Tuesday, May 4, 2010

How many are too many?

These days are busy days, and things can get hectic with a household of nine. Not that I would have it any other way! My mother-heart smiles a thousand times a day at the sweet and funny things that happen at my house. Though I might complain a little from time to time, I would not have anybody think that I would exchange my family for a smaller one.

Sometimes people ask if we are "done" (meaning "done having children"). Some are critical, others just curious. I'm developing a tougher skin for the ones that make thoughtless remarks about us having too many children. (Which ones would they have us get rid of?)

We've decided to take our hands off the controls, and leave this matter of family planning in the Lord's hands. Since we made that decision, I admit I've gotten sort of panicky at times, wondering where this road would take us. I admire families like the Duggars, but I am no Michelle Duggar! I do not have it all together, and do not always have a sweet, low voice when dealing with the children's - well, childishness.

But I've noticed that with each child born we have grown, not just in family size.. but WE have grown. My husband adapts and becomes more and more wise about leading and providing for a larger family. I am becoming better and better at home management and, yes, a more patient mommy. My older children learn more about forbearance and yielding their will to another as we make room for the new little one. I notice my two older girls (9 and 11) are taking on more household duties willingly and even cheerfully. (I don't think I ever did that when I was their age.) We live frugally, and find cheap or free ways to have fun.

I love my large family! Things are not perfect, but they are better than they've ever been. There is so much grace available along the way, as long as we admit our mistakes, forgive one another, and keep on growing together.

I don't foresee being physically able to have more than twelve, though it will probably be less. But for us, there is no number that is "too many".


Laurel said...

Great Post, I would love to say the same thing. For now we are a family of 8. How often do you go back to the states? If the Lord would have us to have more I know He will provide.

Tammy said...

We plan to go to the U.S. every four or five years. When the whole family goes, we are able to travel in a van, which is much more economical than flying. We're thankful that we can do that. I know that travel is a major expense for U.S. citizens who live across the ocean from "home", but I agree with you that the Lord provides.

Anonymous said...

I wish I had a large family! Still praying that God will bless us in this area! I want to be a mommy!

I agree with all you said except I don't admire Michelle Duggar. I don't agree with placing your children on reality television. The youngest don't get to decide if they want their life broadcast for the whole world to see. That just doesn't sit well with me. It is hard enough begin a child today but to have your life in front of cameras is just to invasive.

There will always be those that judge. I get judged for not having children. It hasn't been my choice. They judge me when they think I don't want children then they judge me when they find out I haven't been able to. I just ignore people. Most the time those that judge are ignorant. =\


La Familia Garcia said...

Oh, I encourage you to read Elisabeth Elliot's thoughts on this if you haven't already. here's part of her quote in her book "Keep A Quiet Heart."

"Only God knew how many countless others, even in future generations, He had in mind in bringing this particular child into the family."

Tammy said...

Stacey, people don't always think before they speak. There's always a lesson on forgiveness or forbearance in there somewhere. :o)

As far as the Duggar's decision to put their family on national t.v., I can't say whether that is right or wrong. (And actually, I've never seen the show, only read about the Duggars.) Perhaps the exposure has helped some Christians see that large families are not freakish or the result of irresponsible breeding. Bob and Michelle have to decide if their fame is detrimental to their children, but from what I have heard they all seem to be well-adjusted and happy.

Anonymous said...

Maybe I just disagree with the Duggars because I am a private person. I also think childhood should be protected and I don't see how that is possible to do with cameras in your home to broadcast their childhood to the world. But that is just my opinion.

I have learned countless lessons on my journey but the one I learned early on is forgiveness. Overlooking what others say and loving them despite it. The only words that really hurt me are the words spoken by the people who love me most and strangely enough, they are the same people that seem to say the silliest things. They are the people you want to turn to in the times of pain but they typically cause me the most pain. =D I tend to keep it between me, my husband and the Lord.

I have enjoyed reading about you and your beautiful family and just hope that the Lord will see fit to bless me with my own. My husband teases me that if I had had my way then I'd probably have 8 babies myself. =D


Annette said...

I love your large family too!!! I also doubt that Michelle Duggart has a sweet, calm voice ALL the time, probably just in front of the camera, LOL!!! Love you all and miss you bunches

Mrs. White said...

Tammy, are you expecting another blessing? (smiles) Such a lovely post!

Mrs. White

Tammy said...

I know what you mean, Stacey. Personally, there is no way I would want a reality t.v. show crew in my home. Talk about a crazy home life! But from what I have read (their own words) they handle it well, and maintain a godly testimony to the world. I would love to meet them some day.

Annette ~ Thanks! We love and miss y'all, too!

Mrs. White ~ Not at this time. :o)

Elizabeth said...

A few weeks ago I listened to S. M. Davis's sermon "God's Viewpoint on Having Babies." I don't know if you enjoy his preaching, or if you've even ever heard of him, but I've gotten a lot of help from him. I listened via biblepreaching.com. One point that he made which really landed home with me was this (summarized): People pray for God's blessings and there is nothing at all wrong with that. Financial, spiritual, safety, etc. But when it comes to the blessing of children people's attitude is like only one or two blessings, please, but abundantly bless me with the other stuff. Then he pointed out that when you see details of how God had blessed a people or family, he always expressly blesses with many children. How is it that people want to pick and choose what they receive from the hand of God?

billy p. said...

= )
that's all your blog made me smile...

Tammy said...

Sra. Garcia, I actually have that book by Elisabeth Elliott! It's in my pile of "Books to Read ASAP". It just got bumped up to the top. ;o)

Elizabeth, I love to listen to S. M. Davis's preaching. Great stuff!

Bill, :o).

Bro. Daniel said...

I like this post too! Like the family too, oops, I better huh!?! Need to go put one back in bed and read the Bible now...

Tammy said...

Good post. I am amazed most not at the size of your family but HOW you give birth their on the mission field! Hee hee :) You are very blessed to have a body and mind from the Lord that allows that. I used to dream when I was young of a large family and alternative styles of giving birth but that was not what the Lord had in mind for us. Two was enough and many thought I was crazy for attempting the second one.

Tammy said...

I have enjoyed reading your post and all the comments. I am amazed at how smoothly the large family unit can be done. ( My husband and I have one daughter and with homeschooling, I feel like I am always behind) Anyway, I wanted to share with Stacy (?) I believe it was, that has not yet been blessed with children, that I understand how you feel. My husband and I have only one child and we were married fourteen years before we had her. The doctors had told us we would never have any. After 14 years, the Lord gave our daughter to us and then the next year I had to have a hysterectomy. We, too, had to listen to some pretty heartless comments by folks who have no idea what it is like to experience infertility. It was a painful time, to be sure. But, the Lord used that time to help us grow in Him, and we learned to trust Him in all things. And now, our daughter is eleven years old. If we could go back and change the way it happened, and we could have had her at the beginning of our marriage instead of later, I wouldn't. We were quite different people by then. We were much stronger spiritually than we would have been. I am just saying...the Lord has His time, in His way, and His way is best. I hope this was an encouragement to you. Please don't allow comments from others to hurt you in such a way as to become bitter. Truly, most folks do not mean to be unkind.

Bro Randy said...

Sister Tammy,

I just love your post. I think large families are great.The children can learn so much from brothers and sisters and grow up to be the best of friends. It is really tiring to hear people make negative remarks about large family. The reason most dislike it is because they have to give their children every thing under the sun except what they truly need. I think it is wonderful that you and Daniel are allowing God to control you family. I am sure He will bless you in ways you never dream of. Nice to see you back posting some have missed the posts.

Bro Randy

Sandy said...


This is just a beautiful post! Thanks! We are a family of 8 and it just doesn't seem very large. We often find ourselves counting the kids - it feels like someone is missing;)

Blessings to you and yours.

In Christ,

Jolene said...

So glad I found you out in the blogging world and glad we have something (other than being missionary wives) in common! I'm looking forward to "catching up" with you!