I grew up in what most would call a “large” Catholic family. I was born fourth in a line of five kids. It didn’t seem “large” to me, but the open-eyed, mouth-dropping expressions on people’s faces as we all walked into a public area made me realize we were a little different. I was okay with that. I actually liked having my brothers and my sister around, even as annoying as they were! Now, to put things in perspective you must understand that I only had one brother younger than me and I almost never saw babies. As a teen, I had very little experience with young children or babies. So taking on a babysitting job was just not really my thing. My older sister took babysitting job after babysitting job, and she loved it! She loved the kids, she loved the babies, she wanted to be a teacher, and I didn’t want anything to do with kids!

At this point in my life I imagine God laughed, and laughed, and laughed!! For the Almighty has a plan, it may not be the plan we like, but it’s the plan we need for our salvation.

At the tender age of 17, I was discerning whether or not God was calling me to become a nun. I loved my God, I trusted Him. And since being a mother just didn’t seem like my thing I figured He must want me to be a nun. I prayed for guidance, oh how hard I prayed!! Then God hit me over the head with a spiritual 2×4!! I had a saints book laying on my bed while I was praying. The book slid off the edge of my bed and landed on the floor. I picked it up and a holy card fell out from in between the pages. It was a very old holy card that my mother found years earlier in the crack of one of the horse-hair plastered walls in our old Civil War farmhouse. She had given it to me, but I never really looked at it before that particularly special day. It was a picture and prayer to St Gerard the patron saint of mothers!! As if that wasn’t enough of a blow, I continued to read the card and at the bottom it said his feast day was October 16….that very day that this happened was Oct 16!!!! Oh, that hit hard! God doesn’t use a megaphone to tell you his plan but that day He got very close!  At that point, I said to God “Well if you think that’s best. But I would need to find a good guy to marry first. And those seem to be a bit hard to find.”

I’m sure God laughed again because He knew how and where I’d meet that guy. And just three months later there he was!

At the age of 20, I married the man that God sent to me, a sweet man, though we both had some growing up to do! We were both open to whatever God’s plan was and we left the door open in all ways for God to send us children. So God decided it was time to give us a crash course in parenting!! Just one month after we were married I became pregnant with our first! Eleven months after our first was born I delivered our second. And it continued like that for 13 years! I had 9 babies and three miscarriages in less than 14 years!

The past 14 years of my life have been a huge struggle! Pregnancy after pregnancy, while learning how to be a homeschooling mom was hard. We live on one income, money’s tight, the house is in need of constant repair, the vehicles rarely run, stress is up and time is short. But God has taught me more about life, love, and faith through my children and husband than being a nun ever could have taught me! Now, I’m not bashing those who become religious… Not a bit!! But God knew I needed these kids as much as they needed me!
Sure I had a choice to not have my kids in machine-gun style, but once again I let God do the driving in my life. And He’s proven to me time after time that not taking the easy roads in life can often be the most learned and scenic route of all!

This past week was a huge turning point for us! I’ve had a medical problem during those past 14 years of having babies which have just forced me to get a hysterectomy. So God has made my ninth baby my last. After talking to the doctor about my personal situation he said that my large number of babies in such a short time was not the reason for my problems. That being said, God’s plan of giving me my babies one after the other was his way of giving me as many babies as He could before I had to get a hysterectomy at the young age of 34.
God’s ways are always the right way! I may not have been a great baby lover in my teens, but it’s my children that have brought me to a point of understanding God’s love for each one of us! Each and every one of my children has taught me so much. They are truly a blessing! Sure learning to be a mom was and is hard, and following the way God has laid out for me was and is even harder, but as I look back on how things are unfolding I see that God had a truly important reason for doing things the way He did them!

So when I see the reality of abortion in our society it seems so wrong! My kids saved my life, they didn’t take it! They have been my inspiration! I will admit that I faced each and every pregnancy with fear and trembling, but God always gives us the strength we need to make it through the tough times in our lives. To live out God’s plan is the only way to live a happy life, so there was no choice if you want to be happy!

God is the choice!
Put God in the driver’s seat; the road is rough, the view is great, and I’m told the end is beautiful!
God Bless.
Pray the Rosary to End Abortion!


  1. Thanks for linking up to the Catholic Bloggers Network…I hope that it becomes an awesome network and resource for all of us Catholic Bloggers!Love your blog!Monicawww.EquippingCatholicFamilies.comwww.CatholicBloggersNetwork.com

  2. Hi Jennifer,I didn't know you had so many children! What joy to have such a large family! I have one son who is 11 years old and the reason we haven't had more children is known to God alone. I always thought I would have a bunch of kids but that was NOT God's plan for me.Now I'm even more impressed that you have so many children and time to give us such great craft activities!!I'm working on trying to download my pictures from my new camera and it's not working. As soon as I get it figured out I will send my crafolic pixs to you!

  3. Noreen and Be Not Afraid, Thank you; I take no credit for anything. God's my help and guide each day. I often feel and pray for wonderful ladies like you who have tried to have children for God, but God does not send them to you. It makes me sad. Days like today (Jan 22) are heart breaking…all of God's wonderful babies that were killed when so many loving families would have chosen to love them. I believe that God has a plan for you. I do not understand it, but God often gives us the opposite of what we want and I always feel it's for our good. But when it comes to God not sending babies to those who want them, I just have a hard time understanding it. Just like you, I only have trust.I'm praying for you both. And if you haven't said a Novena to St. Gerard, I highly recommend it! I know he has some awesome power! 😉 May God Bless you both.

  4. I love your beautiful blog. Thank you for sharing a bit of your personal self. It's nice to see the beauty within the blog of a mom who is Catholic and loves her faith. Blessings to you! =)

  5. this is a beautiful post, Jennifer. Twelve babies, three of them in heaven at the feet of Jesus. how blessed you are. Yes, Our Lord's plan is always the better plan, the one we could never have dreamed ! God bless you for sharing a glimpse of your life and love with us!

  6. Thank you for sharing such a personal story. My aunt share this me once, and I'm sure you could look for it online and it would be written a lot better than I can explain. Anyway, God is like a weaver with a loom. To Him, it is a beautiful masterpiece, but we can only see the backside which is just a jumbled bunch of colors. It doesn't seem to make sense.

  7. Thank you for your post! You truly reveal what it means to be a woman and God's creation! I am just now starting my family with two children and you are so right – trust is the key! I take such delight in them as God does in us (though much more on His part)! He has so much to offer if we only allow Him to work His will. (we are so stubborn somethimes huh?) I am in a similar situation financially in in a very liberal part of the country that looks at two kids as all you need or \”want\”. How sad. We are also in a similar financial situation where we have one income and we stretch what we must, but the blessings are overwhelming! I wouldn't have it any other way. I am sorry for all moms and women who want to have kids and can't – you are right about children needing good homes and especially trusting in God's will. (we all have to) I want to remind us all that according to JPII's theology of the body that our very nature as women is to be nurturing so we can be that spiritually and physically for all people. Thanks again!-Mikki

  8. Hi Jennifer! I wanted to say how happy I am for you that you accepted God's plan and you've learned the \”secret\” that so many don't seem to get: living God's plan, being TOTALLY open to it is the ONLY way to be happy. My parents taught it to me. I'm the youngest of 16. Was it always easy? Of course not. At times it has been painfully hard. They lost three children in the span of 5 days after a fire took our house. My sister has lost a baby to anencephaly, another sister lost her 22 month old in a tragic drowning, and my niece lost her son to SUDS. I just recently lost a baby at 20 weeks, during a seemingly normal pregnancy, with no warning. Every day my husband and I thank God that we have the five beautiful babies we have here with us. We've been married almost 8 years, and, honestly, his family doesn't seem to understand us much, but God bless them, they're trying.May God bless you and your family as you continue to be open to His plan.

  9. Mikki and Bridget,AMEN, AMEN!!! It's nice to see the love of the Lord and HIS plan flowing! May God bless you both with wisdom and understanding in all times of trial, or at least, an overwhelming feeling of trust!Take care, I will be praying for you both. BTW Bridget, My sister and I were pregnant with our first babies at the same time. (due within two months of each other) My sister lost hers without warning at 33 weeks. I've seen that hurt, I'm so sorry for your loss and all of your losses. I'm glad to see the strength in your words! God Bless.

  10. Hi Jenn, I know what you're feeling about God's plan on your life. I just have one 7 years old daughter and waited for the right time to have another one. Now I'm almost 1 year trying to be pregnant again and no signal of… Of course I know God wants to tell me something and then like a firefly in a dark night, I'm following His clues. A long time ago I was thinking about the adoption as a third option of kids and today I woke up thinking about a boy of 3-4 years old… I'll let God make the miracle as done on your life. Faith!

  11. Hi! I am a new follower – great blog! I had wanted a baseball team when I married but didn't think it would happen. I, too, was pregnant within a month of the wedding; after being told I probably wouldn't be able to have children. My pregnancy was difficult and my delivery almost cost me my life and that of my son. Surprisingly my daughter was born 18 months later. I had wanted a lot of children, but between the difficult pregnancies/deliveries and my medical condition, God told me that two was enough for me. I ended up with a hysterectomy three years ago. I still find myself sad on occasion that I don't have a houseful; but my children are dear to me and I'm so grateful He chose to bless me with them! Though at her young age, my daughter now wants to be a nun…

  12. Also a new follower – found you through Catholic Bloggers Network. Just tore through your blog. Would love to hear more about you and your family – the things that you've come up with on a creative level are wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing!Know of my prayers – wish I'd've been able to offer them sooner while you were dealing with the surgery! Best wishes to you and yours.Blessings!~Gina

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