We’ve been wrestling with the timing of another baby and all the emotions that go with it. It’s funny that any hesitancy that rears up in us can be traced back to fear. For me, it feels like fear of man (what others would think about our decision). For both of us, fear about finances and fear of sacrifice.
Fear Gets in the Way
But we know better. We know we need to bring these fears to the cross of Jesus and let Him set us free. They are sin. It is never a good idea to make any decision based on fear. The other day, after insisting that we needed to make a decision about having another baby, my husband said we needed first to deal with the fear and than the answer would become clear. I am so thankful for his wisdom. Some might call the fear “common sense” but I know in my heart when I am struggling to trust God.
I’ve decided to blog about each of these fears in a three part series, how we’re facing them and what God is saying to me in the midst of them.
Now, I’m not declaring that every woman should have as many children as possible. I watch so many of my friends wrestle with this same issue. All I know is that we have to get before God and make this decision for ourselves. If any woman is wrestling with some of these same fears in regards to having more children, I’d encourage them to do the same. Get the fear out of the way so you can see and hear God clearly.
We’ve been blessed with 5 sons. July 2008 I gave birth to twin boys. God saw fit to jump our family from 3 kids to 5 in one fell swoop. To me, that feels like a promotion. He put us on the fast track of parenting.
I feel like I’ve learned so much about mothering, my dependence on God and His place in our family in this last year and a half. He wanted to bring us to a different level. Raise the status. Could it be that when God blesses us with more children it is his way of promoting us into other realms of intimacy and position?
The Fear of Sacrifice
Even though I’ve experienced tangible grace in the midst of mothering 5, I still wrestle with the call to continually sacrifice. The Bible talks about the wisdom in “counting the cost” (Luke 14:28) and so when I look at the possibility of having another baby, I am aware of the requirement of laying down my body, my time, my sleep, even my “freedom” for a season.
But in the big picture, these are only a drop in the bucket. I have to remember that we are shaping generations! I may be mothering 5 but I am reaching into the future and touching generations I will never see! If I focus only on the sacrifice, I miss what this is all about.
This time in my mothering is all about sowing. Sowing truth, love, peace, calling, destiny, hope…and so much more into each of my children’s hearts. We do reap little rewards along the way-kisses, hugs, compliments, devotion, watching them grow and overcome etc. But I think there is even greater reward coming in this world and beyond.
Sometimes, I’ll imagine the time when my boys will have outgrown me. When they walk in the door with their dreams in the making as husbands, fathers and with careers. Sure, I’ll always be mothering and there will always be the joy of sacrificing for their sake but the hard, every day labor will be done.
In Matthew 16:25, Jesus says, “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” It’s a gross misconception to think that by avoiding laying down my life I will preserve more of myself.
The key to finding Life is to live one of sacrifice and service. Isn’t it wonderful that God designed motherhood to be a place where we are constantly called to lay down our lives for another only to truly find Him! It is like every day he hands us Life on a silver platter as we wake up for the 3rd time in the night to nurse a crying baby or do the dinner dishes when we’d rather be reading a book or decline a job opportunity that would take us out of the home so we can instead daily sow eternal seeds into the hearts of our children .
It Takes Faith to Have a Baby
When I count the cost and look at the big picture, it seems having another baby is one of the best eternal investments our family could make! Having another baby at any stage of life requires faith. Faith in a God who is big enough to provide all we need.
I don’t want to live a small life. Only taking on what I can handle. What is the fun of that? If I only do what I am capable of, I’ll only do very little. I want to take on “God-size” dreams and endeavors where it’s do or die-either He shows up or we’re sunk!
Doesn’t mothering cause us to cling to Him, to invite Him, to call out to Him in places we never thought we’d need His help? Isn’t it a “God-size” endeavor to shape present and future generations for God’s kingdom? Am I up to the task? “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13). Thankfully, it won’t be “by (my) might or by (my) power but by His Spirit says the Lord of Hosts.” (Zachariah 4:6).
“He gives strength to the weary and to him who lacks might He increases power.” (Isaiah 40:29). I want to shake off this fear of sacrifice and of not having what it takes and cloth myself in this truth that Jesus is all-sufficient.
When I chose to invest myself in what He values, He meets me and provides everything I need to do it!