Not what if I had 20, but what if I had one more? My husband would have another. I am not quite so sure. But, honestly, what is determining that for me? Is it my selfish desires of being ready for a quiet house during the day? That it's just hard work raising children? Is it just practical reasoning that if the next one's a girl, she's got no where to sleep, as her then 9+ year old sister can't really share her room with such a young sibling? I guess whatever the reasoning, I need to get to the heart of it, reflect, and take it to the Lord.
Some posts I have been digesting lately come from the Desiring God website blog. Both are authored by Rachel Jancovic. I believe I also referenced another article of hers here.
In an article addressing seeing our children as a mission field, she writes:
But I’d like to challenge you to look at it differently. Giving up what you cannot keep does not mean giving up your home, or your job so you can go serve somewhere else. It is giving up yourself. Lay yourself down. Sacrifice yourself here, now. Cheerfully wipe the nose for the fiftieth time today. Make dinner again for the people who don’t like the green beans. Laugh when your plans are thwarted by a vomiting child. Lay yourself down for the people here with you, the people who annoy you, the people who get in your way, the people who take up so much of your time that you can’t read anymore. Rejoice in them. Sacrifice for them. Gain that which you cannot lose in them.Sacrifice. Laying self down. Hard things to digest, even when done for our own offspring.
Here is a section from a second article, regarding motherhood being all about the "transformations" and "application" of the Gospel through those...
Mothering is a job that is full of difficult moments. Diapers blow out in stores when you have too much in your cart to just walk out. Sudden carsickness can leave you pulled over on the side of the road wondering just how much can be done with half a bag of wet wipes. You need to take what you believe and apply it to these difficult moments. Does the Bible teach us that God is disgusted by our frailty? That he doesn’t want to carry our burdens? That he doesn’t have the energy to deal with us?
The good news is, you don’t need to have been through some elite mother’s training camp to apply the gospel in your life. You need to believe. Trust God, give thanks. Laugh. Believe — and that will feed your children. Rest in God, and your children will learn to. Extend God’s kindness to you, to them. Forgive them the way God forgave you. You have everything you need to spiritually nourish your children, because you have Christ.
The gospel is not just something to talk about Sunday morning while you are in clean clothes and the kids are looking orderly. It is not limited to quiet times and reflective moods. It is something to apply while you are in a difficult position in the back of the car trying to buckle a child up who is playing the kazoo and needs their nose wiped.
God is not above these moments. He is teaching us, and leading us, and refining us, in them. He wants to see our faith in action. He wants to see us feeding our children with the grace that he has given to us.