Open to Life – every day even when a baby isn’t anywhere in sight!

Over the years, I have been ‘forced’ to redefine what I thought “openness to life” means. I’ve written and spoken about this topic more than once as well. Today was no different.

As a recap for new readers – openness to life at the Watkins’ house has not only included 11 children, and multiple miscarriages, but Multiple Sclerosis for me and more than once period of under or no employment for Matt. However, throughout it all, we’ve stayed in love with each other and with Jesus.

When first introduced to the teaching of openness to life, I’ve always focused on the babies. And I love babies. But today I was reminded that openness to life is a daily decision. Are you ready for what God has in store for you today? Are you open to whatever comes – good or bad? Seeing all as a pathway of grace and love? Yeah, I’m not always there either.

Honestly, God’s plan for our marriage has not always been what we expected. Matt and I often say when we got married we KNOW we asked for a ticket on a merry-go-round but God decided a ticket on a roller coaster was our best path back to Him.

A roller coaster that spins you upside down, includes a water feature, a dark tunnel and whose buckles are known to break but we have stayed on!! The fact that we honeymooned at Walt Disney World makes this analogy even more powerful.

Today’s happenings are an excellent example of the roller coaster life my large, homeschooling family is on. Today was another chance to say, “Okay, God what you sent is exactly what I need (my whole family needs) to see you, and act in a manner to make you proud.

At 7 am Hubby headed for work, oldest daughter at home did the same, oldest son at home got picked up to head to college.

At 8:45 am I headed off to one of our 2 co-ops with the youngest 2 attending, 2 older ones there as teacher’s helpers and myself as teacher for 3-4 yr. olds.

On the way I dropped one off to work at Chick-Fil-A and left two at home to do school work (my 15 yr. old son and 13 yr. old daughter).

At 11 am, one daughter at co-op came to let me know she got a text from the daughter at Chick-Fil-A that daughter at home got her period – for the very first time!

Yes, daughter #6 got her period for the VERY FIRST TIME alone at home with no one but her bigger brother!! Eeck and awfulness!

A quick telephone call to her assured me she was all right, and that our roller coaster life has prepared her to handle most anything.

She took charge of the situation – she thanked me for preparing her (several times over past 2 years & esp.  this summer), she told me she decided to call daughter #2 who lives at the beach to ask advice. She took care of herself, gave me a huge hug when I got home from co-op and is currently asleep on my bed (well-known to be the best bed in the house!).

That’s openness to life! I did what I had to do; telling her what she needed to know biologically and psychologically. We taught her to rely on family. And those siblings were there magnificently when they were needed (even the 15 yr. old brother who admitted to wincing a bit when she asked him for help to reach #2 daughter and why).

Today is the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary – I know our perfect Mother in Heaven is watching over this very imperfect, not even close to being holy Mom on earth raise her kids. How grateful I am for life God has asked me to live – open to life, open to Him.

The ticket to the roller coaster hasn’t always been easy but, once again, I am shown by God that it was the best ticket we could have been given.




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