Growing up, one of my worst fears was that I wouldn't be able to have children. My fears might have been a bit premature but all I wanted to be was a mommy when I grew up, so you can see how my fears were justified!
When my wedding day finally came and my husband and I were happily married for over a month, I started to panic when I found out I wasn't pregnant yet. Silly... I know but we were just so anxious to start our family.
Three month's later my husband and I were overjoyed to find out we were expecting!! We couldn't wait to be parents...obviously. Unfortunately 12 weeks into my first trimester I had a miscarriage. We were devastated at the loss of our first child. This is not what we had ever planned or imagined. The pain of having to go home from the hospital empty handed was unbearable.We were broken hearted, yet God in his sovereignty truly comforted us and carried us through that difficult time.
We cried out to God in our sorrow and asked him to fill my womb once again. God graciously heard us and quickly answered our prayers three months later! We were ecstatic to be blessed yet again with a new little life. He came into the world quickly, painfully and perfectly! We were so thrilled to be parents; to hold our son in our arms and take him home with us. Since that day we have welcomed four more children into our hearts and home and one into the hands of our father yet again.
I know there are many of you who have known the pain of coming home empty handed as we have. I pray that you have cried out to God also and felt him carry you through when you couldn't go on.
Losing a baby was one of the hardest things my husband and I have ever had to go through together, but being empty handed has only made us even more thankful for when our hands are full.
If I had a dollar for everytime someone said to me, "Your hands are full!" or "Boy, are you busy!" "Those aren't all yours are they?"... I would be loaded!
Every time I am out with all the kids or even half of them someone remarks on my full hands, to which I answer, "I would rather have my hands full than empty!" I think I take them by surprise and all they can do is agree. There are those that look at me and think I am crazy; shaking their heads in wonder. I have to admit though that most people I encounter are very friendly when they see me with my little brood.
I am not gonna sugar coat it though, I often avoid going to the store or anywhere with my little peoples. I don't always enjoy being needed 24/7 or have the best attitude when not getting as much sleep as I would like but even in the midst of the hardest days I love being a mama and know God has called me to this.
So to those of you in the grocery store who wonder or don't understand why my husband and I would choose this life of self sacrifice, I say:
Yes, my hands are full.
Yes, it's a lot of work.
Yes, I get overwhelmed.
No, I don't do it all by myself.
Yes, my husband and I know what causes this.
Yes, we want more.
No, I am not super woman.
Yes, they eat a lot.
Yes, we can afford it.
No, I am not crazy.
Yes, I get time by myself.
Yes, they are all mine and no...I wouldn't have it any other way.
We live in a day where it's all about me, myself and I. Children are God's way of making us more like Jesus and less like ourselves. When people see you with a lot of children who must obviously take away from caring for yourself; they don't always understand. Have patience with them. It's up to us to re-educate them; to use every opportunity to show them the love of Christ and how much he loves children. For the ones who tell us how blessed we are, just nod your head and agree..we are very blessed to have our hands full!
Looking down on children as a burden is not something new though...
"And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, 'Let the little children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.' And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them." ~Mark 10:13-16
Jesus loved children, he gladly welcomed them into his arms and laid his hands on them...blessing them. When you see children as Jesus sees them, you will see that children are the kingdom of God. When you start to see your children as a burden instead of a blessing remember that your hands are full with kingdom work.
I came across this saying the other day and felt it captured my thoughts exactly, "If you think my hands are full you should see my heart." Yes, my hands are full; I don't deny it. I admit that I even resent it at times when I'm in my selfish mode but God has filled my heart with so much love for my children that I think it might burst at times!
To those of you who have known the pain of having your hands emptied, I pray that God would comfort you with his healing touch and fill your heart and hands once again.
To those of you with full hands; give thanks and ask God to give you strength and grace to hold on tight!
How has God filled your hands?
If they are empty, ask him to fill them with what He wants you to hold.
How do you respond when people remark on all your offspring?
Linking up with these great link ups: Mom 2 Mom, Mama Moments Mondays, Vibrant Homeschooling, Hip Homeschooling, Mommy Moments, The Art of Homemaking Mondays