Monday, September 19, 2011
No pain. No gain.
Today I went a bit out of my comfort zone and took my four little ones (Ella -6, Logan-4, Tessa-2, and Henry-1 in 6 days!) to an apple orchard to join Logan's preschool class for a field trip.
It went surprisingly well.
No one got lost, hurt another child, or had a major meltdown...
well, Henry had a little meltdown, but that can once again be attributed to his poop/gas issues so I will not blame him personally ;-)
We picked apples and drank freshly pressed cider and learned about bees and ran through a hay-bale maze and fed goats and enjoyed all the pumpkins.
And then, because I am a sucker for homemade goodies (whether I or someone else makes them is irrelevant), we went inside to the shop to buy caramel apples and cider and homemade fudge.
The fudge lady admired the baby and I gave my standard reply, "Thanks! He just came home from Ukraine!" and then she saw my other 3 in the cart and gave the standard reply of "My! You must have your hands full with 4!" and I gave standard reply Number 2 which is, "Well, I have 7 total, some are at school."
She stopped cold.
And her next reply was something I never have experienced before and never wish to again.
She said, "I had 11. And I wish I hadn't. There is too much pain. I told all my children not to have so many. You should not have any more."
I was speechless. There is no standard reply to that.
She looked broken. She looked at me with pity.
I wanted to say, "But to miss the pain, I would have to miss the JOY of my more than 2.3 children!! I know that much pain is coming with my sweet baby with special needs, but SO MUCH GOOD is coming too!! God strengthens us through the tough times and makes the good times even sweeter!!"
But my children were getting antsy and so I took my fudge and wished her a good day and then drove home.
And thought about the exchange all the hour-long ride back.
Sure, having children can bring physical and emotional and spiritual pain to their parents.
Lots of things that are worthwhile can cause pain.
Going to law school.
Running a marathon.
The risk of falling in love.
Picking up the poorest of the poor off the streets of Calcutta ("Mother Teresa, maybe you should do something a bit less taxing with your life....it will be too painful to you and your fellow nuns to minister to the sick and orphaned and dying...")
So should we avoid all of these because of the chance of pain???
I think not.
Please join me today praying for the fudge lady and all those who refuse to risk the pain to do the good they know deep in their hearts that they should do.