I was asked by a friend who is contemplating starting a family if having kids is really so great. If it really is worth it.
I thought for a while because I didn't want to give the expected trite reply.
In that silence she mentioned that she see's moms all the time who have completely let themselves go, are tired, complain on facebook about their kids all the time, and yet will swear that having kids is the best thing ever.
Her observations are so true. And if moms are sending out that kind of mixed messages to other adults, what kind of messages are we sending to our kids?
If I had a dollar for every time I have heard:
"Wow...you really have your hands full with four!"
"I can't wait for school to start back up!"
"I can hardly handle my two...I can't imagine four"
"Just wait till the teenage years (insert sadistic laugh)"
And so on and so forth...
I'd be a rich rich lady. Or at least able to support a nice shopping habit.
Now, let me be the first to say that I am not going all holier than thou on you here. I have had my share of craigslist moments with my children. I need breaks from them in order to refresh and refuel and refocus on the blessings that they are. It doesn't just come naturally.
However, I am keenly aware that my children are absorbing every statement, every message that I am communicating. And I want them to be statements and messages full of truth, lining up in light of how God views them...as blessings in my life.
I never did give a great answer back to my friend on her question. However, I have thought about it a lot since that night and have been fleshing out my answer for myself.
Yes, having kids is really that great.
Not because of the cute lip sticking out squished up nose face that makes me laugh out loud every time I see Zoe. Or the sweet sweet smell of the top of her head as I give her one last kiss for the night. Or receiving an unprompted "I love you Mom" from Ezra. Or watching a lightbulb moment with Eli. Or snuggling up with Ella.
Those moments are great.
Really really really great.
Having kids is great because nothing else in my life has made me depend on the Lord in this way. Nothing else has forced me to my knees over and over again. Nothing else has shown me how dependent on Gods word I need to be.
As weird as it may sound, I feel like having kids has shown me how completely incapable I am in my own abilities to do this job well. But God isn't limited by anything other than my trying to do His will in my flesh, in my own way. When I allow him to take over, he transcends the limitations of me.
And makes a beautiful thing out of my mess.