When my senior class voted me “most likely to succeed,” I’m pretty sure they weren’t thinking “full-time, homeschooling mama of many.” I can assure you such a thought had never crossed my mind. By the time Eric and I married, my thoughts had shifted to “full-time, homeschooling mama of four.” Period. My best laid plans without much consideration of what God might have in mind for me. But God has a way of changing our plans when we least expect it.
To begin with, our first two children are only fourteen months apart. That meant that very quickly we were already half way to our desired number of children. We weren’t sure we were ready to see that phase of our lives come to a close so quickly, so we began toying with the idea of six children. When our fifth child came prematurely, he almost scared us into stopping. However, about that time various people began to comment on how nice it was to see couples giving their family size over to God. We’d been Christians, serving the Lord for many years, but that concept was completely foreign to us. God, to that point, had very little to do with the decisions we had made concerning family size. We had just wanted that many children. Those comments, along with several books and magazine articles, led to some real soul and scripture searching.
Psalm 127 stands out in particular. In regards to children, we often jump to the final three verses of the psalm, but the first two verses speak volumes as well. There is a lot that goes into building a house or home. So often we try to do things on our own only to discover that our efforts are in vain. Without God being in charge of all areas, we can never reach our full potential, and who knows what blessings we miss.
“It’s frightening,” many say. “What about the cost?” Philippians 4:19 gives us a solid answer to that. “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” It almost seems cliché to say it, but notice that He says, “needs,” not “everything you want.” At times He meets those needs in very unique ways, but always if we’re faithful, He provides.
“But how can you possibly care for so many?” others question. To this I reply, “The same way any mama should care for her children. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Phil 4:13) God called me to be a wife and mama. He tells us to be fruitful and multiply (Gen. 1:28; 9:1) As far as I can tell He never took back that command or gave us permission to decide when to stop. He will give me strength to care for each blessing.
Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” That’s really what this is all about. Do I trust God to do exactly what He knows is right for me. If not, I cannot please Him (Heb. 11:6).
Of course it’s not always easy! Children get sick. Mama gets tired. Daddy has a super busy day, and the appliances need fixed. People misunderstand or criticize our decisions or the “to-do” list seems never-ending. I’m sure you could add to the list, and most of these apply to a family of any size. God didn’t promise an easy life, but He did promise that His strength would be made perfect in my weakness (2 Cor. 12:9). Too many times we forget that our confidence is to be in God and nothing else. He is the one who will never leave us.
Because I know Christ will never fail me I can truly look at my children as blessings. They are not burdens. They are gifts from God. They are all rewards, and I am so thankful for each one.
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