That's right! I am taking off the super hero cape! No longer do I want to be revered as some super-mom capable of amazing feats. No longer do I want to feel the weight of acting like I have it all together because that is what is expected of me! No longer do I want people to hear how many children I have and see the blank I could-never-relate-to-you stares. I am a normal, fallible human mother! Not born on Krypton. Ordinary.
So... I want to address some common exclamations that I often hear when I disclose the number of children I have birthed.
1) “You must have so much patience!” FALSE! Actually, I entered this world and lived a large part of my life self-centered, impatient, and easily angered or offended. When I gave my life to Christ, He began the work of cleansing, changing, renewing my mind and heart. And He is still in the process! I am a work in progress, just like you! I have good days and bad days. I react in my flesh some days and am not the patient, self-controlled mom I long to be. Patience is important, by not a prerequisite for parenthood. If you want to be a good parent to as many children as you have been given, you just have to have a heart yielded to Jesus. He works in us the character we need.
2) “I could never do that!” NOT TRUE. Actually, if I can do it, anyone can! I didn't set out to have a big family. However, when I gave my life to Jesus, I gave ALL of me to Him. My heart, my mind, my body, my dreams, my choice about marriage, career, and family. I even gave him my womb. It was an intentional decision that David and I made at the beginning of our marriage. He got to choose how many children we had, just like He got to choose where we would live, work, etc... I have never found in Scripture where I am supposed to consider my own comfort! That is a hard thing for us to swallow, but true. This life is not about what I want and how comfortable I am. As followers of Christ, we are to give our all. How that looks exactly in each person's life is between him and God. But for us, it was important that we allow God to make the decision if and when to bring life. He is far more capable of big decisions like that than we! Additionally, God gives us the strength to do anything He calls us to do! Any act of obedience is accompanied with the grace and strength to follow through. I am not a special breed because I have allowed God to have control of my womb! I am a woman who is seeking to love Jesus with all that I am. We can all do that!
3) “I have a hard time with my (fill in the blank... 1 or 2 or 3) children!” Being a mom is hard, no matter how many you have. (Actually, being alive is hard!) When I had just a few, I felt like my hands were full, then, too! Of course, having a wide range of ages and stages brings its own challenges. But don't downplay your difficulty by my house full. By doing so, it closes any real conversation between us about motherhood. You can say it is hard, and I can say it is hard, and we can relate and encourage each other! Also, don't look at the difficulty of your current situation and decide that no further movement is possible. When I got pregnant with my last one, I was so fearful and anxious. The one previous had been SO hard, crying constantly, not sleeping well into the first year, sick often, and just before I found out I was pregnant was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. I didn't feel like I could handle any more! However, I made a vow to the Lord, and by His grace I intend to keep it. I trust Him! Even though I felt overwhelmed and incapable, I knew His grace was sufficient. Months later, after she was born, I stood in my kitchen and cried tears of joy that I had let God make the decisions. She has brought SO MUCH joy to our home! Every one of my other kids has engaged intentionally in her life and it is so beautiful! If I had had my way, we never would have experienced these things. Trust is such a beautiful thing.
In conclusion, I want to live only as a child of God! I am not a super-woman. I am not amazing apart from God's grace. I am not immune to the frustrations and sins of all humans. I am a woman, seeking to love God with all my heart in this crazy world. I just happen to drive a 15 passenger van! Oh, and by the way... there's gonna be one more Trimble in this house. Crazy! And Wonderful!