Home motherhood/family/parenting Raising Children: My Spaghetti-Smeared Generation

Raising Children: My Spaghetti-Smeared Generation

by Kelly Crawford

Farmer holds a few ordinary seeds in his hand.

But he doesn’t see seeds.  He also doesn’t see, or rather, doesn’t dwell on the work he’s about to give himself to.

OK he does see the seeds, and dirt, and sweat and weeds.  But it’s what lies beyond the seeing….it’s the VISION.

He really sees a swelling harvest from that handful of humble seeds–a miracle he really can’t fully understand.

He sees results of his labor and the fruit of his hands and the many who will be blessed by it for years to come.

Because next year, his seeds will yield more seeds.

And some days he’ll be scratching in the dirt and sweating and seeing nothing but weeds.  But he knows what’s underneath if he’ll only persevere, and he has the FAITH required to believe it will burst forth from the ground.

Someone asked me how I could be excited about a ninth baby.

“Because I don’t see a baby.”

Well, yes I do, and he/she is magnificently more wonderful than a handful of seeds!

But I see more than a baby.

I see a harvest…the fruit of our love, the physical reminder of “two becomes one,” the labor of our hands through the years, a heritage, for me, from my Father.

My vision goes beyond that sweet little face and all the messes I know I will clean up, and the mid-night feedings that aren’t easy, the squabbles and the stains on the furniture, the tears and laughter, and the days I just want quiet…

There’s a whole generation underneath that spaghetti-smeared face that’s been given to me.

And it’s worth it.

And I want to be here when the harvest is fully ripe….

But I won’t.

Because the seeds we plant now will grow beyond us and the harvest will become unable to be measured.

So I will keep pulling the weeds, planting the seeds, nurturing, watering, tending and praying for growth, thanking God for the miracles.

And I will have the FAITH to believe that His glory will burst forth.

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Ginger August 15, 2010 - 11:40 pm

{double take} Huh? Did I miss something? Is this an announcement? Congratulations!

Ginger August 16, 2010 - 7:09 am

I, um, didn’t read past the truffles on that post. How embarrassing! (The oreo truffles turned me off and I left the building.) Anyway, congrats!

Linda August 16, 2010 - 12:02 am


LucyT August 16, 2010 - 3:05 am

I think this is one of the most inspiring things you have ever written.

Melodie August 16, 2010 - 7:45 am

I missed it too, I was digging for the ingredients to make the truffles! Congratulations! What a blessing!

Heather August 16, 2010 - 8:28 am

This is absolutely the most incredible analogy I have ever heard! Thank you! It brings me back to why I am raising these 11 arrows as this morning they are not in good humor from a busy weekend! Now, I am ready for my day! Thank you Thank you Thank you!AGAIN! 🙂

Ann Voskamp@Holy Experience August 16, 2010 - 8:41 am

*Thank you.*

I have faith with you!

All’s grace,

Word Warrior August 18, 2010 - 6:49 pm

Thank you Ann…you inspire my faith often.

jen in AL August 16, 2010 - 9:13 am

Love…this!!!! Thanks Kelly! love and blessings, jen in al

Carla August 16, 2010 - 10:40 am

It’s amazing how a little perspective can change your whole outlook! Thanks for this much needed inspiration.

Darcy August 16, 2010 - 10:42 am

What a beautiful and inspiring post!

Kathi Bailey August 16, 2010 - 10:43 am

I’m going to have Faith too. And I will glady, happily, thankfully keep working. But sometimes the “not being here for the harvest” is too much for my heart…Faith.

Wonderful, wonderful post Kelly!

Kris August 16, 2010 - 11:03 am

Love this post…I will be referring to it the next time I have one of “those” days! I’d like to know from the person asking you that question, how could you NOT be excited about #9? I think it’s fabulous and I’m so excited for your whole family!

Yama August 16, 2010 - 11:18 am

Oh wow, I missed you were expecting again too! Congrats!!

And I love this post!

Gayle August 16, 2010 - 11:28 am

Fantastic post, Kelly with wonderful perspective. I’ll be sharing this..

Jenny S. August 16, 2010 - 11:37 am

Absolutely beautiful! Beyond trust that we are in His hands as we follow Him, there is promise of a future we are so blessed to contribute to in His name! Thank you, Lord, for allowing me to be a part of so many wonderful things You have planned beyond myself! Thanks, Kelly, for reminding me how lucky I am, and how big the small things really are. 🙂

Nicky August 16, 2010 - 11:57 am

Beautiful!!! Perfectly written. I will be printing this and putting it up in our house for a little bit to help me keep focuses and to share with others why we chose to let God bless us with children.

Margaret August 16, 2010 - 1:34 pm

Beautiful perspective. Did the person who asked that question not know you well or something? My goodness. :/

I love your long view perspective.

In the short view, though, there is also much to be said for being excited about a new baby. The individuality and amazing creation of children has never lost it’s fascination for me. Sure, I am relieved to be diaper free at the moment, and enjoy the children I have. But I would be *so* pleased to go back to diapers and sleep deprivation if it meant another unique little individual was added to our family. And the more my kids grow, the stronger this feeling is. God is SO GOOD! His creation is SO AMAZING! His word is TRUE! These kids are a BLESSING! 😀

Katie August 16, 2010 - 1:50 pm


Melissa August 16, 2010 - 2:27 pm

Great Analogy! Lots of love…

Sylvia August 16, 2010 - 2:49 pm

The analogy is beautiful. Thank you for this.

Kelly L August 16, 2010 - 3:12 pm

So sweet!

Amy August 16, 2010 - 3:34 pm

Fantastic encouragement! Kelly, I have grown to love your blog almost as much as my morning cup of coffee! 🙂

We moved out to the country a few years ago and an old farmer down the road farms about 40 acres that we’re on. He is a sweet old retired Army Colonel and teaches a Bible study at his church. He has taken my boys with him in the tractors through all the stages of mowing/raking/baling hay, and plowing/tilling/sowing/fertilizing wheat. (They didn’t get to do the harvesting with him though.) And he’s told them Bible stories for hours on end while they ‘farmed’. That’s a bit off subject.

This post just made me realize how blessed I have been to experience the spiritual lessons of farming first hand. There have been numerous lessons from the Word that have just come alive for us since living here. This ministry of motherhood, it really is “a miracle [I] really can’t fully understand.” And yet He keeps mercifully, graciously building my faith. Thank you for being an instrument of our Father in building my faith.

Hugs and blessings, Amy

Word Warrior August 16, 2010 - 3:50 pm


You ARE blessed to have that farming experience for your boys. My Dad has given it to my children and it’s true…so many ways God reveals Himself to us through the miracle of harvest!

Dainelle August 16, 2010 - 4:49 pm

This is just beautiful…..

Amanda August 16, 2010 - 5:48 pm

Reading this with tears in my eyes. Today was a day when all I saw were the weeds. I NEEDED this reminder!! God is so good.

shannon August 16, 2010 - 6:16 pm

Hi and congratulations on your news. the comment I wish to leave is in response to the post on sidebar about birth control. I was surprised to see so many responses about people’s hurts and offences except for the one about the g-y women and the girls reaching out through their dog everybody seem to abdicate their positions as missionaries. Most of the time we are wondering how we can speak for the saviour into peoples lives and praying for opportunities! When some speaks to you they are giving you permission to speak into their lives. THAT IS THE TIME FOR THE QUICK PRAYER LORD YOUR WORDS NOT MINE AND MORE IMPOTANTLY YOUR HEART NOT MINE. See these people as lost and deceived and pour grace into their lives “its by grace we are saved” and it is the “goodness and kindness of God that leads us to repentance” You all seem to forget this is not heaven, we receive great blessings here ‘with persecutions’ and we are suppose to be dead “it’s no longer I that live but Christ who lives in me” You guys are living epistles read of all men and when some one wants to query what’s been read you should thank God and clarified the content, context and author (God) yay I got ‘read’ today and ministered His love and truth to someone He created “Thank you Lord for a wonderful opportunity” check out Jesus when the lawyers and such tried to bait Him He didn’t get hurt or offened but went about the Fathers business changing lives anyway, something for you all to consider have a great day God loves you all!!

Word Warrior August 16, 2010 - 6:24 pm


I completely agree with you and in fact, do *cherish* the opportunities the Lord often gives me to talk with others because of our “unusual” family. I can’t speak for the others in the thread (and it’s been awhile so I don’t remember the comments), but my particular rant in that post was because the unbelievable comments about children were being made by other professing (and practicing) Christians. I think our response to Christians and to unbelievers is very different. We shouldn’t have to be teaching pastors the basic tenets of what the Bible says about children, and I’ve received some of my rudest comments from them. Just to clarify the rant 😉

Bethany Hudson August 17, 2010 - 12:04 am

Kelly, I truly agree with you here. My husband and I were fervently counselled by some of the most incredible Christians we knew (MDivs and pastors) that we should use birth control when we married. They actually told us, “I just would want ‘that’ to happen to you.” “That” meaning becoming pregnant in our first year of marriage. It made me want to cry. Thank God our daughter (conceived in the first year of marriage) has been all blessing!!

While I, too, have the deepest compassion for the lost who do not know God’s heart for children, I find it bewildering, tragic, and so very, very wrong when fellow Christians do not share His vision for holy family and holy sexuality.

Annette Weller August 16, 2010 - 8:33 pm

Congratulations Kelly!

Once an assistant pastor told us we shouldn’t have any more children; it wasn’t the thing to do. That was when we had five. We left that church. We have 12 now and wouldn’t change a thing. We are blessed.

Annette Weller August 16, 2010 - 8:35 pm

And I so appreciated the analogy. It IS worth it! 🙂
Blessings on you and your little one, and on your family. When are you due?

Bethany Hudson August 17, 2010 - 12:00 am

Kelly, this post made me want to shout for joy and cry and give you the biggest hug all at the same time!

I come from a family of broken generations. My GREAT-grandparents were divorced! So was one set of my grandparents, 3/4 of my aunts and uncles, and my own parents.

What I see when I look at my children is the hope of a harvest in a field that has been ravaged for a century. What I see is beautiful. And, you have just made that image brighter for me.

Thank you. God bless your harvest.

shannon August 17, 2010 - 3:40 am

I think you missed the point Jesus was talking to the Jews to ‘Leaders’ in fact just because some one thinks they are speaking for the LORD means nothing if they don’t BOTH line up with scripture and have the HEART of the LORD they are clearly ‘clanging cymbals’ your job is to show grace show grace and when you have done this show more grace you might also have to change churches but no where does the LORD excuse us from showing grace and really why would we want to He has show us the most amazing grace and when we do likewise we stand in the most amazing fountain of grace and blessing. The bit you missed was to ask the LORD how to respond He knows just what it is that is going on in the heart of the person who spoke to you and He will give you the exact words that will bring life to them. isn’t that our purpose especially as women (to bring life) and the tongue isn’t it the most powerful thing we have I have seen the most amazing healing of people’s spirits by doing this don’t reflect their stuff back don’t even reflect yourself but reflect Jesus and watch Him move though you God Bless you all. Just a side note you all seem to think that you have the right to go places and not be persecuted I don’t live in your country so don’t have that view count it all joy that this is all you suffer and remember the wonderful opportunity you have representing the LORD fairly freely. Again God bless you all.

Word Warrior August 17, 2010 - 6:10 am


I mostly agree with you, and yes, I fully believe we should count it all joy (I write about that very thing often!), though I get frustrated when the “suffering for righteousness sake” is mostly done at the hands of those who call themselves my brothers and sisters in Christ. That was the point of the post; I don’t expect the world to echo the heart of God, but I do expect other believers to.

But for the sake of accurately understanding just what Jesus DID do, since you mentioned how he responded to the “leaders”, as it might compare to our response to other Christians, I recall that he used some of the harshest rebukes heard in Scripture with them. So while, yes, I believe in a proper application of grace upon grace, He also gives us an example of a time when we should be saying, “Blind leaders of the blind!”

Heidi August 17, 2010 - 9:44 am

How wonderful…congrats…I hope you are feeling well..:)

Randi August 17, 2010 - 12:46 pm

Oh, but you WILL be ‘here for the harvest’! You will be able to rejoice with Jesus as he brings in the harvest that you have planted. That is the amazing thing about being a Christian, part of the body of Christ. Physical death we all must endure, but we are meant for eternity. You WILL see the bountiful fruits of your labor, and you will see it more clearly than any earthly eye could possibly perceive! And congratulations on your baby news. I am expecting as well, but this is number 3 for me! You have three times the experience. Simply amazing!

Pebblekeeper~Angie August 17, 2010 - 10:11 pm

Thank you for the beautiful post! Ann sent us today – I’m glad I followed her on over . . . .

Word Warrior August 18, 2010 - 6:49 pm

Hope you visit again, Angie!

Patti Elzy August 18, 2010 - 1:01 pm

I celebrate this wonderful encouragement, too!
I am woman who has miscarried every pregnancy. Then to add insult to injury, fought a death-sentence of late stage 3 Ovarian cancer…over 13 years ago. Yes, I’m a survivor/overcomer thanks to our Lord’s abundant grace!
Although I have never had my own physical children, I can relate, because the Lord has given my husband and I literally hundreds of spiritual children to raise over the past 32+ years…and still have several right now!
They have come to us in all shapes & sizes, colors & ages, strengths & weaknesses. And we have gotten to see much of our labor come to- not only full fruit-but to see the beginnings of more generations of that full, ripe, delicious fruit!
Having eyes to see beyond the “mess of now” is what it’s all about!
And enjoying the journey…*sigh!*…even the days when I want to knock heads together, is worth it all!!
Love To All Of My Mama Sisters!!!
Patti 🙂

Word Warrior August 18, 2010 - 3:46 pm

Beautiful, Patti!

Lena September 25, 2010 - 10:37 pm

Kelly congrats on a new pregnancy! May God keep you in strong emotional and physical health. Gods word is our source of strenght and wisdom. May God keep you and your family safe. Take good care of yourself, and rest a lot!!! 🙂

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[…] What I need to know (and remember) is that I’m not raising a family. I’m raising a nation. There’s a whole generation underneath that spaghetti-smeared face. […]

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[…] Some see a spaghetti-smeared baby; I see a whole new generation. […]


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