I often get asked what my secret is.
I have eight children in a world where two children are the norm. And I here this a lot.
“I could neverhandle so many children. I can barely keep track of my two!”
“You must have so much more patience than I do.”
“You were just made to have a large family.”
Well, I guess I was made to have a large family, otherwise I wouldn’t have one. I believe God sovereignly planned my family’s size before time began.
But I’m no different than you. I have my faults, and more shortcomings than I can count. I definitely don’t have it all together.
But God. God opened my eyes to the fact that children are blessings. Through this messy life I’m being sharpened and molded to be more like His Son, and it appears that His tools of choice are my children.
So, I really don’t have any secrets. That being said, mothering my kids has taught me a lot. Some of which includes:
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. Babies grow fast, mamas. I look at my youngest daughter with my oldest and want to cry at times. It goes by so fast! My flesh wants to sweat all the small, nitpicky things in this world, but I believe when I do so I’m messing up big time. It seems so easy to let the cares of this world consume us, but little problems will pass away. Our relationships with our children will remain, and I hope to cultivate that more than other stuff. The small stuff is usually silly stuff.
- Don’t ever become too busy to stop cherishing your family. I’ve been there more times than I can count. I’m very one-track minded, and I have big ideas sometimes. When these ideas carry me away from my family, it’s time to reign them back in. Through scripture, we can see time and time again that God has instituted the family as a way to train children up in Him. This is no small task and we must take it seriously. Again, I fail at this often. But this should be our goal!
- Watch your words. I can’t tell you the many times that my children remembered something I said, or something we did together long after I have forgotten it. Our words matter, and we should use them to pour grace and truth into our children.
- Organize and go for simplicity. When I only had two children, I did not need the organizational skills that I need with eight. And organization isn’t my strong suit! Again, God has used my children to help me stretch and grow in this area. We now shop for groceries differently, go on vacations differently, complete school work differently. But God has shown me time and time again that parenting a large family is doable. He will give us the tools that we need and His grace is sufficient.
God normally uses weak vessels to accomplish His purposes, and believe me when I say that I’m as weak as they come. I’m honored and humbled when I look at my family. My only “secret” is that I’ve learned that I must rely on Christ to be a good parent. But this truth holds true whether you are a parent to one or fifteen. Christ truly is enough!