Married with Children? Or Without? By Choice?

I stood in the kitchen making dinner and my nearly 12 year old daughter says to me, “I now know why it is so hard to be a mom.”

My interest piqued, I asked her to tell me more.

With two teenage brothers, and being the baby of the family, she knows nearly everything a little earlier than they did. At least she thinks she does. So yeah, respectful communication means tons in this girl’s life – getting her to hear me is like talking to the men I live with. What’s true in this post applies in literally every successful relationship in our lives.

So yeah, I’m living it.

Anyway.

“Well, she said, “I have learned that what the mom doesn’t teach, the world will teach you.”

Chewing on her words, I nearly fell over. Stunned.

“How did you learn this?” I managed to eek out.

“I was using my iPod and I have a free app for Yahtzee, and there was an ad and it said, “what the mom doesn’t teach the world will teach,” but it said it like it was a good thing, like the world would teach you what you missed and that was good, but like I totally realized that is so incredibly wrong and bad because what the world teaches is like totally the wrong thing.”

And I thanked Jesus.

As in, “You could just come right NOW, because I don’t know if I’ll ever feel this amazing again about how I’m doing as a parent (is this the same girl I apologized to yesterday and hoped there wasn’t tons of damage for my careless words??!!) … and OHMYEVERLOVIN’WORD thank You thank You thank You for this gift, and can You please please please help her always know the world is a mess and that You are everything??”

And I wept and I hugged her and I said, “Thank you for knowing that and sharing it with me,” and she laughed and she said I was silly and we laughed together. And then she asked if I was going to blog about it.

Said, “I’d like to…” and later, after writing this, let her read it, because when I blog about my kids, I ask their permission.

So yeah, here we are.

And when I looked at today’s verse, Genesis 1: 28, right after He created man and woman in the image of His Trinity, verse 28:

Then God blessed them, and God said to them,Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

The emphasis is mine. I wanted to remind us that God blesses us through marriage – Both with our spouse, and for many of us, through our relationships with KIDS. And, I actually LIKE not doing this life alone – when you think about it, don’t you?? Even in a hard marriage, isn’t there something of benefit? Some of us here have been divorced – and I have divorced women on my team and they all tell me the same thing – being alone is HARD. Think of the single moms you know – the ones I know all need help. And, btw, if you can do so, please take a single mom (or dad) and the kids under your family’s wing.

But for the rest of us…when is the last time you sat down and looked at all the good that’s actually occurring in your life as a result of being married?


I want to challenge us all today to be thankful. A heart filled with thanksgiving has no room for resentment and bitterness. If you haven’t taken Ann Voskamp’s 1000 Gift’s challenge, you should. Seriously, I’m daring you today to take inventory of your blessings. Even if all you have is access to internet, that’s something. You might have a car that runs, or a blanket to cover you, or shoes to wear. There are many who do not have these things.

Too often, we forget. Here’s a few of the things I chose to be thankful for instead of feeling like I was “taken for granted” – which, btw, is one of that other guy’s (satan’s) biggest temptations for women.  Another one is that I should have gobs of “benefits” counted as “rights.” What is my right? What do I really deserve? Hell. Seriously. I’m a sinner – so are you, and without Jesus, we end up in hell. Not a popular message, I know.

One of my biggest blessings is my relationships with my children. Okay, His children, ones that my husband and I have birthed and raise together. The only part of parenting that made me seriously question my sanity was the first 2-4 months with each one. I barely survived. And I love toddlers and teenagers – but we have real, transparent relationships filled with apologies and hard truths spoken both directions. And conflicts that get worked through. It’s not easy, but oh-so-very-worth-it.

I know that some of you have not yet been blessed with children, and there are others of you who seriously don’t want any. I remember not wanting to make the board meetings to babies career change – but am so glad that I did. And I have had friends who struggled with infertility – some ending up with children they birthed, adopted, fostered, or just became close to, and others not. At any rate, God asks us to “be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth” which for those of us who can, this means to have children and for those who can’t, you can still be fruitful and disciple others who can fill the earth. For me, this meant throwing my birth control pills in the garbage at a Family Life Weekend to Remember Conference – and we were pregnant within two months. I have prayed and repented of that period of control in my life – the first five years of my marriage…and I’ve also repented of the possible abortions my pills may have caused…I finally learned to obey God in this department, but obviously was swayed by the world for many years – and I wonder at what cost? Please know I’m not judging anyone here, either, for choices they have made. I’m only talking about how I feel about mine and my feelings associated with them now. I’m thankful that we could conceive. Too many times I’ve cried with my friends who have struggled in this area.

I have wondered about adoption and foster care – wondered why I’m reluctant to share my blessings with someone who has so little…wondered if I’m in sin, or if He just hasn’t called me and Jim to that, or if we are simply not listening because it is inconvenient for us…

Please know I’m so sorry if you and your husband are still trying, wanting a baby to love, but still have empty arms. And if you’ve lost a child, know I’m so sorry if my words bring back tears for you… I can’t relate completely, I’m sure, even though I cried myself after miscarriage (a lot) (for a long time) …I know it’s not the same as losing a baby or having multiple miscarriages.

I still marvel at how God changed my heart from wanting 0 kids to wanting 5. He can heal all wounds – even the ones we don’t know we have.

My point today is simply this, and echoes my daughter’s sentiment: Listen to God, and not to the world. The world wants us to acquire “stuff” and not pursue relationships. The world would have us limit how many children we have (or IF we have kids), or encourage us to buy THINGS but not invest in deeper relationships, live above our means, upsize instead of downsize, have more than we need or should, addict us to “more,” and work full time instead of do without – having someone else raise our kids, and not be real with the people we live with, and get divorced instead of figure out how to work these tough things out.

Please excuse the mini-rant. I bought the lies of this world hook, line, and sinker when I was younger. God brought wisdom into my life in my late 20’s and thankfully, it’s a blessing that continues to grow with the more time we spend with Him.

And please know I’m not saying not to work – I’ve met plenty of moms and dads who figure out how to make their kids and marriage a priority with creative work solutions. But yes, giving up the “both parents full-time outside the house gig” usually costs them something…like the big house, new cars and designer things have to be sacrificed. I still work. It’s a non-profit and it’s not for the money now, but I still work. It’s okay, none of those “things” want to be with you when you are old, anyway. And it’s a small price to pay to physically and emotionally BE THERE when your kids need you – which isn’t something you can schedule.

Dare you today to take inventory in the “blessings” department, and how influenced you and your family are by the world. Double dog dare you to comment about either or both here today.

Love that you are on the journey with us!

If you were here, we’d be sitting down over cappuccino together. I’d sprinkle sugar and chocolate on top of the foam just for you.

Love to you,


Dear God, thank you for blessing us with marriage. Thank you for blessing me with…(dare you to fill in the blank). And Jesus. Thank you for sending Him to save us. It’s in His name we pray. Amen.


Comments

  1. Theresa J says

    Nina!! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on Birth Control!!! So many Christian women do not realize the impact they are making by choosing this!! I pray God opens up more hearts to commit to life giving love!! I am so proud of you!

  2. says

    Thank you so much for the reminder of how truly blessed I am! Satan is so good at working his ways to make us think we always need to upgrade. I am trying…and hopefully so is the rest of the family…to remember to be happy with who and what I have.

  3. Angie says

    to Leah and to c, I just want to put out there that I went through similar dilemmas of serious health issues and learning to respect & submit to my husband’s decision on family planning…and I went into great detail about that on Leah Heffner’s blog post on this topic in the comments section here: http://www.leahheffner.com/to-bear-fruit-and-multiply/

    I want to stress grace on this topic. The Bible says to be fruitful and multiply, but it does not give specific numbers or any other rules or conditions which we, as fallible people, tack on to the subject. As for hormonal birth control, there are many valid medical reasons it can be necessary for a woman to take it. The Lord knows your body, he made you, and he knows your needs. Ultimately, our peace is found in seeking Him and His leading in these “gray” areas of life, and when we seek Him, He promises to be found (ps 91:15). We are told to ask for wisdom, and that we will receive His wisdom when we do (james 1:5). As wives, we can pray for the Lord to lead our husbands too…and I have no doubt He answers those prayers. We can value and respect the wisdom of others as they describe the path the Lord has led them, but you will have your own journey and choices that will be unique to your marriage, family, and situation.

    God bless all the beautiful ladies here sharing their hearts and struggles, and may God lead you all on a path to more intimate knowledge of Him.

  4. trixie1466 says

    I could be wrong here Leah, but it sounds as if she has found her peace with this. I would hate to see her worrying about something that she’s already worked through with God. What is right for one is not necessarily right for all. God judges the heart. She is not trying to thwart his will with BCP’s. I know you have the best intentions here, I just think we need to remember what a personal decision this is. I personally don’t feel at all convicted about any of the methods I used for family planning because I think God allowed for my preferences and my husband’s preferences in terms of how large a family we wanted. That doesn’t mean that applies to every couple. I chose not to comment the other day about this because I didn’t feel God actually leading me to say what I thought. Today I feel differently.

    Blessings,
    Trixie

    • Leah Heffner says

      Trixie

      I was just offered suggestions since she said she was “torn”. I know that God has an individual plan for all families. I also know from personal experience it can be preferable to find the source of the problem and fix that than to take medication indefinitely. I also know that is not some people’s preference.

      Sorry if I offended anyone, especially you C. who is hurting so badly. Know there are many praying for you.

      Leah

      • trixie1466 says

        Leah, I know your heart and it is good! I just wanted to make sure that we had some balance in the discussion. From a medical standpoint, when we are talking about pain, often times we can’t identify the source and so treating the pain itself is the best alternative. I wouldn’t want anyone to feel that they needed to suffer pain daily because using hormones would offend God.

  5. c. says

    I have to admit this post causes me a lot of pain, as I am currently torn over what to do about my birth control. Do I want to potentially abort a baby? Absolutely not! And I’m on one that’s supposed to prevent ovulation in the first place…which it does a pretty good job of. Because of some of the symptoms I deal with, I would know if it had failed. But still, I would rather not have that potential. And yet…..without the pill I would quite literally be incapacitated for almost two weeks every month. Unable to work, unable to function because of the problems with my cycle. My life has completely changed for the better since being on it, and I feel I can actually lead a normal life. Then there’s the financial end of it. My husband’s dream is to go back to school, and if I got pregnant, that would end and so would his hope of doing something he enjoys and feels he could find meaning and purpose in. He’s also opposed to other methods, and natural planning is out because my family has a history of getting pregnant anywhere, anytime, no matter the time of month, temperature, or point in the cycle. So here I sit, not seeing a possible alternative yet not wanting to potentially end a life. I think at this point I must trust that God is in control and that He is able to make my pill work properly so that fertilization never occurs.

    • says

      I have a friend in the exact same position as you. She is incapacitated without the pill. She struggled for quite some time with the implications of a medication that will prevent a fertilized egg from implanting and after much prayer – and a promise from her doctor that the pill she was going to be on was like the one you are taking – she decided to go on the pill. She has complete peace because her health issues did not catch God by surprise nor did the treatment. She is trusting him to walk with her through this season of life. He is bigger than what “might” happen. If you are completely useless to everyone for two weeks, that does no one any good. I can confidently say that God will not judge you harshly – nor will I – for doing what you need to do in order to keep functioning. For someone with your physical issues, there really is no other choice!

    • says

      C. I cannot begin to understand two weeks a month of pure hormonal chaos in the body. And to finally have relief from that must feel so great. I wonder though if you have thought of seeing a chiropractor who uses applied kinesiology to determine the underlying problem? I don’t know of a good way to search for them, but if you have chrios in your area, you could call around. Also, I see that you don’t like NFP but there is a lot more to it than just charting your cycle. There are several methods and monitors and apps that can help. Also there is something call NaPro technology which is system in which medical doctors determine the underlying problem of menstrual or fertility issues to help conditions become more normal in other ways than the pill. Usually and NFP physician can help you find a NaPro physician. I would be happy to talk if you’re interested. But I am praying for you. -Leah

      • Leah Heffner says

        C. I am reflecting on what I said, and while it might be helpful info, above anything else I want you to know that God is with you and that He knows not only your pain but your heart. More praying.

    • Leah says

      c.

      I just want to offer you some <>. I can feel your pain. Though my situation is not the same as yours, I do have my own struggles to work through. Yesterday I actually had my annual appointment. My husband has been talking about getting “fixed” and being done with having kids since before our first was born, which I am not sure that I am ready for… and to be quite honest, I do not want to be on any form of BC. As I began researching my options, I saw this post. It threw me through a hurdle! I researched all of the non-hormonal methods that I could use and then determined to talk with the Dr. at my appointment and go from there. The hormones in the BC is what was throwing me off and I asked her why anyone would even want to take the hormones… she explained something similar to your situation. She even said that her daughter, who is not active, has this issue and is on BC to regulate and ease her cramping, bleeding, and other pains. At that moment, it made sense to me and I no longer felt so against someone (perhaps even myself) using the hormones. Those that suffer negatively from BC, I think, are far less than those that are actually HELPED by BC. Remember, God even created medicine!

      With all of that said, I want to tell you that I truly believe God is in control of this situation – even YOUR situation. If there is a life meant to be born from your womb, it’s going to happen, BC or not. I can’t explain why pregnancies are not always viable… but I do believe that even that is a part, somehow, of God’s plan. Whatever He intends for your life is what will play out – I am so overly confident of that. I know it’s scary trusting Him in this area but I pray that you will have the peace and comfort to do that. However it may look for you.

      If I were you, I wouldn’t make any changes at the current moment.. and certainly not in response to this particular blog post. Please do not allow yourself to feel judged or condemned for needing BC because of this post. Your situation is so different from the one that was described in the initial post. In fact, ALL of our situations are different in some way. Again, if it were me, I would take some time, digest it, pray about it – for my husband and myself to know what God wants out of us… all while staying on the BC. I would wait and see where God leads my heart. If and when I felt it was appropriate, I would approach my husband… and trust that God was leading his heart as well. Only then would I make any changes.

      I can tell you that this whole living life as one and being married… this respecting our husband thing… it is NOT at all black and white. Sometimes things are said on these blogs that in no way, shape, or form apply to my life and marriage. Other times, I am quite honestly offended as my emotions take over and I think “it is just NOT that easy for everyone!” I have seen situations in my life play out where I am dead set AGAINST something and my husband is dead set FOR them. I have chosen, in some of those moments, to follow my husband’s lead fully (even though I know that he isn’t doing it following God) knowing that someday my human self might resent him… turning to a place of submitting that fear of resentment to God and trusting Him to lead my heart… and you know what? He has yet to fail me. God is so faithful in everything… even in your current situation.

      I am praying for you sweet sister… for your heart and mind… that you may find the answers that you are looking for… that you may find peace… that your husband will understand where you are coming from and – if he is able to – that he will also turn to God for answers… I am praying that from this situation… the chaos, the confusion, the ache, and the pain, God will be revealed to you and your husband in an entirely new way. May His peace comfort you and keep you from feeling convicted for doing what brings healing to your body… and may you come to a new place of realization that He understands you… all of you… your confusion, your angst, your hurt… and that He is transforming you daily into a new being to be used for His purpose and glory. If your heart aches because you want a baby and right now just doesn’t feel to be the right time, then I pray that God will come into that place and heal your heart until the time is right. May His will and desires for your life become YOUR will and desires… and may you persevere in peace until your husband reaches the same place.

      More <>.

      • trixie1466 says

        Very well said! I agree if God wants a baby born He is big enough to defeat human made hormones. Thanks for sharing.

  6. says

    Its nice to see someone in the spotlight talking about this. It is such an important subject to me. One thing you left out though is our husbands leading us in this area. Even though we may be convicted to throw out the birth control, our husbands are STILL the leaders of our family and we must submit to that.

    My husband and I have gone back and fourth from trusting God with our fertility and “taking breaks”. My husband has ALWAYS been the one to decide when and how those happen. I trust that he has asked God for leadership before making a decision like that. I have also asked “Have you prayed about that?” if he tells me yes then I follow what he wishes.

    I was convicted from the beginning about birth control which is why I got pregnant at an early age. However, my husband was not open to trusting God until 18 months after our THIRD child. And that was because we were using “protection” that failed- and we became unexpectedly pregnant. I refused to use hormonal birth control and not even for the abortive factors but because it causes serious side effects in women, and on our earth. Women have died at twenty years old from birth control hormonal induced strokes and heart attacks, and blood clots. So we had always used a barrier method after I had my second IUD removed after reading it could cause abortions and all the other hormonal problems of the pill.

    My husband has come around to trusting the Lord after I had prayed and prayed about it. But, at one point he was so dead set against having any more kids I had to pray for God to heal that part of my heart and that I would accept my husbands decision in this area. Maybe he was protecting me through my husbands choice.

    We have since had two more children, but I no longer worry about if my husband is going to “change his mind” about trusting the Lord with our family. I KNOW my husband does and I also know on a routine basis how he is feeling about if/when I could get pregnant next. I will never use birth control because I feel its wrong, its bad for me (and all women) but if my husband chooses to end our fertility years, that is his choice and I will stand behind him as my guide.

    Colleen/TheZMom

  7. says

    I try very hard to count my blessings as an exercise and discipline in order to cope.

    I’m married (by choice), mother to two neverborns (not by choice) and now infertile (due to my husband’s illness) and am struggling being married to a man whose depression every so often threatens to widow me.

    Finding Ten Things of Thankful each weekend (or twice each weekend, as I’ve turned the exercise into a blog hop) is an amazing boost, and I think it helps my attitude through the week.

    I admire your attitude, Nina, and I’m glad you share as honestly as you do.

    • Nina Roesner says

      Wise words, Lizzi. :) Thank you for sharing them. I am so sorry your husband struggles with depression – it’s a horrible disease. Prayers for you, beautiful.
      Love to you,
      ~Nina

  8. Julie says

    Thought you might be interested in the book my son recently released that discusses many thoughts related to this topic. (Yes, a bit of a shameless plug, I know – I’m a proud mom!) It’s titled ‘A Protestant Critique of the Contraception Debate’ by Austin Tallman. It’s available from Amazon, as well as several other retailers. http://www.amazon.com/Protestant-Critique-Contraception-Debate/dp/0989760405/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1378828034&sr=1-1&keywords=austin+tallman

  9. Tiffanie says

    I bought into worldly behaviors recently and ended up in big trouble. My marriage is on the line and my prayer is that God change me and convict my husband to forgive and stop his new bad behaviors

    • says

      Tiffanie – You are very brave to share this and very wise to be able to discern your mistake so quickly. I’ve certainly done many things that led to trouble in my marriage. Praying for God to direct your paths so that His will be done and His name can be praised.

  10. says

    We lost our little baby boy Noah in utero at 16 weeks 3 weeks ago. We had 2 girls, 1 boy and this was to be our last little one. Life seemed perfect and too good to be true. And it was. And it shattered. He was born perfect @ 17cm long, all his little bits and pieces were there, even his little ribcage all complete.
    But among the tears and the pain I am learning to rethink my perfect little world of 4 children and maybe this was God’s way of waking me up. So we’ll see where this will take us. I have learnt more than ever though that God is still good and still great and we can trust him.
    Through this journey I have learned more about miscarriage, infertility and so much more. We take healthy babies for granted. We need to realize that each one is such a gift and worth spending our energy on!

  11. Angie says

    I spent my 20’s having babies. I did not finish college. I did not get a degree. I did not build a career. I did not pass GO and collect $200. ;)
    I remember being advised to “get on the pill” before my wedding. I made the trip to the doc …then I prayed about it. (yeah, I did that a little backwards). Upon praying, I was convicted to not only throw the pills away (I read the insert and it clearly does more than just prevent ovulation), I was also led to examine my motives and whether or not I trusted God to be God and completely trust Him with my future. I was a baby Christian, and I wanted so much to give the Lord all of me, I figured that included the womb.
    So, 7 weeks after I said I do, I was at the doctor with a positive pregnancy test. I have pictures of me holding my oldest newborn on our 1st anniversary date. (we did leave him with Granny so we could go out to dinner.) We had 3 more children in quick succession. I still struggle with the world’s view on children and motherhood (which claims I need to succeed at a full time professional career, be supermom of 2 children, be a size 4, and wonder woman in the bedroom to be fulfilled and acceptable. I think I just described the headlines on every popular woman’s magazine in one sentence.)
    I struggle with the other side too, with the decision to stop at 4 kids. Did I stop trusting God? Doing myself a favor now by taking hold of grace and moving forward…
    Thanks for writing about this. Becoming a mom put a huge spotlight on how selfish I am. In an instant, my focus turned from inward to outward. Thanks for reminding me of what I have gained by letting go. Clearly God has used my feeble attempts at parenting to teach me more about Him. Boy does He use this parenting gig for my sanctification! His word is true – it is He that is at work in us, and I’m super grateful that He lets me see and experience some “glory hallelujah” moments with my kids. Thanks for giving me some encouragement in an area of my life that I have been greatly discouraged. It is easy to feel like I don’t measure up when I look at the world’s standard. I remind my kids frequently that God’s Word is the standard by which we measure our value and worth, then easily forget that myself.

    • Nina Roesner says

      Sanctification. Indeed. :)
      SO thankful you commented today, gorgeous! :) He loves you tons – and He’s the One encouraging you. :)
      Glad you are doing what you feel led to do, regardless of the world – tough to keep in the groove sometimes – we all get swayed, but that’s why we’re called to encourage one another. :) It’s always His business, isn’t it? :)

      Love to you,
      ~Nina

  12. says

    Though my blessings are not, and I doubt ever will be (slight possibility of adoption), in the form of children as your article states, I wanted you to know your article made me stop and consider things, and it made me happy. I have my education, my health, I have people who love me and through have been through hell with me and still stuck by me, I have the ability to help others and have made amazing friendships that way (such as working with a FAS kids and having one in respite care at my house once a week to give his caregiver a break. I’m even teaching him to cook simple things so he can treat his caregiver once in a while as a surprise!). I am indeed blessed, and think we all are in our own little ways. Sometimes it just takes a bit to see it :) Thank you for posting this

    • Nina Roesner says

      CitySnacks,
      Good for you! :) Thankful you took a moment to count your blessings – they sound wonderful, indeed! :)
      Love to you,
      ~nina

  13. says

    “You can just come right now Lord” – I have had my own moment like this in the last few days. Proud of the wisdom I see in my child, blessed to have raised her to the tender age of 20, unbelievable amazed at how God is working His ways into her world right now.

    Overall, I stand and applaud everything in this writing. So much we forget to thank Him for daily. 1000 gifts scares me, I’m afraid I’ll forget to be thankful for something important (lol) so I haven’t taken a full challenge but I *DO* count my blessings often. Of course, just counting kids alone takes time and thanking God for each individual life and opportunity some days is overwhelming.

    My 9 blessings will never fulfill my life the way Jesus has done. However, when they were newborns, the 6 that I gave birth to were my whole world, every time. I loved the newborn/baby/toddler stage and mourned greatly with my youngest as she completed each new growth step. 2 of my bonus children were the full focus of 18 months of life as we fought the court system to have them in our home full time. The difference was that I went to God and let Him give me strength, I leaned on my Knight and let Him supply my needs. If I had parented in that manner from the very beginning I believe that I would have been a completely different (and much better Mother). Alas – with the youngest at 8 and the oldest at 20, I can’t change the past but I fully intend to invest into their future.

    I learned something about being a SAHM 13 years into that journey. I learned that it is WAY harder (for me) than if I had chosen to work. I didn’t hold my first full-time job until I was 37 – and my youngest was 2. My husband and I had been on/off separated for 2 years already and I knew that I was going to have to provide an income. I went directly into retail management (thanks to a church connection). And I *loved* it. I learned so much about business and rewards. I gained so many friends. I found favor with the “higher ups” at every turn. The more they praised, the harder I worked. My servant heart TRULY enjoyed a customer based lifestyle. If I had known this before babies, or in the midst of making the decision to have another child, I don’t think my life decisions would have been the same …..

    And I would have missed out.

    Would I have chosen to not have my 19 year old beauty that sings like an angel? Would I have chosen to give birth to my sometimes awkward but incredibly service oriented 16 year old son? Would I have chosen to miss the grief of losing a beloved baby girl at 16 weeks – and the lessons that go with grief? Would I have given up my loving, completely opposite of the typical personality, red-headed 12 year old? Would I maybe thought that 4 was enough and not had that next baby boy – the one who lays hands on me daily and prays for my healing at the young age of 10? Would I have possibly “taken care of” that oops that happen quickly therafter and maybe never met my light shining, precious, cuddly baby girl? And then the choice to surrender to God which led to this beautiful amazing life with my Knight and his 3 sweet ones, my bonus blessings.
    Even today my heart longs for a baby in my womb – yet God has, in His perfect wisdom and timing, not given me that gift. And I am at peace with His plans.
    Thank you for the reminder to step outside of the constant crazy life cycle I have with 9 kids in the house and look at each unique gift. The weight that God has allowed me to be the one, the Mom, is often heavy but what a fellowship, what a joy divine, leaning on His everlasting arms as they grow.

  14. says

    Nina, the wisdom your daughter shared, and your response is such a blessing. I would only add that the Dad’s have as much a role to play as Mama’s and in some families it is a single Dad doing is best as both roles, just as single Mama’s do. Some of us are married with husbands who are away by work, choice or circumstance and we too have to be in the day-to-day the voice and representation of the missing parent and ourselves.

    Carla Anne’s book Married Mom, Solo Parent plus doing The Respect Dare twice has made this time in our lives so much more than it would have been What a blessing!

    I miscarried and was told no children. And then God laughed. And we have our son. I wish I had more sometimes, but I can be a good friend to the children in my life and they all know I am here for them to pray with, to love and to be there if they need me.

    Bless you!

  15. Ashley says

    I love your blogs and want to start out with that first and foremost. My husband and I have one son and that is all we wanted/allowed to have. I had trouble having him with BP issues along with others that aren’t worth mentioning. After giving birth to him for the first year or two, I really wanted another one, however my body disagreed with me. BP issues got worse and I came to realization that we were only to be blessed with one. I believe that life begins at conception, but there are many women that shouldn’t have more children due to health issues, etc so the pill is the only effective birth control for them unless they have their tubes tied which I did at a later date. I agree with the comment above, I do find it a bit harsh to criticize one or even say that they are “aborting” by using the pill. I still love you and will always continue to read your blogs! They encourage and bring me a new perspective on my marriage and my life as a mom! I am thankful everyday for the one child I was blessed with as I know there are so many that are unable to have a child for themselves. I pray for those women and also pray that any woman that is considering an abortion will consider placing their child up for adoption. There are so many children with mommies and daddies that I know there are people out there that will love them unconditionally. I am fully against abortion even in the instance of rape. I have my reasons and the biggest one of all is GOD DOESN’T MAKE MISTAKES! The situation or circumstances that a child is conceived under is God’s plan and if you trust in HIM fully, He will bring peace to you! Anyway, I got off on my own tangent!
    I loved the story today about your daughter. It brought a smile to my face and I love those moments with my young son.
    Thank you for sharing as usual!

    • Nina Roesner says

      Ashley – so glad you are here, and I’m sorry if I offended you by talking about the pill in the way I did – I don’t mean to come across as judging anyone, so I’ve update my post to try to reflect that. I wanted to share how I feel about it now myself, not levy judgment at others.

      I also appreciated your comments about praying for women dealing with this issue. Tough stuff.

      Thank you for taking time to comment today.

      Love to you,
      ~Nina

  16. Katie says

    I just feel the need to say here that birth control pills do NOT cause abortions. They prevent conception. If you feel convicted not to take them, then of course you should not (in fact, I feel this same conviction); however, please don’t go around telling women they may be causing abortions by taking them because if there is no egg to fertilize, there is no conception and no baby to abort.

    • Nina Roesner says

      Katie, I appreciate your efforts to make sure women get accurate information. And I suppose this might not matter to someone who doesn’t define “life” at conception, but I do, and as a result, have struggled with what I may have done. I respect your opinion if you define it differently, and I wish I would have known more about these things 20 years ago. The pills I was on also prevented “implantation” of a zygote, which is the fertilized egg. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beginning_of_pregnancy_controversy
      I didn’t know this at the time. All my doctor told me, and I don’t remember reading the insert in depth, was that the pills prevented conception. It is my understanding that some of these pills still work this way, but I might be wrong. Glad you are here, and I’m sorry if I offended you in any way.
      Love to you,
      ~Nina

      • Wish it was different, but... says

        the pill is described as an “abortifacient” drug… I did some research on this topic for a friend who was getting married, and I was so disappointed to find out that all pills/ birth control methods that affect the woman’s hormones work this way- preventing the fertilized egg from being implanted or starving it of nutrients needed to survive. I haven’t found one that doesn’t…

        • Wish it was different, but... says

          As a first defense, the pill/ IUD/ etc. prevent conception, but they all have this backup built in just in case.. I have worked in an OB/GYN before and thought certainly this couldn’t be true.. But the paperwork that comes with the pill plus added research show otherwise… I hope I’m not detracting from the heart of your blog today, Nina. I am so blessed by your writings, and have only been here a matter of weeks but I’m applying what I’m reading and already I’m seeing beautiful changes in me and my marriage. I’m hitting my knees and allowing my heart to be changed (which is NOT easy by any means), and my hubby is responding. I feel a new appreciation for him and my hope is being restored! God is working!!

  17. says

    really great blog!! my husband and i have been struggling with infertility for three years. i feel alot of pressure in having one because my parents question me, in fact all my family questions me, one of my sibling’s ridicules me that i don’t and can’t have one and it does bum me out sometimes..after reading your blog i figured, i guess i’m just gonna be those that just mentors or helps kids out which i guess thats ok.

  18. Erin Johnston says

    This last weekend, I visited my foster daughter who is in rehab in fort lauderdale. I was only able to take her outside the facility for some fun and catching up for 5 hours so I was left with the rest of the day by myself. I visited botanical gardens, the beach and a farmers market. Although it was fun, I was constantly wanting to share it with my husband and kids. I called him all the time and he was busy with our 2 young boys and didn’t have too much time to talk. I was struck by the joys my 2 young kids bring and the easy companionship that I share with my husband. Although it was great to get out and get a small break, I missed my family more.

    We are about to face a family crisis. My older son has a problem in his eyes and it could be from something in his head. We don’t know yet. I still wouldn’t trade or go back to being kidless or single for the life of me. I talked to my husband about my getting a job to help cover the medical bills up and coming. He told me that more than ever, our kids need their mom by their side through all the doctor’s visits and procedures coming up. What a precious family you have and thank you for helping others see what a precious family they have!!

    • Nina Roesner says

      Praying for you all today, Erin, and praising Him for the family He’s given you. :) Your mother’s heart is lovely.
      Love to you,
      ~Nina

  19. says

    Good word Nina! Children are so much a blessing. Thanks to pray for me as with my husband we try to conceive. It is not easy to feel the pressure of my biological clock (I jus turn 40!) and to want 3 kids. But I trust my Father that His time is the best even if I must admit I struggle with anxiety many time. Love to you

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