Okay, so I'm wondering.
If you have a "big" family, do you ever get to stop answering the questions and justifying your life?
It's wild to me.
Well, first that there is this thing about people that fails to censor and so any thought in their mind escapes their lips. I sometimes suffer from this myself, but I consider myself a mindless speaker in recovery. Making progress one small talk episode at a time!
At the present, we have 4 kids. In my mind, not a big family. Really. Lots of people actually have 4 kids. It's not that stunning. I would think if you don't know a family with four kids, you should be expanding your social circles just a wee bit, you may have stagnated and not noticed.
Now of course, I get the wonderfully brilliant, "they're not all yours are they?". Um, well, I care for them and they call me "hey mom" so yes. I'm not that thick or that defensive. I know what they're getting at. They're asking, tell me your story. Tell me their story, because we can all see, that you're really white and half your kids, well, aren't!
Just for a minute, imagine yourself saying to Jesus, while looking around at all the sinners gathered around Him, "They're not all yours, are they?".
Back to big families.
Yes. I have four kids. Yes I plan to take a few more. If we don't end up with Little One's siblings, I'm sure, certain, in fact, that God will send a few more. Will we adopt them all? Don't know. That's God's thing to handle.
Yes, 6 kids is getting into the realm of "big" family. I'll agree.
How will we do it?
Well, we're going to open our hearts a little bigger and love a little harder. We're going to share and take turns more. We're going to pray. We're going to rely totally on Him who began this and promises to finish it. We're going to stretch our budgets and learn the difference between wants and needs. Again. We're going to laugh and revel in joy. His joy. We're going to cry and hug and put on band aids. We're going to do homework and make cookies and yell a little. We're going to get down on our knees and praise Him for this blessing disguised as challenge. We're going to learn again about grace and mercy. We're going to see our family grown not just with kids, but with birth families and their extensions and their issues. We're going to navigate waters we haven't even dreamed of. We'll go to therapy and to picnics. We'll play and love and hurt and pray. Together.
There is of course, the practical, how do you do it.
Simple. I'm blessed. The Mr. and I are a compliment to each other. Our passions are complimentary. We believe in families and kids. Plain and simple.
I'm blessed. The Mr. has always had good jobs. He works hard and earns the respect of those around him. That is payed back in more ways than one.
I'm blessed. I live in a large home in a beautiful safe neighborhood with neighbors that at least humor me and my children. They may laugh and shake their heads, wonder aloud how we do it, but they also call and ask if they can give my number to someone else, so they can call and talk to me about my life. They're kind to my kids and respectful of our strange little lives.
I'm blessed. I am a stay at home mom. A SAHM. A woman without a job, ahem. It means I am blessed with time.
I'm blessed. I have a van the size of a small air craft in my drive way, high chairs in my garage, multiple car seats, boxes of clothes sorted by size and sex, several strollers and Tylenol in Sam's size bottles. I mean, we're blessed with stuff.
I'm blessed. I have a big, stupid, soft heart. My own dad says I'd give away my last cent if I thought someone else needed it more. He's right. It's an issue. A blessing to be sure, but it's also really good for me (& the family) that The Mr. is in charge of a lot of the giving stuff!
So that's what I think this morning. I'm blessed beyond what I could ever have dreamed for this life.
And we'll do our "big" family thing, just like we've done our small family thing.
We'll have birthdays and holidays. We'll have school programs and conferences. We'll have a few more trash cans at the curb and probably an extra grocery cart in the check out. We'll pray. We'll do laundry every day. We'll have schedules and routines and we'll still order out for pizza. We'll learn to ride bikes and skate boards and climb trees. We'll pray. We'll color pictures and watch movies. We'll read books and walk the dog. We'll have fires and learn each other's favorite foods and colors. We'll pray. We'll take pictures and vacations and time outs.
We'll still do 4Th of July with the cousin crew and New Year's too. Although it'll be a sight to see, 11 kids to 4 parents. Those numbers ever changing.
We'll follow our God where He leads us. We'll trust in Him. We'll try hard to be a living gospel instead of a preached one, so that others meeting us, knowing us, will just plain know us to be Christ followers, without all the rhetoric. What a privilege that would be.