Blessing Number Five

I grew up in a big family. Four older sisters and a little brother gave us eight people in my family, including my parents. There were times when it drove me crazy, like when my sisters were left in charge and used their authority to inflict justice on their innocent little brother. Other times it made me proud, like when those same sisters united to put a beat down on a bully who tore up my notebooks at the bus stop one morning. I remember watching them march, side by side, down the street to bring the pain. It looked something like this.

disclaimer, my sisters weren't wearing sunglasses.

Now, as a grown up, I cherish my big fat American family, all eighteen of us. My oldest sister has four kids. Jeni and I have four of our own, currently. Jeni’s side of the family is growing now also. Her brother and his wife welcomed their first daughter, Emma Rose, this year. Lisa, Jeni’s sister, is getting married in March. After the wedding, there will be thirteen of us on Jeni’s side, currently. I love it!

It can be loud, chaotic, frustrating, and exhausting sometime. But it can also be refreshing, encouraging, joyful and, well, it’s always loud.

Having a positive experience fueled my desire to have a large family. Some want a large family because they had a small family, and envied families like mine. Others get freaked out by the chaos, cost, and challenges, so they opt for a small family. However, I’ve recently discovered the deeper magic behind having children.

Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! – Psalm 127 : 3-5

Jeni rediscovered this verse when she was pregnant with Toby. Walking through Wal*Mart pushing Caedmon in his wheelchair, Jack and Andrew riding in the cart, and rocking the baby bump resulted in quite a few moments of discouragement. Not from the difficulty of the task, but from the disapproving glares and comments from the people of Wal*Mart. Unholy, unjustified, unsolicited judgement.

Thankfully, God lead her to the 127th Psalm and nurtured her heart. Children are a heritage from the Lord, it says. Other translations say children are a blessing.
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them.

Notice there’s no qualifier in these statements of truth. It doesn’t say, healthy children are a heritage, or just two children are a heritage, or obedient children. It certainly doesn’t say children are a burden, expense, drudgery, or source of shame.

I once desired a large family because I thought it was cool. Now, I desire I large family because children are a blessing and if God’s willing to bless us, I’m eager to receive.

And, Lord willing, receive we will. The good Lord is “knitting together” Sprague baby number five and we are expecting our latest blessing in August. (I got chills writing that)

I’m just smiling…

My friend, Gary, painted this beautiful image. Click on the picture to see more of his work.

I can’t wait to see the first ultrasound, and I’m particularly eager to hold our new “fearfully and wonderfully made” child.

As excited as we are, we also know we’re raising the logistical bar. Sure, a trip to Disney just got $120/day more expensive. However, those realities don’t negate the promise of blessing. Not to mention, and you can ask my parents, the 5th child is the easiest, sweetest, best looking, and most compliant.

I heard this song yesterday and I thought it captured the essence of parenting – joy, struggles, fear, enthusiasm, and indescribable moments.

Afraid to love, something that could break, Could I move on, if you were torn away? I’m so close to what I can’t control I can’t give you half my heart, and pray it makes you whole.

You’re gonna have all of me, you’re gonna have all of me, Cuz you’re worth every fallen tear, you’re worth facing every fear You’re gonna know all my love, even if it’s not enough Enough to mend our broken hearts, giving you all of me is where I’ll start.

I won’t let sadness steal you from my arms I won’t let pain keep you from my heart Trade the fear of all that I could lose, for every moment I share with you.

You’re gonna have all of me, you’re gonna have all of me, Cuz you’re worth every fallen tear, you’re worth facing any fear You’re gonna know all my love, even if it’s not enough Enough to mend our broken hearts, giving you all of me is where I’ll start.

Heaven broke into this moment, it’s too wonderful to speak You’re worth all of me, you’re worth all of me So let me recklessly love you, even if I bleed You’re worth all of me, you’re worth all of me.

You’re gonna have all of me, you’re gonna have all of me, Cuz you’re worth every fallen tear, you’re worth facing any fear You’re gonna know all my love, even if it’s not enough Enough to mend our broken hearts, giving you all of me is where I’ll start.

You’re gonna have all of me, Cuz you’re worth every fallen tear, you’re worth facing any fear You’re gonna know all my love, even if it’s not enough Enough to mend our broken hearts, giving you all of me is where I’ll start It’s where I’ll start

This song is called “All of me” by Matt Hammitt. He wrote it in as a response having a new baby boy, and learning of his son’s heart problem. You can follow Bowen Hammitt’s progress at http://bowensheart.wordpress.com/
(Bowen’s situation is not related to Sprague #7. It’s way too early to know anything like that. As far as we know, all is well)
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19 comments

  1. What wonderful news!! I am so excited for you all! You are such wonderful parents, and your children are a delight to be around…I wish you all lived closer! Baby #5 is in store for a thrilling adventure…and so are you:) Happy New Year!
    Love, The Millers

  2. Like like like!!! I was just having a conversation about this the other day, about how children are a blessing from the Lord(even though society seems to think otherwise) and how I hope to have a large family one day. I couldn’t be happier for you guys! Congrats, and thank you for being an example of a family who seeks to trust God in all things.

  3. WOW, Holy Cow (this is not a Chick fillet reference, btw)! Congratulations! How did it happen (hahaha). I know you probably don’t care, but what are you wishing for? I’ll try to call and talk or you can try to call back.

  4. Alriiight! This is such good news – not just for you and yours, but for all the world because the Sprague sprigs all will grow up to be wonderful, amazing, God-drenched men (and women?).

    Love you all so much!

  5. I love your post and the truth in it and I love your news. Another blessed child to enter the Sprague family. You two are fabulous parents!

  6. The Moores are very happy for the Sprague Family. Congratulations on your exciting news and we hope Jenny enjoys a smooth pregnancy.

  7. Thanks, everyone! I hadn’t been on the blog in a few days and was surprised, humbled, and encouraged by all your comments. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  8. Oh Wow…I was pointed to your blog via Pat W’s facebook post: Evolution Has Finally Been Proven. I was of course curious because I am beginning to take my Challenge B class through the book “Defeating Darwinism” next Monday…I totally agree with your points about micro-evolution vs macro-evolution…but what really made me smile was seeing the little “Blessing Number Five” at the top …I am so happy for your family…I, too, come from a big family (seven) and also have been blessed with seven…the truth about what you have stated will only increase in your hearts and minds over the years. They are the “best decisions I ‘never’ made.” That’s what I say. Many, many people my age (Ummm…let’s just say I am a grandma now) tell me that they now regret that they did not have more. God bless you and your family…I am SO happy for you!

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