I came late to the Duggars bandwagon. I fell in love with the Duggar family about four or five years ago when God placed it on my heart that I wanted to have a big family of my own. I really didn’t see it coming, that one day I would be the kind of person to want many children.
When I was pregnant with my first child, I felt worried about my ability to raise a child. I was unsure of myself and felt as though I had no clue how to do it. But I prayed. When I was pregnant with my second child, I felt worried about my ability to raise two children at the same time. But I prayed. When I was pregnant with my third child, who has now passed away and gone to heaven, I was worried and terrified. How was I going to raise three children at the same time? I prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed. It was in that season that I learned I was capable of much more than I thought. Then I had my fourth and fifth children. Mark my words, I still feel terrified and somewhat unsure of myself sometimes, but I take it a step at a time, keep my trust in God and pray.
Before I watched my first Duggar episode, I heard of the show a few times before, but never pursued watching it, wasn’t my thing at the time. Then the thought of raising a big family and being a stay-at-home homeschool mom grew stronger in my heart. Then I saw the DVD “17 Kids and Counting” on sale at Christianbook.com. So what the hey, I bought it, I wanted to see how this family managed to keep it together with so many children, I wanted encouragement in my crazy pursuits. I thought if the can do 19, then I can handle a measly 6 or 7. I also wanted to learn more about homeschooling.
When I watched this DVD, I loved this family, their values and conservative lifestyle and felt that this was a similar direction in which I’d like to raise my family as well. So I caught up on every episode I ever missed.
When I was going through the situation with my third child, whom I lost in 2011, I was actually watching the episodes when the Duggars were going through the situation with their 19th child Josie Duggar, who was born extremely premature and in the NICU for a while before she came home. I viewed the fact that Josie survived and lived through that, as hope that my baby could survive as well. Nevertheless, he did not survive and I was heartbroken.
Because of the sad memories I felt, associated with the show, I could not watch the Duggars for a while. After the season of grief and emptiness passed, God blessed us with another child about 18 months after my son passed, and then another one 15 months after that. I was eventually able to watch the Duggars again with a happy heart.
Now I’m following along as Jill Duggar gets married to Derrick Dillard, very sweet young man and Jessa Duggar head toward engagement in tv time. I think about my children and family’s future as I watch this family grow in their faith journey with the Lord, year after year. I think about these verses:
5 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
8 Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 20 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, 21 so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth. Deuteronomy 11: 18-21
Children are a gift from the Lord;
they are a reward from him.
4 Children born to a young man
are like arrows in a warrior’s hands.
5 How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them!
He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates. Psalm 127: 3-5
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jerimiah 29:11
It encourages me to watch the Duggar children grow into to the men and women that they are growing into, because I am in my early stages of child rearing and sometimes I feel discouraged and scared in my journey.
The Duggars encourages me to hang in there, it is worth it. I have said it many times, Jim Bob Duggar and men with a quiver full like his, in my opinion, are the richest men in America.