“I could never have that many children, I hate being pregnant.”

“I could never have that many children, my pregnancies are too difficult.”

“I could never have more children, my labors are too long.”

As a mother expecting her eleventh child, I hear these types of things every time I go out the door. I have often romanced such ideas in my own head a time or two. But, when I test my own spirit, I realized these thoughts are not from above, but rather earthly. Recently I had a huge battle with these very thoughts.

You see, I have varicose veins and with each pregnancy they get worse. They are now all the way to my toes! They are very painful by the end of the day and sometimes, even by noon, they throb and I am forced to sit with my foot up.

Sitting with my foot up all of the time isn’t an option when you are caring for a mass of little ones. I have to wonder how bad they will be with the next pregnancy. Will I be able to be on my feet at all?

I also have insomnia with each pregnancy, often only getting three hours of sleep a night. Add to that, a little one that is teething and feverish and wanting to be held 24/7 and you have one very tired lady!

Also, I have had a few long, hard, painful labors myself, so with each pregnancy I wonder if this will be a short, easy one or a long, grueling one? The more I entertain these thoughts, the more I begin telling myself that certainly God would not expect me to continue.

I began pleading with God to remove the mantle of childbearing from me. I prayed that he would give me the okay to go ahead and have my tubes tied. I even told my husband, “He is a God of mercy” trying to convince him that even God would think it was okay. I mean, I have had eleven children, right? I have done my share, right?

In my husband’s wisdom, he said he knew that I would regret doing something like that. I knew he was right, but still I prayed.

Sunday morning came and during worship, (I was not worshipping but rather pleading with God yet again for a release from childbearing--AFTER this new blessing is born, of course.)

While I was praying, the worship team talked about eternity and how this life is nothing compared to that. Then, it clicked.

Each child we have has eternal impact! How do I know if this baby, or the next, will lead many to Christ, or if one of their children will?

Even if just one person is led to the Lord because of one of these children, it will have been worth it. Who am I to decide that I am done with this? And all because of a sore leg!

Suddenly, a few months of pain seemed like nothing in light of eternity! I also realized that I had not been believing in so many Scriptures that tell us that things here will be hard, but we are to continue on with our eyes on Jesus.

I am to be like Him and He did not shy away from the cross because it might be hard or painful. In fact, we are told to “Look to Jesus, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross.” (Romans 12:2) I am so thankful he didn’t say, “Oh, I couldn’t do that, it might be painful.” “I couldn’t do that, it might take hours.” Eternity would have been lost to me if He had done that!

I am again enjoying my pregnancy and seeing eternal value in what I am doing. I am looking at my children in a new light, seeing how precious they are, not only to me but to God as well. Oh how blessed I am! I am SO thankful that He has allowed me to nurture them for His Kingdom.

I hear many women say they can’t have more because of (insert discomfort here…). Ladies, please, think in terms of eternity, not in terms of these few months. We are talking about souls, the soul of your unborn child and the souls that he/she could touch. A few months of your life is nothing compared to that.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 says, “Therefore, we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, our inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are unseen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

Also: Romans 8:18, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed to us.”

Lets keep our eyes on eternity, not on this world, which is passing away.

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