this: so many voices telling me that one or two children is “enough” and asking when I am going to finally do something “important” that will contribute to the economy and will be mentally stimulating(they must be intimating work for pay). You proved them wrong to me! Begone stereotypes ;-) Your humor and light hearted attitude is refreshing! It’s also great to get a peek into what another large family’s life is like, with the bumps scrapes and the laughs, too.

    Seeing someone like you accept that “calling” and with joy and humor just was wonderful to me. Enough gushing…just thanks for being you!

    • Smockity Frocks says:

      @Eve, Thank you so much for this!

      Do you ever walk into a room and forget why you went in there? Sometimes, in the daily day to day-ness it’s easy to forget why I’m doing this.

      And you just reminded me.

      :)

  24. Hello, my new friend Connie! I loved reading this explanation. As a mom of one, your life is completely baffling to me, and I can’t wait to read more about it. :) (I mean baffling in a good way. So you know.) Last night as I was trying to go to sleep, I started thinking about how much I learned at SBS this weekend and how much of that had nothing to do with blogging! I’m looking forward to getting to know you better!

  25. Connie,

    I really enjoyed reading this series. I always enjoy reading what mom’s of many blessings have to say. My husband and I have two children (so far). My daughter is 3 1/2 and our son is 16 months. Many people already feel the freedom to comment that I needn’t have any more because we already have the boy and the girl. They act as if we will be committing a sin if we have another. I can’t believe it. And it rubs me the wrong way. I am not sure if I am expecting at the moment, but have already had thoughts of those dreaded moments when I will get comments and exclamations instead of congratulations when and if I announce another addition. Is this normal?I know that ultimately the Father is in charge and I definitely agree with everything that you said about our children being blessings and helping us to grow as people. The Lord teaches me so much through them.

  26. What a beautiful testimony about faith, Connie. I was touched and reminded I should not put limits on what God can do through me. Thank you for sharing.

  27. Cris over at GoodenessGracious.com is my sis….so I naturally stopped by when I saw that she was guest posting today. I’m very glad I did. :)

    I love children, but have not had any blessings of my own as of this point in my life. (So I just spoil Miss Add with all my love and attention any time I can.) I can’t remember a time in my life that I didn’t want children. With the course my life has taken, I am very fortunate that God has made me wait…but I look at families like yours with respect and adoration. I think it is great that you and your husband have trusted God not only with your lives, but with the lives of your children (even though that isn’t always the easiest option). It is very uplifting to read your words. Again…I am so glad I found your blog. :)

  28. I happened to your blog via random link clinking on other blogs. I find this post pretty funny. I’m one of 8, and I get the “you have how many siblings?” all the time. Then I get “all from the same parents?” and “no twins?!”

    When my husband and I first started dating he asked me if I too wanted a big family (he has one sibling–his half-brother 14 years younger than him, so he essentially grew up as an only child). Knowing how people think, and that I have a completely different perspective, I asked him what he thought was a big family. He said three. THREE! That’s not a big family…lol. So I said yes. I guess we are aiming for three, but I guess we’ll keep praying for number one.

    There’s something special about having so many siblings. I am #2 of the 8 and the oldest girl. Especially as we get older, we’ve gotten closer. People ask if I wish I were an only child–what is that? I’ve never been, so how would I know? Honestly though, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Its a special gift you give to each child–to have a sibling. They may not realize it now, but believe me they will.

    Tracy

  29. Thank you so much for your blog!
    (I found it following 4 moms/35 kids form Raising Olives)

    We have recently found that we are pregnant with our 6th baby, at 35 years old, and don’t have many friends with similar lives. Although we are SUPER happy about the baby, I was feeling rather alone in our circumstances.

    If you note my blog name it is JoyfulMotherof5. It had been our idea since before we were married to have 5 children, and EVERYONE we know would ask how many we were going for and we would tell them 5 (but extras would be accepted if they came).

    After miscarrying right before baby #5, I just could not settle that it was my choice on how many babies we have. So after having the last one (#5) I REALLY didn’t feel like I was done, even though he came out over 10 pounds and I wasn’t able to have any medication during labor.

    So when we found out we were pregnant this time I was SO excited! Until I realized I had given away all my baby stuff after baby #5. I gave these things away out a submissive heart to my husband that I would agree to be done, not even praying that God would change his heart, just submitting. But through my submission, my husband is now happily expecting the baby because I did not push him about it, (even though it was hard). We are now looking for a name that means blessing, because whether our plans or not, children are ALWAYS a blessing from the Lord!

    Thank you for the encouragement! I really needed it and I’m sure my husband appreciates me feeling more upbeat!

    Thanks,
    Suzanne

  30. I have had the same struggles as Mandy for many years. My husband and I have been married almost 13 years. We assumed that we would have children straight away and never used any birth control. Two years later we went to a fertility specialist, had tests and treatments, took pills and injections.

    Nothing.

    Then, I decided to change careers, and studied nursing. Not wanting to interrupt my schooling with multiples, we chose to stop fertility treatments and just let go. Deep in my heart I hoped that I would be pregnant as each month passed, and then as each year passed.

    Nothing.

    Then in my third year of nursing school, my husband had a major heart attack, which in turn severely damaged his kidneys, causing them to begin failing. In my fourth year of nursing school, the toxins in my husband’s body were so bad, that he had to quit work. He was so tired and swollen that he could not work. I had 4 months of school left, he said, you have worked so hard, we have given up too much for you to quit school now. We lost our home, declared bankruptcy and 2 months after I graduated from nursing school, my husband began dialysis 6 nights a week at a local hospital (6-10pm).

    Now I know that God had a reason for not providing us with children. Only he knows what he can handle in our lives. I work 12 hour nursing shift, 2 weeks days, 2 weeks nights, my husband works full-time (6-4pm), then goes to dialysis (6-10pm). We pass each other like ships in the dark half of the time. If we had 4 children like we had wished they would be shuffled around like baggage, and would most likely be with sitters or my mother most of the time. I am thankful that this is not the reality, for I would hate that life and would want to be the one raising my children not sitters or my mom.

    So, I am thankful that God knew what we would face, and chose not to have innocent children shuffled around without quality family time. But, I still struggle with the fact that my family tree ends here, that I have no children to care for me when I am old, and that my arms and womb remain barren. I love my many nieces and nephews and deliver babies for a living, but, still I struggle. Believing in HIS plan is hard at times. But, I am still learning.

    Sorry that I rambled, but I hope that I helped Mandy.

  31. Dear Connie,
    My hubby and I have always desired a large family. I have type 1 diabetes and each pregnancy gets a little harder for me to control my bloodsugars, leading to troubles for me and baby. (We have 3 precious ones right now, more than any doctor would recommend for someone like me.) So, I know in my head that I can trust God with my health. But I also know that pregnancy is a stress on major organs of my body. The question: do you think there is any time or place for a woman to stop bearing children in order to protect her own health? I want to be selfless, but I would also like to be around to raise my kids into their adulthood.

    Hubby and I wrestle together with this all the time. We know we are not finished having kids, and we definitely want to look into adoption at some point as well. In the meantime, I am thinking long term about my fertility.
    Can you respond here or email me?
    Thanks!
    Corrie

  32. I came to your blog through the 4 moms of 35 and am so glad I did! I loved your story. Though ours has seemed much less difficult, we have also come to the same place in trusting God with our family (size and timing) and provision for our family. It is so encouraging to read from others who have gone before and how they are doing life! Thanks for sharing:) Blessings!

  33. I am the mother of 6 boys and people ask all the time why so many. We only planned 3 but 2 and 2 failed vasecotmies we ended up with our last 3 who are blessings. Will we have any more dont really know leaving it up to god. Because he has more plans in store for us.

  34. Hi Connie! I’m new to your blog and I just wanted to thank you for sharing your story! Isn’t it amazing how God changes our perspective. I remember as a new mamma of one, I met a mom of 6, and I seriously thought…I don’t know how she remembers all her kids’ names!

    Today, fast forward 10 years, I am the mother of 4 blessings ages 10, 8 5 and 5. And my husband and I are on our knees praying about adopting a sibling group of 5 who desperately need a family. They are ages 6, 5, 3, 2, and 7 months. Yikes. I am struggling with that whole “limiting God” thing. I KNOW I am limited. I see it every day. But He is not limited. May He increase my faith to welcome this hard but blessed road, if it is His will!
    Thanks for sharing your story…it is a great encouragement to me today.

  35. We use NFP. I’m in the process of writing a series write now on it….

    http://momanswerswithbrit.com/?p=233

    We’ve decided to leave the number of children we have in God’s hands. We no longer say we’re going to have 4 children, we say it’s up to God.

    How do you handle it when “those” folks that make negative comments are close family members. They ask, “When are you have your next baby? How many babie’s are you going to have?” and then go on talking about how you shouldn’t have more than two kids and how they should be 4+ years apart…

    I just always keep my mouth shut, but is that the right thing? It’s so hard when people close to you don’t respect your family planning decisions.

  36. I want to thank you for this. As I am the mother of 7 children five we adopted and two I birthed. I love them all the same and because my children are of different race I get looks and the question Are They All Yours?
    Ok the first 200 times was very nice and just said yes. But if they have that tone of voice that gets under my skin, I get rude. NO I FOUND THEM ON A BENCH! And then they seam to get it. I may not have given birth to all of them but they all belong to my heart. I didn’t plan on seven but GOD did and I am glad he did. My seven is heaven and I wouldn’t change a thing. Joyce

  37. I stumbled on your website, and this article was exactly what I needed to hear today. I just found out that we’re pregnant again. The last pregnancy (5th baby) I was on bedrest and had a lot of difficulties. Our parents have not been supportive since we had baby #3, and we haven’t even told them about this coming birth. They kept saying that I would die with the next pregnancy–that God had made it difficult to teach us not to have any more….and we had finally decided not to get pregnant again–but we refused to do any chemical/permanent thing to prevent it. I’m so glad that you wrote that you also had difficult pregnancies, yet had healthy children, still look beautiful and healthy, and that God carried you through it. Our children are all beautiful–and the grandparents love them all very much. Our family is not near and has never been willing to help, but we have blessed neighbors (all 70+ years old) who have been there for us. Thank you for your posting–I really needed to be reminded that God does care for us, love us, and CAN do anything–and also that He still looks at babies as blessings—not like the world & our families who have condemned us for having more children. (Ps. I am homeschooling, loving it, and loving reading sites like yours! Also, we couldn’t afford to live on a farm, so we live in a neighborhood & are the rowdiest house and yard on the block! LOL)

  38. Great story!! We recently read “A Full Quiver” and I am even starting a small groups with some other ladies in our church who have or are reading it and we can’t wait to delve further into the Word and what God says about children. I am so thankful I found your site (through moneysavingmom’s feature of your free alphabet cards) and noticed your large family, went to your “About” (because surely this is a topic you’d discuss), and lo and behold, you are telling a story just like mine! We have been married 11 years, have 5 children (oldest is 15, my step-son, down to a 20 month old), and I am pregnant with #6 due in Sept, and homeschool all but the oldest. I will definitely be passing your blog onto friends, if only for them to read this series of posts. What a blessing you are! I will be back. :)

  39. Wait a minute – my mistake… I did find you through msm, but it was your eBook. Thanks for that, too!

  40. Connie, this was so inspirational. My husband and I have two children and we both know that we want and are called to have more but it’s hard sometimes because people look at us like we’re crazy and we let the world convince us that we can’t afford them. Thank you for sharing your story!

  41. This struck a chord on so many levels! I only have one son because I didn’t trust God enough to determine my family size. I took birth control pills for many years until my husband had a vasectomy. Our son in 12 and I wish he had a brother or sister closer in age (he has half brother and sisters that are older).

    I also am director of our crisis pregnancy center. I wish I had been able to trust this part of my life to God – this is exactly what I try to teach the ladies that come into the clinic. It sure is a lot easier to teach something you have lived!

  42. I came over here after hearing you won the homeschool blog award for humor last year. I know this because I looked as I was voting for myself – er, I mean other worthy blogs. Anyway, I had to read these articles about children because it has just really been on my heart for a while now. I too, am not the world’s best pregnant woman (I tend to want to eat people’s faces when they start asking ‘are you STILL here?’ because I can’t seem to go into labor on time). I have complications at the end of pregnancy and with delivery that my husband does not want to see me go through again. We have a tiny house. We only own four dining room chairs and there are already five of us. We went through lay offs last year which meant we sold everything we owned minus the things that were wearable or readable. We live paycheck to paycheck. So many points for “We’re done having kids” checklist…yet, I don’t feel comfortable with that decision! Praying and knowing God will work it out and change our hearts if He wills. Thanks for your sweet writing!

  43. Like so many of the other women, this is exactly what I needed to hear right now. My husband and I have always felt that God’s plan for our family was better than our own. We’ve had 5 kids in just over 6yrs, plus my husband had a son when we married. This last pregnancy so many things went wrong, however. I had gestational diabetes, my water broke at 29wks, at which point I was on bedrest in the hospital (with 5 kids at home, mostly little). A week later I developed a placential abruption and they had to deliver the baby by c-section at 30wks. We are truly blessed and baby is doing well in nicu – just needs time to grow.

    People (including family) have given us such a hard time about the number of children. It has only gotten worse with the complications of this last pregnancy, and I must admit the whole thing has scared me in regards to further pregnancies (I’m not getting any younger either!). My husband and I talked about it and while we both said it scared us, and this is a tough time for us, we came to the conclusion that either we trust God knows what He’s doing or we don’t.

    It was reassuring to read you’ve had the same approach in spite of difficulties with your own pregnancies. Thank you for putting so many things into words in this series.

    oh and@Mandy – God does not love you ANY less if you don’t have children. He does have different plans for different families. Some are called to be childless, some with small families, some with large. We don’t always know God’s reasons, but someday we will see that whatever situation we are in was best for us and for accomplishing the mission that only we can achieve in this world.

  44. Thankyou for this series, we have 4 children and this morning I was reading Psalm 127, and looked at it, in my heart I know that I would accept more children, but just last night I was saying how I don’t have the kind of patience that “mothers of large families have” and I like to sew, knit and smock , and I want to do a good job homeschooling and raising the children we have been blessed with. I find the most joy in trusting God with this area of my life.

  45. What a great story! I am an only child (on one side of my family), with 1 step-brother, 2 step-sisters, and 1 half-sister (although we only use that terminology to describe our family to others) on the other side of my family. (This has also been a great blessing in my life.) I have an only child, with no more coming in the future for various reasons. The major one in my mind, is that I am too old. :-) Anyway, wanted to let you know that I am very encouraged by your blog because I want to teach my daughter this thought process about God’s outlook on having children in our lives. It is nice to have the process all laid out in writing because sometimes I just can’t verbalize what I am thinking because I don’t have the “vocabulary” – so to speak.

    May the Lord continue to bless you and your family. And never look back. The world is a mess. I am so glad we have the Lord and His wisdom and ways. Thanks for sharing.

  46. Stacey A. says:

    What a beautiful testimony!

  47. Stacey A. says:

    My husband and I currently have 3 and an angel in Heaven. I pray that God will continue to bless us with children and I would be honored to have more. I also feel that God is placing it on my heart to homeschool our kids. I’ve taught in public school for the last 9 years and each year it gets worse. My heart isn’t in it anymore and it’s very difficult doing a job just because we need the income. I still give it my all but it’s just getting more difficult to deal with the interference from the government and parents who just don’t care.

    I fully believe that God will provide for us in all areas. I’ve been praying that my husband would come to believe the same as me. You have a beautiful family and I’m going to share your testimony with my husband.

    May God continue to bless your beautiful family!

  48. Your name came up as a recommendation on Twitter so I figured I would come and check your blog out! So glad!! I homeschool our five kids, two now graduated. I get asked the same questions. Truth be told, Most all of our children were conceived on some form of birth control; guess God’s plans are definitely bigger than our own. Our children are ages 6-24 and my only regret is that they are not all closer in age or there were more in between. Due to the age differences, they are not all as close as I would like them to be, of course, that could be just a stage :) I hate that everyone seems we “can afford it”. No, God just supplies our every need. I remember even needing diapers once and praying for them. I found two cases at a yard sale, only $5 total!! Never saw diapers before at a yard sale and never since.

  49. Sarah D. says:

    I enjoyed reading your “Why so many children?” series. =) We are expecting #4 and are starting to get “those” comments. But, I’m the oldest of 5 so got used to “large family” comments as a child/ teen. ;-) It just surprises me sometimes because 4 doesn’t seem like that many to me! lol We’re praying that this won’t be our last child (we like being blessed!), but know that God is completely in charge. We aren’t one of those families that can “afford” children, either. If we could afford them, we wouldn’t have to rely on God as much. =)

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