The kiddos turn 7 today. I know this because they’ve been counting down since 18 days. And as April 23rd rolls around each year, I have the same thoughts and all the feelings as I reflect on how we’ve made it through another 365 days.
The days are long and the years are short. So cliche, right? But so true. I don’t know how many times someone tells a story from the baby and toddler days about something I did or said or that the kids did and my response is “I don’t remember that but I believe you.” Because it went by in a blur. Besides major events, medical histories, and random song lyrics- I don’t remember. “How did you do ____?” I’m not sure, but we did it. I’m very helpful like that.
7 years! Seven. Years. 7 years of being known as “the lady with all the babies”... by the way- my name is Lauren... and they’re not babies anymore. They’re so their own little people now. About as independent as a person can be at that age. I love seeing them learn new things and play together and how they care for each other. The fighting I could do without, but who doesn’t fight with their siblings? I could also do without the big kid attitudes, but I know we’re just getting started there. And who knew 1st grade is the new 4th grade?! They’re learning and dealing with things I wasn’t expecting for a few years. Pretty sure I blew a few life lesson conversations, but I’m sure I’ll get more chances.
Every year when I look back, the biggest thing that always sticks out in my mind is how faithful God has been to our family and how He works through us and our Team Perkins Pack. It’s truly remarkable. The sheer fact that these 6 kids are even here. And we aren’t completely insane. Doctors told me my pregnancy made no scientific sense... and they were right- it didn’t. But this was meant to happen. I always wanted to be a stay at home mom, and I got what I wanted- just not how I thought I would. In the bouts of infertility, I was once told God would grant me the desires of my heart- but I needed to relinquish my control and seek Him. I didn’t even realize how much control I was holding on to. Learning to trust and have faith is so hard but so liberating. And I’m still working on it. Thankfully, I’m forgiven for all the many mess ups and God still shows up.
I have so many stories about how people have come into our family at just the right time, and right when we truly needed each other. I know these things are beyond coincidence. They’re God stories and they’re my favorite! Too many to type on one post, but I recently realized something about many of our Perkins Pack people. Out of all the people who have helped us the last 7 years, a handful stand out as putting in MAJOR time and commitment and just being involved in their lives. Some have moved on and some are more recent, but all of them had the desire for children in their lives and didn’t have kids and/or grandkids of their own for various reasons. And here I am with plenty to share! All God. What if I had held on to that control? Not been open enough to let people in to see our messy? Our good, bad, and ugly? Given in to the times I wanted to scream “Everybody get out of my house!”? All the blessings that would be lost. Precious relationships. A couple things that were told to me back in the baby days that have stuck with me... 1. when you turn down offers of help, you’re taking away a blessing from someone. 2. Your family is now your mission field. Raising these kids and how you interact with all the people that are coming in and out of your family’s life. God’s love and purpose can be shown through your situation.
Such truth. Stories are meant to be shared. God uses us all and in all kinds of situations. Let your story be used. Don’t waste it.