I'm Leanne and I have 8 children.
Did you say I must be crazy??
Did you say I must be SuperMom?
You ask me if I'm filled with patience?
Wait, you said I must be perfect!
And I haven't answered your questions or addressed your comments, but I want to now.
Let me tell you that I've heard alllllll of the comments on our Big Family. And my sanity. And my marriage. And my sex life. And craziness and patience and perfection and wait, HOW do I do it all??
So, here's my commentary on all of that.
The answer is, I don't do it all! And no, the last time I checked, I wasn't perfect and still am not. I don't take meds for anxiety. I feel totally, reasonably sane. I'm not crazy.....
I'm just Called.
I'm doing what I personally, before the first star was breathed into the sky, was called to do.
I do not do everyone's laundry. I don't wash everyone's dishes, 24 hours a day/7 days a week! I don't.
Gals, I've heard it all. I've been on the receiving end of some pretty blatant, pretty rude, pretty prying comments. Like:
"Are these alllllll YOURS!!! Shoot, I can't even handle the one (or two) I've got!"
"Did you birth ALLLL of these YOURSELF???"
"Wow, you must be perfect/crazy/SuperMom....(fill in the blank)"
"Haven't you ever heard of Birth Control?"
"Do you know what causes that?"
"Are these all yours AND your husband's?"
And on and on and on it goes......the truth is, and the answer I have learned to give, is that yes, I do know how this (as though having children, and lots of them, is some sort of horrible disease) happens, and I rather like the process!!! (wink wink)
The thing is, I'm not filled with patience. I'm not a saint. I'm not gracious or perfect or a shining example of Christianity! But listen, Christ in me IS!
I said, CHRIST IN ME IS!
The reason I do what I do is because He has called me to this time and this place, to be the Mama of these kids. ALLLL of these kids.
And I don't do it by myself! He walks with me, every step of my day. HE'S the one who enables me to get up in the morning and put my Game Face on and raise this Family He has so graciously provided me with! HE'S THE REASON!
I'm not crazy, I'm perfectly in His Will. He's my sanity. He's holding me! He gives me grace for every single moment of my days. It's all Him.
Yes, I lose it! Sometimes, I have days where I lose it quite often! I yell. I threaten. I get mad. I even thrown Fits! (GASP!) But.....I'm forgiven. I ask forgiveness from my kids, sometimes several times a day! They forgive me and He forgives me, and His grace fills in the rest.
He has such overflowing, abundant grace for me. It's the ONLY way I can do this, because I'm nothing on my own. HE makes me the mama I am!! I don't magically step out of my bedroom in the morning, make up on and Chanel wafting about with each move of my jewel-laden arm, to float through our days with perfect poise and control.
The thing is, we moms like to kill one another! With our expectations of each other. With our sly, sideways glances when Play Group comes over and there's dust on the mantel. With our clicking, sharp tongues. With our rude, thoughtless comments. We tear and thrash and bruise.
You do it. I do it.
Probably the most common comment I get, when I'm out-and-about, is the you-must-be-Supermom flotsam. And I used to get so upset, privately, when I was back home, because oh boy, they just didn't understand! But now, I just laugh and say.......
It's Christ in me Who enables me to do what He has divinely called me to do!
Our God is not a God who holds us by one of our squirming, sweaty arms over the rising waters of our destiny and drops us. Oh no. Haven't you heard that He has us, you and me, right in the palm of His hand, and that nobody, no enemy or peril, can ever pluck us out??
He didn't call me to be the mom of a large family and then just check out of my life.
He's alllll over me! He's behind me and before me and under me and above me and beside me and around me!
I suffer from severe depression and doubt and panic and blah blah blah, and I've even wanted, so badly and so deeply, to quit. I've wanted to walk out on my precious Husband and my fabulous kids because I've frequently felt so inadequate to do this thing He wants me to do.....when I'm trying to do it without Him! It's not something I'm proud of! But I am proud of the fact that I didn't walk out. I didn't walk out on my kids or my husband or my God.
So, if you ever wanted to ask me, face to face or in an email, why or how I do what I do, the answer is, I don't! He does it through me. As I set about to do what He wants me to do, He provides it all.
HE provides it all.
I'm not crazy because He keeps me sane. I'm not full of patience because I don't have to be. I just ask for Him to fill me with His grace.
On a practical note, my kids are well behaved because we've taught them to be. They aren't the bosses of the home and never have been. They obey. We don't let them push the envelope very far! We discipline them.
Telling moms that they must be SuperMom is unfair. The bottom line is this:
If you are doing what God has called you to do then He offers every kind of gift and resource for you to do just that, with victory! And in my opinion, the role of a woman is to be the keeper of her home. I'm just trying to do that, and He's being allowed to do it through me.
And that, my friends, is what I say now when I am bombarded with rude, ignorant, inappropriate comments about my family.