Who We Are:

We are women, we are wives, we are mothers, and we are open to life. This is our way of standing by one another, learning from each other, and leaning on Christ our Savior.



Jul 20, 2010

So Are You Planning on Having More Children?










My sister showed me this amazing blog called Resolved to Worship.
This is a Christian woman with six kids – and her powerful and Godly answer to the question above.


Striving to live out the Catholic churches teaching on NFP is challenging and noble and requires so much prayer and discernment before God. She has touched on these realities....




"Like most mornings these days, I woke up with swollen feet, hands and face and a little sick to my stomach. Mother's day indeed. And for the grandest of reasons to be feeling ill! God has been so merciful to give me this darling little girl.

I think I'm finishing up the 36th week of the pregnancy and moving into the 37th. I'm uncomfortable which is to be expected at this point, the nights more restless, and my energy feeling closer and closer to ~ just about nothing.

Friday, Robert had a long days work - arriving in near 8:30ish. The day seemed so very long. I wondered if it possible that I would survive until he came through that door. The children have endless energy! I do not.

Course I did survive, praise be to God, but I can't tell you the feeling of pregnancy tiredness that hit hours, yes hours, before he arrived. The sun was beginning to go down and I knew I must fill the children's schedule still and so we walked the driveway, pulling the wagon with baby and the younger ones, picking flowers and looking for insects just to pass the time.

I pictured myself in the wagon being pulled by the children instead of what was reality: large pregnant mommy pulling three little ones! Minutes always seem like half-hours when waiting.

Just seeing his car come down the road...

And then his also exhausted face, from his full days work...

Looking for me out his car window - it rejuvenates me every time. We fall into each others arms.

Pause, reality check here ~ I don't exactly "fall" right now - I somehow lean and keep trying to lean, only finding that baby girl in my tummy is holding me back from actually falling into him like I dream of... in a few weeks, Lord willing, the "falling" shall be easier? And a little more of a reality.

I am thankful to the Lord for being able to be a mother. I do not take this for granted whatsoever.

It didn't start out all a bed of roses for me, this motherhood title - I married at 19, got pregnant within 4 weeks of our wedding date and two months later went through a horrid miscarriage; in bed for a week - miscarrying slow and constantly throwing up as we lost our first little one.

I had had little sign that I was even expecting - thus, water skiing and cliff jumping were some of my activities in the weeks I was unknowingly pregnant... before our first was no longer there. I had some blaming of myself to work through the following weeks - and finding my refuge and comfort in Christ in an all new way was what God had for me through this tragedy.

That, as well as my heart being turned towards the calling of motherhood, and a desire to have a child like never before. I had a doctor tell me to prepare myself for repeated miscarriage if we were to pursue having a family.

I've miscarried two other times. Pregnancy has been very sickly for the first five months, or more, in every single one of my pregnancies. I've been through one pregnancy where we were told it would most likely end in a still birth. (Brighton.) Caedman was born not breathing.

No, the bringing into the world of these precious gifts has not been a walk in the park. On the other hand, what grace we have been shown! And oh how grateful I am for what we have been given! I hear often of such heart wrenching situations with births, with children, and from those who desire to have children and cannot!

My story of motherhood and how it's become one of a wonderful crew to love on of seven, is not as most people would think. I am not one who has believed no birth control, no self-control, aiming for great and mighty numbers, the season of child-bearing from the beginning of marriage to menopause... no this has not been our goal, or belief. I believe the number of children one should have is between each individual couple before the Lord.

I have been asked what I believe on this "issue" of "how many children" or "since the Bible says children are a blessing, do you believe that means we are to have as many blessings as possible?" via this xanga blog nearly weekly.

Questions about "a full quiver?" "How many is in a full quiver?" "Does a full quiver mean we have as many arrows as we can possibly have - no form of birth control, goodbye to any self-control or responsibility?"

Today being Mother's Day, I thought I'd finally answer the messages all at one time.


*(And though my blog has never been about answering questions, sharing opinions, discussion of issues, etc. but about journaling, scrapbooking my photography, and writing what the Lord is walking me in through relationship with Him - I am branching out just this once to save myself some time by addressing the many messages I've received concerning this one issue. I have no desire for debate, argument, and I am not asking what others believe... I am merely answering those of you who have asked what I believe.)


The question about how many children a couple should have can only be answered by each couple accurately understanding their abilities, gifting, health, and God's provision with an attitude of stewardship before God FOR HIS glory.

HIS glory. Motherhood is for His glory. Not mine. It's not for us. It's for Him.

The answer of "how many" can only be answered between the couple and through their fellowship/ relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Like anything in our lives, we are to go to the Lord, and seek His face and listen to His voice.

A quiver "full" of broken arrows does no good in the heat of the battle. A "full quiver" of arrows never trained to fly or released to fly from the quiver - what is the point? This would be child-bearing for the glory of the parents, not for the glory of God.

Ultimately our goal as a woman in the call to motherhood should always be to glorify God - this is not done in the number of children, be the number great or small, but how we love God, our husband and those children for the glory of God.

As I look back on my first ten years of motherhood I am completely in awe of Jesus Christ. Of His mercy, His wisdom, His miracles, His sustaining power, the many, many answered prayers, and yes, the "unanswered" prayers: where the answer was not what we were asking.

It has been a grand journey.
It has been a thrilling journey. It has been a difficult journey.

It's been a journey not done alone, but thankfully, one walked hand in hand with my man. And also the loving support of some godly people in our lives.

It has been terrifying and delightfully tremendous all at the same time. It is something I would not trade for anything. My heart is so full of thanks to the Lord. Each one of my children is a complete miracle to me - their existence, their lives.

As much as motherhood is one of my callings, I've also found and learned much about how motherhood really does not define me and who I am. It is not my first calling, not even my second. First, my calling is as the bride of Christ, and second - the bride to my husband.

Motherhood doesn't define my spirituality. It doesn't define my relationship with the Lord. It doesn't define who I am in Christ or how He sees me. It doesn't define my importance or security. How many children I have doesn't define me - make me anything better or worse in the eyes of God. Amen! What a horrid thing if it did.

I know wonderful mothers of one child who love the Lord God with all their hearts and souls and love their child and are raising that child for the glory of God. I know mothers of lots of children who do not live this way. And of course vice-versa. Our character as mothers is not defined in how many, but what we do and how we love the ones we have.

I read this wonderful article recently on the subject of child-bearing and my heart could not agree more:

The Bible tells of:
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"The fruit of the ground is a reward and a blessing."

"The fruit of the womb is a reward and a blessing."

If a farmer plants as many seeds as he can without consideration for the ground, the health of the plants, etc.
...and thinks the fruit of the ground should be God's area and we should NOT get involved whatsoever in the number of seeds planted, or the spacing of the seeds, or the size of the garden which he can reasonably and responsibly care for...

...the seeds will produce fruit of course (it is the nature of the creation) and he will have more plants!

However, the ground will suffer, the plants will not be healthy (because there are not enough nutrients in the soil to supply that many plants), and the plants will ultimately be neglected since there are more plants than the farmer has time to weed, prune, fertilize, and care for.

Likewise...

If a man plants as many seeds in the womb without consideration for his wife's body (the ground), the health, training, discipling, educating, providing, and loving of the children, etc. and thinks the womb should be God's area and he and his wife (the farmers) should not get involved in the consideration of the number of seeds planted, or the spacing of the plants (children), or the size of the garden (family) which they can reasonably care for, the seeds will produce fruit (children--it is the nature of the creation)...

...they will have more children.

However, the wife's body will suffer as well as her emotional state, the children will not be healthy (because there is not enough emotional, spiritual, and physical nutrients in the parents to supply that many plants/children), and the children will ultimately be neglected to some degree since there are more children than the couple have time, energy, and resources to weed (rebuke), prune (discipline), fertilize (teach, train, disciple), and care for (love and meet their emotional needs).

The farmer is responsible before God to be a good steward of his land and the fruit of the land.

The husband and wife are responsible before God to be a good steward of the womb and the fruit of the womb.

They are responsible in God's Word to provide for them, bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, keep their hearts turned to each of them, and provide a rich example of the love of Christ for the church as the children observe their love for each other and how they relate to each other.

Therefore, since we want to walk in a manner worthy of Christ and the gospel, we must have the same attitude as He had (emptying ourselves, humbly serving, and willing to lay down our lives for others) and to think about the interests of others (our wives/husbands first, and then the other children) more than our own interests (reputation or self-esteem or own desires).

Parents should remember, having children is not about them, it's about Christ. And if all of life is about Christ, then it is about others. So the question about how many children should a couple have can only be answered by each couple accurately understanding their abilities, gifting, health, and God's provision with an attitude of stewardship before God for His glory.

One farmer may have planted 10,000 seeds in his plot and there stands 10,000 stunted corn plants because the farmer did not accurately assess what the ground could supply and he care for.

Another farmer may have planted 1000 seeds in his plot and there stands 1000 healthy, fruitful corn plants because the farmer did accurately assess what the ground could supply and he care for.

Which farmer brings more glory to God in his stewardship?

One husband plants as many seeds as he feels like and his wife allows in her womb and there stands # of children (the number is not important) emotionally, spiritually, physically, neglected children because the couple did not accurately assess what they could reasonably care for.

One husband plants seeds wisely and lovingly guided by the Holy Spirit in the womb of his wife and there stands # of children (the number is not important) emotionally, spiritually, physically healthy children because the couple did accurately assess what they could reasonably care for with the Lord's fulness and strength.

Which couple brings more glory to God in their stewardship?

One couple may not pray or seek the Lord in his (their) stewardship because the law (what is being taught by some as God's law) is "have as many children as God wants you to have". On the other hand, another may have their children conceived and birthed out of faith in fellowship and prayer with Jesus Christ. They may have 1 child after many attempts or they may have 10, but they come together freely and with excitement because they are living by the Spirit, in fellowship with God, and with His attitude for His glory.

So the most important consideration isn't how large the family is, but are they walking by faith, in love with God, living with the attitude of Christ for His glory..."
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A couple can have only a few (or no children) out of a heart of selfishness, AND a couple can have many children out of a heart of selfishness. God isn't looking at numbers, or lack there of, He is looking at our hearts. He is looking to see His name glorified, whether it be a couple is led to have 2, 4, or 8, etc. He is desiring us to follow His leading to be good stewards and to be responsible to raise our children for Him and with a heart to love Him and others.

This article is a great encouragement to me - one, because I believe that the fruit of the womb is a reward/blessing from the Lord - yet at the same time, we as a couple are called to be responsible before Him, to seek Him, to fellowship with Him, to ask His will (as a couple) in regards to the size of our family and to live by the Holy Spirit and not out of law.

We are to love God and love others and walk this out in all areas of our life. One thing that constantly motivates me in my motherhood calling is to be a good steward of the children I have. Whether that number is 2 for some, or more for some, we have a calling as parents - in God's Word - to provide for them, bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, keep our hearts turned to each of them, and provide a rich example of the love of Christ for the church through our marriage.

This can ONLY be done out of a relationship with Jesus... a living, daily relationship with Jesus Christ that is the real deal.

Motherhood is a calling that cannot be achieved for His glory without first acknowledging that it cannot be done without HIM!

Oh! as the each day passes I realize this more and more and more! How helpless I am in being a good steward of these six blessings and bringing them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, keeping my heart turned towards them, being an example of the bride of Christ through my relationship with Robert - unless I am intimate with my Savior.

Drinking at the river so to speak - feasting at His table.

So this evening of Mother's Day, I was thinking of all those mothers who have written me with their questions on motherhood and number of children and the why and what of their own beliefs... some carrying a burden that they are not glorifying God unless they populate their family with more children yet burdened because they cannot love the ones they have nor have any time for their husbands... some asking how I can find it biblical to deliberately use nursing as a form of "birth control" for the spacing of children in our family.

I don't have all the answers. No where even near. I am not experienced at motherhood! I am but on a journey and at the beginning of it at that! But I do know that all things go back to Jesus Christ and our relationship with Him. And that our purpose for living on this earth is to glorify Him - to love Him and to love others.

And that the Holy Spirit is our Helper, Guide. And that as His children, He can and will lead us as we go to Him in prayer. I also know that we are not all cookie-cutters, thank goodness. And His plan for one is not His plan for others.

Elizabeth Elliott, mother of one daughter, is a woman who has impacted my life. When I was a mother of three little boys in a one bedroom house, I would tune in daily to her radio program and listen to her teach the Word of God to women all over the nation and world.

I would sit on my kitchen floor, block the kitchen doorway and give the little boys kitchen things to play with and books to look at and drink in her wisdom, her living relationship with Jesus Christ.

I remember one afternoon as I sat there listening, she was talking about motherhood. I don't remember word for word but I will never forget the summation of her words. It was that motherhood was to be for the glory of God - not our glory, not our satisfaction or significance, not for our pride or for our pat on the back of all the "selfless" things we might do all day and all night year after year... not for some reward or blessing.

But for the GLORY OF OUR GOD.

Tears streamed down my face, and not just out of feeling tired after a busy morning with three boys under three. It was like it hit me in the face, her words. It was like God opening my eyes to how here I was "selflessly serving" by being a mother, only to really see that I was doing it with a selfish heart for my own glory.

It had been pretty much all about me. My strength. My name. My calling. My goodness.

I was convicted and changed and challenged by this woman who "just" was a mother of one. And way more than just that time have I been drawn closer in my relationship with the Lord and set back on the right track by her words of wisdom and challenges from Scripture.

She was hugely instrumental in my early days of motherhood. In those long and seemingly lonely days at home all day without a car in that little tiny place with three little boys, her words (God's Word) drove away the loneliness and filled my heart with abandonment to mother for the glory of God.

And I believe that's the answer to the messages/comments I've received asking about number of children, "Is it God's area, or our area?", is motherhood really for all women?, etc. Those of you who don't feel or see it possible to mother after the sorrowful experiences you received from your own mother. There's not a 1.2.3 - a copy of what God led someone else to do about children and paste it into our own lives. It's just not a copy and paste sort of thing.

He didn't do that throughout Scripture, throughout history - some of the great men/women of faith had none, one, others had more. Their spirituality, their usefulness, their devotion to God was not measured by the number of children they had.

(Check our George Mueller's life - father of few of his own, spiritual father to many!)


Will we have more children?

It is a God area and our area together as a couple - it's a He/we together thing. And as we go to Him as a couple, as children of God - we can go in confidence and with peace, that He will show us as a couple... He will guide us, as we seek to glorify Him alone and as we ask Him and wait on Him to answer - and as we look at being good stewards, good "farmers" as you will, in taking into consideration and in prayer health, responsibility, our own marriage relationship, our giftings, abilities, personalities, and the loving and training and meeting of the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the children we already have.

So that's my answer."



- Excerpt from Resolved to Worship

2 comments:

  1. so good to hear. such honest and real answers!

    ReplyDelete
  2. She is becoming a daily read for me:)

    ReplyDelete

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