I didn't start out my life wanting to have a super-colossal family. I wasn't really interested in having children at all.
I was pretty certain I would be smuggling Bibles into Russia during the Cold War, of course, that would be after I was finished serving in the U. S. Army--yep, my kids have a mom who wore combat boots!
But God is so infinitely wise that when He says He will give us the desires of our heart, He really means it! I had no idea that I wanted to give up all of my silly dreams and stay home and have loads of children until I held the first precious little baby in my arms; from the first sigh she made, I knew it was all over for me.
No more lofty dreams, no more plans for tramping around the world for Christ; I had found my mission field in the softness of baby skin and tickles of downy hair.
When I was in the military, I was supposed to be training for physical war, but I didn't know that I was actually being prepared for a battle that takes more than physical agility, or preparedness, or even a bit of knowledge (which is very dangerous!).
It takes your whole heart, your whole life, to rear children for the Glory of God. It is more than a few weeks away in some dark place in the jungle--motherhood is not something you take up as a "hobby." Even after the children are all grown and move away, the job is never done. There are phone calls in the middle of the night, and prayers offered up for children who are far away, both in body and in spirit.
So now you know--I am not a "super mom," I don't claim to have everything figured out. I am looking to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of this huge story He's been building in our lives, and I hope that, as I point to Him, He can help you in the same way He helps me, one day at a time.
Some Interesting Facts and Statistics:
We have 15 children, the oldest is 29, the youngest is 4.
All of our children were single births.
I had my first child at the age of 19, the last at the age of 45.
We have 11 girls and 4 boys.
Only 9 of our children live at home, the other 6 are out on their own.
4 of our grown children are married.
We have 6 grandchildren.
We don't have any pets.
We don't live on a farm in the country.
We are a creative family, especially concerning the arts.
Our house seems sort of "empty" at times with only 11 of us here!
Actually, we never have had more than 15 people living in our home at once.
We have 6 bedrooms but only use 5 of them as "bedrooms."
We have 4 bathrooms.
We sing and read the Bible together almost daily.
Even though there are only 11 of us at home, we go through 40 rolls of toilet paper a month.
We have always homeschooled.
We started officially homeschooling our children in 1989.
8 of our children have "graduated."
We have been married for over 30 years.