I would love to go into extreme detail about each time God expanded our family, but that would be a very “tl;dr” post. Matt Walsh uploaded a blog recently to give a new dad some perspective. As Mr. Walsh is still pretty new at this, by his own admission, I thought I would expand on his thoughts a bit. (Although, I will say I’ve never had twins and that is an experience to which I cannot directly speak.) After all, people do think we’re crazy on a regular basis for not being “done” by now. Which seems odd to me because 5 kids is not exactly “out there” in terms of quantity.
So here’s how having 5 kids went down for me.
The first time it happened, I was hurtled into a default state of complete and utter shock. There was no going back. I was officially insane.
The second time it happened, I felt kind of vindicated for being put into shock the first time. This parenting thing really was as hard as it seemed.
The third time it happened, I actually looked forward to it all, right down to the dirtiest diaper and the sleepless nights. I was fascinated and in love with the baby phase of life.
The fourth time it happened, I relished as many moments as I was able because it started to hit home–this would not last forever. My time with little ones was going to end eventually.
The fifth time it happened, I rejoiced in the gift of it, of him, of my third son and fifth child. I rejoiced in my calling as a mother and as a steward of these precious PEOPLE God put into the care of my husband and myself.
Although my first time was rocky and difficult, although I was convinced I was a monster for cringing every time my beautiful daughter cried for me, **although it took me months to appreciate her for the wonder she truly was and is–continuing to listen to God by having more children has been the greatest tool He has used in my life for helping me see what a destiny really is.
Destiny is not the golden-trimmed puzzle piece we want it to be. Destiny is not an acheivement at all. Destiny is a posture of life and it is characterized by surrender. I have FINALLY learned, after 8 years of pregnancy, nursing and parenting, that my surrender to God in being a mother is my destiny. It is certainly not the only point of surrender but it is definitely a significant one.
I wasn’t one to plan this, you know? I didn’t daydream about babies. I picked a couple names out at age 14 just so I could join in the girly sleepover discussions. I didn’t even think about being married one day!
God had different plans for me than I had, and I thank Him for choosing me to do something so meaningful.
I’m not scarred by the difficulties of parenting five children. I am being shaped by it. I am in a position of destiny.
(**I did struggle with my first born quite a bit for various reasons. God gave me a strong support system through my husband, my family, and my church. I loved my little girl from moment one but I’m pretty sure I had a mild bout of post-partum depression on top of all the sleep deprivation and general feelings of being confused and overwhelmed. The subsequent post-partum experiences were all very positive, however, for which I thank God.
Just wanted to be clear.)