Children – All That They Are Cracked Up To Be?

Friday afternoon, my two eldest children stayed home with daddy while baby and I went to an appointment in town.  After my appointment, I thought I would stop at one store in the mall to look for a specific item–in and out.  While on the out, I passed by the check-out counter and overheard a customer rather loudly saying “I have four kids; they are NOT all that they are cracked up to be!”.  My heart gasped.
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Still walking, I held my Ergo-hugged baby close; and I looked down into her sweet, completely-trusting-in-me baby eyes and whispered firmly, “Yes they are.”
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Thank You, God.
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I’m writing this post weary-eyed after a long night of broken sleep.  I was awakened several times by hungry, cold, or otherwise growing-pain-stricken toddlers.
In the circles where you’ll find me, my children are “all that they are cracked up to be”.  Not because they are brilliant or cute or award-winning athletes (they’re tots), but because they come from the Lord.  They’re worth it not because of their merits and behavior (which ebb and flow) but because God says they are worth it.

Psalm 127:3-5

English Standard Version (ESV)

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
    the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
    are the children[a] of one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
    who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
    when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

I choose to spend the majority of my time in circles where children are known as blessings, rewards, and wholeheartedly worth the lifetime of tireless work.  Circles in which parents and their children are lifted up in prayer and encouragement.  Circles of armor-bearers in this fight for our children.  Circles of people who have received tear-choked, midnight phone calls from me wondering if I’m doing all I can for my child blessed with an iron-strong will.  Circles where a strong will isn’t a curse, but a blessing that needs to be shepherded.
You see, I subscribe to the belief that I am in a battle for my own children; a battle that is constant and tiring and takes all I have, and that it is completely and unquestionably worth it.
There are other circles where many have forgotten the value of work and just want the gratification.  We’re in a society full-steam-ahead in self-seeking.  Therefore, children aren’t what they are boasted to be in the media: little dolls to dress up in designer duds and competition ribbons who are on this planet for our self-satisfaction.  Absolutely not.  Is that why people have children?  Maybe more often than we recognize.

1 Corinthians 13  (NIV)

13 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

There is also the pit of putting down our children, constantly.  In many circles, children are considered (I have a hard time even typing this out; I’m getting choked up) worthless parasites that just suck all the life and money and time out of us.

1 Corinthians 13  (NIV)

13 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

When I prepared to give birth to my first child five years ago, I knew there would be trials, but oh, I had no idea what they would really feel like or the extent of the kinds of trials!  I had no idea how painful it would be to make mistakes, to fear for my children, or to realize I’m so ill-equipped without seeking God’s guidance.  And yet, I am so well-equipped, because I have Him, the Father of Knowledge, Giver of Peace, and my Strong Tower.
With children murdered daily under the politically-correctness of “abortion” and a host of other terms of which I am ignorant (praise God), and with the more subtle sacrifice of our children by parents enlisting for every possible way to “get away from the kids”.  I will stand.  I don’t have the strength to do it on my own–physical, mental, emotional–especially with the nastiness that surrounds opinions regarding children and “our rights” on what to “do with them”.  God stands; therefore, I will stand.  I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
So, when I’m weary, I seek the Lord and take joy in His rich blessings.

Nehemiah 8:10  (ESV)

10 do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

In this thing called Motherhood, I take joy

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