Saturday, June 2, 2012

Every seat was filled...

We went to a small ice cream parlor in Georgia.  It had 12 chairs exactly.  In God's providence, we were the only patrons, and so there were exactly enough chairs for all of us. 

It was a small family run business.  The grandmother at the register asked me lots of questions about raising a large family.  I welcomed her questions because how else will people know how wonderful having lots of children really can be if we don't tell them?  :)

She asked me very frankly, "How do you feed all these kids?"  I said we use large pots and eat lots of noodles and rice and veggies.  And ice cream.  :)

She asked me with great curiosity, "Well, then how do you put everybody to bed?  There's so many!"  I explained that on good nights we sit around and read the Bible and then we brush teeth and I tuck the little ones in and tell them Jesus loves them and good night!

The fact that we homeschool never came up, but often I get the question, "How do you teach so many at different levels?"  In reality, it's not that many different levels.  In God's providence, I have pairs of children doing the same academic work and so that makes things a little more streamlined.  It's not easy peasy, don't get me wrong.  But homeschooling our big ol' brood is worth the hard work and effort and discipline!  I am so thankful God allows me to teach them!  I know I fail as a teacher in many areas...and so I rely on God's grace every moment!

Last night we had some dear friends over who asked us "How do you make sure each one of your children is loved individually?"  That's a good question...and our answer is that we don't do that perfectly.  But thankfully our children sort of "fill in the gaps".  With this many siblings, each one of our children gets plenty of love.  We rely on God to show us who needs that one on one time, or who needs more affirmation, and He is so faithful to guide us!  We used to take each child on a little "date night"...and we hope to do that more often in the future.  But being all together, sharing, interrupting each other, learning to take turns, learning to listen to each other at the dinner table...these are such wonderful teachable moments in how to live life as Christ did...serving and preferring others over ourself.

I realize that not only do we have many little ones (and big ones) watching our every move, but we also have an outside world watching.  It makes us run to Jesus even more...because we want to be His ambassadors.  That means we must know Him more and more each day!  If we put our relationship with Christ first, everything else, including being a faithful witness to a watching world, will fall into place!  And this applies not just to large families, but ALL families and Believers!

Colossians 4:6
"Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."


The Crazy Eight Toering Clan said...

LOVE this Laine...what a precious shot, and love, love, love that you got to share the joys of a large family with the sweet ice cream lady :) Miss you all!!!

The Princess's Mommy said...

Sigh...I LOVE this...can I be a Ferrill, too...just for one day?? I think it would be loads of fun!!

Hope you are having a great summer!

Love ya,

Our Journey to China said...

The Grace of God, our Heavenly Father.....flows through you all! You are my heros! Big hugs and much love!! Can't wait to see you ALL! :)

Anonymous said...

Love this post! What a wonderful opportunity to share with her, and I'm so glad you were able to share with such grace and joy! You are right. We should take the time to explain and should always e ready with an answer.

The Byrd's Nest said...

I love this Laine. I find large families rather interesting myself when I can barely manage Lottie and Emma:) You are awesome in my book!