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. :-)
4 hours ago