- It’s International Woman’s Day.
Hip, hip hooray.
Many women have done well with their work in medicine, engineering, sports, literature, art, teaching, justice and caring jobs all over the world. With education available in the Western world women have had many choices of career available to them.
Not so for many woman in the third world.
I want to celebrate today women all over the nations who are wives and mothers of children. Some may be one of many wives a husband has. But she is faithful to her situation and looks after her children. She doesn’t have a choice. Well done to woman who rear their children in poverty situations, giving their last drop of milk to save a dying child at her breast. And women who care for their children on their own because their husbands have abandoned them. I celebrate today any woman who have chosen to have her child despite the doctor’s advice to have an abortion, the mother who is caring for her sick child and the mother who is rearing many children.
I was one such mother. I chose to have fourteen children and stayed at home to rear them. It was twenty four seven work.
I congratulate woman throughout the world who are wives and mothers.
A news item from the BBC on my iPlayer reminded me of an accident that happened eleven years ago. I quote, “A driver had a lucky escape when a metal pole crashed through the front window of her car, up through the steering wheel past a baby seat and out the back window.”
My daughter in law had just left her older girl to school. She was returning home with her younger child who was strapped in a car seat in the back. The car slipped off the road and hit a row of wooden fencing. Two wooden planks shot through the windscreen, narrowly missing the mum and child. Praise God neither mum or child was harmed physically. My daughter in law was traumatized at the thought of what could have happened.
I am confident that Angels were watching over them that morning, diverting the planks away from harming anyone. Psalm 91 tells me,
“No harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,”
Psalm 91:10-11 , 12 NIV
“He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them.
And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
See that you do not despise one of these little ones.
For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.”
Matthew 18:2-3, 5, 10 NIV
This coming week people in the south of Ireland will vote to decide if the law should be changed as regards Abortion.
Ireland has been a safe place for me to rear children. Family life is important in Ireland. Grandparents are honored, marriage has been held in honor and children have been welcomed. Ireland has upheld these values for generations. Forty five years ago when I first travelled south one would visit a restaurant on a Sunday. Families including grandparents would be out for dinner, relaxing and enjoying each others company.
I’m glad I have raised my children in Ireland.
I hope the people of Ireland take to heart and remember what Jesus said.
“Do not despise one of these little ones.” Don’t let the law be changed.
Brendan and I are in Jerusalem. Number seventeen bus pulled up to our stop. The largest Mall in Israel and the Sports arena is nearby. On our thirty minute journey into the centre of Jerusalem we viewed the many houses, towers, blocks of flats and new hotels being built on the hills surrounding the Old City of Jerusalem. There are cranes standing outlined against the sky, signs of new building work going on. New roadways, tram and train tracks are being laid. Nowhere else in all the world is there such expansion. The new houses are being built to accommodate the exiles returning and the growing population
“Go, inspect the city of Jerusalem.
Walk around and count the many towers.
Take note of the fortified walls, and tour all the citadels, that you may describe them to future generations.
For that is what God is like.
He is our God forever and ever, and he will guide us until we die.”
Psalms 48:12-14 NLT
People from many nations have come to live in Jerusalem. I have met Ethiopians, Americans, Canadians, Russians, Moldovans, Romanians, Columbians, Carribeans, Irish and French people who now live in Israel. Prophesy is being fulfilled before our eyes. In the past the Jewish nation was scattered though out the world and suffered much persecution and rejection. But in these days God is bringing them back to live in Israel again.
““In that day,” says the LORD, “when people are taking an oath, they will no longer say,
‘As surely as the LORD lives, who rescued the people of Israel from the land of Egypt.’
Instead, they will say, ‘As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the people of Israel back to their own land from the land of the north and from all the countries to which he had exiled them.’
Then they will live in their own land.””
Jeremiah 23:7-8 NLT
Brendan and I raised a family of fourteen children. Family is very important in the Jewish tradition. We witnessed this as we sat down in the square of the Jewish quarter. Families were sitting together. One little girl cried out “Abba, Abba!” She wanted her daddy to watch her as she stepped up onto wall. Others walked together holding hands with their father and mother. In one family I noticed four little girls dressed in similar modest outfits. Perhaps the mother made the dresses. I remembered back to when my first three girls were young I made them similar blue dresses. Brendan and I looked at each other. We were reminded of the days when we used to walk hand in hand with our children in the forest or beach on a day out.
I feel at home in Jerusalem. I am a mother in Jerusalem today. It is the only place in the western world where you see big families. Other nations promote birth control and abortion to restrict their population. They do not believe children are a blessing from God.
“May the LORD continually bless you from Zion.
May you see Jerusalem prosper as long as you live.
May you live to enjoy your grandchildren.”
Psalms 128:5-6 NLT
It is the twenty first century. Knowledge and travel has increased. I am seeing the prosperity of Jerusalem. I have been to Jerusalem four times since I was healed from fourth stage cancer. I have seen seven more grandchildren born. God has fulfilled his promise to me from Psalm 128. God is alive and bringing about his promises to the Jewish people and to my husband and I in these days.
I listened to a song my husband was playing on his music system.
The words go,
As I was slowly passing an orphans home today
I stopped for just a little while to watch the children play
A lone boy standin’, and when I asked him why
He turned with eyes that could not see, and he began to cry
I’m nobody’s child, I’m nobody’s child
Just like a flower, I’m growin’ wild
No mama’s arms to hold me, no daddy’s smile
Nobody wants me; I’m nobody’s child
In every town and village
There are places just like this
With rows and rows of children
And babies in their cribs
They’ve long since stopped their cryin’
As no one ever hears
And no one there to notice them or take away their fears
Written by Cy Coben, Mel Foree • Copyright © BMG Rights Management US, LLC”
Nobody’s Child sung by The Travelling Wilberys
This song was written back in 1949 when orphanages were common. They were set up to care for children whose parents had died or had no one to care for them. Some children were given the opportunity to be adopted into a caring family. The above song describe an orphan’s situation clearly.
When my husband was in China, he visited an orphanage. Most of the children were girls. With China’s one child policy a boy was preferred to a a girl. Many girls were left abandoned in streets or fields. The children lay in cots that were lined up along the wall. They had long since stopped crying because there wasn’t the people to give extra time to them. They were fed and given shelter but were given no extra attention.
Brendan picked up one little girl and nursed her. Half of her nose was missing. It had been eaten by a rat when she was left abandoned. This little girl was blessed. She was going to be adopted by an American family.
I take comfort from God’s word which says,
““See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.”
Matthew 18:10 NIV
If there weren’t human beings to minister to these children, the Angels would help.
I have felt perplexed and dispairing when I hear of such stories. I chose to be open to have children and give them the necessary care as far as I was able. A little child starts out in life trusting those around him. When he cries he calls for food and comfort for his discomfort. If the child has parents they will see to his needs.
There are not many orphanages in Western countries today. Contraception is accepted to control how many children a couple have. Immorality has increased. If anyone has an unwanted pregnancy, abortion is available. A test is offered to mothers to see if their baby has any abnormalities. If the baby is found to have an abnormality an abortion is offered. I do not agree with the world’s idea to solve the problem of unwanted children.
I have travelled in India. On the back of lorries and on bill boards I read the caption,
“One plus one equals one.”
This idea has caught the imagination of the people in India. Their thinking is to have one or at the most two children.
I believe in Jesus, and as I read in God’s word on page two of Genesis, it says,
“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.””
Genesis 1:27-28 NIV
I choose to believe that it is God’s will for a couple to be open to have children. A child is a blessing from God, the fruit of the womb a reward.
“Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.”
Psalm 127:3 NIV
My husband and I chose to be open to have children. We have reared fourteen. God has been faithful to help us to this day in our work of looking after our flock which has increased to eight wives and husbands and nineteen grandchildren.
I wish that people would choose to believe in Jesus. He is the answer to people’s distresses and the need for children to be born and cared for.
Jesus took a little child and taught his disciples, grown men, a lesson. He said,
“And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”
Matthew 18:3-6 NIV
If one receives a child he is receiving Jesus and Jesus will help. I believe.
When I was expecting my eleventh child I attended my consultant for a routine check up. After blood pressure was checked, temperature taken and weight checked he wanted to talk to me. He went on to tell me there was a risk my baby could be born with a disability because I was now forty years old. I refused to listen to him even though he was a respected consultant. Many women spent lots of money to go privately and get his help at the their births. I told him I believed in God and God would look after me and my baby. If I had shown any fear he would have offered me an abortion. I changed doctors. I found a Cathoilc lady doctor who didn’t judge me for having more children.
When I delivered my son Jacob another doctor suggested to me not to have any more children. He said, “Your body is like a car, it will break down.” I quickly responded, “No Doctor, God will renew my strength. I went on to have three more children. I was in my forties. I didn’t always listen to the doctor.
My husband said every time I went into labour it was like having a revival meeting. I would be calling on Jesus when I had a labour pain. Having my son Aaron was the most memorable time for Brendan. When I started in labour with Aaron we walked to the maternity home that was near where I lived. It was like a home from home. The midwives looked after the mothers. The GP doctor would be in attendance when the baby was due to be born. I was in labour all night. The night nurses stayed on in the morning to see my baby born. The night nurses and the new shift of nurses were all around my bed. The doctor was in the background waiting. The pains were getting intense. The nurse asked me to lift up my leg. I said “lift up The Lord “. Everyone was embarressed. Aaron was born to the sound of “Praise The Lord”. He was a bouncy baby boy weighing in at ten pounds ten ounces. Mother and baby were all well. Brendan went home to get a rest.
Two people who worked in the Maternity Home became pregnant after my visit there. One lady was a carer and another was a midwife. They were telling me when I returned to have my next child.
My consultant wasn’t the only one who wasn’t happy with me having many children. Another doctor said on his notes “This unfortunate woman is pregnant again”. That was when I was expecting Ruth, my seventh child! Friends and family were fearful for me. Thay thought something would happen to me if I continued having children. I became afraid of what others thought. I became pregnant with my eighth child. I was afraid to tell anyone I was pregnant again.
Well meaning friends invited me out for coffee or to the gym. They thought it would be good for me to get out for a time away from work at home with children. I attended exercise classes with a friend. I had never been to the gym before. I still didn’t tell anyone I was pregnant. At twelve weeks I had a miscarriage. I lost my baby. I could see the little human being of twelve weeks. Brendan and I were sad. Brendan took the small baby and put it in a box. He asked The Lord what to do. The Lord told him to buy a grave and bury our child and to give our baby a name.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:13, 16 NIV)
Brendan bought a burial plot in the cemetery. He took all of us there to bury our child. All of our family gathered around as Brendan put the box in the soil. We prayed a prayer , cried a little and went back to the car. Brendan put the tape recorder on in the car. It played a song by a New Zealand couple with the words in it, “All the days ordained for me were written in your book.” We were all comforted by these words. Our baby lived twelve weeks but God knew every day ordained for her. My husband had a dream some time later. God showed him our baby was a little girl and he called her Deirdre. She was with The Lord in heaven. I hope this is a comfort to other mothers who have had a miscarriage or have had an abortion. God is taking care for the little ones. I will see my daughter in heaven. Like David when his son with Bathsheba died he said,
He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” (2 Samuel 12:22-23 NIV)
After loosing my baby I told God I was very sorry for being fearful of what others thought of me being pregnant. I told him I was sorry for going to the gym, which may have endangered my unborn baby. I realised that God is the author of life. It was not within my own power to save my baby. I had become blaze. I was always healthy and my babies were healthy. I determined never to be afraid of what others thought of me having children. I was delivered from the fear of man. Doctors, friends and family can give advice, but I want to obey God first. He is my creator and helper. I honor him.
David and Bathsheba had another son after their child died. I became pregnant again and had my son Patrick.