I was blessed recently to receive several bags of maternity clothes from a very dear friend. I mentioned the clothes while talking to someone, who I hardly know, and how I am excited about any future babies with which we are blessed. That I was hoping to have at least four children, maybe upwards of six. But, ultimately, God is in charge.
“Oh. So ya’ll are going to be the next Duggars?”
I get that a lot. And I’m never sure what to say. I happen to agree with that family about a lot. God, the importance of Faith. Raising children with morals and values. We choose not to use birth control. I really admire them for raising a large, faithful family. It is by no means easy.
I do want a large family. People ask me how many we want. I honestly don’t have a number. I don’t decide that. I really believe that–for us. I am not one to judge; I do not make other people’s choices. I worry only about what goes on within my family and my home. I play a role in my family’s salvation, and seek to set an example of Christ for others. I’m not always perfect, but it’s what I strive to do. “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
But, when people ask me if I am going to be the next Duggar, I’m insulted. Not because I don’t want to be compared to a large, happy, conservative family. Rather, do they honestly look at my children and my desire for more beautiful souls merely as numbers? Oh, 19 kids? Oh, you want like 12? It’s not a number game to me. They are not statistics, not points on a number line.
Each one is a precious, unique irreplaceable soul that I am humbled and blessed to return to God. I am loaned a person to form and protect, to teach them about love and God, and then to return each to His home. That is what this is for me.
My precious babies; my precious people.
Nothing fulfills me more than taking care of these little people. No, it’s not always easy. I do have days where I cannot wait to get them in bed and have time to sit down. But, I absolutely love taking care of them. Bathing and dressing. Playing and chasing. Giggling and laughing. The hugs and kisses. I love cooking for them, cleaning for them. Teaching and forming them. Serving them.
I have never been more terrified of the world as I have been since becoming a parent. One walk through the clothing department at Target or the mall gives me a panic attack. Little girls dressed like adult woman–like woman I would never dress like. Teenage girls and young women wearing skirts that are smaller than the length of thigh that they show. Like it’s nothing. Barely covering their bottoms. I get it now–what they would say.
“That’s someone’s daughter.”
The lingerie models, the inappropriately dressed women. They are someone’s baby. That is a soul, a human being lent from God. I’m terrified of raising girls. But, I’m doing it. One day at a time.
It’s pretty easy right now. The toddler clothes are still cute and mostly modest. I can find shirts and skirts and pants that cover and are sweet. Innocent. But, my oldest is dancing on that cusp. Most of her 5t clothes fit her, and she’s only four. Next shopping trip marks a transition I’ve been dreading since she was born: the girls’ department.
I am, at times, fearful of raising children in this military life. Where their father–a critical role and influence on their development–is in and out the door for long periods of time. I’m worried about what this will do to their development, if it will negatively impact them. I need only to take one look at my resilient, independent girls to realize that we will be okay. Even from Afghanistan, Daddy’s doing everything he can to stay involved, stay engaged.
I firmly believe that God helps those open to His will for each person. He will not ask of you something that you cannot finish. Cannot do well. So, I will pray and guide and lead by example. And be open to any more souls God would like to bless us with.
I am not trying to “be the next Duggar.” I don’t think the Duggars are trying to be “the Duggars. My family is merely making the choices we feel are right for us. Listening intently to the plan God has for us. One baby at a time.
And I am by no means “done.”