9 Gallons


This isn’t an actual picture of the inside of my refrigerator, but it certainly could be. I grocery shop nearly every day and recently noticed I was having a hard time keeping the milk shelf stocked. So I counted just how much milk we were drinking in a week. Nine. Nine gallons of milk are consumed by this family in one week ~ more than a gallon a day.

When our kids were little, we had an enormous refrigerator filled with glass bottles of white and chocolate milk. That was back before cell phone cameras, but I sure wish I had a picture of it today. Two rows of cold bottles, delivered to the house once a week, perfectly lined the shelves. It was actually beautiful to look at. But even with seven young children, the most we drank was 8 gallons a week. And now we’re at nine.

Last spring, with the anticipation of Becky’s high school graduation, I was secretly a little nervous about having only one child at home. At times it was exciting to think about more flexibility in my schedule, but I’m so used to doing family en masse that I couldn’t really imagine what it would look like to have a home of national-average proportions. And then, within the course of a few weeks’ time, I no longer had to wonder. Our house filled up again.

When we found out we were moving to Dallas, Brooke wanted to ditch the hard winters at Wheaton College and transferred to Dallas Baptist University. Her boyfriend, Matthew, jumped at the opportunity to move closer to his Austin roots (and Brooke) and accepted a job here in the Dallas area. While he finished out his Chicago lease, Brooke asked if he could stay with us for a while until he was financially settled. And then, in an eleventh-hour decision, our nephew Calvin found a new venue to display his basketball skills here in Texas days before the semester started. Sprinkle in a Jackie, whose school doesn’t begin until early October, and Matt’s opportunity to spend a couple months at a time with us, and our numbers are right back up near our original nine.

We regularly refer to this home as ‘the House that Jesus gave us’ because He did. And when Jesus gives you something, it’s meant to be shared. I have absolutely no problem believing that God wants us to be prosperous. What I do have a problem with is when the prosperous refuse to bless others. The highest level of living is when you bless others out of the abundance of what you’ve been blessed with.

Be careful not to place limits on God’s blessings. I used to be almost embarrassed of how much we had when I knew so many were struggling, until one day our pastor said, “Never apologize for God’s blessings. Instead, look for ways to bless others.” I had the ‘bless others’ part down, but I never made the conscious connection between the need for us to have enough to give away in order to actually give. No more apologizing for His blessings for me.

So when given the opportunity to take in a few more kids we didn’t hesitate. We’ve got the room. We’ve got the beds. And we’ve got enough milk! We are blessed to be a blessing.




  1. Yilly says:

    Absolutely perfect. I’ll get you a cow for Christmas

  2. Kim says:

    You’ll get ‘them’ a cow. I need bling!!!

  3. Kiki says:

    After time at Mimi and Papa’s, Bird asked “May we please get milk like the kids have?” You’ve trained another one well, Mimi. We are so thankful for your decision to be a blessing, and teaching us all to do the same! We love you!

  4. Nasa Sete says:

    Amen!! I can attest to being one of those who you all continue to bless and take in whenever I’m near you all. I thank our God for you all! May God continue to bless you all abundantly so that you can continue to bless others. Miss you guys!

  5. Patti Carollo says:

    AMEN & AMEN!!! <3 Love this!!

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