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.

1 comment:

  1. Having children was never such a choice until the last 50 years or so when the FDA approved Birth Control Pills. We live in time with a world full of choices for everything, and many times we demand our rights so we can make and have our choices. The bottom line, what does God want? I am the youngest of 4 children. My oldest sister had to have a hysterectomy when she was in her late 20's and she had to stop with two children. My next sister had one child and didn't have another child for about 10 years (not the way she planned it, but God opened her womb and closed her womb). I had 8. I had many days like the one you've had today (I only have one teenager at home, now) What would my life have been like without any one of those children? I don't know, nor do I want to know. My life hasn't been perfect. I haven't always had enough money for lots of "things", but I don't regret having any of my children. I'm not suggesting that everyone must choose the way I chose (or that God chose to bring maturation in my life). I think it is between God and the married couple to make those decisions. Don't make any decisions, just because "today" you were in your PJ's at dinner time, and you didn't have time to shower...the kids were crying all day... Not a good day to try to make decisions, is it, Krista? I don't have to worry anymore whether or not a pregnancy will happen. This reproductive time in your life will end. "There is a light at the end of the tunnel." It is really there for a short time. I'm so thankful for my children. They visit, call, text, Face Time, Skype, and we are friends on Facebook. God taught me so very much from from the time I was a young mother to now, when I have two grandchildren. Time really does go faster than you think! When you are living the day to day life, it seems to be crawling or at a standstill, at times. No matter, the years really have flown by, and so will this fertile time in all women's lives. Take joy in the memories you make with your children each day. All your memories won't be "good". Trust me, you will remember this day, Krista, but it will fade to the back as you remember the other days where their little hands brought you gifts of dandelions, or frogs, or just reached up and hugged you and said, "I love you Mommy!" I learned from both days. Like Laura story says in the song, Blessings "'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
    What if Your healing comes through tears
    What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
    What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise"
    The chief end of man is to Glorify God. We need to be refined and perfected to meet Him. Living this Christian Life is a process of growing and becoming like Jesus. For some, God will gift with one or two children, for others it may be ten. Others may not have children, but may adopt or choose not to. But choosing to have children is between God, you and your husband, not anyone else. He has a plan for you how you need to be stretched and molded to become like Christ. Children may be in that plan...