Friday, March 22, 2013


(My response to this very honest question on the MOMYS forum: "How do you know when you've reached your limit?" She was speaking of number of children. And boy, do I know limits):

ONE was my limit. Seriously.

I don't have nine (well, ten counting the one kicking me from the inside) because I am strong.

I have ten because I am exceedingly weak and exceedingly fertile.

I am *not* of the mindset that everyone should have as many children as physically possible. I do believe that God is the Author of all life and has given us means to enjoy a break from pregnancy, should our current condition warrant it.

I think there is much support biblically for the idea that how we parent is far more important than how many we parent.

That being said, I know the swamped feeling. I know the "I can't DO THIS!!!" feeling. I know the guilt of fleeting intense desires to just have things back for an instant the way they were, pre-children.

And I know the well-worn path back to the cross. I know the Savior.

I know that each day, whether I feel capable or not, whether I have things in place or not, whether I *like* my children that day or only love them, whether I've slept, whether I'm prepared, whether I'm sick, whether I'm upbeat, whether I'm downtrodden, whether I'm up for the fight...

It's always Him. It's always Him. It's always Him.

There are days (moments?) where I am so aware of the gift that this mothering journey is. There are times when my cup overflows and I can barely breathe for what a blessing my life is. There are times when my menus are planned, the schoolwork is done, the floor is vacuumed, and the sun is shining.

But there are mostly times when my menus are nonexistent, the schoolwork is scattered and stained with hot tears, the floor is ... somewhere, and the sun only glares.

And in that mess, I am every bit as blessed as in the calm. I don't FEEL it. I feel frazzled and climbed on and stressed and fat and DONE.

And that's when I have to remember to stop looking at the mess. Stop looking at myself. Look up. Look at Him. Because it's always, always Him. We are never in control, even when we feel it. We are never capable, even when it seems that way.

Only He is. And He never fails. He never grows weary. He never lets us slip from His hand.

So when I feel like I've reached my limit? Really, it's just a glimpse of reality. "Lord, I see that I am so weak. You are so strong. Your grace is made perfect in my weakness. Please, please, please help me believe that. Help my children see that. Less of me, more of You."

And that's the long view I take. Take heart. He has no limit.


  1. My uncle said one time that one reason for a large family was so that you would know that you couldn't do it on your own and that you would learn to rely on the Lord instead of on your own strength and wisdom. (He has seven children.)

    1. Oh, Mary, your uncle is so right...our inability to do this is confirmed time and time again with each child!!!

      But I also believe that my inability was absolutely 100% obvious to everyone with my first. I could not do it. My second actually made things easier. I do contend that having nine children is easier than having one! Going from 0 to 1 was the hardest transition I've ever made. (I've even heard that there are some who go from 0 to 2...gasp...).

  2. You are right. Kids bring us to our knees, illnesses, diseases, fatigue. This year has been a major cannot do it kinda year. The fact I am still putting one foot in front of another must be a miracle.

  3. What a joy to read this blog post! It brings such a happy tear to my eye. You are able, Rachel, because you trust and serve the one WHO is able! (2 Cor.9:8)

  4. AmynAmos here from momys! This is really, really good. Thanks. Thank You, Lord for Your strength!


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