I was not raised to want a lot of kids. In fact, when I was carrying my first child I was very, very afraid.
Babies and children were a mystery to me. Even the men I knew were better with infants than I was.
But as soon as I pushed my little daughter into the world, a love affair began that transcended even my mothering jitters. I just couldn’t get enough of her–her smell, the little squeeky-noises she made, her rumpled hair. I cried out to Jesus, Whom I knew I could count on for help, and He was there beside me and gave me, not only guidance within my heart, but other loving mothers who could mentor me.
That was back in 1983. A son came in 1985, and another daughter in 1986. By this time I was already feeling a little odd, but still using some forms of birth control because I was a little leery of having another, even though I thoroughly and deeply enjoyed almost every part of mothering–from childbirth to nursing to diapering to playing…(except for potty-training).
Then my husband (who enjoyed our babies almost as much as I did, and also loves to potty train) and I weren’t so fastidious in our procreative control methods one time and, SURPRISE!, we found that number four was on the way.
It was during this time that some friends lent us a copy of the radical, “dangerous” tome, The Way Home. After we worked through this book as a couple, we realized that we could live in procreative freedom, and so we embarked on our wonderful adventure, one child at a time.
Shortly after, we found our way into the marvelous world of homeschooling, and we haven’t looked back since.
Some have accused me of being naturally organized, patient, etc., but this isn’t the case at all. I am gifted, but no more than the average woman. The secret to my life has been that I have allowed God to stretch me so that I have to rely solely on Him. Before I took on my “ministry” in this tremendous family I could easily live with just an every-once-in-a-while thought shot up to Heaven. But many children ago I had to change my way of living. I got more “Mary” and less “Martha” and rarely take a step without His guidance. My house is usually clean and orderly, and I still have time for a little bit of computer and some reading, but only through His wisdom and blessing.
This is not to say that I don’t study new ways of doing things, but I have found that methods without blessing are baloney and only lead to burn-out.
Things have gotten more busy and noisy as the years have gone by. At this point our children are in all sorts of seasons, from rearing their own children all the way down to learning to read. The demands on my time and energy have increased in some ways, but God continues to strengthen me and deepen me with every challenge.