Next book up: this awesome one by Jim-Bob and Michelle Duggar, A Love That Multiplies.
Yes, I let my laundry pile grow this big (actually it's even higher than that now), waiting to be folded, while I read this book for 2 days.
I saw a friend post on Facebook about a month ago that she was reading this book and I thought it looked pretty good. I wasn't sure that I would read it, but I went onto our public library's website and requested it. Which BTW, I love doing that with our library! When I'm at a bookstore and find something I want to buy, first I go onto our library's site to see if they have it available. Most of the time, they do!
I got a call from our library a couple days ago that it had come in and I had just finished a book so I started this one right away. As you probably know the Duggars have a reality show on TLC. I've seen a few episdoes in the past, but I don't usually watch TV (unless it's Sports or NetFlix). So I knew a little bit about the Duggars - like they have a ton of kids and they have a strong Christian faith. 2 things that I think are awesome, but 19 kids?! Wow, how do they do that?! Well, if you are interested in how, then you can read this book or the previous book they wrote - The Duggars: 20 and Counting! (Which I have not read, YET.)
This book was interesting and inspiring. They told the story about their family. opening up and sharing, letting people in all the while giving all glory to God. I'm sure they receive a lot of criticism from outsiders that don't live the way they do, but if you take a moment to understand them then you can really learn a lot and respect their family.
I definitely recommend this book as a good, easy read with a lot of inspiration mixed in. Jim-Bob and Michelle talk about so many different topics and give advice and tips on how their family runs, of course God is talked about in every chapter and sentence, but also they talk about traveling, dating, finances, and keeping things fun.
So, why do the Duggars have 19 kids? From early on in their marriage they decided that they would let God decide how many kids they would have and when. They believe that children are a blessing and a gift from God. - And I have to agree, YES, THEY ARE!!!
Here are a few of my favorite quotes and highlights from the book:
When they had their youngest daughter, Josie, she was born at 25 weeks - a micro-premie.
They said, "God's will is what we would choose if we had all the facts."
Let that soak in for a minute. GOOD STUFF! The best place we can be is in the center of God's will.
I know I don't enjoy hearing people's comments like, "Wow! You have your hands full!", when they see me out by myself with the 3 kids. I don't see it that way at all; my children are not a handful, in a negative sense that is implied. I wouldn't want it any other way. I can not imagine all the hurtful comments they receive when they are out in public about having 19 children. And don't forget to mention: 19 well-behaved, kind, loving, Godly, beautiful, clean, respectful children.
"We don't get upset or react to negative comments because we have had the same mindset ourselves before God changed our heart about the value of children."
I shouldn't get angry or upset when someone makes a comment about my children. My kids are a gift from God and I know their value. And their value is not based on someone else's opinion.
People don't understand "different." Why do we think different is bad?
Something I want to make sure my family is doing... "You're blessing people with your smiles and you give them a smile of their own."
Just today we encountered this. My children and I love visiting our friend, Sue, but unfortunately it had been several months since we've been up there to visit, but we got to today.
Sue told us, "You make me happy and I needed to be happy."
We can bless others by sharing a smile with them or a kind word, but we are usually the ones that walk away blessed by it.
Everynight the whole Duggar family gathers into one room and has a "Bible time." I SOOOO want to do this.
Michelle prayed this prayer and I am taking it as my own as a mother,
"Father, I don't want my children to remember me as a mom who was constantly fussing at them and raising my voice at them. I want them to remember me as a joyful and happy mom who loves being with them. God, please help me in the difficult moments to have the right response to the anger I feel welling up inside me."
Often I worry that since I am a stay at home mom I don't contribute to my family financially. And when it pertains to the size of the income, I don't. But I loved what Michelle said, "The one way of 'making ends meet' is not a matter of increasing income as much as it is decreasing expenses by utilizing present resources more efficiently."
So while I may not be contributing to our income, I definitely can contribute to our spending habits - and by that I mean I could quit spending so much!
So how many kids is too many?
I say it's not for us to decide. God can decide. A mother and father can decide for their own family, through prayer and guidance from their Heavenly Father, they can make a wise choice for their family. While I don't see Jonathan and I having 19 kids, I would love to prayerfully go to Him for guidance before we make the decision on our own. After we had Brayce we said we were THROUGH! No way! No more! Well, thank goodness God changed our hearts because now we have 2 more blessings in our family, an angel baby in Heaven and our Zeke. God truly does know best.
This book encouraged me to be more intertwined with God and not just make Him an afterthought after a long, hard day. At the Duggars core is God and they do everything they can to teach and train their kids to love God and love others. I am thankful I read this book and am excited to put into practice all the wonderful lessons I learned through out.
There were so many more great things I could say about this book and this family, but all that needs to be said is, read the book.
And if you enjoy knowing about the Duggars you could check out this book that was written by 4 of their daughters; it's definitely on my list of things to read!