In comparison to the “quiverfull” families you may think of, the ones on TV for example, our family is small.  In fact, you may not even consider us “quiverfull”.  The first reason, is simply because we have only three children.  The second reason, is because we made the choice to not have any more children and took surgical means to prevent future pregnancies. Third we don’t align ourselves with everything associated with the “quiverfull movement”, for example we are not patriarchal but rather complementarian.

Yet, our quiver is full.

Most of what the average person knows about quiverfull families, is based on what they see on television.  In some cases, this is a couple that will continue to have babies until God tells them otherwise, by closing their womb.  In other words there will be no more pregnancies, period.  There are some that draw a line and will stop having babies either when God closes their womb or it becomes dangerous to the mother.  Some however, will stop having babies physically but will continue to grow their family as God calls them to adopt more children.

That would NOT be my family.

Instead, we knew that our quiver was full because there was a sense of peace that was put upon us the moment our third child was born.  A feeling of completion.  Something we didn’t feel with the other children.

When we had our first daughter, shortly after, we also became caretakers to my ailing grandmother.  We realized that it was probably not the best time to be pregnant, her demands upon me were great.  It was enough work tending to her and our infant (and eventually toddler).  When my grandmother passed away, my daughter was almost three years old.  We had leaned toward that common recommendation of  “two years apart” being right, and felt that it was too late to have anymore.  Honestly, we didn’t feel complete… we felt out of time.  We knew we could be happy with just one child, we didn’t mourn or grieve over this missed window of opportunity.  We talked about our options for permanent birth control, but never actually got around to a decision.

Because, God had other plans.  He was not allowing us to close that chapter in our life.

It wasn’t too long after that conversation that we found we were pregnant with our second daughter.

When she was born, it was not without complication.  I was diagnosed with precancerous cells during the pregnancy.  I was leaking amniotic fluid toward the end, and put on bed rest for two weeks.  She was born a month early.  Healthy, but early.   My husband shared with me that he worried he wouldn’t be able to love another child as much as our first, but that God just made his heart bigger.  God is amazing.  We were very blessed.  My precancerous cells were progressing, we handled that hurdle & looked forward to our future.

When we were engaged we had both discussed how many children we wanted.  Two.  And, we wanted at least one to be a girl.  Yes, I have a husband who doesn’t have a care in the world about having a son.  We were blessed with two girls, exactly what my husband hope for.  God built him to be a daddy to daughters, it’s in his very DNA.  So, now having our two children, we began to discuss those permanent birth control options again.  We made the decision that it would be him, because we felt with my precancerous history we didn’t want to mess with my body at all.  We didn’t want to give it any reason to bring back those cells.  And, with two kids, his recovery would be easier.

Yet, despite the conversation and even making the decision on who…. we never moved forward.

Because, God had other plans.  He was not allowing us to close that chapter in our life.

We finally bought our first home and within three months of moving in… we were pregnant.  We had our third daughter, and when we held her there was this overwhelming sense of completion that came over us.  As if God had embraced the three of us in that hospital room and whispered to our hearts “you are complete”.  Within weeks of her birth, my husband made the appointment for his vasectomy.  A decision that we have never felt one ounce of regret over.

How does this make us a “Quiverfull” family?

First, we believe that God is powerful enough to add to our family, regardless of a surgical procedure.  If God wants me to be pregnant, it will happen.  If God wants us to adopt, it will happen.  There are numerous ways to be a parent without getting pregnant.  We don’t box God’s power into man’s ability.  Not to mention I can count a few friends who technically shouldn’t be here, because their parents made permanent birth control decisions. Yet, they are here.  Living, breathing, having kids of their own.  God is bigger than my decisions, the surgical procedures and the statistics.

Second, you need to understand exactly what quiver is & how it is used.  A quiver is a backpack or shoulder sling bag for carrying arrows.  Depending on the type of hunter you are, and where you live; the number of arrows in your quiver will vary.  If you are hunting small game in the lush jungles, you will have lots (and I mean LOTS) of small arrows.  Ones you can afford to lose.  You are taking shots at everything, and hoping something sticks.  The only arrows you get back are the ones that land in the game you are hunting.  These hunters carried a lot of small arrows at one time, they needed a large quiver to hold them all.   Each hunter in the hunting party could be carrying an excess of 50 arrows.  If you were a big game hunter, traveled in the deserts, or over long distances; you would have a quiver with fewer arrows.  These arrows would be larger and  really strong, because you would need to use them over and over again.  It was a smaller quiver because you needed to carry fewer arrows; so that you were not  slowed down by the weight.  In these hunting parties, each hunter may only 2-3 arrows.

The type of hunter you were, determined the number and type of arrows needed in your quiver.  The type of family you are & what God has planned for your life, will determine the number of children (if any) you will have.   A hunter can have FULL quiver and still have only 2 or 3 arrows in the bag.  Our quiver was full.  Yours, may not be.  The size of your quiver is determined by God, not by the authority of man.

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