*originally published 04-05-2008* (this is really cool to see where I was then, and how far we've come now.)

Lately I've been praying fervently that God will either give me contentment with having two wonderful children and not ever actively trying for more, or open both Scott's and my hearts about having more. "Either way," I told God, "I will obey." And I will. Do you notice, here again, that I want to know NOW whether or not our family will be expanded? I want to control! In light of some recent conversations on a dear friend's blog, I'm realizing that some of my motives for thinking we shouldn't have any more kids aren't necessarily what I want them to be.

I was sitting today with my family, looking at their beautiful faces, and I prayed a prayer to God. "No, Lord, you can't touch this - you can't touch this beautiful thing I'VE created." I want to be safe. I don't want death or sickness or sadness to hit my corner of the world again. I was reading another blog and the author just announced she's pregnant. She supposed she should wait until it is safe to announce, but then made the statement that life is never safe.

It may be obvious to others that one of the things that motivates me most is fear. Ugly fear. I am afraid of what going for a 3rd child may mean. You know I adore my children. I love being a mother. Scott loves being a dad. But what I feel drives us both is fear. We don't ever want to revisit that fear we felt when faced with terrifying possibilities the first time around. We both knew we dodged major bullets. Today he was looking at her and said to me, "Sometimes I just watch her playing and wonder what life would be like if she hadn't made it, or if we had made a different choice."

I wonder, too. And then I think about all of the times in my life when I wanted to let fear reign supreme. Honestly? Had I let fear reign we wouldn't have either of our children. My fear nudged me in the direction of terminating the pregnancy the first time around. Yes, there I said it. We considered it. You can call me an evil person, but until you are in that situation, you don't know what you would do.

The second pregnancy, with Asher, I felt like we dodged some bullets - that he came out healthy and "unscathed", and that our family is complete and we shouldn't want or have any more children. In some ways I feel almost selfish for desiring, in my heart of hearts, another child. I tell myself that I don't like pregnancy and I'm not really a baby person, but those are "shields" for the real reasons. The real reason is the fear in me that crouches around every corner of my sometimes shadowed heart. I don't want to be vulnerable again. I want to control.

I want to be safe; I want these walls around me never to crumble. I see them crumbling every time I turn on the news, or see the drug deals going down, or see fear in one of my children's eyes. I feel them crumbling under tissue paper fingers when I hear of someone dying of cancer, or watch a tree lose its leaves, or hear of a friend having yet another miscarriage.

I see these things, and I want to run. I want to run and hide, away from good dreams. I listen to the voice that says, "No! You can't have it. Be fearful. Can you imagine the bad things that could happen were you to try that again? Don't do it! Don't give in!"

And so here I sit.

So, here comes the choice, right? Do I give in to the fear?