8 Little Arrows in my Quiver

Reflections and Ramblings of a Happily Harried Mom of Many

Happy the Man Whose Quiver is Full August 6, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — 8littlearrows @ 10:59 pm

My brother and his wife just had their second baby yesterday.  There’s nothing like a brand new baby to remind me just how precious life is, and how blessed I am!  For “Lo, sons are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.  Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the son’s of one’s youth.  Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them!”  (Psalm 127:3-5  RSV)

It doesn’t get any clearer than that — children are a blessing, period.  Not just when we have enough money, or a big enough house, or when they are “planned,” or when they don’t require too much sacrifice on our parts.  I will admit that there are times when I haven’t seen my fertility as the blessing that it is.  I have my selfish moments, or even whole days, when I resent the sacrifices I have to make as a mom of many.  Heck, I can’t even work out without finding someone to watch the baby!  (Although sometimes that’s a handy excuse for being lazy!)

But the truth is, the benefits of living in a big family far outweigh the sacrifices when I remember to look at the big picture, and when I remember to keep myself centered in the Lord, and in His Word.   It’s sometimes easy to get bogged down in the negatives: when money is tight, when you wonder if you can possibly fit any more bunk beds in the house, when the kids are squabbling all day . . . well, you get the idea — don’t want to get bogged down writing about it.

I was speaking with a woman at a social function one day when I was pregnant with my 4th or 5th.  When she noticed I was pregnant (again!) she asked if I was “done” after this baby.  I told her that I didn’t know, but that God did.  Her response?  “Don’t you want to have . . . like . . . a life?”  I’ve never forgotten that, and not because I was offended by it, but because I found it so sad.  For the life of me, I can’t think of anything I could be doing with my life that would be more valuable than raising children to the glory of God.  And this woman had children of her own!  How sad that she didn’t see the value in what she was doing as a mom, but was spending her time looking forward to “having a life!”

Honestly, I love my life, thank you very much!  Is money tight?  Yes, but there’s food on the table and a roof over our heads.   Is our house crowded?  You betcha!  But I just spent an hour of quality time with two of the kids putting together our third bunk bed.  Besides, how much room do they really need to sleep anyway?!  Do my kids fight with each other?  Of course.   But I’m also seeing them enjoying each other’s company.  Even at camp this summer, with their friends, they spent time together voluntarily.  What a wonderful thing it is as a parent to see your kids becoming friends. 

My children can be very unlikable at times.  But overall, I really enjoy them.  I even like my tweens and (gasp) my teenager!  I look at each of my kids with their very different personalities, and I can’t imagine life without any one of them.  And on my bad days, all I have to do is remind myself of the friends that I have who are experiencing infertility, who would be thrilled to have my “problems.”  The key is remembering to practice gratitude — not something I’m always good at.

Now, of course, quivers come in all different sizes, so I’m not one of those people who thinks that everyone is called to have as many kids as they possibly can.  The thing is, only God knows what He has planned for each of us.  For today, I’m just grateful that mine is so large, and at times I feel undeserving of it.  But that’s the beauty of our God — He gives us so much that we don’t deserve just because He loves us.  I just pray that I can give Him glory through the way I parent my children, in spite of my unworthiness.


11 Responses to “Happy the Man Whose Quiver is Full”

  1. Kimala Harris Says:

    I’m not a mother (and I know this post is old) but this was beautiful to read. I hope someday to be as blessed and more than likely will be as thankful as you are to have my quiver full. Thank you for posting this and reminding us that it’s not “things” and “having a life” that are important (granted those in and of them selves are blessings), but the blessings that God so lovingly provides us 🙂

  2. Augustine Blaize Says:

    Not being a mother myself, but sharing the same sentiments in your blog, I wonder how can we get this message (witness) to ALL Moms (and DADS). I live on a tiny Island in the Caribbean (Antigua/Barbuda), and I just tried to purchase the gift package of “Parenting on Purpose”, but the site would not accept my Credit Card. Then I “bounced up” on your Blogs. This is the next best thing to getting the book, I think, as I still get some of the “Family” (parenting) experiences. Great Work!! Keep it going!! I’ve signed up for your Blogs, and hope I can transmit them to friends and colleagues. I know Facebook is the “in thing”. I’m on oit but don’t spend too much time there. May God continue to bless your (and your husband’s) ministry.

  3. Gabriella Says:

    I love your story, Colleen…it is so similar to my own. My husband and I have been blessed with a “full quiver” of nine. Our second son was stillborn,and then we had three other miscarriages, so I am apt to mention that we have a little ‘quiver’ in paradise as well.<3
    I am an insulin dependent diabetic,who has experienced the agony of high risk pregnancies and the joy and wonder of "miracle" babies:) But when all the kids were little(all at once, it seemed!) I used to get the 'comments' like you mentioned, so I prayed to have the proper response. Then I heard a pregnant friend of mine who , when asked if "this was a PLANNED pregnancy?" responded, "from all eternity!" Naturally, I stole that one!!
    Like you, I don't know of a 'life" I would EVER trade for the immense gift that has been bestowed on me and my husband, in "raising citizens for heaven."(Padre Pio)
    May God continue to bless you and your husband, as you live out your days in this "privileged life."
    In the Hearts of Jesus and Mary,

  4. Ron Bacon Says:

    I must show this blog to my son and daughter-in-law. They feel the same way about their children that you do, and they are going to have their 5th child in September. They want as many children as God will give them. Thank you for this blog. My wife and I are babysitting for them this morning so my son can take the kids to church, because our daughter-in-law plays piano for the choir. Kids are a joy, and so is she!

  5. wanda Says:

    Wow! What a beautiful blog that I found through your Dad’s post on FB. How refreshing, after reading a disappointing comment by a college roommate regarding gay marriage. Keep up the great work, Colleen! You’re such an inspiration!

  6. Jay Says:

    Nice post Beener!

  7. What a wonderful testament to parenthood, Colleen!

  8. Naomi Butler Says:

    well nothing like shootin’ it straight sister! 😉 Great job 😉

  9. What a wonderful post. I too found your blog because of your Dad’s post on FB. God never blessed my husband and me with children, but he gave us beautiful God-daughters (5 for my husband….of which he and I share 3 of them). He also gave us 5 nieces and a good friend had 2 boys I look at as my “nephews”. He also gave us a good dose of teenagers (25) when we were youth ministers in our parish for a couple of years. Now *that* was an experience. LOL!!!

    Even if God does not bless you with your own children, he will still bless you with children needing your love and attention.

    I will list your blog in my blogroll. God Bless you!

  10. Bob Conroy Says:

    Thank you for giving testimony to the truth. Its a great day to be alive. The Gospel of Life by His Holiness John Paul II is eloquence and so is this.

  11. DomesticChurch7 Says:

    Beautiful entry. I found your blog from your Dad on Facebook, and after reading all 4 entries, I said, I wonder if this is the home-schooling sister that your youngest sister told me about at a retreat your father gave for my parish in Oakdale, CT almost 2 years ago. She said we would hit it off, after reading your blog, I’m sure she was right. Glad to meet you on your blog. I hope your baby sister is doing well. You have a beautiful family.

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