We get this question a lot. Just how many kids do you plan on having?
I just finished Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar's book, A Love That Multiplies. I know some people think we're going to be The Duggars 2.0. After reading their book I was greatly encouraged and challenged, and in my heart, confirmed: no, we will not be falling in the Duggars footsteps.
Here is a summary of my beliefs about child-planning:
1. Listen to God. It's NOT your call. It's up to God to decide how many children you will have. This is not a decision between you and your husband, God needs to enter into the equation. Prayerfully seek Him on childbearing, childrearing, and even spacing of your kids. God should be at the center of your life, especially when it involves such an important issue as bringing new life into the world.
This central point is why I choose not to judge the Duggars for their life choice. They feel called by God to have 19 children, and maybe more one day. That's a tough call, but they are obediant. I feel it's evident through their lives and character that God's hand is upon this family and is blessing them, so who am I to judge why God asks certain people to do certain things?
2. Birth Control is NOT wrong. I personally caution women to research and pray lots about birth control, especially the pill, but I do not feel that birth control is wrong. Lots of people misunderstand my views on this. Daniel and I are all for birth control, and use our own method that works for us. We prayerfully consider whether we feel God calling us to "take a rest" from having kids, and are also very open to having kids should our birth control fail.
3. Children are a blessing. Kids are a beautiful blessing, and when you view them as such you will probably have a couple of kids! We love children, and we long to have a noisy, child-filled home. My goal in life is to spend my life pouring into my kids. I see already that having one child causes me to grow in so many ways, as I seek God to grow me and mature me to be a better mother.
4. Use Wisdom and Discretion. You need to use wisdom and discretion when child-planning. I believe that children are a blessing, but right now having another child isn't the wisest choice. I believe the Lord wants us to wait for a bit so that I can continue to heal physically, and grow spiritually, as well as allow our family to complete this season of our life (with Dan's internship and our limited income). Of course, if we do become pregnant we will be so happy, and we will trust in the Lord to provide.
5. Every family is called to something different. Not every family is called to having 4 children. Not many families are called to 19! Not everyone is called to adopting, fostering, or spacing their children with many years or only a few months. We need to be respectful of other families choices.
Another crucial point is to understand that not all families are able to choose the spacing of their kids or even the number. Some people long to have more but simply can't. I once made the mistake of saying to a lady, "oh there's a big age gap between your kids." She gently told me that this wasn't her choice, it's just how it happened. I felt so bad for over-stepping and commenting on what must have been a painful and difficult time in her life.
So, to answer your question, we don't know how many kids we'll have. We certainly feel called to have more, but right now we're enjoying our beautiful firstborn and growing as parents to one precious little girl!