Thursday, May 9, 2013

Blessing Not a Burden


                          Blessing Not a Burden

This is my first blog and I can't think of a better way to start than with exciting news! We are expecting another child!! I know many of you will think we have lost our minds. So let me put some of the concerns that I have heard or will hear to rest.

(Warning- a sense of humor is required to read the next section. I like to make jokes. Maybe a personality flaw, I don't know.)

1. Yes, we do know what causes this.
2. No, we are not trying to be like the Duggar's. Although, I admire their faith and ability to raise what appear to be very polite and productive children who have strong faith, it isn't really our goal to have 19 children.
3. No, we haven't joined a hippy cult that has lots of babies :)
4. And no, I do not think that all of my internal organs will explode or fall out of my body as a result of having four children. (At least I hope not!)

Whew! Now that is out of the way I would like to talk about why I chose to blog. I have thought about it for quite sometime but I never wanted anyone to think that I believe that I have some awesome wisdom to impart on others. However, when I think about all of my pretty awesome friends who blog I thought about how I don't think of them as believing they are all knowing. I enjoy their blogs. They are honest and real and it helps me to know them better and sometimes realize that I am not alone in some of my beliefs and thoughts, or even sometimes to see a different viewpoint and understand it.
Here is what I think about the gift of life, God wants us to be thankful for it and cherish it. We are to protect children and be thankful for the joy and love that they bring. There was a time not long ago that society considered children to be a blessing, not a burden. I feel that our world has bought into the lie that children are too expensive, stressful, and just plain inconvenient.  I admittedly have fallen victim to those fears as well. We do live in an expensive and fallen world (Really, there is nothing new under the sun. The world never has been perfect nor will it be until our Savior returns.) but I can't believe that is a reason not to bring a child into the world.  Actually, I think those are good reasons to bring a child into the world. Maybe it is an opportunity to live a different a life. A life not filled with materialism. A life in which we live for something other than ourselves. A life in which we seek God and His wisdom and protection because we can't raise a child in this world on our own with our own power.

Is raising children challenging and difficult at times? Absolutely! However, if we are honest with ourselves and think about the things in this world that have helped us to grow as a person, I am fairly certain that we would all conclude that those things were not easy and that we had to work hard and make sacrifices.
Do I fail daily in parenting and pretty much everything else? Of course!! I try to make those failures learning experiences for my children as well as myself. I want my children to understand that all people are flawed and we mess up but by God's grace we can try again.

When I was younger, I really didn't want to have children. I had a different plan and children would have slowed that down. Then God gave me children and I realized that my plans were weak, flawed, insignificant, and selfish. I AM NOT BY ANY MEANS SAYING THAT ALL PEOPLE SHOULD HAVE CHILDREN AND ARE SELFISH IF THEY DON'T. (Just want to make that clear.) I believe God has other plans for some people and that may not involve children. My own experience is that I have never been happier than when I am seeking God's will and teaching my children about Him and His love and dying to my selfish desires.

I don't know why God entrusted these beautiful lives to Erik and I. There are many people that deserve this gift and haven't received it but I have to believe that God's plans and ways are higher than ours. We can't understand His ways but we learn to trust and follow and hopefully raise children with that same faith, whether we give birth to them ourselves or adopt them.

I have never been more excited to see what the future holds and I am fascinated at how God chooses to show me that He is in control. I may not know what the future holds but I know WHO holds the future.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. (Isaiah 55:8 NIV)
"Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." (James 1:16, 17 NIV)

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5 NIV)