Friday, August 23, 2013

"We can't afford to have a large family!"

I was reading a post on Facebook tonight by a woman who desperately wants to have a large family but is concerned about not having sufficient finances to do so. She wanted to hear from large families with a low income. This was my response:

You wanted to read stories of large families with low incomes. We're one of those families. We have 6 kids, ages 2-15, and my husband is the sole provider with an income below the poverty line. We have no debt from the births because after the first one, I had all homebirths. We have no car payment because we prayed for the Lord to provide what we needed when our vehicle died, and He led us to a beautiful Suburban for $3500 (which we had saved). We use no credit cards, so we no longer amass debt to live under. If we don't have the money for it, we don't buy it. And we are sooooo much happier this way! I could have chosen to work, with my grad school education, but I knew that God called me to homeschool. And so, we've done whatever it took to make that possible, and I've never, ever, regretted it. * (See update below.) We buy clothes at Goodwill, when we need something that hasn't shown up in a hand-me-down bag. We grocery shop mostly at Aldis, when we're not eating fruit and veggies from my mom's garden. And we almost never pay retail prices for anything over about $20 without having first researched high and low to be sure that we couldn't find a cheaper deal. We have never been to Disneyworld. We have never taken the kids to an amusement park. We rarely eat out as a family. We don't have cable TV. We have done very few paid lessons. And we have no college fund set aside. But guess what? Our children STILL have a good life! They still have opportunities left and right to participate in awesome activities, trips, lessons, etc. -- free of charge. God just seems to provide what each kid truly needs for the development of his or her unique gifts. If I told you about all the countless ways the Lord has done this, you would be in awe...but this post would grow SUPER long. The point is, if you and your husband come to an agreement about "letting go and letting God" when it comes to your family planning (even if only for the course of certain seasons of your marriage, as we have done), you can rest assured that He will NOT fulfill your every greed, but He WILL provide for your actual need. You might have valid reasons for limiting your family size.....but from my own personal experience, my recommendation is that you do not let money be the deciding factor. Children ARE a blessing from the Lord! And the best blessings in life don't have a price tag on them.

Update 1/26/15
We are now in a different season of life. A couple of years ago, my 2 high school Spanish teachers told me that they were both about to retire and that they really wanted me to apply for the job at the nearby public school from which I graduated.  I talked with Roy extensively about this request, prayed hard, and we decided to take it one step at a time and see what would happen. Well, one door after another opened for me to become a licensed Spanish teacher, with virtually no cost -- a huge miracle. Then, Roy's employment changed and took quite a nosedive, so it was a no-brainer that God was making the way for our family to stay afloat financially. At the same time, our 2 oldest girls really wanted to transition into attending a brick-and-mortar school, and my mom began homeschooling our 3rd daughter, while the 2 school-aged boys enrolled in an online program that they love. So, life does not look like we thought it would, but it's still very good. I'm enjoying my job....esp. having the opportunity to make an impact on a lot of students. And we're still feeling blessed with our 6 kids, even though money might always be tight.