This is going to be a LONG post. It may even become a two part post.
Today I'm going to talk about fertility and why I have "SO MANY KIDS!!!!" (Most of the time, said with as much derision and disgust as the person can pack into that phrase)
I guess my aim for this post is to try to get you to understand why we have as many kids as we do. I hope that you'll have a better understanding of most mamas with large families by the end of this post. I hope to help you get to know me better.
What I do NOT want to do is make you feel cornered or like I'm pointing fingers or deriding or ridiculing YOU for your choices. I hope my blog never does that to you.
What I want you to know about me is that I'm NOT crazy. Yes, I know how babies are made. And yes, we do have a life outside of the bedroom. I'm not Mormon or Catholic and I'm not Amish either. I don't go about in homeschool mom sack dresses and with a head covering on my head. I'm not SuperMama. I don't have tons of energy and patience and I'm not the best mama in the world. Let's clear this up right now: I'm not perfect, I'm not uber-organized, my house is not spic and span…….
I'm just trying to do what the Lord is telling me to do, in the best way that I can.
So, here we go!
When I was growing up, I never, ever had dreams of that perfect and fairy tale wedding to the man of my dreams. I never thought about getting married. I didn't put one moment of my time into thinking about having babies and loving babies….
Truthfully, I was a kid who hated babies and children.
Really, that's the honest truth. I hated other people's kids for their screaming, snotty noses, dirty diapers…..and on and on, the reasons are countless….
But the biggest reason I hated children was because I was taught to.
My mother and father divorced when I was 2 years old. I grew up without a daddy.
My mother was a career woman. She got up in the morning, fixed her hair and makeup and walked out the door to her job. I got ready for school and got to school all by myself. I came home to an empty house every day. I had an older brother who despised me and was such trouble that my mother shipped him off up North when he was 14 and I was 12. So, since my brother was in so much trouble growing up, I pretty much was an only child.
I'm not disparaging my mother here, folks. She did the best she could and did what she thought was right.
But I came out of my home situation with absolutely no desire to marry and have a family.
I came out of my situation being a man hater and deeply knowing that all men wanted was one thing and that I was not going to provide that one thing for them.
I'm from Southern California, from a huge city of over a million people that is right next to the beach. I thought palm trees were the only tree on earth, and I had never heard of a place called Washington State.
My mother packed me up when I was 11 and we began running away. I went to 3 schools for 6th grade. We had lived in three cities by the time I was 12.
When I was 13, we moved up to Washington State, and I was miserable. I vowed that I was going back to CA the minute I turned 18.
But then I met Jesus.
At a small church youth group that I went to to please my new friend, I met the Lord.
And I'm so thankful I did.
I got involved in the youth group. I was on the worship team, as I had been singing since I was 6 and hey, let's use the voice for the Lord, right?? I was happy and content with my three new friends!
For the next two years I thought of nothing but youth group and Lock-ins and getting the youth pastor to shave his head and stupid, silly games that made no sense and were designed to bring us closer to the Lord….how????
When I was 15 I started to notice this guy. He was super tall, like, the tallest guy I'd ever seen. He was clean cut.
He played the piano.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
The Piano Guy and I got together. Shortly after we got together, we went to our church and he played the big black concert grand piano for me, just me, and I fell SUPER HARD.
We were married when I was barely 20.
Now, we had never talked about family or children or how many kids we wanted.
And I'm thankful today that we didn't, because my husband, when he was a little boy, used to pray that God would give him "a green eyed wife" and he beseeched the Lord for 12 children.
I didn't know these things until we had been married for about 5 years.
The thing is, I can make this a really long story. But I won't because the gist of the matter is, fertility.
My husband and I had started to hear how detrimental hormonal birth control could be on a woman's body. We had started to question the medical establishment and their advice and their methods of doing things.
2 years after we were married, Russell was born. And then two years after that, Hannah was born….
And when Hannah was 6 months old, I got pregnant. With Samantha. And my oldest two daughters are a little over 16 months apart.
That was hard.
But after we had Samantha, we started to think about how many kids we wanted, and Dave told me he had prayed for years that he would get to have 12 children.
So, we started to ask the Lord about how many kids He wanted us to have.
After all, doesn't the Bible say, in Proverbs 3:5-7, "Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding, but in all of your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path. Do not be wise in your own eyes. Fear the Lord and depart from evil, and it will be health to your flesh and strength to your bones".
This has been my verse, these many years, that has helped me explain why we have a big family.
I remember so clearly when I surrendered myself to that decree. I was scared to death. It hasn't been easy. But I knew that, for myself, if I truly wanted to be Christ's, and if I truly thought He was whispering this to my heart, then I had to put this into action, in all areas of my life…..
Even my fertility and the size of my family.
That verse is the reason we have so many kids. That verse is the reason I've had 16 pregnancies. That verse is the reason we have 9 living children, praise God.
One day, many years ago, I put my womb into His hands. I told Him how scared I was of children and babies. I told Him I was freaked out. But I also told Him that I wanted to be fully His and so, I gave Him my womb and since then, I have tried to let Him plan our family.
Look, I'm not an eloquent writer. My words are not carefully thought out and calculated. I'm pretty messy in my heart. I'm not wise or educated or very logical, at all….
But let me tell you this: if you surrender yourself to the Lord in that area where you know He's gently asking, then your life will change.
I read blogs where the mamas say that they really want four kids. Or two kids….or none. That's okay if that's what God is really saying to them.
My thoughts are that God did not create a pill or shot that will stop you from having babies. He didn't create that stuff. He didn't create a pill that would cause your eggs to come down and get fertilized and implant into your uterus, only to be flushed out when the pill caused you to have a period. God did not create a device that gets shot up into your uterus and implants there, to cause scar tissue to form and block your uterus from receiving eggs for fertilization.
He DID give us women knowledge on how to chart our cycles and how to listen to Him. I personally believe that if you are seeking the Lord and you don't believe now is the time to have another baby, then don't have intercourse when you're ovulating. I do think God gave us women that knowledge.
I decided that I wasn't going to force God's hand in this matter. I was intensely convicted that I was trying to play God in my life by stopping myself from having babies.
And that is why we have 9 children here on this earth.
I realize that this will be offensive to some of you. I realize that you might even begin to hate me and stop reading my blog too…..
But the bottom line for me and my husband is this: we don't want to rely on our intelligence or our faulty wisdom to decide the size of our family. We want to try to do what He's asking us to do in those verses in Proverbs. We are convinced that He knows what's best for us. He loves us and He wants us to be fully surrendered to Him in every single area of our lives. He doesn't want us to hold back any area of our hearts from Him.
So we have tried to give Him everything.
Honestly, this is still hard for me!! I've heard every single snide and rude and catty comment you can imagine! I've seen the hundreds of nasty, hateful looks when I'm shopping around town. I've lost friends because of this.
It isn't easy.
I've had two early miscarriages, two second trimester miscarriages which almost killed me both times, and I've had two stillborn babies. God gave us twins, after praying for 6 years for them, only to decide that one of our babies had lived out her life in my womb and needed to be with Him.
Why go on after that?? Why not take back what I had given to Him??
Because……I believe that He's sovereign.
I believe deeply that He knows what's best.
I have 9 kids because I don't want to stand before Him on that day when He calls me Home and account for playing God in my life.
I have 9 kids because I want to see how He wants to change me through my kids.
I have 9 kids because it's fun.
I have 9 kids because life is dull when you're planning it yourself.
I have 9 kids because He wants me to.
I have 9 kids.
Thanks for listening to my thoughts on this matter. Thanks for trying to understand me better. Thanks for loving me anyway, even if you don't agree with me or my ways.
Now, I hear Jack waking up and I need to go get him!