Hazelle with her little lamb collection. When I was “trusting the Lord with our family planning.” I never called my children “kids” ~ they were PRECIOUS LAMBS, because as Nancy Campbell explained, “kids” are what neglectful goats have while lambs are the offspring of sheep.
A few random thoughts on the topic of having lots of kids:
*** Recently I took my children and a neighbor girl to the theater to watch Race to Witch Mountain. Sitting in the dark watching the previews, I noticed a lady coming up the aisle with a whole bunch of kids in tow. Naturally, I started counting. One, two, three … I wondered if these were all her kids, or did she have some of her children’s friends along? Four, five … The children looked like they were all different ages ~ must be siblings. Was this a homeschooling family? The lady was getting closer. Six, seven … Well, they weren’t wearing dresses and they were too old for daycare ~ Where in the world did she get all those kids?
Suddenly, the lady and three girls passed me while four more kids turned into my row and seated themselves beside me ~ they were my own children who had been out in the lobby getting popcorn and drinks. LOL
*** I became pregnant with my third child, Chassé when her older sister, Berea was only 4 months old. At the time, I felt quite defensive to my friends at the fundamentalist Baptist church we were attending. … No, we weren’t really planning on having another baby so soon. Yeah, I know ~ the doctors recommend waiting at least a year after a c-section delivery before getting pregnant again. We really didn’t do it on purpose! Don’t worry, we do know what causes that ~ and we’re going to do something about it in the future... Ugh! No wonder I was so open to a worldview which considers every child an unmitigated blessing ~ and the more kids you have, the more effective you’ll be for God’s kingdom. As many babies as often as the Lord blesses ~ no apologies!
*** Shortly after our fourth daughter, Hazelle was born, I attended a home school conference in Lincoln. There was a woman there with 10 children following her throughout the curriculum fair ~ all lined up oldest to youngest, with the oldest daughter carrying the baby. This lady’s children had that “Duggar look” ~ dressed in matching outfits and looking so neat ~ like they were going to church ~ and always polite and respectful. I WAS IN AWE of that woman!!! She seriously looked to me like someone who had all her “ducks in a row” ~ er … lambs, I mean 😉
*** I used to really enjoy taking all my children with me to buy groceries at Wal-Mart. I loved watching other people’s reaction as they watched us pushing a couple loaded carts (sometimes three) towards the check-out register in preparation for our Once-A-Month Cooking. Most everyone was fairly pleasant and the comments we received were almost always positive ~ almost always.
Once ~ an older man spotted me in the baking aisle with my three older children. “Are these ALL yours?” He wanted to know ~ I responded that, No ~ these weren’t ALL of mine ~ there were two more out in the car with their father taking a nap. Looking somewhat startled, he demanded, “Don’t you know what causes that?!”
With a bit of irritation I started to tell the guy that, “We have a theory …”
“Just you wait until they’re all TEENAGERS,” he interrupted ~ and with as much drama in his voice as he could muster, the man continued, “then you’ll really have your hands full!”
What a dope, I thought ~ I wonder if he’s ever had an original thought in his life?
*** My grandmother was never happy about the number of children we had. It was just way too hard on my body and she could not imagine where I would have the time or energy to keep up with them all. She never hesitated to tell me that we had “too many kids.” So which of them do you think shouldn’t have been born? She never had an answer for that one.
After “Number 6” (Lydia Jean) was born, Grandma tried once again to talk to me about using some sort of birth control. When I repeated my usual statement about receiving as many blessings as the Lord chose to give me, she gave me the canned remark about how God had also given us brains ~ so why didn’t we use them?
Another time, Grandma told me that the women in our family don’t go through menopause until they are in their 50s ~ so, she explained (trying to scare me, I guess) ~ that means at the rate you’re going, you will end up with 11 kids. “Maybe so,” I replied. “And if I do, I will love every one of them just as much as I love the ones that are already here.”
*** Several years ago, I visited a church in an Omaha suburb where most all of the couples have large families and home school. Laura ~ who had 10 children at the time ~ introduced me to several of the church ladies. One mother was pregnant with #13, another just had her 8th. A young mom of six smiled proudly when we were introduced and asked me, “How many children do YOU have?”
“I only have seven.”
It was kind of embarrassing and I felt like I needed to explain why I “only” had seven children. I told the ladies about my nightmare pregnancies and c-section deliveries ~ then added the part about how we were finished after #3, but then I read Nancy Campbell’s book and got convicted and then Warren had a vasectomy reversal.
Well that seemed to satisfy them ~ and I quickly went from deficient mother of “only” seven to superstar heroine whose reversal testimony was printed in Nancy’s book, A Change of Heart ~ Stories of Couples Who Have Had Reversals From Vasectomies and Tubal Ligations.