So… here I am, a stay at home dad. My responsibilities are great but Maebyn has been an easy baby. It’s made my transition into full-time parenting pretty seamless but that is all about to change. Coming September 6 (MaK & my bother Ryan’s birthday) – or before, if it’s like last time – we are adding another member to the family. Yes, MaKenzie is pregnant. Yes, we know they will only be about 12 months apart. Yes, we were trying to have another baby (what do you think we do all day when MaK works from home?). There has been a lot of different responses to our announcement and even more opinions about this “Irish Twin”… as for us, we couldn’t be more excited that God has blessed our family with another member.
Why have kids so close together? Well, we battled with this question after Maebyn was born. Go back on birth control, don’t go back on birth control, that was the question. We began to wrestle with what it looked like to trust God with the amount of children He wanted us to have. We both have a great desire to have a big family but we still had/ have doubts, issues and just a plain lack of faith in what really trusting God in this area looks like. I mean come on, most of us carefully plan, prepare, and make sure the situation is right before we consider having children, right? We were no different. We waited to try and have Maebyn until the time felt “right” – money, job situations, and enough time to have fun just the two of us. To us, the careful planning felt like a lack of trust, so after Maebyn was born we decided that we would surrender control and stay off of birth control (Please read that as a conviction for our family – not a blanket statement we believe everyone should live by. MaK and I both believe families are called in many different directions, if there’s anyone who embraces the “not normal” to what our culture suggests, it’s us). A little more than 3 months later, MaK was pregnant again. Uh oh, I want the control back. Like, now…. It seemed like a good idea at the time but two babies only a year apart? Yeah, I didn’t know if I was ready for that.
Now you know where all these stories about MaK being sick stem from. The first nearly four months have been rough on her, to say the least. She’s been sick, working, and parenting all the while carrying another baby. Trusting the Lord is a nice thing to talk about but it’s difficult to walk through when you seem to be in over your head. Most of this has fallen on the shoulders of MaKenzie and I am proud of the faith that she has lived out each day through this time of life. It would be easy to abandon our vision for a big family and say this is too much right now. She didn’t. And I’m so proud of her.
So, why have a big family and why subject ourselves to the stress of having children so close together? These are questions we have been wrestling with for the last couple months. Our resolution has been this… our culture tends to view children as a burden. They drain our time, energy, and finances. In fact, I remember talking with some co-workers at Lowes when MaK was pregnant with Maebyn when one suggested (in all seriousness) to go ahead and name our first born “Financial Burden”, since at the end of the day “that’s exactly what kids are”. We are trying to believe that a child is the greatest asset that our family could be blessed with. We are not in control of the womb (yes, we are aware of what causes a baby to be made) but pregnancy is not guaranteed. Each and every conception, whether it turns into a “take home” baby or not, is a blessing beyond measure. The gift of new life, entrusted to us from God. So why do we try and prevent something the Lord is trying to bless us with? Are we nervous about our time, energy, and finances… Umm… is the new Pope Catholic? In a word, YES, but if The Lord will bless us with children, will He not also make a way to provide? Our hope says yes but as we walk through this season of life everyday is a challenge to believe that this is true.
As we continue to walk through this adventure of life MaKenzie and I are trying to strengthen our families faith. Walking in obedience to what The Lord has placed on our hearts whether or not it coincides with what we feel in our day to day life. Our hope is that through this one area of surrender we will have compelling examples, not of our own strength, but how The Lord was faithful and that He can be trusted. It’s with this hope we pray that He will also begin to take control of the other areas in our life we are still scared to surrender. This could be the last biological child we have, or just the second of many more to come. All we know is the Lord is telling a story in and through our family and our goal is to trust He knows how to tell the story much better than we do.