Friday, June 18, 2010

You have how many?

This is a topic that has been on my mind lately and then tonight I came across this blog post that made me think even more. First let's start with a little history, I come from a family of 11 kids. I have 8 brothers and 2 sisters. Jeremy comes from a family of 8 kids, he has 3 sisters and 4 brothers. We both love coming from large families and growing up it was just normal, it was life. I have memories of being young and at the grocery store and hearing people ask all those questions..."you know what causes this right"...or.."you must me Mormon or catholic"..and the best..."don't you know how to prevent that". When did it start being ok in our culture to make comments to people about something so personal as how many kids you have? We don't mock people who can't or choose not to have kids. This post touched on and I so agree with the fact that the church is no better in most cases then the world at encouraging young families in the blessing of children.

Jeremy and I are often asked how many kids we want, to which we usually reply with a quick "we don't know yet", or "we hope to have lots". Coming from big families I think people want to know if that has made us want a large family or just want a couple kids. Growing up people used to make comments about affording children or more like not being able to afford kids, my Dad used to always say "God pays for what he orders". How true? We can trust God with SO many things but something as big as our family size we hold with a tight grip. Dad also used to compare the analogy of arrows in the hand of a warrior to children. Psalm 127:3-5 says that blessed is the Man whose quiver is full. Dad said if we was going out to war he would want as many arrows as he could get. Why limit to 2 or 3? I love this verse in the message bible...Psalm 127:3-5 "Don't you see that children are God's best gift? The fruit of the womb his generous legacy? Like a warrior's fistful of arrows are the children of a vigorous youth. Oh, how blessed are you parents, with your quivers full of children! Your enemies don't stand a chance against you; you'll sweep them right off your doorstep."

I want to challenge your ideas of children, change the way you view them. It's not about birth control or no birth control, it's a heart issue. It's not about a number its about trust. If you viewed your kids as you greatest asset and your tool to help change the world how would that affect your parenting today. I am grateful my parent's made the choices they did and so grateful my in-laws did too! No, its not always easy. My Mom records some of her journey here and I know you will be encouraged by her message. Maybe you can't have more kids or you have chosen not to, Romans 8:1 says "there is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus". Don't be condemned, love on the ones you have and view them as an arrow your raising to send out and change the world. This journey of parenthood is something I have only just begin and I know will have many hard days ahead, but I don't do it for those. Yes, they come but I do it for the days my child smiles at me calling my name, I do it for the day my child will come to know the Lord, I do it for the journey my kids will have in there walk with the Lord, I do it so they can start this journey a couple steps ahead of where Jeremy and I started it. I do it cause I was raised with a message that motherhood is a highest calling a Woman can have and that it is an honor and a blessing to bare children. I do it because I want to change the world and leave my mark and will take all the help I can get!


  1. So good Hannah! I love your sweet family, and the one you came from too. Raise up an army girl!

  2. Loved your post and hers too.
    And how convicting was her analysis of the Islam faith? So good!
    I'd love to talk to you about this more soon ;]

  3. Hannah, this is a great post. I have been guilty of being in awe of large families, not that I think it is wrong to have so many kids (I actually think that the families that do it well are amazing)I just can't imagine having that many kids so I am intrigued. You are right, it is a very personal decision and I am so thankful that you are in my life to remind me of that.

  4. Thanks Hannah! This was good to hear...funny cause I just read another blog that said almost all the same things, even about the arrows. You are a wise woman.

  5. "God pays for what he orders" -- i love this quote!

    great post, as well as the neese blog you shared.

  6. I love your Dad's comment that God pays for what He orders.

    I think sometimes people are just really curious about big families and don't know what else to say to get a conversation started. It sounds like your parents had great comments to make in return.

  7. As you know, I have tried not-so-subtly to get your view on this before ; - ) Daniel came into marriage thinking that it was wrong to try to prevent pregnancy in any way at all. I had opposite ideas, especially since I had serious health issues and was told I could not sustain a pregnancy. Because of my health we compromised and used NFP.

    I have to admit my thinking has changed a lot over the past couple of years. Previously, my main objection to the idea of large families was the RED ALERT: OVERPOPULATION IS A SERIOUS PROBLEM message I heard everywhere.

    When Daniel and I got married we enrolled in a Natural Family Planning course at a local Catholic church. They emphasized the role of prudence and stewardship alongside the encouragement to see children as a blessing. In my mind, due to the "overpopulation" issue, prudence and stewardship might call for limiting families in certain circumstances.

    Recently, though, I began realizing that the people promoting the idea that the world cannot sustain an increase in population have their own motives . . . and they don't look like good ones.

    As for my family, Daniel and I consider our children to be a blessing beyond our wildest imagination. We are seriously discussing what comes next for us as we both have a desire to reach out to fatherless children and orphans. Should we limit our biological children to two or three so that we can devote more of our time and resources to standing in for absent parents? Obviously, it's a very personal choice/calling/conviction, but we are open to whatever God wants for us.