Standing in the shower, letting the hot water pour over my head, knowing the older kids were quietly reading and the younger ones down for their naps, the words kept echoing in my head "You're pregnant!" "With your sixth child???" " Six kids, under the age of eight???"and I look up and sigh "how are we going to do this Lord?". And the memories come flooding back: of being in the store with five kids and all the un-lovely and un-gracious comments I hear. Of the relatives who just couldn't understand why you had your fifth child and the comments "I hope your done!" to follow. Of all those sleepless nights, the millions of diapers, and getting up not only for that brand new baby but the other babies waking up from bad dreams or needing cuddles. I remember how hard the labors have gotten, the last one was 24 hours of intense labor before Soeren came. I remember the anguish of such a heavy baby in my womb, labored breathing, waddling, cankles, being sick during the first trimester and how was I going to homeschool all these kids while spending half the time sick in the bathroom? You think of the finances, the grocery bill, laundry for one more person, one more person to fight over a toy, and get into an argument. You think of those times when you have to keep the perfect image with your brood of children. "If I don't keep them clean and acting perfect or if I complain about having a rough day someone will remind me that I chose this life and it's my own fault".
The Lord brings His words into my heart. "happy is the man who has his quiver full of them." "like olive plants thy children compassing thy table round". And I think of Thanksgiving and Christmas and all those shouts of glee, and of making special treats together and reading lovely books by candle light snuggled under blankets. And of Mother's day when those trembling hands carefully give me my tray of specially prepared breakfast, a handmade card, a vase of little flowers. Of playing at the park and all those lovely faces, shiny hair, happy giggles are your responsibility and if you were any prouder, you just might pop. When they're coloring and humming hymns to themselves. I think about how wonderful family worship is, all those readers, reading back and recalling the word of God... and those prayers!!! My how those little warriors pray! I think about the future, when they are all teenagers and we sit around the table to discuss theology, or my sons helping their father with the yardwork; getting my nails done with my girls. Of the grandbabies to come, the legacy that our family has built and it puts to shame all of the stupid words people said when my children were little while we were all out and about. And I say "thank you Lord, this is going to be awesome".
And I get out of the shower and hear my daughter pounding on my door "Soeren woke up and took his diaper off and he's spread poop everywhere!!!".
"Wow Lord, help!" and He puts an extra dose of peace in my heart and I know it's only one of many crazy days to come, but the rewards are bountiful and His mercies are new every morning!