We get babies. Like modern-day carrier pigeons, when God has a message for us, it arrives via newborn baby.
The Lord tries to show me his direction in other ways -- through prayer, unsettled circumstances, back-of-the-mind wonderings. The proof is all there, his clear direction inspired through my own pen in old journals. (ie - "Lord, this job doesn't seem to fit." "Because it's not what I have for you. Quit your job." "Oh, I couldn't do that.")
Apparently I'm slow to listen and slow to action. You know what requires action and a complete re-evaluation of life? A new baby.
One baby turns your life upside-down, a second baby stirs it up again, twins slow it to a stop, and you would think a positive pregnancy test nine months into twins would absolutely shut it down.
But for some reason, this #5 baby caught us with the surprise emotion of joy -- not that we weren't joyful with the other kids, but this baby didn't come with the usual accompanying mode of panic.
I had just started a new job at the boys' school. We were thrilled to be able to afford great Catholic education via the employment discount. We finally finished our DIY sprawling deck across the back of our perfectly kid-proofed home, in a city of good friends and close family. Wally's work was stable and enjoyable. We had arrived where we always wanted to be!
And yet, this positive pregnancy test made us realize things were changing again. And the funny thing is, we were excited about it.
In November, Wally accepted a new job in a new city. In December, we sold our house. In January, I quit my job. Now we're in this really uncomfortable season -- perfectly timed for the waiting room of Lent -- hoping to close on a house in Houston soon, living in different cities until then. And anticipating a most joyful Easter, the whole family together again and welcoming into our arms, the little baby who started it all.
The phrase "settling down to have kids" is a misnomer. You picture the white picket fence, stable finances, neighborhood baseball games. We had the same goal as everyone else: we'll have kids when we're ready.
Thankfully, we suck at Natural Family Planning, so when God wants to get our attention (and we're just not listening), He can send us another carrier-pigeon baby.
As Jim Gaffigan (5 kids, 7 years, 2-bedroom apartment) describes the reaction he gets in public, "Oh, that's one way to live your life."