Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity. ~ Margaret D. Nadald

Our Father also gifted us with the nature to nurture, keen sensitivity to the Spirit, selflessness, discernment, and heroic faith. No wonder our Father placed us at the heart of the family and thus at the center of the plan of salvation. We are the Lord's secret weapon. ~ Sheri Dew

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19 December 2011


I've been thinking a lot about children lately.... don't suppose it has anything to do with being surrounded by them everyday? Who knows?! :-).

In the post I wrote yesterday I mentioned how a few of my friends had lost babies in their second trimester that were due the same time as me. It's one of those things that reminds me how fragile life is. When you think about it, the fact that a little human with all the same characteristics and organs etc of an adult can grow from a two tiny cells is AMAZING, and not to be taken for granted. I think it's interesting how trivial people can make this miracle, and how we think that we're so smart in staving off having such a blessing in our lives. Outside of medical/psychological/emotional/spiritual situations where you know you shouldn't have anymore, it's interesting to me to overhear conversations... I think the most interesting being "I think I want my kids to be "x" amount of years apart, yah, that sounds good!" or "I don't want them to close". It's fascinating to me that we think we're that in control of this process! Everyone is entitled to their own opinions on children... mine certainly aren't what they used to be! And when it comes right down to it, you and only you are responsible for your decisions, not me :-). You know what you can and can't handle for whatever reason, so don't get offended by anything I write here. You, your spouse and the Lord are all that matter when it comes to your family and I won't ever judge you for that... just wanted to throw out some things to think about and places to find encouragement if you want it.

I read a post a while ago written by Misfit Cygnet called Faith and Fertility: Mormon Ark Culture and The Choice to Have Children. While I don't always 100% agree with everything that she writes, I do find it enlightening and thought provoking. I'd take a gander through more of her site if you choose to go and read her thoughts on the subject of children. If you agree with what she says then great and if you don't you at least have a chance to think through why you don't and see if that's really the stance you want to take. I love stuff like that!

Another post I read is from Christina at handsfullmom called "Why am I doing this again?". She copied and linked to as story by mother of 10 Janene Baadsgaard... I loved the story and even had my husband read it. At the end of the story Christina has a chart that shows the declining fertility rate of women with age and her feelings about how once she was so sure that she'd have more children because "there was time" and then how lately she'd felt like that time is slipping away. (She's pregnant with her 9th by the way, so excited for them!) Reading Janene Baadsgaard's blog is a joy too!

Another blog I wanted to direct you to is Tristan's at ourbusyhomeschool.blogspot.com. Tristan is pregnant with their 7th baby and found out a little bit into it that he has some complications including spinal bifida. I bring up Tristan because I remember an email sent back and forth with her or a comment that she left on my blog one day that mentioned how she felt she shouldn't be on the TOS Crew this year, even though she'd done it previously and enjoyed it. Then, a little bit later she wrote and said that she figured out why she felt like she shouldn't... she was pregnant again after just having a baby last year! Then they found out about the complications the baby was having, and what a blessing it was that she didn't have one more thing to do. God really is in control and can guide us to what we should and shouldn't do in order to care for His children. Tristan to me is a testimony of that! People always tell me how they could never do what I do, or just shake their heads when it comes to not only the amount of children that we have or that we want more.... but really, God will direct our footsteps if you let Him! Some may be blessed with only a few children or may not be able to have any, but allowing His will to be done will be a blessing regardless of the trials that may attend.

Lastly, here's the link to the Duggar's blog. After the miscarriage of their 20th child, Michelle wrote and recorded a message to her baby girl. Here she expresses her love for her daughter, tells her she was greatly wanted by everyone, that she was a blessing, and that none of the children saw her as competition but loved her dearly. I think it's important to hear these words. All too often children are seen as a burden. Which actually brings up a post that I read this morning: How Not to Look at Children.

Children really are an heritage of the Lord. We read in the book of Moses that God's work and glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.... how is that possible if we keep denying children in our homes or shooing them away to be taught by other people and rejoice that they're gone for hours on end? Child rearing is far from easy, but they really aren't ours are they? These children are the Lord's and will return back to Him... we're just here to help them on their journey. What an honor! We may not do things that other people think of as normal, but we're happy!! And we have each other and the joy that comes from family. For me, I find joy in "collecting diamonds" and the memories that came from that which I can take with me forever. I wouldn't trade any one of my children for a nicer car, home, or a dream vacation... I am living the best dream that I could ever imagine, and one that I never knew that I wanted!

Again, enjoy what you have, don't take a single breath for granted. Every day is a gift and every child is a blessing! The comments, especially that I receive from those in the church make me sad. Eve gave up her easy life in the Garden of Eden so that we could be here, she was commanded to multiply and replenish the earth.... and we learn from Elder Andersen in Octobers General Conference that this commandment has not been revoked.

Your choices and decisions are between you and the Lord, as are mine. Please be kind to those around you who are following their convictions, and don't make comments or choose actions that make their lives harder then necessary. We each have different callings and abilities, what's right for one isn't right for another. My message here is meant as one of encouragement to those who find it hard to continue to have more children, or just haven't thought about having more than 2 or 3 because "that's the norm." I was given a chance to rethink my stance on children (I never wanted any, and then when I got married we MAYBE wanted 3 or so and even then we were going to wait 5 years), so I wanted to share the gift and lessons that I've learned over the years. Prayer and quiet contemplation is good. :-)


Tristan said...

Imagine my surprise to read your post today and find a mention of me! It has been amazing the journey we've been on and I want to be another voice agreeing that in the Lord's view children are ALWAYS a blessing. The world and Satan tell us just the opposite and they've been saying it so loudly and so long that many believe their lies.

I think one of the greatest and least used gifts from God is the gift of prayer about having children and how to educate children. People just 'go with the norm' and don't consider that God is waiting to take part in these and every decision that relate to his children. Being truly open to learning God's will for your family isn't easy. Who doesn't want to just choose what make them most comfortable and seems the easiest? But as we've brought these and other decisions to the Lord with a willingness and desire to know His will (instead of getting him to agree with our will) we've been blessed.

Off to read the other links you shared! Thanks!

Heather B said...

What a beautiful post, and so thoughtfully written. I also love Tristan's comment. Both of you wrote what has been in my heart for a long time. I was much like you, Cherie. When I got married, we didn't even know if we wanted children, then when we decided we did, we thought maybe one. Maybe. Now 17 years and 7 children later (ages 17-3) we've learned so much about listening to the Lord's will and ignoring the false voices of the world, and the worldly.

I would add one more thought. And it may upset some, but I hope not. We know we're done having children now. We thought we'd have more, we grew to want more, and I look at families with more children than we have and am in awe of them. But medical concerns with me (which we gambled against- and won- with the last two pregnancies) prevent us from feeling like we should try again. But we know the Lord is pleased with us and our obedience, and our decisions over the years. So nothing you said here could possibly offend me. I can't be upset, because I know the Lord is pleased. I think when we take offense it's because we feel defensive, which is usually driven by some level of feeling guilty. Yes, we certainly need to be sensitive to others, and not say careless things, for we never know what circumstances people are dealing with. But we also should teach truth unashamedly. Those who would take offense also should be humble enough to not do so, to examine why they feel guilty on some level, and then be open and humble enough to figure out if they're following the world's views, the "norm", or following the Lord in faith. When you truly know you're doing what's right, and the Lord has given you His stamp of approval, so to speak, you don't feel guilty or defensive. I guess that's my point. I really enjoyed this post, and your truthful words. You are an amazing and beautiful example to me, Cherie.

Heather said...

I agree that, "You, your spouse and the Lord are all that matter when it comes to your family. . . ." And that people shouldn't judge others in regards to number of children they have etc.

Here is some more to think about.

Too often I've witnessed cruel remarks towards my family and friends with few or no children, despite that fact that these family members and friends desire larger families.

My sister-in-law quit going to her local church because she was tired of everyone asking her when she was going to have children and 'start' her family. They do not know that she has been working with women health specialists for like 10 years.

My aunt found out in her teens that her body would most likely never be able to support childbirth due to her unique genetics. She still desired a large family and after much trial has been blessed with two wonderful children through adoption.

I've heard painful commentary directed toward a dear friend of mine about when she is going to have another child, when she has been pregnant 15 times! Only four of those pregnancies have resulted in live births.

And another dear friend has had to endure judgment from others about how even though she has a girl and a boy she really should have more kids, when she has had surgery, lost an ovary, and had 4 miscarriages since her last child was born.

People never know the whole story. It really does come down to exactly what you said. It's between"You, your spouse and the Lord are all that matter when it comes to your family. . . ."