Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What's a good number?

Lately, I keep getting asked how many children Rob and I want to have.  It's interesting because this article on the Duggars recently flew all over facebook and blogs, and I thought it was terrific.

So maybe people are asking because the Duggars are having another child.  In any case, my response is usually the same as Rob's, "We will have as many as God chooses to give us."

But this answer seldom satisfies the person who asked the question.

"Well, what's a good number?"

For me?  In my head it's usually the same answer!  "However many we are blessed with!"  But what I have been saying lately is "five". 

I think five is a great number.  But let me quantify and clarify!

When I was 10, I thought "three" was a good number of kids.  Because I am one of three children in my family.

When I was, oh, about 16, my opinion changed and I thought "four" was a good number.  At that point I thought I was being really generous...I mean FOUR KIDS???  That's a whole lot!  (Or so I thought.)  And my reasoning at the time was that with three children, someone was always a "third wheel", so four would even things out.

My point is, perspective changes over time, and with experience.  Losing babies has made me desire more babies!  Having Isabel made me wish I had started having children sooner.  There is no way to explain the joy that comes with having a  child, and after Isabel, I couldn't wait to see what new creation God might have in store for Rob and I in the addition of another child to our family.  And from my perspective of having lost several pregnancies, I think five might be an ambitious number, just because of my history. 

So I say "five"....but I would be thrilled with six, or seven or eight...you get the picture!   It's not my desire to attempt to limit God by saying "this is the limit, we're not open to any more".  And sometimes I think when people talk to me they want to know that I have "a limit". 

Having children comes with great responsibility!  Rob and I take this seriously!  You have to be able to provide for them, among other things!  But would my children suffer if they never got to go on extravagant vacations, instead opting for cheaper family camp-outs in the backyard?  I'm not sure why people are eager for my "limit". 

Would 20 children be too many?  Well, considering my history and age there probably isn't much of a chance of that happening!  Ummm....and we'd definitely need a bigger house.  And what about this BIBLE verse? 

"Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
    the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
   are the children of one’s youth.

  Blessed is the man
   who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
   when he speaks with his enemies in the gate."

Psalm 127:3-5 

That makes you wonder...how many makes a full quiver??   I think the answer for each family is different and it takes discernment, openness to God's will and some deep prayer with You Know Who!

Just my 2 cents for the day.


Second Chances said...

Oh my gosh, lately I've been so unnerved by everyone's desire to know how many we're having. Do we really have to put a limit on God's goodness? And why do they want to know? I haven't been asking them for money or their help or their advice, so what's the deal?! It's all very strange to me.

Angela said...

I love that: "Do we really have to put a limit on God's goodness?" I totally agree!

Sarah said...

You know what... it irks me that people want a limit too. I love the number 5 too.. that is our "number" but by no means a hard and fast number.

Honestly, I am jealous of those couples who can openly and freely wonder about "the next child." Who know the limit is pretty limitless... there is such a beauty and wonder to being able to procreate easily... constant new life, constant conversation about the next. :) I am working on trying not to mourn that loss too much... God has a plan, and children are gifts.

JellyBelly said...

I used to say that I wanted six kids. When I got married at 30, I decided that four was a "reasonable" number. Now that we've been slogging through IF for six years (hmmm, I wonder if there's some sort of connection there!), I just want one.

All children are gifts. I just don't understand why society makes it wrong to want as many as God wants us to have!

Anonymous said...

Great post. Nobody asks us that anymore!

Christina @ Faith for Fertility said...

Great post. We get asked a lot too, and I am only pregnant with #2! I want as many as God will give us, now to get DH on board with that idea. ;)


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hisessenceislove said...

I like to say "however many God blesses us with" as well. Maybe the reason people ask what our number or limit of children is because they wonder how many we think we can handle? I don't really know, that's just a guess... But the truth is, however many God blesses us with He will give us the strength to care for them all, no matter how many that is. Since there is no limit to God's graces for us, then it's strange to put a limit on our family size. I enjoy your blog, thanks for writing!