Tuesday, April 5, 2011


I know several people who are married, but, for one reason or another, don't want kids right now.  Or people who are not anywhere near getting married, and can't imagine ever being a parent.  Fair enough.  I have no idea what they should do.

But I was thinking about this the other day. 

Some want a specific number of years alone together before they jump in. Some don't want children at all.

Some talk as if children are essentially a "necessary evil" that they will eventually give in to- but hopefully, not until the distant future, because they just can't imagine life with kids right now.  All the things that would have to change.  People articulate these ideas in carefully crafted euphemism- typically, we aren't so blunt. 

I've seen friends say these things, then have children, and wonder what in the world they were so afraid of.  Now they're absolutely in love with the children they feared so long would steal their independence and ruin opportunities for ministry with their time-consuming needs.

I've seen other friends have children for the wrong reasons, to complete the "set" of their family without putting much forethought into it, or having them because from far away, they seem sweet and like they'll make you feel love and loved and needed- only to get a few years into the absolute disillusionment that is real life parenting and wonder what went wrong.  Many people fail to actually count the cost of parenting before they have children.  But isn't it almost impossible to fully count that cost beforehand?

It's not so simple as to say everyone should have children-  let's not say it's that black and white.  Otherwise, a whole lot of people would be out of the will of God because, for one reason or another, they were not faithful to multiply, as we so often hear we should do, in it's various interpretations.

But the other day, as my kids made cakes and bears and stars and rockets in the afternoon sun, I thought about these things in relation to us- to our family.

Having these four children has been immeasurably significant to our lives.  So Grace, Patience, Lily, and Hudson, I'm writing this to you, not anyone else-

Loving you saved me from my self more than almost anything I've experienced.  It has been a messy road.  You have been gracious with me.  You are not an inconvenience- you're the best thing that possibly could have happened to your dad and I immediately after getting married.  You have forced us to tear away the ridiculous things we could have gotten caught up in, and to live centered on things that really matter.  God makes me more like Him when I daily live with you, and serve you when it's easy and when I'm at the end of myself.

Getting to the end of myself is exactly what God had in mind when he made me your mother, and I'm incredibly grateful for it.

And what's more- you are incredible.  You are amazing.  You are hilarious, and you keep me alert.  Awake.
You are a mirror into my own depravity and a window into exactly who I want to be when I grow up.

You are not ever a mistake.  Never a waste of time.  Never a barrier to effective ministry.  You make me more into the woman I was created to be.  Losing my self as your mother has been a bright, warm invitation into finding myself.  Loving you liberated me.

I can't imagine much that could take me closer to the heart of God than being your mother.


B. Fricke said...

Wow. I completely agree. I feel the same. ~B

Blair said...


theKband said...

I love it. You were able to put into words what I wish I could have. What an honor it is to be the mom to the kids the Lord has entrusted to us.

Rachel said...

That was beautiful, very well said!

The Trophy Wife said...

How Ode to your children. They truly are God's blessings. I love living everyday in the love that He has given me with my husband and children. Thank you for sharing this and allowing us all to reflect on our own families.

Unknown said...

This is beautiful, and there is so much stated truth in your post. With my own daughter, I have experienced being saved from self and it has been a wonderful but extremely challenging ride so far! Definitely worth it.

Lisa said...

Beautiful thoughts on parenting.