Thursday, May 31, 2012

Q & A, Part 4, Church, Children, and Time for Me

What are some of the most important things you look for in a church?

"We are also changing churches, but we were members of a conservative Mennonite church and they do not support our decision to homeschool so we are visiting around right now. We so hope to find a conservative church that supports adoption and homeschooling!"

Hi, Erin! :) Thank you for your question.

Choosing a church is such an important decision. We've always been very faithful and active in our local church, which means we'll be spending alot of time there. :)

Solid doctrine is always the first thing we look for. We are Baptist in our doctrine, and we look for a church that holds to those doctrinal truths of the Bible first.

Conservative music is also important to our family. While their are certainly varying opinions on the style of music appropiate for worship, we prefer traditional, conservative music. I play the piano, two of our children play the violin, I'll be teaching three of our children piano this year, and all of us love to sing. Music is big in our family and we desire to only introduce certain styles of music to our children, especially while they are young and impressionable.

Godly preaching/teaching---and a Focus on MISSIONS---these two explain themselves, I think.

Lastly, we desire a church home that values the Family Structure. Daddy as the head of the home, Mommy as the helpmeet, and children as the blessings God says they are. :) We would love a family-integrated church, but there aren't too many of those around, so we'll make it work wherever the Lord leads us. We would like a church that respects our desire to follow the Lord wherever (and however) He leads us---whether that be family size, ministries, children, adoption, etc. :)

It would be "nice" if there was a perfect church that met all of our preferences, but you know how the saying goes---If you find a perfect church, don't join it, 'cause then it won't be perfect anymore. :) We certainly need to grow and change daily as we follow the Lord, and we look forward to finding a place of worship where we can both be an encouragement AND be encouraged in the LORD.

Looking for a new church is never easy. I'll be praying for you and the whole Martin family as you seek the LORD for your new church home.

How many children do you plan to have?

Hi, Judi. :) Of course I remember you! Thanks for commenting.

We don't have a "set" number of children in mind for our family. I'm so glad GOD knows, though. ;) All I can say is that we have always been open to however many God wants us to have. If He blesses us with more biological children (and we're hoping He will!) we will rejoice. If we are priveleged to be able to adopt again (and we're hoping we are!) we will rejoice. And if we "only" have these precious 7, we will rejoice.

When I was a little girl, I always said I wanted to get married at 18 and have 12 children. Well, I was 19 when I got married......we'll have to wait and see on the 12.

If I had to state a number, right now, today, I'd say I think we'll have 12 children. But who knows??? :)

How do you find time to ever do anything for yourself that requires you to be away from the home (like going to the dentist, visiting a friend, etc.)? Do you have friends or family near by that you can leave your kids with so you can do things for yourself?

I love this question. For the most part, where I go, the children go. Grocery shopping (although we do this with Brent usually), doctor's appointments, visiting friends, museums, Target, thrift stores, parks, banks---they all go with me. There have been a couple of instances where my sweet sister Lauren has kept some of the children while I took a couple of other children to a doctor's appointment.

My dad is our only "babysitter". He keeps all of the children about once every 2 months so Brent and I can go on a dinner date.

Other than my sister and my dad keeping our children on a rare occasion, we just take them with us everywhere we go. Is it always easy? No. :) (We have FIVE children still in carseats!) But we chose to have these children, they're our responsibility, and truly, we enjoy having them with us all the time!

Brent and I enjoy our time alone in the evenings after our children have gone to bed. We talk, cuddle, read, use our computers, watch a movie, etc. And we take a walk a couple times a week (after we run) around our local track while the children play safely in earshot, so we can communicate and have some "talk" time.

I rarely go anywhere alone. Actually, I can't remember the last time I went somewhere alone! :) Someday, there will be a season for that again----but in the meantime, I'm determined to enjoy my days as a busy Mama. :)


  1. Thanks for addressing my question about how you manage to go anywhere with 7 kids. And I'm sorry to harp on this, but I have a follow up question. (I'm interested mostly because I would love more children, but I'm really not clear on the logistics of how parents with many kids manage to do things.)

    I totally understand taking all the kids to the grocery store or to Target. Those are places kids are allowed and frequently found. But if, for example, you were pregnant and needed to go the OBGYN for a visit (as most moms do many times while pregnant), would you take your kids with you? I mean, I assume the OB doesn't allow kids in the exam room, right?!? :) So what do you do with the kids?

    Or if you need a dental cleaning for *you*, where do your kids go while you are in the dental chair? When my kids are older I can see them waiting in the waiting room, but I assume that doesn't work with three toddlers, no? Or do your older children do a good enough job of watching them?

    Sorry to be nosy, but I'm really curious how large families make it work.

    Thanks so much. I really enjoy your blog!

    1. You're not being nosy and I don't mind the questions.

      If Johanna was my biological daughter, none of this would be an issue, because she would be able to babysit at home. :) As is, she often needs as much supervision in public situations as my toddlers do. Eliana, while only 10, is very capable, but not able to manage all of the younger five by herself just yet.

      If I needed to go to a "ladies" visit, I would probably either ask my sister to watch the boys and take the four girls with me, or Brent would meet me at the doctor (he usually takes off an hour of work for pregnancy visits anyway). But OBGYN's or midwives do often allow children in the exam room---I always took my older three when I was pregnant with Ethan. I have a friend who is expecting her fifth baby and because she doesn't have anyone close who can babysit, she takes her four girls with her to every appointment.

      For a dentist appt., I would need to have Brent or my sister keep the children. Some of mine would do fine unattended in the waiting room (Eliana, Nathaniel, Noah, Lyssie and Gabbey probably) but Johanna and Ethan would need an adult, lol....

    2. Okay, that all makes sense. :) Having a partner with a work schedule that allows him to take time off from time to time for those probably helps a lot!

  2. So where are you attending church now? Have you found a church that meets all the requirements or have you not found one good enough yet?

    Home church?

    1. We are currently looking for a new church home (I think I already stated that?). I don't post too much specific information on my blog (Brent's job or location, our address, etc) because it is public, so I wouldn't post the name of our church either. :)

    2. Also, we didn't leave our last church because it "wasn't good enough". It was a very good church and we loved the people dearly. Again, obvious reasons why I wouldn't be specific with names of churches. :)

    3. We embrace large families and believe they last into the eternities. Homeschool? More power to you. And we also embrace Jesus Christ as our Savior and Redeemer.

      I stumbled upon your blog and I believe I was led here for your sweet mothering advice. Thank you for your words of encouragement and God bless.


I welcome any and all comments as long as they are Christ-honoring. Please let me know what you think!