Once upon a time, God whispered in our ears, “You say you trust me with your salvation, but you don’t seem to trust me with your money. How is it you feel you can trust me with your eternity, but you don’t fully trust me with your finances?” So we began giving. We knew God didn’t need the money, we knew our finances were tight, but God told us to obey… and we did.
Then God whispered to my heart again. “You say you trust me with your salvation. You say you trust that Christ is enough. You say you trust me with your finances, but why don’t you trust me with your fertility?” You see, God had given me a vision of a large family while I was pregnant with our third child. The thought of it excited me and scared me. Once Keagie arrived, I thought, “I can’t go through this again!” I loved the last few months of my pregnancy. I was thrilled we were able to have an unassisted homebirth. I loved the little infant in my arms, but I just didn’t know how I would survive those first several months of pregnancy. I had “all day sickness”. Coupled with draining sinuses and allergies, I was constantly throwing up and gagging. I felt horrible, confined the couch, cringing at the happy giggles and shouts coming from my children because loud noises made my head pound even worse. I wasn’t about to take care of my family. If we were to continue having children, how would I care for the ones outside of the womb while trying to nourish the one inside?
I tried to justify things. God didn’t want me to be sick while trying to care for multiple children, did he? We’d have more children, eventually…. when we were ready. Maybe once we got out of debt. Maybe once we remodeled the living areas. Right? I mean, eventually! My husband talked about getting the “snip snip”. We figured, if we changed our mind and desired more children later, he could always have it reversed.
Besides, hadn’t I once laughed at those who believed God should be in control of their fertility? Didn’t I have a dozen statements to explain away their convictions? Did God give us condoms and birth control pills and tell us to control it ourselves? If he really wanted me to have more children, it could happen, even if I was on a form of birth control, right?
Oh, and what would my family think? What if they thought we were being irresponsible?
Once again, as He had many times throughout my life, God reminded me, “It doesn’t matter. My will matters. Obey, and I will bless your lives more than you can imagine.”
I sighed. After months of praying about it, I decided I needed to discuss it with my husband. I feared he’d think I was nuts as, previously, we had both decided we were “done”. I brought it up casually, and to my surprise, he agreed. I realized that God had been working in his heart just as He had been working in mine.
So, don’t be shocked if you hear we’re pregnant again.. and again.. and again. We love the blessings we’ve been given, and look forward to many more! Please, keep in mind, quiverful isn’t about the number of children one has- rather, it’s about allowing God to have full control of your life in every area. Some quiverful families never have biological children, for some reason or another. Some have over a dozen. When we give our lives, every nook and cranny, to God… he will do amazing things!
December 6, 2012.
I thought it was time to update this post since it's been almost five years since I wrote it. Since writing this post, we have four miscarriages and two more (living) children. The Lord has used our journey to teach me many things.
First and foremost, this is not a law. Do I believe children are a blessing? Yes. Do I believe the Lord has called me to stop trying to control how many children I have (or don't have)? Yes. Do I believe that anyone who doesn't have a bundle of children is in sin? Absolutely NOT.
Because, you know, it's not about how many children I have, how many children you have, whether you use natural family planning or nothing at all. It's about the Lord. Believe me, I don't spend a lot of time dwelling on this "quiverful" thing.
I now have several close friends who have believed the Lord in this very thing, so it definitely has been a blessing to not be "the only weird ones" (ha!), but I also have friends who love the Lord, trust Him in all things, and have been led down a different path.
I have friends who have trusted the Lord with their fertility in this way and have only one child (and some have none!), and friends who have six or even ten children!
One thing I have learned is that I am not to base anything on appearances. In fact, I'm not to judge at all, even based on what I know as fact. Does it grieve my heart to hear people make comments to me about how many children I have? Yes. Does it pain me to know that people view children as a bother? Yes. But, you know.... life is not about those sorts of things.
If I turn life into a rant about children and fertility, if I make it my Christian soapbox, I've missed Christ.
I do want to say that I have learned that I will never regret having another child. I look at the faces of my children, and I think, "Wow, I almost stopped at two." I feel so grateful that the Lord changed my heart and allowed me to carry more children within my womb. I am grateful that we are a family of seven (as of this post), not because I think it's more righteous, but because I know that I am incredibly blessed, and I literally see what I would have missed out on had the Lord not intervened.
I have seen people make a stand about this point of fertility and make it some sort of god. The thing is, we are to be completely submitted to God in all areas of our lives. Who am I to judge someone when I struggle with submitting my emotions and my time to the Lord?
I have to admit that there are times when I feel like I'm "done". I feel overwhelmed and exhausted, and I don't know what the heck I'm doing. I tell the Lord, "I don't think I can keep doing this!" In fact, I have said that while pregnant, worrying about how I'm going to add another child to what I feel is chaos!
Fact is, we all feel this at some point. We feel this when we have no children at all, when we're wrestling in our marriages or struggling at work. We feel this when friendships are difficult, when situations look hopeless, and when we're remodeling our homes. This is not a feeling that only applies to parenting. We feel these things because we're humans who desperately need the Lord, and these are the feelings that remind us that we can't do it on our own, that we are in need of Grace.
Parenting provides many, many, many of those lessons because our children are mirrors. They show us who we are, even when we want to pretend otherwise. They show us how wicked our hearts are, and as we're telling them about how much they need a Savior, we are reminded that we need One too.
We Hate Children (Sermon)
Anchoring Your Children in Christ (Steve Farrar, Conference- March 2000)
Articles & Websites on Family
We don't love Children, We love Drywall! (Generation Cedar)
Why Do I Have All These Kids? (Beth Jones, 9 children)
When Your Quiver Overflows (Stacy McDonald, coauthor of Passionate Housewives Desperate for God)
Ladies Against Feminism
No Greater Joy- Training Children
Raising Godly Tomatoes
Homeschoolers Threaten Our Cultural Comfort