Children: The Life Gift That Brings the Sweetest Death

She’s the fiery one, the sneaky one, the one full of life and passion. The one God sent to show me myself…to rub off the edges.

How can I imagine life without her? She’s the one born after our  decision to receive our children from God’s hand. Had we not been asked the question… not been challenged, not been given that book that made us ponder, not been prodded by the Holy Spirit–she would not be here. My fourth born child.

I am so inadequate as a mother! The strangers don’t know…they mindlessly quip phrases–“you’re a special woman”…oh, how they don’t know.

 

“My grace if sufficient for you; for when you are weak, I am strong.”

 

I must daily be reminded, in these little faces, of my own shortcomings. God packaged them so perfectly in a child, that despite their presence there, we would still love that child so completely; and yet be forced to reckon with our own sin nature every time we deal with hers.

 

I speak of “loving others as yourself” and “no raising your voice” and “put others first” and their faces, all looking at me bring the painful reality that I must say “I’m sorry” before I go on. How can I ask of them what I so often fail to do?

God doesn’t give us children because we deserve them, or because we are “special” or have more patience or ability…(chuckles) no, maybe it is the opposite. Maybe he gives them in abundance to those who need the most refining.

Maybe children are the gift of life from God that forces us to die, little by little; that sweet place where we become true vessels of His glory. I say, “Yes, Lord, make me more like You.”

(This was a repost, a little nugget I found tucked away deep into the years of writing this blog, that I wanted to share again. And this not-so-little girl, Avalee, continues to be SUCH a source of joy in my life, and watching how God is refining her (and hopefully me?) is such a beautiful thing.)

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25 Responses to “Children: The Life Gift That Brings the Sweetest Death”

  1. Trisch says:

    I say a hearty AMEN! I can’t imagine how incredibly selfish and prideful I’d be if the Lord hadn’t sent me children, and particularly a few that showed me I didn’t know as much as I thought about raising them!!!

    Nothing better to keep us humble and close to Him–but that’s okay! THEN we get MORE of His grace! 😉

    Blessings!

    Trisch

  2. Kim M. says:

    Amen!!!!!
    By the way… I still want her if you ever need to give her away 😉

  3. Ruth says:

    Amen! You have no idea how much I needed to hear this.

  4. Leslie says:

    Kelly,

    Would you mind sharing how the LORD turned your heart around on that path against your “final” decision on children?

    I am so glad HE did! What a treasure you have been blessed with! (I call both of my children, my treasures from the LORD.)

    It is ok not to reveal the path that changed your decision if it isn’t appropriate to share……
    I, too, reached the same conclusion many years ago, but I was unable to reverse our “final” decision.

    Again…I so enjoy your blog.

  5. ohhollyf says:

    This is encouraging !

  6. Anonymous says:

    Yes! YES!

    I, too, feel like an “unlikely” mother, inadequate in so many ways. I wasn’t ‘taught’ how to be a mommy, so I feel like I’m trying to catch-up a lot.

    My second born . . . my trial by fire. We gave our family to God. Our first was so easy, a perfect homebirth.

    Then I miscarried, and realized two weeks later I was having symptoms of my womb re-opening.

    I was angry. Didn’t God know? Didn’t He realize I needed to heal mentally, emotionally? I avoided my dh. I was bitter, upset. I grudgingly surrendered when I thought it might be a bit “safer”.

    Our second son, a tiny, 4 pound little boy with deep blue eyes and a frusteration with the simple things to match my own. Concieved in the bleakest, weakest period of my life; his smile lights up his face and my heart.

    I look at him and I marvel. When I didn’t think God knew, He really did. The bond between him and his brother is a beautiful thing.

    You don’t have to tell me who I would miss if I had control. I snuggle him in my arms everyday.

    Ashley
    http://www.homesteadblogger.com/Jonash2004

  7. Kristi says:

    So true!!!! Each of my children touches on my weaknesses in different ways, many times a day. I feel like I’m a worse person as a mother…because I am so stretched and challenged on a daily basis, I end up yelling or being short tempered much of the time. UGH!!! I am constantly discouraged by just how far I have to go. I am ashamed to say that I treat my precious children worse than I would treat strangers on the street at times. Being a mother is a constant refining process, that’s for sure. By God’s grace, may I constantly become more like the woman and the mother I need to be, to reflect Jesus to these little ones. I so want to do that in my heart, but on a daily basis I fall so short. 🙁

  8. liz says:

    Your blog is an encouragement, a true blessing.

  9. Mrs. Lady Sofia says:

    I am grateful that God has blessed the mothers who posted on this blog – blessed them by being able to be patient and ready to rear their children without too much fear and by being able to trust in the grace of God to help them each and every day.

    I must admit that I am not there yet. I’m still currently childless due to personal and worldly fears. I’m afraid to just let God “do his thing” because I am afraid that I won’t be a good mother, period! I know NOTHING about being a mommy (except what I learned when I used to work in childcare – scary)! Also, I have TOO many hang-ups and my worse vice is selfishness!

    At any rate, by reading your post today, another “bug” has been put into my ear regarding children. I’ve been receiving alot of “bugs” lately (rather I want them or not – chuckle). Who knows! Maybe there is a reason for them . . .

    . . . by the way, I enjoyed the photos of your daughter. She looks very pure and pretty (smiles).

  10. Word Warrior says:

    Leslie asked:

    “Would you mind sharing how the LORD turned your heart around on that path against your “final” decision on children?”

    Well, I’ll clarify first that Avi was our first child after we made that total surrender of the womb to the Lord.

    It came slowly, through a series of probing questions asked by friends, that challenged us to pray, think and read on the subject.

    Just like everyone else, we didn’t give our fertility a second thought. We just figured we should decide how many kids we wanted, have them, and be done with it.

    I’m so thankful God began revealing our wrong motives for having children, and brought us to a place where we were forced to admit that WE didn’t control life, only the prevention of it.

    How wonderful the peace that came when we, after realizing all our questions ended with “God is in control”, finally stopped worrying if and when we would have children.

    Fear sometimes revisits us; but our spiritual journey has been so deepened by our total dependence on God’s provision and knowledge for our best.

    I can honestly say now that I don’t worry a bit about “having tons of kids”…I already do by most standards 😉 and it really is one of the best parts of my earthly life.

    Maybe I’ll repost on all the added benefits of a large family, for those who fear that very thing!

  11. Leslie says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your journey. We, unfortunately, didn’t learn in time. Fear was a HUGE factor in deciding to close our womb.
    Oh, how my husband and I regret it now at 44 and 45. We tried to reverse the damage done from tying my tubes years ago. There was too much damage and too many risks for my body. We wept and repented more before the LORD.

    So now what?
    We tell everyone who asks us (and sometimes those who don’t) not to close the womb to the blessing of children! We have also tried to instill in our own children a generational view of family and children without the rebellious thoughts that we had by using contraception or sterilization.

    Kelly, I can’t wait to be a Grandma to as many blessings that the LORD has for my own children, my treasures!

    Again, thank you for sharing.

    Leslie from Virginia

  12. Mark and Rosalie, Joshua and Rebecca, Jennifer, Megan, Kerri, Caleb, Zachary, Jesse, Nathan, Brooke, Mikaya & Josiah says:

    I can’t imagine where I would be today if I didnt’ have children in my life to daily remind me of my shortcomings and my constant need to depend on God’s strength.

    Thank you for sharing, and for being so real.

  13. MamaJ says:

    Thank you for posting this! I needed to read that today! I hope you don’t mind if I link to you.
    Blessings,
    Jana

    http://genesis12one.blogspot.com/2008/10/yes-lord-make-me-more-like-you.html

  14. Word Warrior says:

    Jana,

    Your welcome…I never mind if you link to me!

  15. Amanda says:

    This is how I feel today. Thanks so much.

  16. 6 arrows says:

    Wow! You don’t know how this post resonated with me today, Kelly!

    Our fourth-born child is also our first blessing born after the Holy Spirit led us to surrender our womb to God. And our fourth child looks so much like yours!

    Like you, we too look at our fourth child (and our fifth and sixth) and can’t imagine life without them. I was ruled by a spirit of fear after having a very difficult third pregnancy, but God started revealing things to my husband and me through the testimonies of two dear couples we know who had been recently convicted to reverse their sterilizations.

    It’s hard to believe what we would have missed if we’d decided to stop at three. All of our children are such a blessing! And the incredible bonds each of our children have with each of their siblings (even the oldest with the youngest, who are over 17 years apart) are a true gift from God!

    Fears revisit us also, as you mentioned in comment #10, but God continues to show us his mercy and grace on our spiritual journey.

    Thank you for posting from your heart, Kelly. It means so much to me!

  17. Charlotte Moore says:

    Sweet! Loved this.

  18. Becky says:

    Wow! Avi is so beautiful and grown-up looking! Thanks for posting a recent photo of her. Your family is growing up! Thanks in part to the encouragement I found here, on your blog, we also have stepped forward in faith to allow the LORD to shape our family. Thank you for the encouraging way that you always point people back to the gospel.

  19. Robyn says:

    Hi Kelly, this is a beautiful post. I was wondering what the book was called that made you ponder?

  20. Rebecca says:

    Could you tell me what book you read that made you rethink how many children to have?
    Thank you,
    Rebecca

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