Home christian living Weddings, Getting Older, Navigating a Large Family & God’s Goodness

Weddings, Getting Older, Navigating a Large Family & God’s Goodness

by Kelly Crawford

I keep saying I want to get back to  regular posting here (and I am!) but boy life has been busy in our corner of the world! We married not one, but two kids off this year, within a matter of about 75 days!

Our daughter, Avalee, met her husband, Joel, at a music camp our church has been involved with the last several years, Jubilate Deo, in Monroe LA. They spent about a year and half talking long distance and traveling to visit occasionally before getting engaged in December and marrying in August!

The Lord was so gracious to bring these two together and we have loved every minute of getting to know our new son-in-law and his precious family. It is such a joy to watch them seeking the Lord and building their own family! They are so wise and mature beyond their years!

And just a couple months later, our son, Ashton married the love of his life! Over the years, I wrote briefly about the struggle we had with Ashton in his growing up years. It is with a heart bursting with joy that I am able to say the Lord has done a miraculous work in his heart and life, restored our relationship in such a sweet way, and brought him the perfect, beautiful Belle for his bride, and the two of them are seeking the Lord as well, and are brand new newlyweds making their home on base where Ashton is stationed for his Marine duty. What a gift!

Tears came easy last week as I marveled at the work God has done. If you are struggling with a wayward child, do NOT stop praying and storming the gates of Heaven for him! God can restore what the locusts have eaten.

Throw a surgery in 2 days after our last wedding (I had a blockage to my kidney that had to be repaired) and a houseful of teenagers with 3 little boys still at home, and we are just getting through the days the best we can! The Lord is faithful.

February of this year marks 17 years since I started this blog, and many of you have been here from the beginning. It’s amazing to see how fast the time has flown when I look back over the old posts and pictures.

In thinking through new content for this space, would you be so kind to drop a comment about what your struggles are right now? What problems do you need solved? Where is your area of discouragement? And encouragement? I’d really love to hear from you!

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Colleen November 10, 2023 - 7:28 pm

I’ve been here since the beginning, and I love that you have been writing more again! I have been appreciating the format of blogs again recently, I feel like it is a little less ADHD causing than Facebook and Instagram. I find myself in a very busy season right now, with adult children from 22 all the way down to a toddler who is too. When I started reading your blog, I only had little people at home. I always have appreciated your wisdom, so I look forward to hearing your ideas on juggling all the things in this season with grace and peace.

Kelly November 10, 2023 - 8:02 pm

Colleen, Yes you have and I so appreciate you!! Thank you so much for your feedback. I love that I have these “long haul friends” here. ☺️

Marty November 14, 2023 - 3:10 am

So excited about this!

Shanna November 14, 2023 - 10:57 pm

I’d love to hear more about cultivating relationships with children at college and as they become adults.. My oldest just left for college. Still homeschooling two teen daughters. I always enjoy reading your articles as they are challenging and encouraging. Thanks!

Kelly Crawford November 14, 2023 - 11:49 pm

That’s a great idea–thanks, Shanna!

Tori November 14, 2023 - 11:05 pm

Yes! I’ve been reading your blog since early on, as well. I appreciate blogs more and more, too! I no longer wish to have social media (though I see why people are drawn to it), and I just sometimes want to read a blog vs.listening to a podcast or YouTube video. It feels slower–in a good way. I have 5 kids still at home, 8 years up to 15. A couple with special needs. One of my children is a staunch unbeliever. He’s adamant that he will not surrender. He’s the sweetest child, so thoughtful and sensitive. He has no good reason not to believe. We answer his arguments lovingly. He’s just not there yet. I’d like to read more stories like this with positive endings to be encouraged that the Lord isn’t done yet.

Kelly Crawford November 14, 2023 - 11:56 pm

You are not alone, Tori. Thank you for the topic idea. I know with my own son, I had so many “hopeless” feeling days. But I kept saying “As long as there is breath…” and now, I could not be more filled with joy at what the Lord has done in his heart! It took a lot of praying and giving him up to the Father.

Sarah November 14, 2023 - 11:32 pm

Struggle – a husband who’s left the faith to pursue a “spiritual journey”

Kelly Crawford November 14, 2023 - 11:58 pm

Sarah, I am so sorry. Prayer is your weapon. And your faithful testimony. The journey is not over.

Blair November 15, 2023 - 12:09 am

Another long term follower here. I have always been encouraged by your writing and still pull from things I learned at the retreat many years ago! I would love to read about balancing relationships with adult children while you still have small children at home. I unexpectedly have a wayward child that all manifested in the past month. Thank you for any wisdom you impart!

Kelly Crawford November 15, 2023 - 1:01 am

Hi Blair!! I’m so sorry. That is extremely hard. Thank you for that idea of a topic. I think it would resonate with a lot of mamas.

Jody November 15, 2023 - 12:28 am

Thanks for the update! We’ve missed you. I am to the point of encouraging my teens to finish strong. One is a senior this year, and my sophomore would like to be done next year. I’m 1/2 okay with that. However, the attitude for every requirement is, “Do I HAVE to do that?” This is where I need to be encouraged to look at this child & not compare.

Kelly Crawford November 15, 2023 - 1:02 am

Hi Jody! Aww, thank you. I think this a topic a lot of moms need to hear more of. Thanks for the idea!

Terri November 15, 2023 - 12:37 am

Looking through your older posts, I understand why I initially signed up for your newsletter. It is very well-written and timely for me, even though I have already graduated two homeschooled young ladies. I will enjoy and appreciate all of your new work! Thank you for glorifying our Lord in this way!

Kelly Crawford November 15, 2023 - 1:03 am

Thank you for that encouragement, Terri! Love having some of the long-time readers back to chime in.

Mrs. White November 15, 2023 - 12:51 am

It is wonderful to read all your good news! So many blessings! I hope you are feeling better. I enjoyed seeing a new post here!

Kelly Crawford November 15, 2023 - 1:06 am

I love seeing YOUR name again! Thank you so much!

Sarah November 15, 2023 - 6:15 am

Aww congratulations! What beautiful testimonies those weddings are to God’s faithfulness. I too have been a follower for years. I just reread your article about young marriage a couple weeks ago from an old FB post I had posted it on. I needed the encouragement. When i had lots of Littles, your articles were like refreshment to my weary soul. I knew i wasn’t alone on the big family journey. I now have one married, one engaged and one dating, along with 5 other youngers. I would love to hear about how you navigate technology with your teens. Or anything young adult related, so glad you’re back!!

Kelly Crawford November 15, 2023 - 2:49 pm

Thank you so much, Sarah! Oof, now that’s a subject that needs to be addressed! We struggle with that too, but I have some strong feelings about it. 🙂

Charlotte Moore November 15, 2023 - 6:25 am

I did get this but it has been a long time since I have gotten a post. I am not sure how long I have been following but it has been several years. I think it was when your home was destroyed from the hurricane. GOD BLESS!!

Kelly Crawford November 15, 2023 - 2:48 pm

Thank you, Charlotte!

Haley November 15, 2023 - 6:51 am

I’ve been reading your blog for 8 or so years. You have such a beautiful way to rip off the bandaids and cover us with grace thru the process! You speak more clearly, honestly, and candidly about feminism and motherhood than any woman or preacher I’ve ever heard. Thank you for speaking so much truth. I’ve got 4 children 12 down to 4 years. I’m struggling with a system for chores and myself being so inconsistent. I’m impulsive by fleshly nature and want to overcome this. Every meticulous schedule and chore chart has taken hours to create and a few weeks or days to fizzle out. School is very difficult to execute because there is no order to our days. Over this Christmas break intend to seek the Lord and get a GRIP on my home and school. Any help is welcome! May God continue to bless you and your family . I love seeing how he already has

Kelly Crawford November 15, 2023 - 2:45 pm

Oh Haley, what kind words! You know I struggle with the same thing–we have what I call a “rhythm” to our day, but I’m pretty impulsive myself and am always trying to find the perfect system (I haven’t yet!) so maybe just some encouragement with making our days fit with our personalities. Great topic idea!

Layne November 15, 2023 - 6:54 am

I do appreciate your emails and haven’t received any for some time so it’s good to hear from you again! Thank you for sharing your life with us! Two married and a surgery! Wow! You have been busy!
I echo the above ladies comments. Navigating a 16 year old boy, girls in college and youngers just learning to read with tweens in the mix. I had no idea how challenging this would get. Two of mine are stiff arming God and are more interested in the world than Jesus. I love your idea…”As long as there is breath…” — already encouraged, thank you. Trusting that He’s working in the waiting.
Please keep coming with what God lays on your heart to share. Thanks Kelly.

Kelly Crawford November 15, 2023 - 2:44 pm

Thank you so much, Layne. Hang in there mama! We all certainly are in a challenging season of motherhood and I hope I can be of some encouragement in the journey.

Nichole Franklin November 15, 2023 - 1:15 pm

Kelly, I’m struggling right now with sibling fighting. I have 7 boys ages 16-5 and it seems like the bickering just doesn’t stop. I also have my 9 year old who seems to always have a frown. He mopes and fights and cries, like the whole world is out to get him. He’s a wonderful boy, he just seems so grumpy and sad for so much of the time. Learning how to better guide, connect, and help a boy who is just a “Johnny Rain Cloud” would be helpful for me.

Kelly Crawford November 15, 2023 - 2:42 pm

Thank you, Nichole. That has to be frustrating and we’ve dealt with our share of rain clouds. 🙂 Great topic idea.

Kim M. November 15, 2023 - 1:58 pm

Hello again!
I’m pretty sure I started reading your blog 12 or 13 years ago. I haven’t had any emails for awhile either. We raised our boys to adulthood and the God chose to add 6 more kids to our family through foster care and adoption. So as grandparents, we are starting over and I’ve been given the privilege of getting to parent a large family in my older years. Thank you for all of that wisdom over the years. I love any advice about parenting adults, large family hacks, homeschooling, and frugality. Straddle parenting is also a fun topic to read about!

Kelly Crawford November 15, 2023 - 2:41 pm

Hey Kim!! I love the friendships I’ve gotten to forge here with readers like you. <3 Straddle parenting--I love that and haven't heard that term before! What a blessing you have been given. Thanks so much for the ideas!

6 arrows November 16, 2023 - 4:16 pm

How fun to see this post! And two weddings this year! Your mother-of-the-bride dress had almost an identical design to the one I wore last year when my second daughter got married, except mine was navy blue.

I found your blog when you were pregnant with Ellia. I remember the little pregnancy ticker you had in the sidebar back in those days. 🙂 I de-lurked about the time Jax was born. How much your kids have grown in these years!

All of my children are now adults except the 16-year-old, but she is very wise and grown up in many ways.

My challenge in these days is in establishing and maintaining an active prayer life, especially to regularly pray for my family. Lifting them up is so hit and miss, mostly miss. Sometimes I’ll be good about it for a while, then I’ll drop off. I got better at praying for my mom and dad as Dad lay dying earlier this year, and for Mom for a while after Dad passed in March, but am not as diligent at it now, eight months out. I began praying daily for my unborn grandchild once I knew my daughter who got married last year was blessed with pregnancy, but now, a little more than halfway through the pregnancy, I’ve allowed myself to get too busy and forget prayer for the little one, and for my two toddler and preschool granddaughters, as well.

I believe in the power of prayer, but so often fail to live as if I do. I’d love to see you address the topic of prayer, Kelly!

Kelly Crawford November 16, 2023 - 5:02 pm

SO good to see your “name.” 🙂 And I love your topic suggestion. I’m sure every one of us struggle with that. I know I do! But I’ve been reading some great resources on prayer that I would love to talk about! Also, I’m so very sorry in the passing of your father. That must be extremely hard. Good to reconnect here. 🙂

Tammy November 19, 2023 - 8:53 pm

SOOOOOO sweet to see your celebrations!!! I am so thankful we have those amoung the hard. I’m sorry to hear about the health struggles!!! So, I believe my major struggles are anxiety, purpose, wayward youngest, wandering trying to find a church to love, serve and grow in. I have no idea how long it has been I have read your blog. Yours was one of the first I found after getting the internet. I loved it. Then God blessed my girls and I to get to attend the Mother/Daughter event you and your 2 besties did. Wonderful good stuff. It would be SO good to have blogs that talk about parenting of adult children. Mercy was a journey that is. Anywho LORD bless you and yours Kelly!!

Kelly Crawford November 19, 2023 - 11:30 pm

So good to see you here again, Tammy! I remember you well. <3

Samantha December 28, 2023 - 6:54 pm

Hi Kelly! First of all, congratulations on your children’s marriage this year! And also, Merry Christmas! I am not a reader from the beginning but I discovered your blog a couple of years ago. Some time ago (I believe 2 years ago?) I printed off your new years resolutions and I still cary them with me! They were such great tips that can be used every year. Just wanted to share that and say thank you! Blessings for the new year, Samantha

Kelly Crawford December 29, 2023 - 11:16 am

Samantha I really appreciate you stopping by and taking time to comment! That’s so cool. I need to look them up again myself. 🙂


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