Saturday, November 03, 2007

Who knows?

How do you get a group of women talking?

Ask them how many children they have...or how many they want...or how many is too many...or too few...The topic of family size is one that touches all women, whether a mother of one or mom to many or even a woman praying for a child. And its touch is timeless. Women of biblical times bore the same exact struggles that are seen today:

Looking for a mother struggling in raising a large family? Read the heart-wrenching tale of the Maccabean mother.
Looking for a mother struggling to conceive a child? Read Hannah's or Rachel's story.
Looking for a mother struggling to understand the sole soul entrusted to her by God? Read Mary's story-remembering that this was the mother of our Lord-sharing our same struggles.

Amidst all their worry, when push came to proverbial shove, these women were united by one thing in their stories. Each one of them, in making their decisions, were driven to their knees in prayer to seek God's help in guiding their hearts and minds. We may find guidance and support from others, but ultimately, we need to stay close to God in prayer for these things to be revealed to us.

  • The supportive best friend with a houseful of kids may offer advice, but she doesn't know the answer.
  • The dedicated spiritual advisor may offer wisdom, but he doesn't know the answer.
  • The nosy store clerk who points out how "full" your hands are may point out the obvious, but she doesn't know the answer.
  • The well-meaning grandparents wondering about the number of branches on the family tree may express their concern, but they don't know the answer.

If we can learn one thing about the *correct* size of a family from the godly women who went before us, let it be this: God, and He alone, knows that answer. And in my Father's house there are many dwelling places--with rooms for families of all sizes.
For other great reads on the topic of discerning family size visit these three women who shared their stories in CCL's Family Foundations magazine.

And while these are all great stories, remember, one size does not fit all and if you're looking for answers--your answers--there's only One place to go.

Meditation: Thoughts in Solitude
My Lord God
I have no idea where I am going
I do not see the road ahead of me
I cannot now for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself. And the fact that I think I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may
know nothing about it.
Therefore, I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death, I will not fear for you are always with me and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

By Thomas Merton


Michelle said...

Jane, I love this prayer! A friend of mine gave me a copy to put in my prayer book. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing it. :)

Eileen said...

Jane, thank you so much for this post!

How rich and beautiful this whole post is. And, though I haven't thought about it in awhile, the Merton prayer is one of my all-time favorites. It's actually pretty timely, in fact...

(Funny how that works!)

Life in Fitzville said...

I would like to print this out and hand it out to people who question my choice. And give copies to my very good friend who has just one beautiful boy and is very hapy with her choice.

This is really great.

S. said...

Awesome post. And now I have that "in my Father's house" song stuck in my head!

Lisa@UnexpectedJourney said...

That is really beautiful! I will print this out so I can always see it. Thanks for sharing and for your comments on my blog! You have a beautiful family!

MT said...

May I please ask for prayers? My name is Maria, I'm 41, and recently married (6/16/07). My husband and I want children very much. We are very open to life. However we haven't been able to concieve yet. I had an issue with ovarian cysts. On Feb. 12th 2008 I had surgery to get rid of them. On that day the doctor told me I had severe endometriosis, massive adhesians (which is why they had to do the stomach opening surgery), and the two cysts were endometriomas. I was devastated. I never knew I had endomtriosis. I am especially devastated about being told I could be infertile.

I know I am blessed to have such a wonderful Catholic husband. He would make such a great Dad. I feel bad that I might not be able to give him children.

I have a devotion to the Blessed Mother and the Rosary. I pray the Rosary every day especially when I'm feeling down about my recent diagnosis.
I'd LOVE to hear from other Catholic ladies. Maybe you could pray for me and send an encouraging word or two?

May God Bless you.

Maria :)