The Red-Headed Hostess was one of my husband’s best friends before we got married. She might have warned me that he might make me move to Africa, where we currently live with our two little girls. There’s only one playground here that we can use, and they keep finding black cobras there. A snake in the garden. Ha—you might say we’ve been kicked out.
Rebecca has a truly addicting blog
at http://smylie.wordpress.com/ where you can read about their adventures in Dakar, Senegal
Joy in our posterity
“Unto the woman, I the Lord God, said:
I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception. In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children…”
Adam and Eve are cursed for eating the fruit. Eve is told it will be painful to have children, that her desires will be to her husband, that he’ll rule over her.
God spends more time cursing Adam:
“Cursed shall be the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life. Thorns also, and thistles shall it bring forth, to thee, and thou shalt eat the herb of the field. By the sweat of thy face shall thou eat bread, until thou shalt return unto the ground—for thou shalt surely die—for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou wast, and unto dust shalt thou return.”em>
The American intellectual, Leon R. Kass, describes Adam’s curse this way:
“Women periodically will suffer painful labor, but man will labor painfully all the days of his life. His portion is sorrow, sweat, toil, and death: the dusty earth opposes his needs, resists his plow, and finally devours him whole.”
And yet, Adam’s response to the curse is one of my favorite verses of scripture. It’s almost as if he didn’t really hear what God just told him. Almost as if he was too stunned by what God told Eve to really zero in on what God told him. And so Adam responds,
“And Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living”
I love it! Adam’s first response is to give Eve her own name. She was previously known only in terms of her husband, but now she’s going to have children. Eve, the mother of all living.
Again, Kass writes it well:
“Guided by one glimmer in God’s speech to the woman, the soul-saving passion of hope fixes his mind on the singular piece of good news: ‘My God! She is going to bear children!’”
I’ve felt these things.
I admit that when I got pregnant the first time I felt more obedient than hopeful. It’s a bold thing we Latter-day Saints say and believe: if you’re able, have children.
With that in mind my husband and I went ahead and yet, perhaps because it’s easy to think about how difficult having children can be (isn’t one of the first things we hear about Adam and Eve as parents a story of intense suffering?), I found myself not thrilled to be expecting.
all the sorrow of bringing her forth. I have clear memories of leaning against the hospital bed, trying to breathe through contractions, and saying to myself, over and over, “I am the mother of millions.” It’s the only thing I could think—in the middle of all of that pain I fixated on it happening again and again and again.
She was coming and I swear I’ve never felt so much joy.
three days before we supposed to move to Africa, we flew to Florida to see my in-laws. I was tired and my nerves were shot and this brand new baby of ours was sick. The doctor told us we shouldn’t fly, but what do doctors know?
Predictably, the baby got worse. We had only been in Florida for a couple of hours when we decided we had to go to the hospital. As we pulled out of the driveway, en route the midnight emergency room, my father-in-law shook his head. “Kids,” he said, “You’ll die a thousand deaths with them.”
I think about that night often.
It can be a painful thing this potential for parenthood. Even still, replenish is the word He used: to fill.
That’s why Adam fell, no? So men might be? So babies could come? So we might have joy?
“Nature has conspired to make children attractive, lively, responsive, and loveable—directly and immediately. Nature has conspired to make parents take joy in children and to love them from the start, and even when they don’t deserve it.”
The non-scriptural quotes are from Leon Kass’ book, The Beginning of Wisdom, pp 116-118.
Remember to visit the other blogs hosting this celebration!
And here is today’s Giveaway!
“Teach your children to love the hymns. Sing them on the Sabbath, in home evening, during scripture study, at prayer time. Sing as you work, as you play, and as you travel together. Sing hymns as lullabies to build faith and testimony in your young ones.” (First Presidency Preface, Hymns, 1985, x)
The Purple Cow Bookstore an independent children’s bookstore located west of the Oquirrh Mountains in Tooele, Utah. They help you bring children and books together!