Monday, July 09, 2012

Unconventional Appreciation

As the mother of eight, two with very challenging (though "hidden") special-needs, several people have asked us if we are planning to have more kids.So, we've (once again) been contemplating the whole birth-control question. And it's had me thinking; what if my husband had gotten a vasectomy when we planned to, two babies ago?

If my husband had gotten that vasectomy, we would never have been blessed with our two youngest children. In a culture that doesn't value life (pre-born life, the elderly, or those with questionable "quality of life"), it is easy to look at our two youngest and think perhaps we made a mistake. Life would have been so much simpler without them.

Then I realized how much I would have missed if these two blessings had never come into our family; the joy, the lessons, the appreciation for what I've always taken for granted.

Psalm 139:14-16 (ESV) says, "I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them."

God didn't make a mistake when He created the man who penned those words, and He didn't make a mistake when He formed my precious son, or my sweet little girl, either. They are both "fearfully and wonderfully made," not just in spite of their challenges, but because of them. 

Exodus 4:11 says, "Who has made man's mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?"

Perhaps you don't know God the way I do; you don't trust His sovereignty or see His goodness. In which case you won't appreciate the above verses as I do. But, for me, that passage in Exodus brings peace, comfort, and hope. God made Moses "slow of speech." Perhaps he had a stutter or he got his tongue wrapped around his eye teeth, so he couldn't see what he was saying. Whatever it was, suffice it to say Moses was not eloquent. Yet he was God's spokesman to Pharaoh and he led hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of people through the wilderness, forging a new nation in the process. Pretty amazing feat for a man who couldn't really talk.

Knowing how God uses people who are broken to accomplish great things, I wonder what He has planned for my two precious blessings. And I'm incredibly thankful I didn't refuse the gifts.Would life have been easier? Yes, and less expensive, too. But I'm not interested in easy, or in amassing (much) worldly wealth. The joy I experience watching my boy who has struggled to walk toddle towards me with his arms open is more valuable than anything money can buy. The pleasure of hearing the day's events from my precious daughter who has struggled to talk fills my heart fuller than Donald Trump's bank account.

So, I want to pose a question; is easy necessarily better? Why or why not?

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