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Our Family of 12's Spiritual Secret; Trusting God

By Vincent Johnson
10/24/2013 (4 years ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

We always keep our rosaries nearby.

How often large families are misunderstood. Here is a view of one family's experience out in the "world", and how God just makes it all right.

Praying the rosary, keeping the Faith.

Praying the rosary, keeping the Faith.

Highlights

By Vincent Johnson
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
10/24/2013 (4 years ago)

Published in Blog

Keywords: Large Family, God, Jesus Christ, Inspire, encourage, hardship, family, trust, love, faith


MOORESVILLE, NC - I love going into restaurants with my family, well that is if you don't include the bill. From the moment we walk in, until we depart; I feel nothing but protruding eyes all about us. No, we aren't a family of circus acts (oddity attractions); we are not famous, dress funny, or have any other thing you would normally think would earn the attention we get.

We are just a large family - there are 12 of us.  Hey! We aren't the Duggars! (although he was our state representative when we lived in Ft. Smith, Arkansas). I can tell you right off the bat; it bothers neither my wife nor myself. The children, on the other hand, have an adverse reaction to the attention.

It is absolutely hilarious to me that we are so interesting. I think it's either love or disdain, personally. I get the usual questions; "Are you Mormons?" "Y'all must be Catholics!" "Didn't anyone ever tell you what causes that?" "Are you done yet?" I also hear some great ad hoc statements as well.

"Christmas' must be really interesting at your house." You must drive a school bus" "I wouldn't want to have your grocery bill". That is just a small sample of what we've heard over the years.  There also is a slew of a kind of apologetic verboseness when we tell some parents how many children we have. they say things like,"I would have had more, but we just couldn't afford it" or "I wanted to have a bunch more children, but my wife..."  I don't tend to judge anyone by how many children they have; none, one or 20 - I just look at the integrity of the person; their words and actions.

We have also been greeted with the kindest of responses from people every day about how well our children behave, how blessed we must be, and how wonderful it is to see such a large family. These are definitely words that encourage us. I would be lying if I said it has been easy. We have struggled in our relationships, our checkbook, and our faith just like everyone else. But we NEVER gave up or in. We kept struggling and kept moving closer to God - who I can personally testify is Love itself.

I am fulfilled by the gift God has given me. I don't look back and think 'what if' and I don't look forward and think about getting all 10 children through college. We have absolutely no regrets about having these 10 wonderful, inspiring, awesome children. We kind of block out the worst of the teenage years though. Wheeeew, that was rough!

Children praying the rosary


Most of all we trust God and keep our rosaries close by. What has sustained us all these years has been our absolute faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. My happiest moments in my life revolve around my love of God, and of my wife and children. My Catholic faith has brought me to the highest levels of spirituality which has given me the strength and perseverance to be a husband and father of this loving flock. When anyone asks me "how do you do it?" I will respond; "with God by my side".  I have made a lot of mistakes along the way, but God calls us all back to him; and I surrender to Him.

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