Grace for the Large Family

July 30, 2013

eightisgreat{photo compliments of Kristen Hinson Photography}

I don’t remember what life was like without six little ones. Isn’t it amazing how that happens? To think about those first two years of our marriage without diapers is like opening up a storybook. I just don’t remember it. It was rough the first few years with babies. Especially with my husband working hard and in school. But by the time I had four it was easy peasy. And I say that with all seriousness. My two oldest were old enough to help me with simple things like laundry, dishes and running to grab me another diaper for the baby. Number five came and he slid easily into our schedule. Though it was a change up now having a boy in the mix everything still seemed to go pretty smooth.

And then came number six.

And life did a one eighty.

Not only did I have much larger meals to make, I also added the last girl into the homeschooling schedule. Clothes had been completely worn out. Getting together with friends has been near impossible. Don’t even get me started on family commitments. The word ‘commitment’ does not exist outside our immediate family circle anymore. I love my family and friends but I love my close knit family more.

Goodbye Facebook.

Goodbye phone calls.

Goodbye fast food.

And good riddance.

And I say that in love my dear brothers and sisters. I do not consider myself ‘better’ than you. I am not a snob. I am a mother trying to live my life the way He wants me to. My calling, right now, is to raise up these arrows for His kingdom. I can’t remember the last time I showered. But you know what? We spent over an hour in the living room reading through His word today. While every night we train our children {and ourselves} how to share the gospel.

I wish I could join you for that park playdate. Or meet you at the beach. Or even just talk to you on the phone without having to discipline children who desire my attention. However, they win. They will always win. These years are so brief and I can’t hold my hand too loose on that.

You know what? I used to photograph my children every single day. Literally hundreds of thousands of photos are stored on my hard drives. They’re not even printed. None hang in my house {except for the three I printed on computer paper}.

My house is filthy. There are crumbs everywhere. I used to go barefoot all the time but now if I do that I’ll be scraping my feet on the carpet just to get the food off of them.

The dishes? Ha! My husband and I are thankful for a very large kitchen because half of it has dirty dishes on the counter. And my two year old son has helped us by throwing out the kids plates {doh! I was wondering where those went}. We finally caved and now use only paper plates/bowls.

How many times have I run that load in the clothes washer? Two? Three? It’s finally in the dryer! Thankfully my girls are amazing at putting clothes and dishes away.

So please don’t judge me for having a Roseanne Barr kind of house. I would rather have the filthiest/tiniest house in the world if it meant spending more beautiful time with my children.

Don’t judge me for sending you straight to voicemail. My daughter is struggling and needs my love, attention and guidance right now.

Don’t judge me for not responding {immediately or at all}. I’m worn out. Yahweh gives me the strength to do what He desires me to do. Not what you want me to do.

If you want to talk about heavenly things then I will make time for you. But if ‘fluff’ is all you have to offer, I’m sorry, my time is better spent elsewhere.

I know this is coming off harsh, but I need you to know how seriously large christian homeschooling families need grace. We want to join you. Packing up our van with kids and snacks and diapers and then realizing I forgot my keys, my sunglasses, my phone and, oh wait, count off! Let’s make sure we have all the kids! It’s exhausting my loves.

Worth. Every. Moment.

And moments are all we have.

mama and josiah

I have this fear. That if I tell you ‘yes’ and then my kids get sick {again} that you’ll think I’m flaky. If I say ‘no’ that you’ll assume I don’t like you. That’s simply not true. I have to set my priorities new every. single. day. Just like you do. I can’t bother with being laden with guilt when I see that my four year old deeply needs her mommy right now. Please know that I love you. But like I said, they win.

A day is going to come when my little birds will all have flown the nest. I will be weak and pouring tears. I don’t want to turn back with wishes that I would have spent my time differently. Hopefully then we can get together and share stories of our young mothering days. How there’s still a couple fingerprints left on one of the windows. How we still have a box filled with their first worn onesies. Congratulating each other when we find out we’re going to be grandmas. That will be a new season and this one will have passed away. For the time, I am here to enjoy what He has gifted me with. These children are teaching me about Yahweh and His unimaginable love for us. They deserve the same in return.

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.(James 4:13-17, ESV)




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