an abundance of children and joy

“Have as many as the Good Lord will give you,” she says as her smile, though tired and aging, exudes her joy.

I giggle sheepishly.

With her unadorned clothes and shoulder length hair graying at the roots, she looks plain by the world’s standard. But she wears her happiness (and her baby) like jewelry.

As I stood in line at the fabric store cutting counter flirting and dancing with my son, she came over to ask me what kind of baby carrier I had him in. We struck up conversation about ergos, mei tais, and nursing, but it quickly went deeper than that.

“We thought we were done, you know,” nodding toward the precious 15 month old girl on her hip, “we were so sure at 34 years old that 4 kids was our maximum. Turned out that God had some work to do in our hearts and 5 years later my husband had… a… reversal.”

Now she’s the one giggling.

She tells me of their journey and the feeling that the Lord wanted them to have more children but how they had a hard time conceiving at age 39. She talks about her family friend who was adopting a baby girl from Africa. She motions toward the toddler sitting in her cart.

“God knew what he was doing. We thought we had His plan figured out, but he had so much better for us.”

They had adopted Mary* from Rwanda not 2 months before discovering that they were indeed still able to get pregnant.

“My husband was so excited about it. I was so freaked out.”

But now, by the look on her face and the peace overflowing from her demeanor, I can tell she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Anyway… all that to say: Have as many as the Good Lord will give you.”

“We intend to.” I reply.

We both giggle.


*This is not the girl’s actual name, as it is not my child’s name to share.

32 Responses to “an abundance of children and joy”

  1. Sheila

    That’s wonderful!

    My mom, at 47, with 6 kids ranging down to 18 months old, gets a lot of negative comments in stores and places like that … stuff like “aren’t you too old to be having kids?” or “don’t you know what causes that?” Bless you for encouraging and listening to this woman instead! I bet you made her day. :)

    • Alison

      My mom was 41 when she had my brother (who is now 17) and she got the same type of inconsiderate comments from strangers (and friends for that matter). I always wonder why people feel it is their place to decide when and how many children others should have. I am only 31 and people tell me that if we want more we should hurry up and have them. REALLY???!!!
      Just reading this post makes my heart long for another baby (and mine are only 3 and 17 months!) :)

  2. Rinny

    Yes! Children are an amazing gift. Not something we can plan or demand.

    We got similar news that it was unlikely that we would be able to have children. We had always wanted as many children as the Lord would provide but there I was thinking that maybe he would only provide one or none at all.

    Low and behold only a few months later I’m having a baby. We decided to put the ball in God’s court and he gave us a loving serve.

  3. mama23bears

    after 3 kids the youngest being 6, my very good friend and her husband decided they wanted more. her husband had a reversal and they got pregnant right away last year. now, they plan on having another next year. He needed to do a little more work on their heart too!

  4. D

    This story really touched my heart. It’s always amazing to hear real examples of the Lord working.

  5. Kimberley

    Have as many as the Lord will give you. I love that! We adopted a beautiful baby boy and were overjoyed to be parents. When he was 9 months old, we got a call from birthmom telling us that she was pregnant again and wanted us to have this one as well. It took only one hot minute before we said yes. Now I am facing surgery for my health problems and it is also supposed to restore my fertility, so….. yeah. We will just have to wait and see. There was a time when we thought we would never have kids, but boy when God decides to bless you, he really blesses your socks off, so if he wants to just show off his glory in our family,we will def. Take it!

  6. Sarah

    Yes, yes and yes! My heart is more and more for having more children not less as I thought it would be after having three kids in three years.

  7. Jessica@The Southern Belle Baby

    I’m with you on this one! I am feeling more and more strongly that we need to leave this particular area in God’s hands. The Lord still needs to work on my husband’s heart a little bit, though. :) I’m being patient in the mean time and enjoying our first baby boy to the utmost.

  8. Katie

    I love this! Thank you so much for sharing it and for it’s timeliness (is that a real word?) With the upcoming arrival of our 4th little one – who will require lots of extra care – we hear from outsiders and Dr. type people that we might want to consider having tubes tied while in surgery anyway. The though creeps in and out of my mind, but I still don’t feel like it’s right…

  9. Steph

    Your post could not have come at a more perfect time for me! I have been feeling very convicted lately about this subject. I have a 3 month old son and have recently been wondering what our life would be like if we left having children up to the Lord. Who am I to reject any blessings (children) he wants to bestow upon me? It’s really scary, though, to give up birth control and open yourself up to the possibility of having many children. It’s something I’ve been praying about a lot lately. I’m turning it over to God and we’ll see what happens!
    My sister has 5 kids and constantly gets negative comments about being “crazy” to have that many kids. But she’s happy and God has really blessed her and her family.

  10. McKt

    This is where the Lord is leading us right now as well. We are surrounded by friends in our church that are following the same “no plan – plan”. This is a huge blessing and confirmation of what we know God is revealing to us. But, be preparing your heart to deal with the possible judgements coming. Family and friends will think you are crazy for any kids after the second. It is harder to grow your family beyond what the world thinks is okay, but I would rather my children see obedient parents than to have the temporary material possessions they desire or even believe they need (such as a paid for college education – a continuous sticking point for some family members). We keep praying and following and seeing where God leads our family, not our culture.

    • AllisonO

      This is beautifully, beautifully stated: “I would rather my children see obedient parents than to have the temporary material possessions they desire or even believe they need”

  11. Elizabeth

    Beautiful post. Thank you.

    My husband had a….ummmm…..reversal, too. We are not sure if it worked, or even if I can become pregnant, for that matter. But, we are doing our part and giving the rest to God’s decisions. It is hard, as humans, not to always be trying to control every situation; but I feel confident that He will give us children if it is what should happen.

  12. The Mom Venture Blog

    This is why I feel hesitant about making anything permanent as far as not having anymore children. We have 3 and my husband is sure he wants to be done, I’m still not sure. I really don’t know that God would want us to do that. It’s one thing to go by the natural family planning method, as I do think He allows us to have some control of the situation, but I just don’t know that He looks too well on artificial control (birth control pills, shot, whatever…that may cause early abortions that we don’t even know about). I’m still on the fence about having something done permanently though…..

    Beautifully written post though, and I’m so glad that baby was able to find a loving home!

    “Be fruitful and multiply”

  13. Katie

    This is beautiful. A math teacher in my school said the same to me. He and his wife opened their home to EIGHT adopted children (all siblings). She was unable to get pregnant due to LOTS of radiation and chemo treatments. After bringing baby #8 home, she was feeling rotten and they thought the cancer was back. Nope. SHE WAS PREGNANT! They have nine beautiful children. All from God in his way.

  14. Stephanie

    Way to go. My husband and I thought we were done after just 2 (wait, I forgot to mention he still thinks we are done) but I know in my heart that God has a different plan for us. He had “the procedure” done just 2 months after our second child was born, God has been weighing on my heart about adoption/foster care for about 3-4 months now, I know if it is God’s will he will change my husbands mind and I can’t wait to hear my husband say the words I’ve been waiting to hear since I originally brought it up “Okay, I want do adopt too”

  15. Kristina

    My two sisters (plus one in heaven) came after a reversal of the heart for my parents. All three were born after my mom was forty. They are now Godly girls, following Jesus, and one is going to Mexico to translate the Bible into a mountain language. I always say my mom practiced her parenting on my twin sister and I (we turned out OK, I guess!! :P), but then got it right with the second set of girls! Many thought my mom was crazy when she was pregnant after forty, but later, some were envious as their nests emptied and my mom still had a ten and twelve year old to keep her young!

    Great post~I admire anyone willing to surrender this decision to the Lord!

  16. Amanda

    This is so beautifully written. Isn’t it amazing how God can connect perfect strangers on such an intimate level? :) I love this perspective, and while I sometimes fall into thinking “I can’t do it”… I know that Jesus gives me the strength I need for all things. Praying we are both blessed with little ones in His time. :)


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