These past few years have been full of changes and blessings. I started a homeschool group, my husband was called as a bishop (in my church that’s like a pastor who works for free), we went through some difficult times with my husband’s job and finances, learned a lot about receiving with gratitude and patience (and sometimes impatience), took a new job across the country, left behind that homeschool community and congregation we loved, and started again in a new place. It has been a difficult yet very satisfying, providential journey that I would never change. It was all exactly what we needed even when it was sometimes painful. It was all a blessing.
A little while after getting settled in our new home, my husband shared with me that he felt like God would give us the opportunity to have another child, if we chose to, and that it wasn’t a commandment but an opportunity to have an added blessing. He also felt that if we didn’t choose it, we might not have that chance again, but that we would not be doing anything wrong. We would just miss that chance.
I was a little surprised. In the past I have usually sensed when a baby needed to come to our family and felt an urgency to receive that child. But my baby is 4 and I haven’t felt that urgency or even baby hungry. I know we aren’t meant to be commanded in all things but it felt strange to not feel a definite direction in this matter. So I took it to prayer and had to really examine what I believed about what a baby would bring.
Seven kids. More than 6, but what’s one more, right? We are already way past crazy in many people’s eyes. We wouldn’t even fit in our suburban. My youngest would be five before the baby came. Do I even remember how to change a diaper? I have gotten used to being able to have my hands free and go places without kids. Can I go back happily? Will I be able to hold on to what I’ve learned about self care and continue to nurture myself and my talents without neglecting my kids? Will I be able to give them all the attention they need? And what about the future? The world just keeps getting crazier. And last time I had a baby, I didn’t know what it was like to raise a teenager. Now I know what I may be in for 14 years or so down the road, and it’s not easy! How will we afford another? And will I ever get on top of the laundry?
All these questions flew through my mind. Not all of them have answers. But one truth remains. I do believe children are a blessing. It’s true they bring all those challenges I thought of and more. But if I were to seek always to avoid challenges, we wouldn’t have children at all. I look back at the greatest blessings in my life, and they have all come out of challenges. And the ones that are dearest and most lasting are my children. They will still be here when I am gone from this earth. They bring joys and sorrows that nothing else can. Children are a blessing. If given the choice, I choose more blessings. I’m grateful for the sacred opportunity to have one more. Even if it means I never get the laundry under control.
We are expecting our newest blessing around the end of October. 🙂