Lifestages no one should miss

Marriage, parenting, grandparenting--these are the things that define life.

Little is more gratifying than hearing of a former student meet the man of her dreams, fall in love, and announce her engagement to be married. I just got word that a former debate student became engaged yesterday. She was one of my favorite, went onto my alumni college, and I’m certain it was because of the recommendation letter I wrote for her (heh). Yesterday was her birthday, too, the same birthday as Wendy’s. Esther, whose Facebook wall today reads “I’m going to be Mrs. Andrew Wagner!” was one of those students I recall thinking, “If there isn’t a guy smart enough at Regis to…” Well, let’s just say that Mr. Wagner is a very smart guy.

A little more gratifying is when these married young couples start having children. Check out the beaming pride of Ron and Rachel, barely in their 20s with three kids already. I knew Ron when he was in high school, his father and I elk hunt together, and now his bride attends a book group with Wendy. Pretty daring on Rachel’s part, a book group of women in their 40s and 50s, yet she enjoys it. They’ve had three kids in four years, the last one being their first-born son. My kids babysit them when the ladies are out. A beautiful family. They’re so full of life and future and optimism, I can hardly stand it.

I see something in my dad’s eyes when I play with my grandson, Isaak. My dad sees something that I don’t fully comprehend, but I’m starting to. It’s similar to the joy I have for Esther/Andrew and Ron/Rachel. He sees me experiencing the joy of entering a significant life stage, that of a grandparent, and he finds joy in my discovery. Love for your grandchild is so different than love of spouse or child. Is there a love more freeing? I can let Alicia and Josh do the tough love of parenting, the kind of love that is often firm and uncomfortable. Isaak is coming over to spend the weekend with us soon. I can’t wait. Grandpa and Grandma (along with his 13 aunts and uncles) are going to pour so much love all over him. Simple, freeing love. If you’re a grandparent, you know what I’m talking about.

This is rather deep, but bear with me for a moment. Wendy and I are working on our next book, first draft due to the publisher at the end of the month. We haven’t nailed down a title yet, but the overwhelming theme in the book is this: have another child. This may end up the title. This may work for readers of this blog, but consider for a moment: what title could be more challenging, more controversial, than having another child?

Truth is, couples today make the mistake of avoiding it, dreading it, fearing it. Our book challenges couples to rethink the all-too-common persuasion that family life should be delayed. Marriage, parenting, grandparenting–these are the things worth living for. Jobs, degrees, travels, money–good things, perhaps, but they pale in comparison. They shouldn’t define your life, and those that are are sad lives. Family: this is what makes life worth living.

Ron’s dad and I were hunting together when he received a cell phone call from his son. Kendrick Rush Stauffer was born that day. At the news of his firstborn grandson, Ron’s dad–elk hunter, Boy Scout leader, business manager, genuine tough guy–wept. I’m certain Esther’s mom cried when she heard the news of her oldest daughter’s engagement. These stages in life bring meaning to it all. These are stages no one should miss.

About Chris & Wendy Jeub

The Jeub Family live in Monument, Colorado. They encourage couples to love God and love one another, building an atmosphere of love in their homes.

  • Sarah M. in MI

    Yes! Excellent post. I always tell people…You will never regret having another child, but you might regret NOT having another child. I have had several people tell me “I wish I would have had another child…,” all for different reasons, but the regret is the same.

    Blessings on your endeavor!

  • mollie

    I can’t tell you how THRILLED I am that you are writing another book! I was wondering if you were ever going write more on this topic. Can’t wait to read it!

  • http://stephsoundoff.blogspot.com Steph T

    I love that for a title. It’s not clever…it doesn’t have alliteration…but it’s so compelling. I was hospitalized for 6 days recently. I had a picture of my family in my room and to be honest I got tired of answering questions of every person who came in the room (are you going to have more???). Perhaps I was even embarrassed by my fertility. :( Then when I was going home a new PCA (who didn’t hear my story I was so sick of telling) wheeled me out to the door where my hubby awaited. He quietly told me of his dreams to have a large family with 6 or 7 kids. His dreams were dashed when his wife began having miscarriage after miscarriage. They have only 3 children and have had 4 miscarriages. He said his wife (who originally didn’t know if she wanted children) had recently been wanting to have another. I wanted to jump for joy and encourage him to–yes–try again and trust God. I was also crushed by my own selfishness and lack of joy in what God has blessed me with. Illness or not, I had lost sight of the precious gift of life. I can’t wait to read your next book, I’m sure it will be FULL of encouragement and reminders we all need to hear. :)

  • http://luvinmy3guys.blogspot.com Beth

    I can’t wait to read your next book!!

    Oh, how I can relate to Steph’s comment!
    We have easily conceived 2 children, when we wanted and without any complications. We feel truly blessed.

    We were again blessed with another baby, another pregnancy desired on OUR timing. When I became pregnant with our 3rd child I was certainly happy, but I have the feeling of “oh, third time around, old hat”. I even joked with my midwifes office that this was our 3rd pregnancy, no need to come in right away to hear the heartbeat.

    A few short days after getting the positive pregnancy test, we lost that baby. We are devastated. I took for granted the miracle, the GIFT that God so graciously had given us. So, I too had “lost sight of the precious gift of life”.

    I pray that God will once again bless our family with another baby, many babies.

    I no longer think that I am in control of my fertility. God is.

    Would you please pray for our family during this difficult time? We lost our baby just days before we celebrated the birth of our Savior. Would you also pray that my husbands heart would be softened and open to allow God to determine the size of our family.

    Blessing to you on your new venture!!

  • http://oceansofjoy.wordpress.com Avivah @ Oceans of Joy

    The topic sounds great and I’d love to read more! We have nine so far, and are open to receiving more blessings. :) I enjoy hearing the thoughts on this topic of those who have bigger families than we do; it’s encouraging and validating.

  • nicole j bideau

    I have never regretted having my wonderful children one of whom has aspergers syndrome, he is a pleasure who lights up every day of my life I have two grandchildren both of whom have autisum my daughter is amazing with them it is a true blessing God only gives you what he can guide you through.

  • http://friztime.blogspot.com Tammy

    So true…

  • http://simplebees.blogspot.com Stephanie

    So very true… and so many are completely oblivious.

  • Sandra

    I was going to suggest “Just One More..” as a title,but the word ‘one’ appears to put a cap on it!
    Can’t wait to read it :)

  • http://angela_d6086@charter.net angela beltran

    I am also greatfull that you are writing another book. Your family is so “normal” that I don’t feel that your way out of my league. I am very blessed that my husband and I are a one income household. I am able to homeschool our seven children and I don’t have to miss anything. I can continue to nurse ny babies alot long then the mom that has to go back to work. I pray all the time for god to see fit to give me another child. If people could only feel the warmth that comes from knowing that they are all hand pick by god just for each family, maybe other would open thier heart to more children.