Like many newlyweds, my husband and I desired to one day be parents. In fact, we came into the marriage having already decided that we would wait the customary year before beginning our family. Our plans were dreamy. We would have a few children, perhaps 3... or 4 at the most. They would be 2 years apart, and I would be done by the age of 35 - for sure! Would I continue teaching? Perhaps. Or I may decide to stay at home for a few years. That part was never etched in stone. All we knew is that we wanted to have a family... some day.
"Some day" became sooner than later, stronger than ever, and seemingly all at once. We managed to squeeze 5 kids in 5 years, and we were immediately thrust into this category called "family". This was not our plan!! How did we get here??
Finding myself in a whirlwind of children, I would often sit back and evaluate my life. I'm an educator to children, a mentor to teens, but I DON'T DO BABIES. They pee, they poop, they project huge unsightly things from their wee little bodies. They wiggle, they jiggle, they don't sit up straight. They are so delicate, so fragile.... so needy!! There is no way I could handle 1, 2,... 5 of them??!! Sigh... I continued to wrestle with my own thoughts... What have we done??!! This was not our plan... How did we get here??
"Haven't you heard of birth control?"... "Don't you guys have a TV?"... "Man, y'all are like rabbits!"... We've heard it all!! And time and time again, I have found myself explaining, rationalizing, justifying our children to close friends and strangers alike. I wanted to be sure that people knew that this was not our plan, that we really are "responsible", that I don't want to be barefoot and pregnant for the rest of my life! But even in constant explanation, I still found myself overwhelmed by it all and left with this question... How did we get here??
Then the light bulb... the epiphany... the ah-ha moment, where something you "know", suddenly becomes so clear! Psalm 127:3 reads: Behold, children are a heritage (blessing) from the LORD. The fruit of the womb is a reward. Blessing. Reward. Wow. We live in a day and age where children are considered to be a burden... where we plan them according to how they best fit into our life goals, careers, and finances... where people operate with this unspoken expectation of a "socially acceptable" amount of offspring... We live in a time where people often forget that children are a blessing and a reward.
I finally had to stop explaining, stop rationalizing, stop justifying our life situation long enough to simply embrace the TRUTH. For God has blessed my husband and I... and rewarded us with 5 of His prized possessions. He has loaned 5 souls to us. He has entrusted 5 hearts to us. God has given us 5 beautiful children... to give back to Him.
Now when I think, "How did we get here?"... it is from a place of humility and appreciation. For I now know, we are blessed and rewarded.