Monday, April 1, 2013

The How's and the Why's

Today I stood with a phone to my ear, my overbooked calendar on the counter, and three (yes, all three) children crying simultaneously.  It's been a rough day for me.  Laura has a cold, which has been keeping us awake in the night.  Teacher Man went back to school this morning after treating me like a queen all week (spring break was last week).  Ben and Caleb were in "daddy detox" as well as "Easter festivities detox."  All this added up to make this an unexpectedly ugly morning.  At noon, when I stood on the phone, un-showered, still wearing my pajamas and trying to keep up with normal emergency moments involved in raising 3 kids under 5, I let myself have a good cry.  Because THE question came up on the phone.  The question that has been asked of us at least five different times this weekend: Are you done having kids?

Wow. Great timing.  I love having this conversation with close friends. No sarcasm.  I really do. What is God calling us to?  Is another baby in the future?  Is the inn full?  But I have no idea how to grapple with the question in my own life.

When we had Caleb, it was easy to judge people who said that they didn't want more kids.  Not want more kids?!?!  Are you crazy?!?!  How could you say "no" to a beautiful blessing?  A new little life grafted into your family through birth or adoption?  What could be more precious?

Yet, here I stand.  Three kids down, who-knows-how-many-more to go, and the question gets more tricky. How would life look if we outgrew a minivan?  How many little ones will fit in our walls?  How will we educate or facilitate the education of each of our children?  How?  How?  How?'s becoming amazingly clear to me that the how's have never ever been the bottom line in the Kingdom.  It is the why's.  In every story, God took care of the logistics when the people involved were humble and sought His face.  So for today, I will focus only on why I am raising my children... why I am living: to bring glory to God and to enjoy Him. Oh, that my children will one day delight themselves in the Lord and live lives that bring Him glory!

And the how for that why for today is this: I will listen to God's voice to me in Scripture. I will love the children that I've been given.  I will read to them.  I will wipe their noses (and a few other parts).  I will listen to their hearts.  I will feed their minds and their bodies.  I will pray for them.  I will not miss the gift that this moment of life is.

And I will love lavishly on these people.

Because I don't know right now how many children God will gift to our family.  I only know that we have been gifted with three incredible human beings who have infinite potential in the Kingdom, and I want to live a life worthy of these blessings that have been entrusted to our home.