On my last trip to the grocery store, I took 3 out of the 5 kids along with me. Vance slept the whole time and Keely and Ryleigh were, miraculously, exceptionally well-behaved. I think God allows a good grocery trip every once in awhile as an encouragement. Anyway, this particular store has a bulk food section where I bribed the girls with candy of their choosing to carry in their very own little plastic bags. My ploy worked!
Upon checking out I ran into an older gentleman, almost literally, who apologized for cutting me off and struck up a conversation regarding my mannerly kids. I'm not sure how the conversation exactly went but the two missing kids came up. The man told me that he too had a house full at one time and then said, "Let me remember how this goes. Are you Catholic?" I replied, "No", thinking I know how this goes. "Are you Mormon?" I kindly said, "No." "Jewish?" "That's a new one. Nope." "Then they would say 'must be a sexy Protestant'." I'm not sure who "they" were but I was in love with "them" and him for for that matter! He completely made me smile the rest of the day and I considered getting several t-shirts made in a variety of colors stating "Protestant Who Likes Sex", to exhibit some humility.
It does strike me as funny how many times Brian and I are asked the Catholic/Mormon question. I guess some people believe it's only if your religion mandates you to have many children that you would ever have more then two or three. We without a doubt know that our children are a great blessing from the Lord, but we don't feel as if God has commanded us to procreate and now we have a job to do, so we continue to pop kids out. Rather, we feel as if something is missing from our family. Yes, you read correctly, I used the present tense. I don't know when we will have another baby or if God will continue to bless us in that manner but I do know there is the desire and the room for more. Our kids feel the same way, Jace would like seven and Brynna, the one who rarely interacts with the little ones except for the occasional pat on the head, said she would like to have more brothers and sisters. Even during those moments where my kids drive me nuts and I think I could be institutionalized, I never question the love I have for my clan or doubt that it could be shown to additional children.
We know that if we didn't have God at the center of this chaotic, noisy, messy and sometimes smelly household we would never manage. Our decision to have a larger-than-most family, is a choice we have made, a choice to not limit the blessings God has offered to give us as long as we are equipped spiritually, physically, and mentally. We have made this choice not because we think we will get a better place in heaven or that the only purpose of sex is to create life, but because we love our kids and couldn't imagine life without them and because the world will one day be better because of them and those that are yet to come. Not to mention, this Protestant likes sex.