Category: birth control

Do YOU Think Consistently? (Hypocrites and the Food Stamp Comment.)

I recently posted on Facebook, about an interaction I had:

“He says to me, ‘Well, if you can feed them without my tax $$ I guess it’s great if you want to have lots of kids.’ Me, thinking: ‘I appreciate your permission to reproduce on God’s timetable. We have never stolen your tax $ to feed our children. You, on the other hand, don’t mind stealing mine to educate your children. Somehow, I’m not allowed to bring that up though.’ *Inconsistency bugs me*

Because it does. I have much more respect for a person I may disagree with yet who thinks and behaves consistently.

Most of my readers know I’m not a fan of government subsidies, regardless of whether we’re talking post office or cell phones. Yes I understand the convoluted mess we’ve gotten ourselves into that makes these seem necessary. Yes I know people who have felt they had no other option and I don’t judge them. No I don’t agree with people who have children to get more food stamps. The conversation here isn’t about when, where how or if it’s right, so I’ll ask you to stick to the point if you want to comment. The point is the hypocrisy.

Some of the comments on my facebook status reflect the inconsistencies still deeper:

“If we are going to go there…..given the choice I’d rather use government money to feed my children than educate them…..

Doesn’t the assumption that large families are eating off the government just irk you? I cannot seem to understand why THAT of all things bothers people so much. In this country we now have government healthcare, subsidies for driving electric cars and installing energy efficient windows in our own homes. The government pays for education from preschool through high school and sometimes college. Not to mention after school programs, the school lunch programs, etc. There is unemployment “insurance” and bailouts of almost every industry. Investments–whether you’re rich or poor–are insured by our bankrupt government. The government subsidizes genetically modified corn, wheat, and soy, not mention dairy. We could go on and on. And we are going to fuss at anyone who has more than three children if they get food stamps? That’s just….crazy. It really is.” -Daja, The Provision Room

We. need. thinkers.

Why Have Babies? By Candice Watters (Excellent Thoughts on Thinking Through Birth Control)

The article, “Why Have Babies” was so, so good. I guess all of us really love reading things we already know, embrace and believe, from others’ perspectives. Candice Watters, the founder of Boundless.org gives a refreshing reminder of WHY Christians should love and embrace children, and as I’ve said so many times before, understanding what our purpose is and why God gives us children in the first place, completely changes our understanding of life!

A few of my favorite thoughts:

“We live in a world where people take great pains and lots of pills to prevent babies when they don’t want them, and spare no expense to get them when they do. According to our culture, babies before you want them are an accident, mistake or crisis — a result of a birth control failure. And if you can’t have them naturally when you decide you’re ready, they’re treated like a commodity you have a right to buy, as long as you can afford the price tag.”

“But, Dr. Morken, we can’t afford them.”….”Babies are wealth,” he said. “Budget for everything but babies.”

“The control we think we have is an illusion….We stopped assuming our timeline was best; stopped basing our decision primarily on our comfort, ease and consumption patterns; and started asking God when He wanted us to start our family.”

Read all of Why Have Babies? You’ll be glad you did.

What to Expect When No One’s Expecting

In a culture that increasingly despises life and children, we hear myths about “overpopulation” and the heavy “liability” that children are, all intended to ease our consciences and justify our own wisdom, contrary to the Creator’s.

And like so many other things, we’re dead wrong, God is right, as always, and He promises one thing:

“Because I have called and you refused to listen, have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded, because you have ignored all my counsel and would have none of my reproof, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when terror strikes you…” Proverbs 1:24-26

It’s not speculation, but fact, as already seen in other countries, that our rejection of life as a society is going to have serious consequences. Ironically, those who will feel it the most are those who are most anti-child, depending on the government (retirement) to “be there” for them in their elderly years, most of whom will have few or no progeny to care for them, or their progeny will be too busy pursing their dreams, having been brought up without the sense of responsibility for caring for others.

This is a short, excellent clip explaining why:

 

 

If you have trouble viewing the video, try this link: What to Expect When No One’s Expecting

On Mother’s Day, Abortion, & the Church’s Part

This approaching Mother’s Day  has brought about such mixed emotions. I read, with belly full of squirming life, the horrific details of the Gosnell trial in front of us, and am painfully aware that the abortion industry knows no bounds, and is becoming a bloodier and more murderous force, cloaking its audacity with “compassion for women”, all the while slaughtering them.

I’m also aware of how absurd and inconsistent we are. What Gosnell did was heinous; but no more heinous than if he had killed those babies just minutes before, right before they emerged from their mother’s womb (which happens every day), when he would have been protected, instead of on trial for murder, by the Supreme Court who deems it constitutional to kill a baby as long as there isn’t too much blood, apparently.

Motherhood is viewed by some to be so repulsive, they are willing to kill to avoid it. And once killing a baby is a protected option, all children must suffer the devaluation of their existence. As Rachel Jankovic so aptly put it:

“Abortion in our country is not a standalone moment, brought about by women who somehow haven’t heard of adoption. Abortion is that dark crisis choice served up to millions of women every year, courtesy of our cultural religion of self-fulfillment. It is the bloody path taken by many women who feel that they really “had no choice” (at least if they were going to finish law school, if they were going to have a career, if they were going to be slim in their bikinis in time for Spring Break). Everyone acts like abortion is a sad thing, but a necessity. But the truth is that abortion is the sacrifice that our religion of selfishness requires.” The Real Life of the Pro-Life Home

What Can We Do

We all want to do something. Some picket the sidewalks and beg women to spare their babies, praying that God’s grace would intervene in the last moment. We all need to be a voice.

And yet the jaws of this deadly monster seem too fierce to combat.

I’ll tell you what we can do, before we start picketing…we can repent, as the Body of Christ, for feeding the abortion industry, by lying to families about what God says about children and perpetuating the fear and stigma of pregnancy outside a “perfect” situation.

Pastors can repent for not honestly transferring the Word of God to their congregations about children and what they’re for and how we are to think about them.

  • We can repent for not living out, in front of the world, the living gospel, which includes the embracing of the blessing and purpose of children.
  • We can repent for saying we are “pro-life” but not fully living it. For mocking mothers with more than three children or ignoring her needs, treating her as irresponsible, which is to play our part in the death culture.
  • We can repent for killing our own babies through abortifacient means like the pill and IUD, before we claim to be bothered by Dr. Gosnell’s crimes.
  • We can repent for thinking, and making others think, that we have absolute control over life and have a right, a responsibility even, for the most temporal of reasons, to refuse to welcome children and worse, chide others who don’t do the same.
  • We can repent for coddling the children we do have, treating them as trophies rather than the steward-gifts from God that they are, given to us for HIS glory and purpose.

 

Christians can stop being hypocrites and start being consistent in their theology about life. We are pro-every-life, or we are not really pro-life. That’s what we can do.

Right now, in our culture, in our time, there is something uniquely potent about mothers sacrificing for their children. As we lay down our lives for them, presenting ourselves to God as a living sacrifice, that sacrifice makes an aroma. That sacrifice directly contradicts and blasphemes everything the world is fighting for. As you care for your children, on the long days and tired moments, disciplining yourself, sacrificing yourself for them, you are reaching out to the world. When you present yourself as a living sacrifice, the aroma of that sacrifice cannot be contained. We do not turn inwards towards our children and towards our homes because we do not care about the world. We turn inwards because the world needs to smell this sacrifice….

Motherhood is the big-leagues of self-sacrifice. Millions of women kill to avoid it. In our culture of self-gratification, to embrace selfless motherhood is a revolutionary act. To see the sacrifice and rejoice in it. To recognize that the cost is your own life, and to willingly lay yourself down. The world hates the smell of that sacrifice, because it is the smell of grace. They hate it because it is the smell of something living and burning at the same time — something that is impossible without a risen Savior.

There are times to stand on sidewalks and hold signs, but holding a sign isn’t what makes a mother pro-life. Being pro-life means putting the life of another ahead of your own. It means being daily grace to the small souls nearest to you.” The Real  Life of the Pro-Life Home, Rachel Jankovic

Purpose of Children

And it’s not just our negative attitudes toward children that are wrong, but also our lack of understanding the grand purpose of their role in the Kingdom. If we acknowledged God’s purpose for children, our entire paradigm would shift.

Doug Wilson (Rachel’s father) says it perfectly in Raising Arrow Children:

“Like arrows in the hands of a mighty warrior…Blessed was the man who had sons who stand with him in a crucial showdown at the city council. They were shoulder to shoulder behind him, and not over on the other side. Neither were they all at home playing video games or out back smoking in the alley….The patter of little feet around the house is a blessing of God, one that we know by natural revelation. But the promise of formidable children is a promise given to us by special revelation….Acorns are cute, but sprawling oaks weathering a storm are glorious. And when we focus on the real blessing of “adorable” children, this can be the cause of mission drift.”

They are a precious gift to us, but our happiness and fuzzy feelings are not the reason we’re given children. Their purpose is not to win beauty pageants or become the best athlete so we can brag on Facebook about them. Their purpose is to “contend with the enemies”. To be raised as mighty warriors, strong, competent, wise and bold. To further the gospel, to stand for truth, to increase the army of God and to glorify Him in all the earth.

And that takes a committed, deliberate, costly focus.

We will never see the atrocities of abortion begin to wane until His own people become truly pro-life and know their reason for being so.

The Real Reason I Have So Many Children

It does happen. About my 8th month of pregnancy, when ligament pains have me doubled over or I realize what a chore it is to walk to the bathroom. And then again, right after the baby is born, and I feel so LIGHT, and I can walk, and the birds are singing and the sun is shining and I’m ready to get back into shape and feel normal.

The thought comes….”I don’t know if I want to do this again. I’ve put my motherhood time in, right? I mean I have a house full already! It wouldn’t be wrong to just…stop, would it?”

It may not be. I don’t know the answer to that question. But I do know the answer that comes back to me every time:

“God is intricately working out the details of our lives, governing every step, hand-crafting every life. And this life is about glorifying Him. And…there’s more to this life, to my life. The lives He gives me are eternal.  And, I don’t “choose to have babies.” No one can. I can only choose not to. Do I want to be the clay in the Potter’s hand, and see what He has in mind for His final masterpiece? Or do I want to sling myself off the wheel because I’m a little dizzy just now?”

That’s the answer I get; what He says to ME. That I CAN technically stop my next child from being born, and that may be OK. Or it may not be…I don’t think it’s always black and white. I do know that “it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves.” That pregnancy isn’t like sickness, something I think we are freely allowed to try to avert. That people are all that matter to Him compared to things and jobs and vacations…and even my temporary comfort.

But what if that one that I didn’t accept–what if he or she had a particularly crucial role in the life of another? (And don’t we all?) What if he or she would give birth to someone who had a critical role in the life of another?

It starts to sound like a fun premise for a science-fiction movie; one little move in history changes everything. But couldn’t it?

Are you the child of a woman who was the child of a fifth-born? Changed your life. Well, brought it into its very existence. It blows my mind. And THAT is why I don’t want to hinder what belongs to the Lord. Many things He gives me to choose; but I don’t feel qualified in the life-department. It  just feels too big for me.

Does it make you think?

Jonathan Edwards–5th of eleven children

Benjamin Franklin–8th of 10 children

Napoleon Bonaparte–4th of 10 children

George Washington–5th of 10 children

John Wesley–15th of 19 children (Susanna, mother, 25th child)

Johann Sebastian Bach–8th of 8

Sylvanus Crosby (grandfather of Fanny Crosby)–19th of 19

Celine Dion–14th of 14 children

 

Motherhood, Humility and Empty Vessels


It’s the one and only two preggo pictures for this, my 10th baby. You know you gotta have one. When I say “tenth baby” it’s so hard for me to believe I have ten children. I’m glad and thankful, just surprised and never imagined it for my life. It doesn’t feel like it sounds, apparently. Because when I’m out by myself and someone asks me “is this your first baby” and I say “no”, and then it’s inevitable that I must answer the hyper-ventilating-invoking question, the response feels more dramatic than my life feels.

I understand the surprise, that ten children is not exactly common. But compared with my actual life, we’re just a regular family who drives a small bus. And shares clothes. And hugs more than the average times per day. And doesn’t stress anymore about germs. And, oddly enough, is more excited at the announcement of a new baby than just about anything else on earth. And shares the housework so that really, everybody probably does less work than normal. And has to take turns talking or it can get a little out of hand at the dinner table.

I decided to take another one that showed my belly better ;-)

But other than that, I don’t feel different until we all go out in public.

Mostly, at this stage in my life, I’m humbled more than ever. And where I’m not, I’m praying to be. Andrew Murray said, in his book our family is reading again–Humility:

“True humility comes when before God we see ourselves as nothing, have put aside self, and let God be all. The soul that has done this, and can say, ‘I have lost myself in finding You,’ no longer compares itself with others.”

I think a lot about how motherhood can be so “emptying” and how maybe that’s why our culture has become a consistent enemy of motherhood, at least of the motherhood that would threaten to empty us. As my husband read that sentence, I thought of how contrary it is to every message around us–even to our own flesh, and why then, there is such a gulf between what God has said is “right and good” and what everything else poses as “right and good.”

Pregnancy (since I’m here in this time of reflection) is, literally speaking, a body who “empties” part of itself to contain another human being. It’s a perfect picture of a “life-giving vessel”, emptied so it can be filled.

And so it is with us in spirit. God can only fill an empty vessel, a surrendered heart. And then, the miracle of that filling! It is only when we can reach our hands to Heaven and say with Christ, “Not my will, but Thine be done”, that we can walk in perfect peace, knowing He truly orders our steps.

So when another person says to me, “pregnancy is just so hard on your body”, intending to persuade me that I’ve “done” a silly thing by carrying another person, I can exhale with a calm knowing of the greater rewards of being emptied. I’ve had similar, encouraging epiphanies about motherhood and broken vessels. When my back hurts and round ligament pain makes me wince, I tell my children, I did it for you and it was so worth it. I don’t want pain to always be associated with something to be avoided.

Today is the anniversary of the tornado that ripped away all our earthly things. Emptying. Painful. And I can truly say I’m grateful for that life-changing event. It has helped me empty my hands of the more meaningless things in life (although I’m still working on it), to be able to hold what is most dear. I whisper a word of praise to the Father for that too, His perfect will. As a side note, I looked at some of those posts and re-read your comments the other day. Tears just streamed down my face–I probably wasn’t completely cognizant the first time I read them–and they were SUCH a huge blessing to me, two years later, as I reflected on your love and God’s goodness to put things in our lives in order to reveal such love. Thank you again.

 

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