Monday, April 30, 2007

Advantages of a Large Family

When parents open their hearts to welcome the children God wishes to send them, they are often rewarded with many children. God lovingly answers their generous faith by entrusting new souls to their care, new lives to nurture and lead back to him. God smiles on open-hearted, adventurous parents and showers them with his never-failing help. He uses their busy, happy family life to strengthen each child in faith and virtue. Through the parents' sacrifices, he makes of each family a cadre of valiant, strong, self-confident men and women who will carry the Faith forward in history and influence those around them whose lives will intertwine with their own. If you have been blessed with many children, you should thank God for this great honor and be confident of his never-failing help. For your own peace of mind, too, you should pause now and then to think how your family life--frantic and challenging as it often is--works to strengthen the character and faith of your children, and thereby the Church of the next generation. A large family is inherently formative; it's an ongoing apprenticeship in right living and leadership. It works to turn out young people who surpass their contemporaries, succeed in life, and emerge as leaders. So then, consider how your family life benefits each your children. How are your children strengthened to be better men and women through the give-and-take of growing up with several brothers and sisters?

Unlike most children today, they are genuinely needed at home. Through their chores and their handling of responsibilities around the house, they contribute to the family's welfare. That is, every day they practice putting their powers up against problems for the service of others. Consequently they grow in self-knowledge (their strengths and limitations) and realistic self-confidence. They grow to be more mature more quickly.

Related to this, they understand the real meaning of responsibility, that is, if we don't do our duty, someone else will suffer. So their moral development--moving from "self" to "others"--takes root more deeply. They grow to be givers, not takers.

Surrounded by siblings' conversation and playful interaction, they enjoy constant intellectual stimulation. This strengthens and sharpens their judgment.

They're surrounded by laughter. By and large, even with its ups and downs, the home of a large family is a happy place, a place of healthy fun. Good cheer, it seems, is livelier, more heartfelt, when shared with a crowd. All their lives, children from a large family remember the fun they had together, the sheer delight of being alive surrounded by love.

Even their normal squabbles and spats, when refereed by parents, teach them lessons of fairness, sharing, splitting differences, letting others off the hook, forgiving and forgetting. This fortifies their moral standards, their lifelong conscience. (Friction, though irksome and tedious at times, has its uses; it rounds off rough edges, forms a smooth, resilient surface.)

Since their parents take care of their needs but cannot satisfy their whims (through lack of money and time), children learn the difference between wants and needs. They learn to wait for what they want, or to work and earn it themselves. Thus they are spared the corruptive influence of instant gratification. They internalize the virtues of patience and honorable ambition. They grow to become self-reliant self-starters.

Through interactions with their siblings, children more deeply understand gender differences. From their sisters, boys understand and appreciate femininity; from their brothers, girls understand and appreciate what's common among males. All the children are thus better prepared for marriage.

One of the mysteries of a large family is the startling differences siblings display in temperaments and talents and interests. By dealing with these differences among their siblings, children learn to get along with anyone. Having to share a bedroom and bathroom and space at the table prepares the children superbly for marriage and for life.

Older children play with the youngest ones, and thus form a bond of affection with them. Younger children receive love and learning from several older people, not just their parents. So older children are pulled out of their egos, and younger ones are surrounded by love.

Each child journeys through life enjoying the support of his grown-up brothers and sisters. No matter what befalls them in life, your children will never be alone. Indeed, the finest gift parents can give their children, the gift lasting a lifetime, is their brothers and sisters.

Article by educational consultant, James B. Stenson, of the website

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Men in Slings

Okay, I promise this will not become some sort of "Brangelina" celebrity blog site. This one is actually for the benefit of my husband who 1. does exist, but complained that he had never been mentioned in my writing so was merely a "presumed presence" in my life! -- "hi, honey!"; 2) to prove to my husband that I did see a tabloid picture (long grocery store line) of Brad Pitt carrying a baby in a sling. My dear husband, father of eight, would rather his arm turn blue and go numb than wear a sling. It's not like it's flowered or paisley either -- denim. Perhaps, I'll get him a black sling, which apparently is the fashion for men. Oh, and since we're on the topic of manly man cool movie star sling-wearing dads, here's another below.

Peace, Hope

Gavin Rossdale
British rocker/sling wearer

The Thing vs. My Thing

As soon as you truly abandon yourself in the Lord, you will know how to be content with whatever happens. You will not lose your peace if your undertakings do not turn out the way you hoped, even if you have put everything into them, and used all the means necessary. For they will have turned out the way God wants them to. Saint Escriva', Furrow, 860

When I first read the above passage I knew it had been written for me. I need to write it out poster sized and hang it on my kitchen wall! I am a recovering control freak, and despite all my best laid plans, schedules and ideas, and despite the fact that I KNOW how each day should go, somehow.......... Well, I couldn't understand it! How come my carefully, prayerfully planned days are filled with a) some kid being a crank and not cooperating (there's always someone!); b) some kind of crises; or c) some sort of happy, but necessary distraction? Why does this seem to happen, daily even? How am I going to get anything done? Especially when even the most mundane sorts of tasks cry for my attention!?

It has taken me a while, but I am working on adjusting my expectations and my attitude. My schedule and my plans are one thing, a good and necessary part of my life, but it's not the thing, it's only my thing.

The thing is what is in front of me right now. See, my thing might be a plan to get my phone calls made during a certain time of the day or to get the baby down for a nap, but the thing may be to change a really bad diaper or to comfort a neighbor who shows up at the door. My thing may be to work on the laundry because it desperately needs attention, but the thing may be to spend a little extra time with my six year old who's feeling a little picked on and left out. My thing may be to get in a little time on the computer or make a phone call, but the thing may be to give my husband some attention and conversation. I am working on it, working on embracing the thing, the thing that God has given me to attend to at any given time, and choosing to do His work, my distraction, with joy.

Peace, Hope

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Child Development

One of the things I learned in college that I draw from occasionally, I discovered in a child psychology class. It is Erik Erikson's theory of development. Basically, the theory suggests that all humans, from infancy to old age, go through a sequence of psychological developmental phases that present as a "crisis" of some sort. These crises must be overcome in order to become a successful and stable person.
I certainly do not buy into any psychological theory with full belief, but I think this one merits some consideration. I like to remember that my babies will develop trust in God and the goodness of life by learning to trust in me, and that I must mother them with this in mind. My little toddlers should not be shamed, but encouraged to do things independently as they seem driven to do (think of your average two year old!). My young children should be encouraged in their attempts to be helpful, not criticized for their ineptness. My older children should be given meaningful work that gives them confidence in their abilities, not allowed to pass their time with passivity. My growing teens should be lead to positive relationships and role models and given the meaning behind the beliefs we hold as a family. I don't have any young adults, yet, but this theory suggests that this is the period when intimate relationships are formed, so as parents we are responsible for helping lead them through this delicate and profound period.

Just a little food for thought......How are your children moving through these developmental phases?

Peace, Hope

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Work of God

My six year old asked me last night what I liked best about being a Mom. Hmm, that gave me some pause. I told him that I liked it that my job was so important. He asked why, and I told him because part of my job was to help lead our family to heaven.

At times when I am cleaning up the proverbial "spilled milk" AGAIN, it doesn't feel like my job has such supernatural consequences. However, Saint Escriva' says that love leads us to insert God into everything, which otherwise would be insipid without him. A pious person whose piety is not superficial strives to fulfil his duty: sincere devotion leads to work, to the willing fulfilment of the duties of each day - even when this is hard; there is an intimate union between this interior supernatural reality and the external manifestation of human activity.

So, we ask ourselves, what is the will of God for my life? If you have children the answer is simple. We do the work that God has placed before us each moment, each day. Think about it, as we mothers feed and clean up the kitchen, lovingly planning healthy meals and with humility, scrubbing the pots and pans and sweeping up the floor; as we launder the same clothes over and over; as we comfort and care for fevers, skinned knees and bumped heads; as we confront little fibs and disobedience; as we teach the phonograms to our 5 year old and geometric theorems to our 13 year old; as we patiently forgive our children and husbands for perceived injuries and wrongs; as we teach our children to pray; we ARE doing the will of God. Even more, we are fulfilling our Christian mandate to perform the spiritual and corporal acts of mercy. This work before us will bring us and our children to holiness and to heaven, as long as we do these tasks mindful of the supernatural reality we believe in as Christians. We must see our work as our call to holiness, and remain open to allowing God to impose Himself upon each act and every word of our day.

Peace, Hope

Earth Day

I like taking opportunities to reevaluate my lifestyle and/or teach a lesson to my family. Earth day is perfect for this. It is good to ask ourselves how steeped in the materialistic and excessive American culture we are and whether God would call us to greater stewardship. I think as parents of larger families, too, it is important to demonstrate that we can raise our children thoughtfully, generously, but with moderation. Many of the large families I know do find ways to creatively stretch their resources, becoming good stewards of their families and environments.

For some relevant reading regarding Earth Day and big families see here and here. For my own family, although we are still working on being more thrifty, we do try to keep our lifestyle and consumption balanced. Some choices we have made to lighten our impact on the earth are to live in a neighborhood, in town. That way the kids and I use our own two legs or bikes to get to where we need to go. We walk to soccer, ballet, church, the library, post office, coffee shop, haircuts, music lessons, etc. So although we have a 15 passenger van, we make limited use of it. My husband takes public transportation to his office in the city too!

We try to "eat locally", as in we try to find food sources that support our local economy, are raised with minimal chemicals, and don't need fossil fuels to be transported across a continent, from the farm to our kitchen table. So, we enjoy our locally raised, organic chicken and beef, eggs, and milk (in glass bottles!), all delivered to our door too! We just joined a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), so we will have local, seasonal, fresh and organic produce brought to our home each week during the growing season. I walk to our local farm market on Saturday mornings, and have a tiny (but growing) garden in our backyard. I also started a co-op and order bulk, organic items that are delivered to my home once a month. Not only do these food choices reduce our impact on the earth, it also supports the local economy, helps our children to see where their food is coming from and the work involved in growing it, and it fosters the community, as neighbors cooperate to acquire these foods. It is a real blessing, and the fact is, it doesn't cost more than shopping at the local store (which I unfortunately still have to do at times).

And for whatever it is worth, we recycle all of our paper, cardboard, glass and aluminum and make attempts to reduce our home energy consumption --- I am a broken record, "Did you turn the lights out?" "Turn that light off!" "Why are all these lights on?" Or, kid to mom, "I'm cold," said with pathetic shiver, and Mom to kid, "Put a sweater on, it IS winter."

All this is to say that the above description is what our family has been able to do, there are many things that we can't do with what God has given us, or don't do at all because we're failed humans and spoiled Americans. However, we try to set new goals to be better stewards with each Earth Day. Your family may be called to do some of the same things we have done, or God may call you to other areas of stewardship. I think the key point mindfulness.

Check out your family's environmental footprint here, and for some suggestions on how to minimize your ecological impact check out the site here.

Peace, Hope

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Kill Your Television

Television Turn-off Week begins this Monday! It runs from April 23 thru 29. Check out Honestly, this is a great website; take some time looking through it. I highly recommend a weekend meeting with your family to discuss shutting down the TVs for a week, make a plan!

Back in my more radical days I drove a car with a bumper sticker that read, "Kill your television." Actually, if I had to put an anti-tv sticker on my car today it might read something like, "Television is Killing America." It would be difficult to make an argument that there is any source more influential than television on modern America. Television influences our eating habits by marketing the infamously unhealthy diet of most Americans. Television viewers, lulled into passivity, spend hours being unproductive. Further, according to abundant research, habitual viewing negatively impacts a person's basic outlook and sensibilities, predisposes one to violence and hyperactivity, lowers IQ, decreases reading ability, reduces imagination, inhibits play, limits critical thinking, diminishes self-image, negatively skews our perception of others, and lowers our values in general. Television harms our health, our minds, and our relationships. With all this in mind, do yourself a favor and turn off your TV for ONE WEEK, and then FOREVER. Why wouldn't you?

Peace, Hope

Monday, April 16, 2007

Pray Always

Does the Bible really say this? Pray ALWAYS? How is it that a busy mom of eight should always be praying? Let me say, that those times when I focus on being in a constant state of prayer my life just goes more smoothly, and I and my children are happier. Peace begins to reign in our hearts and our home. But how to do this? Perhaps we should broaden our idea of what prayer is. Of course, when we are going though the days changing diapers, teaching, handling sibling squabbles and serving lunch we cannot be quietly and piously on our knees, with eyes closed and hands folded. If we did, we would not be fulfilling God's will for our lives and vocations. Although, there is a time for quiet and solitary prayer, our prayer can be much greater.

Saint John Chrysostom said that it is possible to "offer fervent prayer even while walking in public, shopping or cooking." We can do this by cultivating a spirit of being constantly open to God. This would cause us to be always be in a state of expectantly listening and searching for God, of linking our hearts and minds in communion with God. Sometimes our prayer focuses too much on us, what we want, what we need. No wonder our prayer runs out of steam! Instead, consciously offer every thought, word and action to God, taking every thought captive to Christ.

Peace, Hope

Mealtime Manners

After some issues regarding manners lately, I have decided that we must more diligently attend to training in this area. I think that manners are important in all families, but the larger the family, the more apparent the rudeness can be! I am posting the following rules in our kitchen. Another idea is to laminate cute place mats with your manners list. Peace, Hope

Good Manners

Say please and thank you.

Sit straight up at the table, don’t wiggle all around.

Speak kindly to others at the table and only compliment the food that is served.

Put your napkin in your lap and keep your mouth clean with your napkin.

Wait for everyone to be served before eating.

Keep your elbows off the table.

Ask patiently for things to be passed, don’t reach across others.

Don’t eat with your fingers food that is meant to be eaten with a fork or spoon.

Chew with your mouth closed and chew as quietly as possible.

Don’t try to speak with food in your mouth.

Ask to be excused before getting up from your seat.

Thank God for your food.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

What kind of lunches do you serve your family?

Interesting, creative, but these mothers in Japan probably have too much time on their hands. This is not an idea for a larger than average family, for sure. Check it out. See more pictures here and here.

Peace, Hope

Seeking Families for TLC's "Kids by the Dozen"

TLC's television series. "Kids by the Dozen" is seeking families with 12 or more children (at least 10 still living at home) to be featured in a new batch of shows. This new casting follows the success of three episodes profiling 12+ kid-families that aired earlier this year. “Kids by the Dozen” is a rare and inspiring glimpse into how large families live, love, grow, and thrive. Most of all, the program documents the day-to-day “operations” (parenting) that goes into surprisingly organized and stable large families.

SEEKING: Families with 12 or more children (twins or other multiples welcome) of any race, ethnicity, religion or creed. At least 10 children must still live at home. Families with colorful personalities and strong opinions, values, principles and traditions. Parents with interesting and unusual stories of their relationship and parenting techniques.



1 - Your family name (including each parent’s name), phone number & occupation(s).
2 - Number of children, your children’s names, ages, and sex.
3 - The city or town your family currently lives in.
4 - The city or town any older children live in.
5 - A recent photo of your family together.
6 - A brief summary of your family story and why your family makes a good candidate for the program.

STEP #2 – PLEASE MAIL OR EMAIL US: Recent VIDEO of your family together (NO LONGER THAN 5 MINUTES). Mail as DVD or DV videotape. Email as .mov, .mpg, .wmv, .avi, or .mp4 file.

MAIL YOUR VIDEO TO: Kids By The Dozen Casting, Powderhouse Productions, 212 Elm St., Somerville, MA 02144.

Six Babies at Once!

Now this puts sleepless nights with a newborn in perspective! She breastfed them too. Guess it's time for me to quit complaining that my littles never let me get anything done. She had one older son too. This lady is my hero! Check her out here.

Peace, Hope

Friday, April 13, 2007

Whatever is Lovely

In the book of Philippians it says, "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is honorable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things."

This is one of my favorite passages from the Holy Scripture and has very practical applications. Think about it, it is when I am not following this standard of thinking that I get in trouble! Unfortunately, I can recall on many occasions standing over a mountain of laundry or a filthy kitchen and feeling resentful. Instead of stopping there and confessing my bad attitude and redirecting my thoughts; regrettably, I have found myself deluged with thoughts of envy (for those with less laundry and fewer dishes), resentment towards my children (so ungrateful for all the work I do each day) or anger towards my husband (who is not in helping me do my job). All of these thoughts lead to feeling worse and acting less loving to the people I love.

Instead, I must consciously push aside the unlovely thoughts and focus on the truth of the many blessing I have, the noble qualities in my husband, the rightness of cultivating joy, the purity in my children, the lovely opportunities I have as I nurture our family life at home, the honorable vocation of motherhood, the excellent friendships our family enjoys, and the praiseworthiness of our Lord! God bless us as we turn our thoughts towards Him and dwell upon lovely things.

Peace, Hope

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Cute Tee-shirt

Some friends gave my husband a T-shirt that all of us with more than a few kids will appreciate.

The front says:

Before you even ask...

Yes, they are all my children.

It is up to God to decide if we are "finished" yet.

No, this is not some kind of daycare.

Yes, I am Catholic

Yes, we do know where they come from.

Then, on the back:

This is what God thinks of our children...

"...children are a reward from Him... Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them." Psalms 127:3-5

"Let the little children come to me...for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." Luke 18:16

Peace, Hope

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Favorite Big Family Picture Books

Looking for some fun books about big families to share with your tribe? Check these out! If you have any of your own favorites, please share.

The Seven Silly Eaters by Mary Ann Hoberman and Marla Frazee

The Biggest Bed in the World by Lindsay Camp and Jonathan Langley

The Rattlebang Picnic by Margaret Mahy and Steven Kellogg

The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant and Stephen Gammell

Mary Rayner series, including Mrs. Pig's Bulk Buy, Mrs. Pig Gets Cross, and Garth Pig Steals the Show

Peace, Hope

God Bless You

There are so many rich traditions in the Catholic faith that may be incorporated to increase spirituality among family members. One of my favorites is the use of holy water. I have not always been Catholic and did not grow up with any knowledge of the sacramentals of the Church. I am so grateful for them, however, as sacramentals provide for simple avenues of prayer and grace.

The waters of baptism are powerful. If one believes baptism to be an act of obedience, then it only makes sense to meditate upon the meaning and importance of our own baptisms frequently. Baptism consecrates us to Christ and makes us part of the body of believers. Baptism also calls us to live as children of God, fulfilling his will and spreading light and truth. How easy it is to forget this!

Our family acknowledges our own baptisms, our call to Christ, each day. On the wall beside our front door is a small holy water font. We have a very busy family life and there are many comings and goings all day long among various children. I have found it to be significant to take a moment before a child leaves the house, to dip my finger in the holy water, mark their foreheads with a cross, and say, "God bless you." Among all the other instructions and admonishments I give them upon their departures, this five second ritual has brought much beauty and blessing to us.

This simple gesture is a reminder in our busy lives that we have a purpose beyond whatever fun or work is at hand; we have a mission in Christ. We are children of God seeking his direction and protection as we move out in the world. As I bless each child, whether they are off to soccer practice, Boy Scouts, babysitting, or roller-blading, I have a small moment to pray over them and to look them in the eye and tell them I love them. When we learn to see the use of gestures and symbols as forms of prayer, how much richer our spirituality becomes.

Peace, Hope

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Ten Great Reasons to Have Another Child

"Behold, sons are a gift from the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a reward." Psalm 127:3

Reason One:
Have another child to join with God in the creation of an immortal soul.

Parents are given the incredible opportunity to assist God in the creation of an immortal soul. As the late Cardinal Mindszenty said, even the angels have not been given such a grace.

"The most important person on earth is a mother. She cannot claim the honor of having built Notre Dame Cathedral. She need not. She has built something more magnificent than any cathedral-a dwelling for an immortal soul, the tiny perfection of her baby's body...Even the angels have not been given such a grace! What is more glorious than this-to be a mother." Joseph Cardinal Mindszenty

Reason Two: Have another child to bring joy into your life.

There is no joy like the joy of welcoming another child into your life. You will marvel anew at how perfectly formed your little one is, and over how quickly you will fall head over heels in love with him. You will be enchanted with every tiny aspect of her appearance. The color of her hair, the shape of her nose, and the winsomeness of her smile will occasion endless happy debates about from which side of the family (yours, of course) she got that adorable trait.

The birth of a child will bind you to God more tightly than ever before, in awed gratitude. "She was the most miraculous thing that had ever happened in my life," Whittaker Chambers wrote about his new daughter in Witness. And in the lives of most of us.

Reason Three: Have another child to grown in holiness and virtue.

For those who marry and have families, children are the primary means God uses to help them grow in holiness and virtue. Children teach their parents patience, perseverance, charity, and humility. They give their parents the opportunity to practice the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. They come into the world naked, and we clothe them, hungry and we feed them. Thirsty, and we give them drink. All of the things that we are required to do for the "least of these our brothers," we do first and foremost for our own children. St. Catherine of Siena once had a vision in which God took her to a roomful of crosses and told her to pick one. St. Catherine went to the largest, heaviest cross in the room and would have chosen it. But God told her that it was not for her: That was reserved for the parents of large families.

"Mary gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes." Luke 2:7

Reason Four: Have another child to help end abortion.

When Mother Teresa of Calcutta was asked by a young mother about the best way to proceed with pro-life work, she responded emphatically, "Have a big family. That is the best way to end abortion!"

How this works is not difficult to understand. As children become more rare due to contraception, sterilization and abortion, whole segments of society become less and less familiar with the sense of joy and hope that only babies and children can give. In this climate, contraception and abortion feed on themselves, as the increasingly selfish few further reduce their number.

By having another child, you demonstrate once again to the world that children are God's greatest gifts. "Children build up the life of the family and society," as Pope John Paul II has said. "The child becomes a gift to its brothers and sisters, parents and entire family. Its entire life becomes a gift for the very people who were givers of life and who cannot help but feel its presence, its sharing in their life and its contribution to the common good and to the community of the family."

The more children there are in society, the more pro-life that society will become, and the easier it will be for the great evil of abortion to be eradicated once and for all.

"Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live."
Deuteronomy 30:19

Reason Five A:
Have another child so your sons will have brothers and your daughters will have sisters.

Children who have siblings learn early to share. They learn to take turns and to put the needs of others before their own. The bond formed between brothers and sisters is lifelong, and stronger than the bond between the closest friends.

"How good it is, how pleasant, where the brothers dwell as one!" Psalm 133:1-2

Reason Five B:
Have another child so your sons will have sisters and your daughters will have brothers.

Boys who have sisters learn the dignity of women. They learn to treat other girls and women with respect, as they consider how they would like their own sisters to be treated. Girls who have brothers learn the complementarity of men and women, both fashioned in the image and likeness of God.

"Love begins by taking care of the closest ones-the ones at home."
Mother Teresa

Reason Six:
Have another child so you (and your parents) won't be lonely in old age.

People who have children don't have to rely upon strangers to care for them in their old age. Children also become the parents of your grandchildren. Grandchildren bring joy, happiness, and laughter, while still allowing you to get a good night's sleep!

"Grandchildren are the crown of old men, and the glory of children is their parentage." Proverbs 17:6

Reason Seven:
Have another child because people are our greatest resource.

Humans are blessed with the gifts of an intellect and free will. It is human ingenuity that discovers creative solutions to the problems which confront us. People without children should remember that it will be someone else's child who will become the doctor that performs their life-saving operations. Someone else's child will become the firefighter that saves their house. Someone else's child will become the railroad engineer.

"How can there be too many children? That's like saying there are too many flowers." Mother Teresa

Reason Eight: Have another child to contribute to the economy.

Families with children are fuel to the economy, purchasing houses and cars and college educations. Without young people to enter the workforce, social security systems fail. Without children to attend school, teachers are jobless. Many industries, from fast food restaurants to toy stores, obviously rely heavily upon business from and for children to stay in business. But ultimately the whole economy does.

"Like a fruitful vine your wife within your home, Like olive plants your children around your table. Just so will they be blessed who fear the Lord."
Psalm 128:3-4

Reason Nine: Have another child to counter global depopulation.

Anyone who has traveled from coast to coast in the United States and seen the vast empty spaces should know that America is not overpopulated. In fact, the entire population of the world could live in the state of Texas, in single-family dwellings with front and back yards.

Fertility rates are falling everywhere. The world's population will never again double. If current trends continue, world population will peak by the middle of this century and then begin demographic freefall.

Our long-term problem is not too many children, but too few children. Having another child will help offset the coming population implosion.

"Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth." Genesis 1:28.

Reason Ten: Have another child to help populate heaven.

The child that you and your spouse have been generous in accepting from God was created to return to Him, after a life of love, service, and obedience on earth, to spend eternity with God in heaven.

Our Lord Himself said that there was plenty of room for those immortal souls. There is no overpopulation problem in Heaven!

"There are many mansions in my Father's house." John 14:2

written by Steve Mosher, president of Population Research Institute (c) 2001 Population Research Institute. Permission to reprint granted. Redistribute widely. Credit requested.