When God Stretches You.

It felt like someone had pushed me off a very high, scary cliff. Without a parachute.


Five years ago, this is how I felt when I found out we [surprise!] were expecting our third baby. When that positive sign showed up on the trusty pregnancy test, I nearly fell over. What a shock! We were not planning for more babies – at that time. After all, we just had a baby nine months ago!!   We were living in a small[er] home, driving a car that was just purchased that would certainly not fit a growing family, we had just sold our house and were moving into an old century home that needed some TLC and, really, …. who would have time for that with the pregnancy symptoms and two other children to care for?

A family member [who I will leave unnamed] groaned and said, “Ohhhhh, Gillian, noooo ….” when I told her we were expecting our third baby …  it wasn’t just me. Others felt it was a lot at that time, as well.
No, having a third baby was just not in the plans for us at that stage of our life.



And in all honesty, I truly thought my husband would be upset to find out we were having a third baby at that time … instead, when I sat on his lap, cried and told him we needed to make some adjustments to our life,  he smiled and hugged me and said ‘Don’t worry – it’s going to be okay!’

[Looking back, I wonder why I felt it was so scary … but in the moment, going from two children to three, from a family of four to five, well, it just seemed like we were entering into another category of family life. Now, as a family of seven, I feel like it was actually easier to go from three to four children and then from four to five … ]

And yet, hear me out – I am SO THANKFUL that God has His Master Plan for our family. He knew we needed our third baby, sweetpea Lucia Marie. He knew we were going to be OH SO blessed by her little life joining our family. And that our hearts would be changed with this new chapter.

However –  it was scary for a while … before we implemented schedules, proper family routines, bedtime, meals together as families and true God-led values in our family life, before we really had our family unit held together tightly with God in the center … it was a bit messy for a few months after our third baby was born. Honestly, I felt overwhelmed. It took a good few months to get my feet on the ground again and to figure out how to adjust to a ‘larger’ family and to go with the flow of a newborn and an 18 month old and a 4-year-old all looking to their mommy for love and care.

It certainly did take time to get things running smoothly  …. but, within the first year of our family growing into a family of five, I could see this amazing, wonderful bond between all the girls, a sisterhood, a comradeship, a family unit … what a blessing, a true, true blessing …

And now, with five children in 9 years, I wouldn’t have it any other way.


Yes, it felt very, very busy at the beginning when we jumped into the large family ring … but it was so worth it to have the girls close together.  Our lives have changed drastically since having children and it is definitely for the better. Yes, there are sleepless nights and laundry piles and a big black Suburban that is constant need of interior cleaning … but there is also amazing moments of sitting together reading before bedtime, homeschooling as a family, little moments around the dinner, lunch and breakfast table, silly moments with toddlers, adorable moments with babies, awesome bonding time with the older girls as we study Scripture and memorize the Word ….

… this family thing? It’s pretty incredible.

The three oldest still choose to share a room and sleep together. They play together. They imagine up the best games together. Yes, they do fight together [we are a regular family!] but they also love and grow and learn together.


Looking back, I would not change a thing. I am so grateful God led our family to add a baby even when we thought it wasn’t ‘our timing.’

[playing marbles during nap time  on a snowy afternoon]


Having siblings close in age has proven to be a wonderful way to raise a family. It’s messy and colorful, loud and exciting, tiring and fulfilling, adventurous and still well planned all in the same moment.


Everyone [including parents!] learns to pull their weight, to share, to give, to love, to have mercy ….



You always have a friend by your side …

and a lap to sit on our a child to hug …


Every single day, I thank my Father up above for stretching our lives and our hearts in a way that can truly only be measured eternally.



Psalm 127:3-5

Children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed,
but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.


February 27, 2013 - 5:46 pm

Jenn All of our babies are 18 months apart and I LOVE it that way! I remember when we had our son, people made comments like; “you got your boy, so is this it?” And I remember thinking absolutely not! We knew our family wasn’t complete yet- then along came Evie- the craziest of them all! haha. Children are a huge blessing and parenting is hard work. But I would rather be rich with children than rich with material possessions. Great post! And I agree with you, going from 3 to 4 is way easier than 2 to 3!;-)

February 26, 2013 - 10:56 pm

Gillian’s Mom, Brenda Great blog, Gillian! You transitioned well … no one even knew you were “frightened” LOL Can’t imagine life without those little pumpkins. xo
PS: I was thinking that you were going to announce another one on the way! LOL