Are you trusting God with your family size?
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Are You Trusting God with Your Family Size

Are you trusting God with your family size?
It’s been almost two years since I felt a baby move in my belly. I long to feel another life moving within, giving of myself so intimately, so selflessly.

Each season of pregnancy is something to be cherished. But each month, the cycle turns and the pulse is negative. Each month my heart sinks and my husband bows his head.

We pray for more children. We long for more children. We’re so grateful for our toddler boy. Yet we do not feel complete. Not yet anyway.

As the rain pelts the the gravel out back, I am faced with a question that’s been plaguing me for quite sometime.

Am I willing to trust God with my family size?

This question is often asked of those who limit their family size by various means of birth control. Is it not? But what about those of us who fight the battle of contentment when it comes to waiting? I need to have this asked of me as well.

Am I willing to trust God with my family size?

So whether you’re preventing or pursuing by way of children, I challenge you to ask yourself the same question.

Are you truly trusting God with your family size? Are you at peace, resting in His perfect will?

Children are a blessing and a reward. Scripture tells us so at every turn of the page almost. But for me, that doesn’t always mean they come when I want them.

Today, let us rise up and praise God for His glorious work and perfect plan and provision in our lives. Let’s do this right where we are with the kids that we have. Praise His name! Will you praise Him with me regardless of our circumstances?

Are you trusting God with your family size?

If you’re looking for more posts from Intentional By Grace on pregnancy, miscarriage, and fertility, check out my Grace for the Pregnant Mom series!

Grace for the Pregnant Mom {An Intentional Approach to Pregnancy Series}

There are tons of posts to encourage you in your pregnancy like birth stories, scripture encouragement, vitamins I recommend, and more!

Making Babies is my favorite pregnancy resource (before, during, and after pregnancy). I use it all the time!

MakingBabiesSetYou can find it on Amazon or on the Bulk Herb Store website here.

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61 Comments

  1. Hi Leigh Ann,
    Thank you for this post! For me it’s the opposite. I have one toddler – a a little boy and he is special needs. He was recently diagnosed with Autism and SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder), and for us right now it’s hard to think about having another one as we are dealing with a lot right now with our one. I also had a very rough birth, and have a lot of health problems caused my pregnancy so for us again it is such a tough decision. I struggle with it every day, what should we do? Should we have one more? Can we handle it? I am scared. Thank you for this reminder to trust in God. He already knows how many children I will have and I know He is in control.

    1. Kathryn, you definitely have your hands full with plenty of opportunities to grow in trusting the Lord. I pray that you have find peace during this season of life. Just remember God’s grace is always there, right on time. He doesn’t give it before you need it and it never shows up after you need it. It’s right on time every time. So rest in the grace you have for today, and let the future rest in the hands of the one who created it all. Praying for you, friend!

    2. Kathryn, it can be hard to have an older special needs sibling, yes. There are great blessings, though! My baby is both that AND “older sister” to her big sister, and is filled with compassion and caring for others that is beyond that of typical three year olds. She helps her big sister with language, and while they are twenty-six months apart, they relate more like twins. Carrying both (and gear!) was quite muscle-building for those first few months until big sister achieved walking, and I plan outings carefully around meltdown triggers, but I wouldn’t change a thing about my girls!

  2. We haven’t always trusted God with our family size but we realized we were wrong and my husband just had a vasectomy reversal. We pray we are blessed with more.

  3. Oh Leigh Ann, when you described your sinking heart I knew exactly how you felt! It’s so hard sometimes to wait on the Lord, and trust that He knows what is best for our families. It’s hard not to be frustrated and feel defeated when our plans don’t match up with God’s plans. Thank you for reminding me today that I need to trust Him when it comes to the size, shape, and timing of my family. I needed this!

    Also… sometimes what we perceive as a “no” turns out to be a “not yet.” ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll be praying for you guys!

  4. Leigh Ann, I have been exactly where you are. It took two years to conceive our first and over two years with our second. It was especially hard knowing that we had used birth control for the first five years of our marriage to prevent being blessed! Two months after we decided to accept that we probably weren’t going to have any more children, I was pregnant. It certainly doesn’t always happen that way, of course. I know that sinking feeling every month, when hope turns to disappointment. I’ll be praying for you and your hubby! *hug*

    1. Well, this is an encouragement. We know that God gives and takes away, and we are resting. But the human emotions are difficult to direct toward worship of the Kingdom of God and His will, instead of our own sin-filled distorted plans. I’ve come to see this as more of a spiritual battle than anything. However, there are some physical things going on, and we are working to remedy them with the wisdom God provides. You know, your herb series really kicked me into gear on discovering more of God’s healing in creation. It is amazing what He has so graciously provided that works WITH and not AGAINST my body. Anyway, I’ve been using herbal tinctures, teas, an brews for almost 2 months now. What a difference!!! I had a really hard time healing from pregnancy and birth, but I’m finally starting to feel “better.” What grace!

      1. I had a pretty rough recovery from my first pregnancy and birth, too. Then I had unexplained heart arrhythmia, which ended up being from an abscessed tooth… not a healthy place to be! God has given us such wonderful herbs and foods to help heal our bodies and I have loved learning about them! I’m so glad to hear that you’re noticing a difference after just two months. That’s exciting! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I really loved this post. I’ve had to work on trusting God by trusting my husband, whose ideas for the size of our family and child spacing were far different from mine. I balked at what he wanted at first, but knew that I needed to trust his leadership regardless of whether or not I agreed with it. And looking back over the past 8 months of waiting, I can see that there was a lot of wisdom in both his planning and God’s sovereignty in keeping me from getting pregnant as we use the not-so-foolproof NFP/FAM method. We had a lot of talks about this issue and discussed what would happen if I ended up pregnant and how he wanted me to tell him. It was such a relief to have that “what if?” discussion and know that he will still be happy and trust God to take care of the other issues in spite of the timing not being what we wanted. I’m thankful now for the extra time I’ve had to focus on my toddler, who has turned out to be quite a handful; for the extra time to get on a better nutrition and exercise plan, lose a little weight; for the extra time to make some drastic changes in my emotional and spiritual life–I’ve grown a lot this year and I’m thankful for the changes that I can see in my own life during this time of waiting. God is good, His plans are far better than ours.

    1. Oh what an encouraging story! I have been there, waiting upon the husband, and it can certainly be a snare of the devil. I didn’t always submit beautifully or perfectly, but by God’s grace, my hubby came around “on his own” long before he ever thought he’d be ready. There is beauty in submission. The period of waiting for our first child was testament enough for me! I loved this part of your comment: Iโ€™ve grown a lot this year and Iโ€™m thankful for the changes that I can see in my own life during this time of waiting. God is good, His plans are far better than ours. To that I give a resounding, AMEN! I can see so clearly how God’s timing is perfect. But even as I see it, I do battle the desire and pull to more children. I’m so grateful for this experience, even when we go another round. ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. And here we are, a year later…still waiting. Not because we can’t but because our family is in a very unsettling place right now financially, having just taken a 51% paycut to take on a temporary job as well as losing medical benefits. We have applied for medicaid for my son but don’t qualify for family healthcare – have also applied for food nutrition services with the state but it’s still really really tight and we feel like it’s the wisest thing to wait until things settle down and my husband’s job becomes permanent with benefits. And it’s just as hard, if not harder, than it was a year ago. Waiting on God to come through for our family and provide the means….feeling so many times like it’s just not fair that we are in such a bind.

        I used to think that people who limited their family size or waited a long time between children were “selfish” – now I truly believe that waiting on God and relinquishing my desires daily at his feet (while doing our best to prevent pregnancy through natural fertility awareness – completely aware that at any time that method could “fail” and we could end up pregnant, which both excites and terrifies both of us) – it’s one of the most self-less things I’ve ever done and it’s a daily struggle.

  6. Leigh Ann ~ Thank you for sharing your struggle. I can sympathize with your pain. When I was eighteen I had a hysterectomy because of cancer. At that time I struggled with two things, one – who would want to marry someone who was unable to have children. Two, how could I live without children, I had always dreamed of being a mom. At the time of my surgery I was not a believer. God saved this lost sinner, gave me a godly husband and many years later blessed me with two precious children through adoption. In those agonizing days as I wanted on the Lord to have children, I too asked many questions. Why me? Why did God allow 115,000 abortions in the world each day and I, who so desparately wanted a child could not have one. Then one day when I was talking with a friend who wanted a wife and was struggling with lonliness – I asked him if God never gave him a wife would he be satisfied. I became silent as the Lord spoke to me. He was asking me if I would be satisfied in Him alone if He never blessed me with children. It was a hard question to answer at the time because I so desired children. Once I surrendered my will to His I had peace that surpasses all understanding. Two years later – I was given my daughter. Cotinue to trust in Him to bring to pass what He has for you and your husband. I will be praying for you.

    1. It is so easy to let our minds go to all the children who need families or who aren’t wanted for whatever reason. But you said it well: “He was asking me if I would be satisfied in Him alone if He never blessed me with children. It was a hard question to answer at the time because I so desired children.” Oh how true this is and what a wonderful, but hard, question to ask. Thank you for your reminder!

  7. We trusted in Heavenly Father and have 6 children over 21 years. The first was a surprise, the second planned 6 years later, the third a surprise 7 years later, the fourth planned (but took way longer than we thought) 2 1/2 years later, the fifth (after promoting from Heavenly Father ) 4 years later, and three sixth a complete heaven sent surprise (I was on the mini pill and nursing full time ) 17 months later.

    We now have a wonderful son-in-law and 2 beautiful grandchildren.

    All are a blessing!

  8. Love this post! I can totally relate to your “sinking” heart every month! My husband and I have been trying to have our second child for going on 17 months now. Last month I FINALLY had a positive pregnancy test, but a couple weeks later had a miscarriage….lost the baby we were so excited and joyful about. Trusting God is the only thing that gets me through the cycles every month. Thanks for the reminder though!

  9. I am going to push back a little on this. You didn’t come right out and say it but it seems like you are saying that we should not pursue fertility treatments. Forgive me if this is not what you mean, but I have to point out that doctors who works for fertility work for LIFE and God LOVES LIFE. There many fertility treatment options that do not put an embryos life at risk and therefore do not call for moral objections. “Trusting God” does NOT mean having a “k sera” attitude (whatever will be, will be). We can pursue medical treatments for ailments, be it the flu, a broken arm, cancer, or infertility- without distrusting God. If a woman is struggling with infertility she absolutely has the freedom to pursue fertility treatments. She is not bound to wait until she becomes pregnant “naturally.” In fact, with the roller coaster of emotions women face through fertility treatments, the experience often calls for greater trust in God than ever before.

    Trusting God means trusting that we will live our best lives when we follow the explicit teaching of the scriptures and when we pray for wisdom and discernment where the scriptures are not explicit. The scriptures are not explicit when it comes to various forms of birth control and fertility treatments. We need wisdom in these areas, but we also need to be careful not to speak explicitly on a subject where God has not spoken explicitly.

  10. Jillian, thanks for the push back, but thankfully, I was not implying this. When writing the post, the thought of what others are or are not doing to obtain pregnancy wasn’t even on my mind. In fact, we’re taking steps through herbal remedies to ready my body for pregnancy and help heal what went amiss during my last pregnancy and delivery. The entire point of this post was self reflective, and I shared my struggle in hopes that someone else would be encouraged to cling to the Lord in whatever situation they find themselves in with children. I’m sorry you perceived it as implication for anything but what it was. It was not my intent.

    1. Thanks for your reply! Glad to hear that was not your intent. I have struggled with infertility too so I pray your struggle ends soon. We did not do any treatments but we are moving forward with adoption now! Hope you are filled with new life very, very soon.

  11. Thanks for sharing! This is EXACTLY where we are at! We have a toddler and are waiting, waiting, waiting for number 2. Our first isn’t 2 yet, but each month of ‘no’ is such a disappointment. I believe God wants us to have more children, one way or another, I definitely feel like we’re not done yet. This last month I just cried and cried when my cycle came (4 days earlier, as if to mock me, I thought – which I know is silly). But then I thought, do I trust God or not? Do you I believe him or not? If so, then I need to wipe these tears, celebrate my beautiful son and wait on the Lord’s perfect timing. After all, nothing cheers me up better than playing with my joyful little guy. And who knows, maybe next month will be baby time.

  12. Great post. As a mama of 8, I’ve been asked so many times whether we are going to have more children or not. Trusting God is important whether one has one baby or many. All children are blessings, indeed! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Each pregnancy is such a blessing. My baby boy Josiah had Trisomy 18 and was born sleeping at 22 weeks gestation on November 15th. He has truly taught my husband and I that each baby is truly a gift from God. We are praying that we will soon be pregnant again ๐Ÿ™‚
    Thank you for the encouragement!

  14. We struggled with infertility for 11 years before I got pregnant, only to miscarry our miracle at 12 weeks. I so understand your feelings. My heart, even after having 2 more miscarriage but also having and raising 3 of our own have trouble with the thought that children are a “reward”. I know those are the words of the Psalmist. Children are indeed a blessing, but it just seems to those who don’t have children..they are for some reason being withheld a reward…hurts my heart.. and hurts for those who struggle with infertility. One thing that through infertility that God spoke into my heart was “Am I enough for you, Mandy?” We had our third child this last May and she was born premature and had multiple birth defects and will have life long challenges. She was born 10 days before my 44th birthday and we felt as though we should have my tubes tied. We were complete agreement as a couple and had complete peace with our decision. Do I trust God to determine our family size…absolutely…our beautiful daughter was a gift that we never expected to receive..we had 2 perfect little boys and were totally content. I also believe that God wants us to use our intelligence and knowledge while walking in faith and trusting Him. God knew that I had always wanted a daughter and He answered my prayers..not the way we expected but she is perfectly Emma…perfect in the eyes of the Creator of the Universe. Our family is complete and showered with blessings from above.

  15. When I read your title, I thought of COURSE I am trusting God with my family size–my youngest two are 18 months apart! And then I read your heart felt post. It is beautiful. It’s a huge challenge to wait on a child. I’ve been there too, which is why I never in a million years thought I’d be surprised by a baby, until I saw that positive pregnancy test when I had an almost 3 year old and a 10 month old. I think it’s much harder to have to wait for a baby then to be surprised by one. But either way, I’ve seen over and over again that God’s timing is always perfect, and I’ve read enough of your blog posts to know that you believe that completely. God will be glorified in your waiting.

    1. I wrote this post while waiting for my second precious gift (who was born 2 weeks ago). Looking back Im so grateful for God’s timing. I see His complete wisdom and Timmy was worth the wait. Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. They were balm to my soil this evening.

  16. 8 yes ago my husband was told that he had a very slim chance of having any more kids (we currently had 2 boys). Then we found out we were pregnant, we treated our 3rd boy as our miracle baby. We were content with our family and accepted that we wouldn’t be having more kids. God wasnt done with us yet, almost exactly 5yrs later we were surprised to find out I was pregnant again! We got the little girl we always wanted.

  17. love the post, I was just wondering if you have some advice/encouragement for me. I really want to trust God with my fertility, but my husband is not in agreement. I’m not sure what to do. We have three kids, and if we didn’t have anymore I would still be happy, it’s not that I desperately want more kids. (He thinks we’ll end up with 20 kids!) It’s just that I want to know God is planning my life instead of me. How can I submit to my husband if he wants me to go on the pill when I don’t agree with taking it anymore?

  18. Thank you so much for this post. My husband and I are currently going through the journey of infertility and it can be so hard trusting Godโ€™s plan. But thankfully He is faithful even when we doubt Him! Praying for your family at this time. I just read your most recent post and am so sorry x x

  19. The unmet desires of having children is really hard to bear.
    I am 47 and still praying for miracle.
    Sometimes I wonder am I wasting my time praying

  20. Thank you for this. I am actually a mom of 5. My first 4 are close in age, I had them when I was young and in a difficult marriage. After number 4 I had many years of infertility and a complete molar pregnancy. Later we divorced. I have since remarried, to a man who had o children of his own. I wasn’t sure I could have any more, but we both wanted to. We lost our first baby together at 17 weeks gestation after almost 2 years of trying. The following year we had our miracle baby, born prematurely at 32 weeks, yet with no health problems. We have been trying ever since to have one more, but without success. I had an early miscarriage a year after our toddler was born. She is almost 3 now and every month the answer is no. Thank you for reminding us that God is enough, that He was gracious to give us our miracle girl as well as all my older children. Thank you for reminding us to trust Him even if there are no more children in His plan for us.

  21. Trusting God with my family size…yah, it’s hard, more days than it’s not. I am mother to four children, only one of whom I have ever met. Growing up, I wanted a big family – at least six children, maybe more, and I wanted to adopt on top of that. Then I got married and lost two babies in less than a year. And I cried out for just one – just one baby to fill my aching arms and heart. And by his faithfulness, God gave me my little Serenity, right after our fifth anniversary. And I cried out in thankfulness…and asked for just one more. I lost my fourth baby a couple of months after Serenity turned one. She will be three in April, now, and this month I’m grieving what should have been that child’s first birthday. If Serenity is my one and only, she is enough. She will always be enough. But love multiplies, and my heart yearns for one more sweet baby, Lord willing.

  22. I almost didn’t have a second child because of how badly the first one slept. I had severe post partum depression, and was terrified to go through it all, again. My husband and I prayed about it and decided to try for a second child. Thankfully he could sleep and the post partum wasn’t as bad, but we decided two was enough.
    We are content with our family and are taking steps to prevent a third. I disagree with the idea that having an opinion about your fertility = not trusting God. My womb does not determine the level of my faith, and I would prefer to focus on quality versus quantity, and I know I wouldn’t be able to parent more than 2 well. My physical and mental health have told me this. Unless God miraculously heals these issues, I trust He will not give me more than my 2 precious boys. My family as it is, is enough. My God is enough.

  23. This is so true. I am on the opposite end of it. As a woman who gets pregnant easily (I am about to have my 3rd baby and my older 2 are 3 and 1.5) I have struggled with fear that I can not be a good mom, fear that we will not have enough money, with wanting to have my body be my own (4years with no break, either pregnant or nursing, or both the entire time) and many more fears and worries and selfishness. But God has clearly shown me and worked on my heart on this issue. For me it is 2 fold. For me preventing pregnancy is a trust issue. I would prevent pregnancy out of fear, which is saying that I don’t trust God. So I trust him by giving the size of my family and the timing over to him. The other part is a ministry. God has told me that my body belongs to him and this is what he wants me to do with it. If it were my choice I would take a couple years off and have my body be solely mine for a while, but this is the ministry he has for me right now, so I will fulfill his purpose.

  24. I got pregnant and miscarried in 2010. I haven’t been able to get pregnant since. I have a step-son just 10 years younger than me and we also have his half brother. We want kids of our own. I’ve started using essential oils to help with fertility for both of us. My husband and I are both healthy and not on any medications. It just doesn’t make sense. It’s hard to have the faith. I know if God blessed Sarai/Sarah in the Bible then it’s possible for as well.

  25. I just got done reading this post….I know you wrote it awhile ago. But I felt like you could’ve been talking about me. God blessed us with one miracle boy who will be two this summer. We have been on this journey of trusting God with the size of our family and know the longings you talked about! I think God wanted me to read this today. Thanks for sharing!

  26. Hey Leigh Ann Dutton,

    Sometimes I feel like I am trusting God with my family size, which is just me and my husband. But I have a husband who do desperately wants a family, now don’t get me wrong I do want children and I love children but back in 2010-2012 I suffered 2 miscarriages and an ectopic pregnancy and I questioned why. I still think about my babies and know that they are in heaven looking down but it is still so hard for me when I hear so much of people killing their babies and me wanting children so badly. This message spoke to me so I just had to share my feelings because truly I don’t think people understand the loss of losing something that you have already begun to love from the moment you know it’s growing inside of you. I plan to meditate on this question and see what is revealed to me. I want to thank you for sharing your miscarriage story, it helped me more than you know. I have decided that I know that God will bless me with children because if he can do it for Sarah and Rachel he will do it for me, but it’s like you said sometimes we want it now but we have to have faith and know that it will happen and sometimes that is the hard part.

  27. My husband and I had 3 kids very early in our walk with the Lord. When I found out I was pregnant with my 3rd I was very stressed to say the least. My husband and I were struggling financially (like.. hope we find enough quarters in the couch cushions to buy a jug of milk.. struggling) my youngest at the time was not yet a year old.. and I was struggling emotionally… after we had my 3rd I decided to get my tubes tied. I donโ€™t believe it was even 2 years later that regret set in. And a year or so after that I began to be convicted of allowing God to plan our family size. He graciously provided the funding to do the reversal. We found a great Christian doc. To do the surgery only a few hours away.. we knew without a doubt it was the Lords will to undo what we had done, and put our family size back into his hands the best way we knew how. But I was so hopeful that the Lord would give us another baby. And believed with all my heart that it was his will for us to have lots more kids. That surgery was in April of 2018. I told our kids what was happening in the most age appropriate way I could explain it and they were thrilled. So excited! And then in July.. right around the 4th I got a postive pregnancy test and the hubs and I were so so thrilled. But the Lord took that baby home very very early. The kids had been praying I would get pregnant, so we decided to tell them.. God did indeed answer their prayer, but the Lord givith and the Lord taketh away.. and we talked to them about praising the Lord in all things. Then I took it in my own hands. Temping, ovulation predictor kits, checking my โ€œcmโ€.. joining ttc boards on fb and reading stories on baby center.. taking vitamins and supplements.. then this dec.. I finally got another postive test! I was scared and excited at the same time. We told the kids.. and made the doc appointments and had some blood work done.. I ordered a Christmas shirt hesitantly to announce at family gatherings. Part of me ordered out of faith that the Lord would let this baby continue to grow.. part of me was scared to lose it before the shirt got their and it be a waste of money. And heart ache when it came in and there was no longer a baby to announce. The latter came true we miscarried again. I cried when I called and canceled the dr appointment. I cried when the shirt arrived. I cried at family gatherings when I wasnโ€™t announcing our baby. Iโ€™m realizing i still have not willingly placed it in the Lords hands. Iโ€™m โ€œtryingโ€ and coveting and not content. Recently I thought about natural family planning to try to not get pregnant again.. my heart hurts. But that still feels like me trying to be the one in control. Iโ€™m struggling to hand it over to him.. feeling a bit like Jacob wrestling the angel of the Lord. I know he is good. And I know he gives good gifts to us.. and I know our trials shape us to be more like our Jesus. But Iโ€™m struggling to give over to him..

    1. I’m so sorry for your losses. We have a baby in Heaven in too, and it’s hard to process. It’s hard to process that feeling of “our family is complete” and the “I want more but … it’s not happening.” Praying for you now.