This morning I took all five of my kids (by myself) to the grocery store. I was stopped within the first five minutes by an older couple asking if all the children were mine. I said yes with a smile and they replied that our family was beautiful and God bless. Not too long after that an older man inquired about all the kids being mine. I replied yes and as he walked away he said, “Good luck when they are all teenagers.”
I know what he said was just to poke a little fun at how full my hands seemed now and how over flowingly full they will be in the years come. Believe me, it terrifies me to think how much harder parenting the heart issues are than parenting the behavioral issues.
BUT, I wish I could have responded that when my husband and I decided to have (what the world deems as a lot of) children, we were not just having them for the chunky, squishy, adorable part but we knew that the road would be long and probably painful and most definitely tiring. But we also knew that children are in fact gifts from God and we wanted a large(ish) family because we knew it would be full of love, laughter, learning, fighting, time outs, discipline, heartache, and tears.
The best gifts in life are usually the ones that take the most out of us. Each day we are trying (although far, far from perfect) to pour the love of God into those little beings. We pray hard for them each day. We want them to be productive and respectful and kind and compassionate teenagers (and of course, adults). We want them to love God above everything else. We want for them to be faithful. We pray big prayers for them because we have a God who can do big things.
While I might complain that the day are really stinking long sometimes, these precious gifts are never anything less than gifts from God above. We love children. We have our work cut out for us. But you know what, I’m already praying for those days because they will be here before I know it.