God to Earth: 4 kids per bedroom a Good Thing

photo from  inashoe.com

Today’s first reading in the Office of Readings, from Isaiah, contains lines that were enormously consoling to me years ago when I was expecting my fourth child. We were living in a smallish 3 bedroom ranch in California–no attic, no basement, and a one car garage that held all the things one would normally store in an attic or a  basement.

Although I laugh now to think about it, I was at the time in a minor panic over how I would house the next child were it to be a girl. My two older daughters were in one small bedroom, and our son in the other. A certain relative hinted that putting three children in one bedroom simply is Not Done, nor does one ever, ever, let children of opposite sexes share a room, even if one is a preschooler and the other a newborn.  I was still young and silly enough to care about keeping  this person’s good opinion, even though it had already  been lost years before when I had the bad taste to become  pregnant on my honeymoon.

Sure enough, I had another girl. Little Maryanne had no idea how unhappy she was supposed to be, sharing a 10×11  room with two adoring sisters who were in fierce competition to see who could make her smile often. When she was 5 weeks old I picked up the breviary and read this December 22nd  passage from Isaiah:

Though you were waste and desolate,
a land of ruins,
Now you shall be too small for your inhabitants,
while those who swallowed you up will be far away.
The children whom you had lost
shall yet say to you,
“This place is too small for me,
make room for me to live in.”

And guess what? This was not a prediction of woe for Israel, but a promise of hope and blessing!

In other words, God used my predicament –a predicament I would have at regular intervals for the next 20 years–as an illustration of a good, highly to be envied  situation.  And the people of Israel, uncorrupted by  articles in Parents Magazine about the pitfalls of siblings sharing a room, understood this.

 Isaiah helped me to realize that my problem was a pretty good one to have.
Daria Sockey

By

Daria Sockey is a freelance writer from western Pennsylvania. Her articles have appeared in many Catholic publications. She authored several of the original Ignatius Press Faith and Life catechisms in the 1980s, and more recently wrote five study guides for saints' lives DVDs distributed by Ignatius Press. She now writes regularly for the newly revamped Catholic Digest. Her newest book, The Everyday Catholic's Guide to the Liturgy of the Hours, will be published by Servant Books this spring. Feel Free to email her at thesockeys@gmail.com

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  • KimC

    I love your application of Isaiah 49:19-20. What a beautiful perspective! It truly is a blessing to have a home bursting at the seams with God’s children, entrusted to us.
    KimC, mom to the children in the photo above

    PS. God has blessed us with a larger home since that photo was taken. We fit in it much better, but we love to pack our home with friends and extended family whenever possible. :)

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