Friday, February 28, 2014

You Have Enough {7QTs} {7 in 7}

Recently, I've been thinking a lot about how much an average person perceives is necessary in terms of financial resources to have additional children.  *Hint: you don't need as much as you think*

Of course, we are called to be prudent, but there is a delicate tension in that we are also called to trust.  Holding the tension of these two opposing forces and discerning God's will for your family - that's where we need to live.

I have two children, not by choice.  By choice, I would have at least three or four more....even if it meant I had five or six kids in this tiny little house of mine (2 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 800 sq ft with an additional 400 sq ft in a semi-finished basement rec room I made myself this winter).  I'm working on my fertility challenges, even in this humble abode.

Here, 7 reasons you should stop looking at your checkbook and start looking to God's will:

{1}  You Don't Have to Pay for College, Seriously

I know many parents worry about the ever-increasing college expenses.  How will they ever pay for X number of tuitions?  You won't.  You don't have to.  It's not your job to only have as few children as you can set aside an extra $100,000 for. 

Now, I'm saying this as the third of nine children who paid for her own education....both a bachelor's and a master's.  I'm not horribly in debt.  In fact, I started my master's a couple years after I finished my bachelor's.  The month I started was also my last payment on my bachelor's student loan.  I have about $4500 left on my master's that I earned in 2010.  I could pay it off faster, but it's tax deductible.

Raise children who are hard workers, who are diligent, who are enterprising.  Send them to community college first.  Help them find scholarships.  Set aside whatever you can now, even if it's not going to be much more than books and fees for them someday.  Offer what assistance you can when they get there.  Or maybe they're actually called to be a plumber, mechanic, hair stylist, or some other profession that supports our world, but doesn't require a gazillion dollars in training. 

{2}  Your Kids Will Get Enough

I didn't ever have all the latest and greatest technology and toys as a kid, but you know what?  I had people to play with.  And I remember vividly the Christmas my parents ordered my brother the very first Nintendo.  We got stuff, not all of it, but enough for a magical, fun childhood.

{3}  You Don't Have to Have All the Patience

Patience is a muscle, it needs frequent practice.  Can't imagine yourself with X kids?  Well, so long as you aren't expecting multiples, it's a safe bet you've got some time to work up to it.  God doesn't seem to give me much extra of any virtue....I have to learn it through slow, painful lessons.  Patience takes time, but so does pregnancy (or adoption).

{4}  You Don't Need a Mansion

More space is helpful, but it's not a necessity (in most cases).  You are creative and a problem-solver.  You can do it....and there's a ton of other families who have laid out roadmaps if you need them.

{5)  Your Kids Would Rather Have a Sibling Than a Pony

They just might not realize it until they're adults.  But seriously, I have eight siblings and more than half are married.  I have almost 30 immediate family members.  Most of my siblings live within a short drive (less than 1 hour, most less than 20 minutes) of me.  Two of those siblings moved back from across the country just to be closer to family.  Sunday dinners are awesome in these parts.

{6}  Your Nursing Home Odds Go Way Down

Okay, maybe you'd like to live in a place of peace and quiet without people bothering you.  But that's just because right now you haven't had a solitary bathroom break in six years.  Someday, all those people will make sure you're well cared for....and even if that care means a nursing home is your best option, you'll have way more visitors to break up the monotony of jello.

{7}  Your Kids Are Pretty Awesome

Admit it, you make amazing people.  This goes for the ones you've adopted too....nurture versus nature?  Both and.  Who you are will make the people you nurture awesome.  And the world needs more awesome. 

Stop by Jen's for more 7 Quick Takes.

13 comments:

  1. "Your kids would rather have a sibling than a pony." Yep!
    Yes to all of these.

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    1. Yes - as the sibling to 8, my parents were such an inspiring balance of prudence and trust.

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  2. Oh yes! Great post - if only every married couple in the US could read it!

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  3. I'm thinking of you today as you recognize the anniversary of the loss of Mara. I'm so sorry, Annie.

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    1. Thanks so much. Every year, it's a little less painful.

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  4. Oh..I don't know, I've always really wanted a pony, LOL

    Just kidding....I wouldn't trade any of my siblings for a pony, and I wouldn't trade any of my kids for a pony (although I still do really want a pony).

    Anyway, this is a great post!! I love it. My kids definitely have less stuff, because there is more of them (and I only have 4 so far, which is "small" for a lot of Catholic families), they can't do as many activities/classes, we can't go on as many field trips or take as many vacations (okay, we can't take any vacations), eating out is extremely rare, but I know they are still better off having each of their siblings then why would be more field trips and classes and dinners out and we are so glad we have each and every one of them (and hope to have more).

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    1. Ponies are so tempting! :) I think with a world gone mad, this was actually a post that caused a small measure of controversy....truly a case of misplaced priorities that so many think children are a burden rather than a blessing. Thanks for stopping by and sharing!

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  5. So true...all of it. And so beautifully put.

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  6. Hi! Clicking over from Catholic All Year-- love this post. I'm the youngest of seven and expecting number seven, too. I also read your follow up post, and you nailed it on the head: its not about the number. Whether we're given 1 or 11 (or none or...?) its all a matter of what God wants for your family. I feel like after the first few, my husband and I were scrambling to say, "wait! we can't do this-- we need more time," and we'd be sent another one. Now, we feel more confident in trusting God with our family size. Granted, I don't know the sorrow of mourning a child, or not realizing the desire to have a big family, but I think God does perfectly grow our families for all the members to grow in holiness because of who He put in them. Sorry for the rambling-- loved your posts :)

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! Congratulations on your seventh!!! After having spent Easter with all my siblings who could make it back home, I was reminded again what a blessing a large family truly is :)

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  7. I've never been so happy to be one of five kids as when I stood up to give the eulogy at my mom's funeral.

    Welcome to the Catholic blog directory. I'd like to invite you to participate in Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival, which is a weekly link-up where Catholic bloggers share their posts with each other. This week's host post is at http://rannthisthat.blogspot.com/2014/05/sunday-snippets-catholic-carnival_10.html It is a great way to meet fellow bloggers and attract new readers to your blog.

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I welcome positive, supportive sharing in this community. God bless!