70 thoughts on “We Never Thought We Would Have a Big Family

  1. Thank you for sharing your story! I read your blog often and have wondered how you came to have seven. I have so much respect for all mothers, but I really admire mothers who have more than me and am fascinated by their stories. I am currently having a hard time accepting that my youngest of three is 5 and so mature these days. Lately I have thought we shouldn’t have stopped at 3 and I miss having a snugly toddler. I imagine that feeling is the same whether you have 1 or 7! I am so grateful to be blessed with my boys.

  2. Life is funny isn’t it? My husband and I dreamed of a big family. Five, six, seven kids sounded perfect to us. Life though had other plans. Eleven years of infertility and so much help from fertility doctors, it would make your head spin, we were blessed with our son. He has brought so much joy and love into our home. I don’t get the “are they all yours” questions but I get my fill of “only one?” questions. While I don’t have the huge family I always dreamed of, I do have an over abundance of love in my sweet family and for that I am eternally thankful 🙂

  3. Hi Heidi,

    I love that your blog celebrates motherhood. I have had my fill of blogs that complain about how hard parenthood is. I often talk about how hard it is on my blog but I always talk about how much I love my kids and how it’s worth it. I came from a family of two and always thought I’d have two as well. Well we lost my first pregnancy and that forever changed me. I too got the lesson that life is precious and it’s stayed with me. After my second child I thought great. I have a boy and a girl I’m done. A few years later I felt my heart longing for another child and after a LOT of prayer, God changed my husband’s heart and answered my prayer for a third. As I’ve lost more and more family I see how valuable it is to give my children the gift of each other. They will have each other long after their father and I pass away.

    God bless you!

  4. Make. ME. CRY. I just love this. We set out with the glimmer in our eyes that we’d “someday” have a family and after 8 years of infertility God Blessed us with one son. We were thrilled. I laughed at my 6 week check up when my doc said that I should be careful and I said “If the Lord has more for us bring it”. So after $10,000 and IVF to get our son here. God Blessed us with another son a mere 11 months later. We again we thrilled and since then God has blessed us with 3 more kids all conceived the “old fashioned way”. I too never had any idea this is how my life would turn out but…. I love it. And with each new addition, there’s a learning curve, a new rhythm that a mommy has to learn. I looked in the rear view mirror the other day in my “church van” and it look my breath away. 5 little heads(9 and under) all staring back at me.I can’t imagine what life would be if just one were missing. Each one is a blessing. I get the question all the time…. Aren’t you done having kids yet? I just say. When the Lord says I’m done, then I’ll be done. It’s ALL up to him. But secretly… I’m hoping for a least a couple more!Thanks so much for this one Heidi!!!

  5. Oh…I love this. It’s becoming our story, also, though two of ours were adopted – the dreams, the fruition, the miscarriage, the sudden all-too-vivid understanding of the sanctity of life, the calling, and the surprise, which came for us just last month when we saw two lines on that little test that we never thought we’d take again. 🙂 This will be our seventh at home, too. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

  6. This made me cry. I have three precious, beautiful children…but I can’t have any more. I’m only 31, my youngest will be 5 in January. When we got married almost ten years ago, we dreamed of a house that was overflowing with love and children. I’ve mourned that loss, and I’ve accepted that this is God’s plan for our family, but somedays I wish for what I don’t have. God bless you for sharing your heart! And for being proud to say that, yes, all of these children are yours.

    1. ((hugs)) Christine. Thank you for sharing your story. I have a friend whose story is similar to yours, and they ended up adopting. Keep close to the Lord! He’ll comfort and keep you. I appreciate you commenting!

  7. Loved the article. We have 3 girls 3&4 (twins are 4). My husband would love to have one more (the boy) secretly I would like two boys. LOL!! I get the are they all yours comment with the 3. I am trying not to care what others will say because I am closing in on 40 rapidly. I pray that God will favor us, but in the mean while thanks for the encouragement. God Bless!!

  8. What a timely post. We just found out that we are expecting #5. Technically, it’s my ninth pregnancy. So we have a 50/50 chance of carrying this baby to term. After so many losses, we have decided to just trust The Lord with His perfect timing. Our heads are spinning as we think of the logistics of having a big family. (We have four, ages 1-6 so this will make five 7 and under.) Sooooooooooo busy and crazy and messy and LOUD. But oh the love. And JOY! I am cherishing these moments as best I can. And just laugh A LOT. 😉 Thank you for writing and sharing. And being real. Your words have often reached right off the screen and touched my heart. From one homeschooling, busy mom to another…THANKS! 🙂

  9. Thank you for sharing your heart Heidi! i so enjoy reading your thoughts! We have 4 kids and i used to care what others thought of our family choices, now love has changed me also! i actually was embarrassed to be pregnant with our 3rd and hid that pregnancy from friends and family for about 4 months, and there were still people that didn’t know until i was 8 months pregnant! oh how silly i was to worry about offending someone by bringing another blessing into the world. after we had our 3rd, i was changed for good! now when people have comments i nod and smile tell them my heart is full and mentally throw away their negative comments. there are a handful of wise very encouraging souls out in the world that offer encouragement and affirmation…i hold onto those comments knowing that God is planning our family! i’ll take the stares and gasps knowing that i can fix my eyes on what is ahead!

  10. Thank-you for sharing!
    And I love the timing. Today is the birthday of #5,
    had it been up to us, we would have stopped at 3 or 4, but God nudged and today we are celebrating the 17th birthday of our first son. Can not imagine life without him, or his three younger siblings. 🙂
    God is good.

  11. Wow. This is so…. us. We didn’t plan to have a big family. But here we are with 7 children, ages 10 months to 13. We graduated to a Suburban with #6 and converted the front seat to a bench with #7. We get the “stare” and the comments and I wish I was able to tell each one just how awesome our unplanned big family really is.

    1. Woo! Bench seats are the best! 🙂 My husband was loathe to drive a 15 passenger van, but we do it when we’re traveling and speaking. One more child and it would have been our full time vehicle. Merry Christmas, Sara!

  12. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for this post. I’m in the stage of motherhood where I have two kids who are three and under. Some days, I feel like none of us will survive it and I can’t fathom why God gave me a longing and deep desire when I was just a kid myself to have a “big” family. I question why I would still have lingering feelings that it’s my destiny to be a mom to many when there are SO many circumstances that seem to be shouting that we can’t possibly have more kids. I just needed a little piece of hope…and that’s what you gave me. I’m going to try to have a little more patience and keep holding on. And we’ll see what happens. 🙂

  13. I read this as my fourth baby is kicking away just weeks from her due date 🙂 I just tucked my older three into bed and thought how wonderful it is to be a mother! I also thought how I don’t want this to be my last pregnancy… I just LOVE our family!! Thank you for sharing your story… big families are BEAUTIFUL!! And so full of love!! Your words have reminded me of what’s truly important 🙂 God Bless!!

  14. We currently have 4 beautiful children and I have found myself thinking the exact same thing as you did. My life is full, our car is full and our home is full. In the past few months, God has been encouraging me to reconsider. In some ways He has outright said Kailey, I have other plans. He is asking me to take a step of faith and trust Him that He will provide what we need along the way. I have a heart full of fear but the Lord is asking for trust and this post could not have come at a better time. Thank you for sharing that you did not feel entirely joyful as God changed your plans but you give me a vision of what God is building and that is enough hope to outweigh the doubt. God bless your family and your ministry and Merry Christmas.

  15. Thank you for this story! I definitely can identify. We had 3 children about 2 years 9 months and 3 years 9 months apart (with a devastating miscarriage in between). We were considered a “normal” family back then. We chose homeschooling when our oldest was in 3rd grade and our 2nd was in 1st grade. We were no longer quite as “normal”. 5 years after our 3rd child was born we began the next “out of the ordinary” phase of our lives. God blessed us with 3 more babies fairly close together! We became one of those large families that gets the stares at the grocery store and has trouble finding a table big enough in a fast food restaurant. My oldest is a senior in college now, my 2nd just got married, my 3rd will graduate high school in May, and I’m dreading having just 3 left at home. I already miss the baby and toddler stages and all the commotion that goes with 6 children under the same roof and life in full swing. I can’t even imagine a world without my wonderful blessings!

    1. It sounds like we are living parallel lives, Evelyn. 🙂 I know what you mean about missing them. No matter how many you have, the time goes by fast. Keep soaking it up with me. <3

  16. What a great post! Made me get all teary, but that’s to be expected with me right now. I’m about 11 weeks Pregnant with our 6th and feeling so sick and tired in the evenings. I keep telling myself that we shouldn’t have any more, but I know from previous experience that I change my mind frequently. 😉 This was good for me to read. May the Lord bless your family as you do His will by sharing your stories.

  17. Thank you so much for your post. I have 7. Number seven was born this year on my 38th birthday. I have told people that I would be done at 8 or age 40, but the Lord has been working on my husband and my hearts and simply asking us to trust him. Thus we are now on a ride of trust not knowing what the Lord might do. The Lord has really showed me that I fear what people will say more than I trust him for the size of my family. I pray that now I am simply trusting and I truly am ready to let Him decide how many blessing HE wants to give us.

  18. I loved this post! What a beautiful celebration of motherhood! I was always adamant that I won’t have kids, since I had abusive parents and grew up in a war torn country. Why add more victims to the pool of sorrow?
    But God had other plans for me. He sent me a husband in my thirties, at the age most people are already married with kids. I agreed to have our first baby just to please God. Little did I know that I’ll end up having three wonderful boys, and I wish sometimes I was younger or in a better shape to have a couple more. But I guess I already have three beautiful little miracles to take care of! They totally changed my view of God and mankind. Although I know that mankind is capable of the worst, what I saw almost my entire life, I remember when I see my gentle kids that mankind is also capable of the best, and that God is King, no matter what. I trust Him to guide me in raising my little boys, despite the fact that I have no idea how to raise a normal family. I just let Him be in control! Bless you for your ministry, Heidi.

  19. Beautiful, Heidi. And so painfully/joyfully true. Time goes fast. My first child just married. There are nine others. And I am reminded, as I try to take in the surrealness of watching her kiss her new husband, to slow down, gaze a little more purposefully into the eyes of my children and truly count each day a blessing, though fleeting into the next.

  20. Thank you for sharing, Heidi! We just had baby #4. Two years ago, we decided that we would be open to however many children the Lord wanted to give us, and this baby is our first “intentionally unplanned” child. It was the best decision we ever made, and my one regret is that it took us ten years to come to that place of openness to God’s blessing. I will always regret the decade that we decided to reject God’s blessings and only welcome them in our timing.

    Looking forward to hearing you at AFHE this year!!
    Diana

  21. I have not read the whole article yet, I am sure it is awesome, going back up to read the rest. But I thought…..oh my goodness she saw me at the store the other day, ha, ha, ha! You described me perfectly….oh wait, OK, not perfectly! It would be more like I had two walking beside me, one jumping all over acting wild (our dear, dear middle child who is 5 and still working on self control), one in the seat whining, “I’m HUNGRY” while trying to suck her thumb and one in the Ergo trying desperately to escape since she has decided to learn to walk at 9.5 months! My kids are not that perfect at the store, ha! It wasn’t me but at least I KNOW now I’m NOT alone when going out in public and causing a scene. Now that I’ve actually typed this without being interrupted, I’m going to go finish reading! Thanks for what you do, your encouragement almost always comes in perfect time!

    1. Noelle, I love your heart! Thank you for chiming in. I’ve always said that I’ve never met a mom who was sorry she had “just one more” but I’ve met plenty of moms who wish they could’ve had another baby. We need to keep encouraging families—because we know the blessing and the struggle! They go hand-in-hand. It’s worth it. ((hugs!!))

  22. AWESOME!!!!! Thank you for writing this…you have such a beautiful family. Thank you for sharing your heart and your story so we can be encouraged. I wrote earlier because most of the time I start and never finish things… but I got to finish tonight and I am so grateful. My sister just asked the other day, “You two know how that happens, right?” I said, “Yes we do!” I would never change our crazy busy life either – well maybe a little – mom could be a little more organized and prepared so I didn’t always feel SO behind! But other than that I love our life! Our oldest is getting married in Feb. and our youngest is turning 1 in Feb. and their great-grandmother is turning 100 in Feb. What a fun month that will be – memories that will be worth far more than anything else! Again – Thank you for doing what you do!

  23. I’m thankful for your story–especially today. You see I’m a mother of many also and after several years of no negativity from others concerning our large family yesterday was a downer. My hubby was asked to lunch by a new church member who asked him had I considered having my tubes tied and joked that he would take up an offering among the men to pay for a vasectomy. Later on the evening my hubby called a close family member wanting advice about a possible job change and he also cut with his words. He said perhaps we had exceeded the faith level to have this many children. My husband was crushed. Judgements are so prevalent concerning every walk of life these days. Thank you for your encouraging story. God is writing ours and we love our nontypical journey. Our oldest is 22 and we are due with #9 mid march. God bless you all.

  24. It’s so encouraging to hear stories of big families. Thank you for sharing. We haven’t been out a lot with all of ours because of our baby’s medical needs, but when people hear that I have 5 kids and ask if they are all ours I tell them that they are all ours by birth and adoption. Four kids seemed to get the “Your hands are full” response ( and they are full! Full of love and crazy days). Five just seems to shock people. We’ll probably have more so I wonder if the reactions will change again.

  25. I am always baffled by the notion that anyone could have an opinion about how many children someone else should have. Too many opinions! That is my opinion! ; )

  26. this was such a blessing to read. I have 7 as well and we get stares, comments. the comments from the church is what hurts the most. I loved to read your story. I just subscribed to your blog a few weeks ago and it has been a joy. Thanks for sharing your life story.

    1. I’m so glad to hear that, Amy! Welcome to my crazy, online life 🙂 You’re right—it’s the church comments that have a particular sting to them. ((hugs)) from one busy mom to another!

  27. I remember meeting you at a woman’s tea when you were expecting your last baby girl. You looked like a hot, hip mama! And I thought, “wow, she makes seven kids look good!” 😉

  28. This was interesting…I have only four and the multiplication of everything is overwhelming. But as you said children are precious and it seems with each one came a greater capacity to love.

  29. This could not have come at a better time. As I just 1hour ago found out I’m expecting #5!!! Very scary and exciting all the same time! Mixed emotions! Please keep me in prayer. My oldest (of all girls) is 7yrs and youngest is 15 months =) thank you for this!

  30. I am 11 weeks pregnant with # 7. We haven’t told the kids yet. Thought it’d be fun to see how long we could keep a secret this time. OK, I’ll be honest…we just aren’t ready for the “comments” from others quite yet either. I, also, never dreamed I’d be pregnant as my oldest daughter graduates this May! We are excited but those overwhelming feelings come often. Thank you so much for this post! Ours all start with “S” too! 🙂 Merry Christmas!

    1. Congratulations, Shauna! Don’t let other people steal your JOY… shout it from the rooftops! You’ve been blessed. ((hugs)) and Merry Christmas to you!

  31. Loved reading this. Super similar story to my husband and I actually. We have seven, 5girls then 2 boys pulling up the rear. 🙂 Thanks for sharing and being real.

    1. Thank you, Rosie! I’m glad I’m not alone on our crazy, big family adventure! 🙂 Those two boys are going to have a lot of brothers someday. #getready

  32. Thank you for sharing this. I’m sitting here crying and stressed because our youngest of 4 is 9mo old and I am mostly likely carrying her baby brother/sister. I haven’t tested yet because I am scared….your post encourages me though….I know that if we are having another baby he/she is a gift from God.

    1. ((hugs)) to you, sweet Charity! God sees you. It will be worth it. I have been in the mommy trenches and I am praying for you and for the precious gifts you have been given. Thanks for stopping by my little home away from home here at the blog. xoxo

  33. Heidi……. I’m so grateful I met you at the homeschool conference. And now reading this… I cried- because our stories are identical so far. We lost baby #4 when we thought we were safe, and now we have 4 children here with us and our hands feel full- giving birth 5 times in 5 years is God working. We’ve mentioned “maybe we’re OK with being done” and we keep begging God for absolute direction. Because I’m with you: if I saw that “+” sign I would probably cry…. I’m so exhausted with so these wonderful blessings- being in the baby stage again (youngest is 6 months old) is not getting easier.
    But I’m finding that it’s purging the absolute sin outta me.
    It’s changing me

  34. Hi THERE, Just reading these awesome commentaries. I highly applaus Large families…
    …I stopped at two. youngest being 13months. I still have trouble and pain down-there, I’m scared to tear my body apart if we’d go for another one. I’m 34, and want to wait at least one year to see where I’m at phisically.
    Besides that, the thought of being pregnant again and the months after birth scares me. Giving birth has been the fun part.

    Now to me all this feels like: birthcontrol is not oké and I should Trust in God and go for a Large Family and Let it all happen, but that’s for couples who actually live in Faith right?

    I’ve Read someone dating she prayed for het husband to want another baby as well…
    …I dont feel like praying since I feel No Desire to have another baby (yet?).

    I don’t want to get in Gods way.
    Any thoughts or feedback on that is appreciated.

  35. When I first started reading this post I though oh she seen me at the store haha. We didn’t start out with the intentions of being a large family either and never even gave homeschooling a thought. Five blessings later we have started a homeschooling journey this year and are excited about what lies ahead. It’s so great to read other people’s perspectives and see how they have handled what we are walking through. Thank you for sharing your story!

  36. Thank you so much for your encouragement. I currently have 6 children with one on the way. My husband and I lost 2 babies in between our 1st and 2nd child, which really changed our perspective on what a gift each child is. The kids are now 10 and under. I am often overwhelmed, but I love hearing stories like yours! We kind of have a unique living situation right now. My husband is an active duty Army soldier, and we live on a tiny post in AR, with only one toddler who lives on our street. There are only 4 other houses on the entire base, so we are pretty isolated. We are also part of a tiny church plant. All that to say that we have very few friends and even less encouragement . I have been ashamed to go into Wal-mart lately, in fear of all the looks we get and comments that we attract. After reading your post, I am newly encouraged to stop caring about what people think and instead look to what God says. Thank you soooo much! Bless you!

  37. Hello, I loved your story. I had my 24 yr old at a very young age of 15. Not because I was out if control but because I was trying to get out of an abusive hm and planned on my little one; he saved my life more than I ever imagined! After he was born I worked, became a single mom, went back to school to graduate finished my degree as well and had my son graduate high school and college. Along the way, I remarried of course, tried for more children but had many losses; devastating and gave up hope. Twenty 24 yrs later God had a different plan for us and sure restored my faith when we were blessed with our son!We were thrilled and I would have loved a big family. Now I’m 39 w/a 24 yr old & a 13 month old; I’ve been told the most negative things about having children older than 40. I sure have been back and forth on trying on just 1 more which my husband is all for it. I would have loved my big family yrs ago but it just was not happening, now I’m not so sure with all the ugly negative comments I get..

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