Babies are a blessing! When they look up at you with the blue eyes they got from you and smile a dimply smile they got from their Dad, you think to yourself, “Surely there is nothing better in the entire universe than this precious little one!”
Yet babies can be a lot of work with all the crying, diapering, laundry, training, and worrying that is involved. And toddlers! Wow, the work just multiplies. A huge amount of energy is spent just keeping them from death and injury as they begin to explore their world with abandon.
Young children need to learn all sorts of things such as: the alphabet, addition facts, what president is on the penny, what a president is, how to be polite, how to get rid of the monsters in their closet, and how to wipe their little butts. This constant instruction can be frustrating and draining.
As they get older the training expands to chores, homework, and interpersonal relationships. It becomes apparent at this point that these children have developed personality traits that are nothing like yours, and you wonder how this could have happened! They have behavioral issues that you never expected and don’t quite know how to handle because frankly, you expected your children to be nearly perfect just like you.
Then you begin to relate to the parents who act as though their children are more of a burden than a blessing. They make jokes about how their children drive them crazy, and how they definitely don’t want ANY MORE of those little monsters!! They love them desperately…but they kind of dread the summer when they have to be with them day in and day out. You understand…because sometimes you feel that way too! Oh, for some alone time! Oh, for peace and quite! Oh, for some extra money to buy something for yourself!
The Bible says that children are a reward and a heritage from the Lord. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them! (Ps 127:3-5) God says that birth, pregnancy, and conception are our glory. (Hosea 9:11) Pregnancy, babies, fruitfulness, and many children were God’s blessing to his people when they were obedient to him. (Ex 23:26 and Lev 26:9) To have a lot of children in your family is a sign of God’s favor and blessing on your life.
Let me tell you all the ways I have become more and more blessed with each child.
It is true that children are a lot of work, but all the work has taught me about how to be more organized, more efficient, and more time effective. My time has become so precious to me, and I don’t spend it on any old thing. I use it as wisely as I know how. I have been so blessed by giving up stupid TV shows and filling my time with relationships, learning, reading, and drawing close to God. I am a better and more knowledgeable person for all the hard work I have done. Now I am able to train my children to be hard and efficient workers as well. Some of them even enjoy an organized home and a job well done! What a blessing!
It is true that children are so emotionally draining. All the crying that is not comforted by my best mothering efforts could lead me to depression. All the nightmares and fears I am called upon to calm, all the yelling and disagreements that I am required to negotiate, all the disobedience and disrespect I am expected to correct WITHOUT anger could drive me completely insane! Instead, it highlights my weaknesses and drives me right into the arms of God. I depend on Him for everything. I look to Him for every answer. I seek Him for everything my children need, because I know that I just don’t have it all within me. I go to Him every time I fail and trust that He will cause my children to be just fine despite the fact that their mother is grossly inadequate. I pray constantly and continually for their bodies, their souls, and their spirits. He amazes me with His promises for them, and overwhelms me with His love for them. Without all these children, I would never be so close to my heavenly Father who parents me perfectly. I am so blessed to have such a close relationship with God, and I am so blessed to feel His precious grace increase every time He gives me another baby.
It is true that children cost a lot of money. They are constantly growing and needing new everything! Yet for every child that God gives, he gives the money and resources to go along with that child. We have a big house because we have a lot of children. We did not get the big house first and then decide that we could have more children. We have resources constantly flowing to us because we had a lot of children. We didn’t wait for the resources and extra money in the bank before we decide to have more children.
I have bought very few children’s clothes in the past 16 years. Clothes just come to us through friends and relatives. Nice Clothes! Beautiful clothes! Barely or never worn clothes! I have bins and bins and bins of clothes in the attic just waiting for a child to grow out of their current wardrobe! We have had people give us a refrigerator and another person gave us a huge chest freezer for free! Then we have other friends who get us amazing prices on boxes and boxes of food to fill all of the refrigerators and freezers!
If one of our children needs something, we pray together for God to bring it to us…and He does. It is so fun to witness the unusual and unexpected ways that He does it. When the time comes for bigger needs such a cars and college educations, I know that the miracles will be there.
I have heard many amazing testimonies from missionaries who go out on the mission field with very little resources. They simply have a raw faith that they are doing God’s work and God will provide…and He does. God loves my children just as much as he loves the heathen people in the jungles of the Amazon. I can expect miracles in my own life just as the missionary does. What an exciting life I get to live, a life of faith and miracles! What a blessed life I have!
As I have more children, my workload actually lessens and my life becomes easier. Why? Children go from being liabilities to being assets. They can work! They can do chores and do laundry and cook and clean and take care of babies, and if you train them right, they can run the entire household without you even being there. Oh, the glory of seeing a clean kitchen and knowing that you didn’t have to wash a single dish! Oh, the wonder of a date night with your husband as the older children put the younger children to bed. Oh, the beauty of returning home from a lovely evening out to find peace and order without handing out money to a babysitter.
Being pregnant is so much easier with lots of children and teenagers around. I don’t have to hurt my back doing housework. I don’t have to bend down to get anything with all those eager, little hands. And everyone wants to hold the baby and learn how to change his diapers. Blessings abound!
What could be better than fun and adventurous family times? To experience new and different things together is awesome. To go on trips and vacations with so many playmates around is loads of fun. At home on a normal day, there is no lack of conversation! The cooing and babbling of the baby keeps us delighted. The hilarious comments of the younger children keep us laughing. The constant questions of the curious ones keep us alert. The unexpected and imaginative thoughts of all the children keep us in wonder and awe! The adult conversations with the teenagers keep us company and enrich our lives. The love exchanged between us all is what we live for. And what a lovely, blessed life it is!
I can only guess at all the blessings that will be mine when each child becomes a mature, responsible adult. How lovely it will be when I witness them becoming who God created them to be, when they are displaying their unique gifts and callings. And when they become parents with children of their own, all those grandchildren will be one adorable blessing after another!
I can only imagine what it will be like someday when I stand before God and He pulls back the veil. I will be able to see clearly the impact that my children had on the world and on eternity. What inconceivable blessings will be mine, forever and forever!
When people see me out with all of my children, they seem a little shocked that there are so many of them. When friends and strangers alike learn that I have eight children and one on the way, their reactions are all very similar. At first they seem very surprised and confused (Like they are asking themselves, “Do people really have 9 children these days?”) Then they give me a look that says, “You are absolutely crazy, you know that don’t you!” But they usually don’t make that comment out loud. What they do say, almost universally across the board is, “Wow, you have your hands full!” and “God bless you!” I have been blessed more times that I can count! Every time I meet someone new, they say to me,
“God bless you!”
I know that words have power. With words like those being spoken over me every time I go out, I feel like the most blessed woman in the world!