The 8 Best Things About Having A Bunch of Kids

8 Best Things about having A Bunch of Kids

I guess I might as well come out with it.

I’m the mother of 8 children. And I love it.

This often surprises people when they learn that I have all these kids. They’ll say things like, “But you don’t look like a mother of 8 children!”

And then, occasionally,“Do you actually like having so many kids?”

I’m never sure how to answer that first one (Thank you…I think?).

The answer to the second is easier, Yes, I do.  I love it! Which some people seem to find interesting.

I could write a long list of all the things I love about having a bunch of kids, but here are some of the best . . . . 

The Best 8 Things About Having A Bunch of Kids

1.   I love the joy they bring. How their sweet faces look up at me with so much love.  The hugs. The laughter. The fellowship of family.

2.   I love all that I learn from them. They remind me to stop and wonder. They ask good questions and challenge me to think.They reveal areas in my life that I – apparently – need to work on. Ouch.

3.   I love how they have built-in friendships. If you’re bored or lonely, there’s always a buddy nearby. Someone to help with the work or someone to play a game. Someone to talk to or someone to snuggle.

4.  I love watching the older ones care for the young ones. How the teenagers get the opportunity to be selfless and put aside their own plans. The chance for them to look after the interests of these little guys—and their reward of smiles and sticky kisses.

The 8 Best Things about having A Bunch of Kids

5.   I love that I still have a young ones at home. Even if their older siblings have left home to pursue their own calling (Why do they grow up and go off on their own anyway…??).

6.   I love how much fun they are! Let’s face it, there’s nearly always a party going on around here. The little boys wake up ready and raring to go and the older girls look forward to the late-night thingYawn.

7.   I love how the little ones look up to their older siblings. For instance, our oldest son is something of a celebrity – a basic rock-star –  to our young boys whenever he comes back from college. Thankfully, he walks with God.  Could be worse, I figure.

8.   I love how they can reach the world. In ways that I can’t. Children seem to have this ability to soften even the hardest of hearts. There’s something about young people that breaks through the toughest barriers. They’re a bright light in a darkening world.

8 Best Things About Having A Bunch of Kids

So however many children you have – whether one, four, eight, or twelve – they are a gift from God, aren’t they? Children are truly a blessing.

*I’d enjoy hearing those things you love about being a mom to your children too! Share?

In His grace,
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100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson

 (This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

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The Most Loving Thing I’ve Done For Our Marriage

The Most Loving Thing I've Done For Our Marriage

I’d like to think that there’s been a whole lot of loving done over the years.

I mean, so much can happen over decades of marriage, right? Good times. Hard times. Big sacrifices. Small ones. I’ve loved him through it all.

But what would be the most loving thing?

Would it be that gorgeous September morning when I vowed to love him “until death do us part”? Loving him.

Or maybe when I gave birth to our first child? The pain. The joy. Loving him.

Or maybe the 5th child . . . or the 8th? Loving him.

When I followed him across the country—and then back again? Loving him.

Or perhaps when I wept and prayed over him as I watched his vital signs drop in that cold hospital room. Oh, please God, desperately loving him.

Yes, lots of loving over the years. But the most loving thing? I’ve thought long and hard over this question.

The most loving thing I’ve done as his wife is to seek Christ.

That really would have to be it. Nothing has made a bigger difference in our relationship than my walk with God.

I don’t think I realized it at the time, when I first married him. You see, I was still young and something of a hopeful romantic. We had each other and that was what mostly mattered—him, me, and love. I just knew it was going to be beautiful.

And it has been beautiful.

But there were some things I didn’t anticipate we’d go through together.

I didn’t know then that there would be so many challenges. That we’d walk through grief, frustration, disappointment, and times when I could hardly see straight.

There was so much I didn’t know . . . .

Oh, and not only things about him and our life together, but about myself. I didn’t understand what kind of person I really was. I was determined to be the best wife I could be, but it was more difficult than I’d counted on.

I discovered I was more selfish than I thought. More stubborn. More moody and more self-serving.

I found that my determination to be the “most loving wife” wasn’t enough. I needed Christ. I needed to seek God with all my heart. I needed to let Him work in me and change me. I needed to trust Him with our marriage.

The Most Loving Thing I've Done for Our Marriage

If you want to love your spouse? 

The most loving thing you can do is . . .  

Love your God. Seek Him and devote your life to Him.

But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find Him, if you search after Him with all your heart and with all your soul. (Deut. 4:29)

Spend time in His Word. Soak it up and listen to what He is saying to you as you read through it.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Ps. 119:105)

Go to Him in prayer. Thanking God and praising Him. Ask Him to do a work in you and in your marriage.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Phil. 4:6).

Walk in the Spirit. And not your own strength. Be filled with the Spirit of God.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh (Gal. 5:16)

If you ever find yourself wondering what you can do to love your Beloved better? To improve your marriage?

Then I’d tell you this: spend time with your God. Seek Him. Walk with Him. Love Him.

It’s the most loving thing you can do for your marriage.

In His grace,
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100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson

 (This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

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To My Daughter: A Good Man is Worth Waiting For

To My Daughter - A Good Man is Worth Waiting For

It’s not easy being young.

Especially when you’re a girl and eagerly looking forward to the upcoming Hoedown on Saturday night.

She had no trouble picking out a blouse or borrowing a cowboy hat from a friend.

But finding the perfect denim skirt? That was another matter.

Our daughter looked up at me with pleading eyes, “Please, Mama, can we go thrift shopping for a skirt? I have the outfit all pictured in my mind. Please….?”

Oh, how I wanted to help her out.

I mean, on the one hand, it wasn’t a big deal, right? Just another Saturday night event at Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch.

The Ranch of Rescued Dreams.

But then again, it kinda is . . . when you’re a fun-loving, dreamy girl. And it’s not been so very long that I don’t remember what that’s like.

So I honestly wanted to do this for her. But I couldn’t.

My day was more-than-filled and I couldn’t see how to pull it off. I tried to soften the blow and let her down easy. It’s true, earlier in the week I had told her I’d take her. But what could I do . . . ? Sometimes plans change.

I was searching for sympathetic words for the dear girl when I heard him speak up from across the room.

“I’ll take her,” he simply said.

That would be her dad talking.

We both glanced over at him – somewhat surprised.

“Umm…Honey? You’re so sweet to offer, but we’re talking thrift shopping here. And this is a work day for you. And you have a deadline to meet and . . . .” I had so many reasons why it didn’t make sense. Why he shouldn’t do it.

But it was already a done-deal.

He was grabbing his keys and they were going.

I watched the two of them drive off and I wondered if she’d always remember that day with her dad. If someday she’d look back at the old photos and remember searching nearly every thrift shop in our small western town. The perfect blue-jean skirt finally showing up at the last consignment store.

Happy smiles and holding hands. Daddy and daughter.

It wouldn’t be the first time I’d fallen in love with that man. But watching him drive away with that girl of ours had me spinning again.

A Good Man is Worth Waiting For

Funny what love can look like.

When I first met my husband, I thought love looked like a tall, dark, and handsome man. Then it became a long, passionate kiss and deep conversations that went late into the night. Later on it meant holding a new baby in our arms and tucking sleepy children into their beds.

Now love looked like a busy man taking the day off work to rescue the small dreams of a young girl. Who is quickly becoming a woman.

I often thought of them – those two whom I love so dearly – throughout that day.

And I prayed that our daughter would someday find just such a man. A good man who understands the hopes and dreams of a woman. The kind of guy who’s willing to look after his girl. Who cares about her heart.

A Good Man is Worth Waiting For

Hold out, my Darling, for that kind of man because he’s worth waiting for.

I pray this for all our dear daughters. For mine and for yours too.

I pray that she will wait for a good man. That she’ll know what love really looks like.

I pray that he’ll be one who loves Christ and loves her too.

Sacrificially and faithfully. Tenderly. A good man.

Yes, wait for him. 

In His grace,
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100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson

 (This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

Raising Heavenly Minded, Down to Earth Kids (small)*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get 2 FREE eBooks, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage and Raising Heavenly-Minded, Down-to-Earth Kids).

23 Tiny Things That Really Annoy My Mom

23 Tiny Things That Really Annoy My Mom

It all started in Costco . . . .

When one of our daughters bumped into me as we were walking into the entrance. I bristled a bit.

Then she bumped into me again a few yards later.

I looked over at her and informed, “That really annoys me, you know.”

She gave me that questioning look (you know the one).

So I elaborated, “Well, it’s like you’re knocking into my personal space and it bugs me.”

Neither of us spoke for a moment.

Until we both burst out laughing.

And she threatened to write a blog post about me.

Then she followed through with it and put together this list . . . .

*Shouldn’t I get extra points for resisting the urge to “edit” some of these? #don’tjudge 

23 Tiny Things That Really Annoy My Mom

by Cambria Jacobson (age 16)

1.   Bumping into her (literally) while walking around Costco. ;)

2.   Hollering for her from across the house.

3.   Leaving the guest bathroom door hanging open.

4.   When we don’t match the few socks left at the bottom of the laundry basket.

5.   If  you hug her while she’s putting on her makeup.

6.   When we don’t use up the leftover oatmeal.

23 Tiny Things That Really Annoy My Mom

7.   When the piano in the front room doesn’t get dusted.

8.   If we forget and leave our homework spread out over the parlor (her place of “refuge”).

9.   When anyone - including daddy! – tries to tickle her.

10.  Those times when everyone waits until the last second to take down their laundry.

11.  When we girls talk and laugh until late and keep her and daddy awake because our bedroom is right above their room.

12.  When we kids suddenly decide we want snuggle with her…when she finally has a moment to read a book , or to rest.

23 Tiny Things That Really Annoy

13.   People knocking on her door during naptime (see #12 above).

14.   When we all watch a movie and the TV room is messy. That really bugs her :)

15.   When the heat is turned down in the car and she is freezing, but everyone else is roasting.

16.   When the boys insist on wearing the same sweatpants with holes in them….3 days in a row.

17.   When we let Jessie (the dog!) in the parlor and onto the carpet.

18.   Feeding Jessie (the same dog!) bits of her newly baked bread because he likes it.

23 Tiny Things That Annoy My Mom

19.  When people put their feet on the glass table in the parlor (goodbye “civilization”!).

20.  When the kitchen table doesn’t get wiped down.

21.  When she’s in the middle of cooking dinner and everyone – one after another – comes up to ask her what she’s making.

22.  When kids wander around  looking like they have nothing to do (especially if they haven’t done their chores yet!).

23.  If we ask questions, or talk to her about plans for the day . . . before she’s had her first cup of coffee. ;)

There, that’s the list! 

~ Cambria Jacobson

23 Tiny Things That Annoy My Mom

Here’s Your Take-Away:

1.  Those things that bug you when they’re six? They might still bug you when they’re sixteen (possibly even more).

2.  It’s better to laugh than to cry (or yell).

3.  There’s no such thing as “personal space” when you’re a mom.

4.  You still won’t be getting much sleep, even when they’re teens (see #11).

5.  Be mindful that your kids might just write a blog post about you some day.

Now my husband is threatening to write a blog post, except that he said the title would probably be more like: 103 Tiny Things That Really Annoy My Wife.

Haha! Very funny, dear. (You can be pretty sure #23 will be on his list too.)

And so now you know. These are the tiny things that really bug me. 

I hope you won’t hold it against me and I hope we can still be friends.

Just, please, whatever you do, please don’t ask me what I’m making for dinner!

And I won’t ask you. ;)

From one mom to another,

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*Okay, your turn! Just for fun, what are some of those little things that annoy you…?

Jacobson Family Photo

Cambria is the sweet girl on the front right. Jessie is the dog, front & center – where else?

 

100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson

 (This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

Raising Heavenly Minded, Down to Earth Kids (small)*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get 2 FREE eBooks, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage and Raising Heavenly-Minded, Down-to-Earth Kids).

What Makes Love Hot in a Monogamous Marriage

What Makes Love Hot in a Monogamous Marriage

Since we’re good friends I feel like I can tell you this.

So, yeah, I went out on a hot date last Saturday night.

It all started with a new box of Cheerios and hearing the kids cheer. . . and then discovering we were out of milk.

He looked over at me. And I looked back at him. And we both knew what was coming.

But he asked me all the same, “Hey, Baby, wanna go on a milk-date with me?”

What girl could refuse an invitation like that?

Not this girl.

So we climbed into the car and drove the 20 minutes out to the Kalebaugh Family Farm where we pick up our farm-fresh milk each week-end.  Three gallons in three glass gallon jars.

Talking and laughing. Always holding hands.

Except when he pulls the car over and stops as the sun is setting behind the mountains so that we can . . . take pictures for Instagram (ha! Not what you were expecting, was it? ;) ).

Now maybe you’re thinking this doesn’t sound all that romantic. Possibly a bit dull.

But, baby, I’m telling ya, it doesn’t get much better than this!

Okay, so it’s not likely that anyone will ever write a best-selling novel about us or turn our story into a blockbuster movie.

But if you want to know the honest truth?

The best romances aren’t necessarily as exciting or thrilling (and certainly not fearful) as they make it sound. The best are quietly lived out each day, starting in the morning with a kiss, working and playing, caring for the kids, fixing dinner, and snuggling into each other at the end of the evening.

And it’s hotter than you might think. 

What Makes Love Hot in a Monogamous Marriage

What Makes Love Hot . . . In a Monogamous Marriage

Love is hot when a man and woman commit to staying together.

They’re not gonna give up or run out when the going gets tough. They’ve made a covenant and, by God’s grace, they’re gonna keep it.

And the two shall become one flesh, so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate. (Mark 10:8-9)

Love is hot when he and she freely offer forgiveness to one another.

Neither are demanding, or even expecting, sinless perfection—but, by the same grace offered them, they’re going to forgive each other.

. . . bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. (Col. 3:13)

Love is hot when he cherishes her and she respects him.

They’re not vying for their own territory or despising the gift they’ve been given. They show a high regard for one another and consider their love something precious and beautiful.

However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. (Eph. 5:33)

Love is hot when he and she lovingly lay down their lives for each other.

Their desire is to bless and give generously – even sacrificially – out of love for the other person.

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13)

Love is hot when they’re grateful to grow old together.

Nothing is steamier than an older couple who’ve been walking decades together, holding hands, and stealing a kiss now and then.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude.

It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

~ I Corinthians 13 ~

Don and Pat Kissing

So if you want a romantic way to celebrate love? Try this:

1.   Begin with a new box of cold cereal. (Old boxes work too, but the new ones are even better.)

2.  Make sure that you are out of milk.

3.  Grab that guy you love and run out to the farm . . . or to the store, if that’s where you go.

4.  Hold hands all the way there.

5.  Don’t forget to stop and take pictures of the sunset.

6.  Kiss alongside the road while you’re at it (okay, you caught us!).

7.  Hold hands all the way home.

8.  Then keep on kissing until you’re old.

Because a romantic moment can be as beautiful as running out of milk when you’ve got a big box of Cheerios.

Especially when it’s just the two of you.

Forever, Only, and Always.

And, baby, if you ask me?

That’s HOT.

In His grace,
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*That last photograph is of Matthew’s parents who’ve been married for over 60 years

100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson

 (This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

Raising Heavenly Minded, Down to Earth Kids (small)*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get 2 FREE eBooks, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage and Raising Heavenly-Minded, Down-to-Earth Kids).

Finding Hope & Healing {A Book Review & Sweet Giveaway}

Finding Hope and Healing

You’re wondering why I was weeping on the flight back home.

I think the elderly gentleman in the seat next to me was wondering the same thing. Crowded close together on that small airplane.

Besides, how can you help but notice when the woman next to you has tears streaming down her cheeks, splashing the pages of the book she holds in her lap?

I tried to look up at him and give a polite smile, so he would know that I was really okay.

And I was okay. Just moved. Deeply moved.

And it was all because of words written in this book . . ..

Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet: Tasting the Goodness of God in All Things by Sara Hagerty

Words like this:

I’d known the pain of loss, the pain of not-yet, but I hadn’t predicted the pain of motherhood’s mundane demands.

I felt as if I couldn’t possibly find peace, here, stuck between the numbing repetition of caregiving and the pandemonium of grown life, but could these moments, too, be purposed for great glory?

And this:

My figurative position of confidence before Him, as a daughter in whom He delighted, was one long exhalation of relief. I didn’t earn this position; I inherited it, and that made my safety all the more secure, no matter His response. 

Sara Hagerty gently, thoughtfully, shares a message of hope and grace-filled healing—whatever the difficult circumstance you’re walking through. A message both soothing and challenging. Sara leads us to that lovely place where – truly – every bitter thing is sweet. 

One who is full loathes honey, but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet. ~ Proverbs 27:7

Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet by Sara Hagerty

Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet

Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet
by Sara Hagerty
Hardcover: 208 pages
Publisher: Zondervan (October 7, 2014)

From the publisher:

In Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet, Hagerty masterfully draws from the narrative of her life to craft a mosaic of a God who leans into broken stories. Here readers see a God who is present in every changing circumstance. Most significantly, they see a God who is present in every unchanging circumstance as well.

Whatever lost expectations readers are facing—in family, career, singleness, or marriage—Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet will bring them closer to a God who longs for them to know him more. What does it look like to know God’s nearness when life breaks? What does it mean to receive his life when earthly life remains barren? How can God turn the bitterness of unmet desire into new flavors of joy?

My Personal Review:

Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet is both a well-written true story (Sara has the most lovely writing style!) and a compelling invitation to know our God in a deeper way. Inspiring, convicting, and touching. I highly recommend this book! ~ Lisa Jacobson

Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet

Now I’m very excited to introduce to you the author and my gracious friend, Sara Hagerty—a lovely lady and a gifted writer. You’ll absolutely love her! And you’ll be seeing more of her around here as she recently came on as one of our Club31Women Contributors. I pray her words minister to your heart as much as they have to mine. ~ Lisa

A Beautiful Invitation

by Sara Hagerty

We were made to crave — God. Even out of the darkest, hardest, most perplexing places of our lives. Especially out of the darkest, hardest, most perplexing places of our lives.

Because He shows up beautifully in our dark.

Yet, so often we wrestle through finding Him in the dark, alone.

But what if we didn’t have to?

What if we wrapped our hands around one another’s stories and whispered – into that dark – He is good. You’re gonna find Him here. You might even fall in love with God, here.

What if we could find voices – telling each other about this God and His Word – voices that made a music that slowly began to drone out the years of lies and loneliness and empty wrestling?

What if you didn’t go through your search for God alone?

What if you found others, perplexed by life’s circumstances, but who said “Let’s get near Him. Together. Let’s give ourselves permission to hunger in a way that’s maybe not 21st century normal, but is what the deepest parts of us know we want most.”

‘Cause the broken, the bone-tired, the perplexed – who let all that ache turn into hunger – those are the ones who find Him.

The beautiful God.

Want this fusion of hunger for God and life-ache and friendship for yourself?

What if you didn’t wait until it was the perfect set-up, or the perfect potential people, or the safest-by-your-standards environment … but just took one little step?

How about this for a start:

You’re welcome to download this gift of a Book Club Discussion Guide HERE:

~ Sara Hagerty

Six Book Giveaway!

Ready for a sweet deal? (I’ve always wanted to say that!)

Sara is offering  a copy of her book and 8 jars of honey (see? sweet!) to SIX book clubs! 

So why not gather a few friends together and start a small book club? Doesn’t have to be fancy or formal, simply invite some friends – people you already know or maybe would like to get to know – and see what God does!

If you plan to be a part of a book club that cracks open Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet, enter your name below to win a copy of the book for yourself (or someone in your group) and honey jars for your whole crew.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And now for one more wonderful option? You can also join my dear friend, Joy Forney, over at her Reading Cafe Online Book Club!

Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet
Sara Hagerty’s book is available for purchase HERE:

Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet

 

So grab a friend or two (or more!) and hunger for God together. Our hope and prayer is that you might truly taste the goodness of Him in all things.

In His grace,
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(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)