MEET THE LUDY FAMILY
Eric and I were married for ten years before we had children. Just why did we wait so long? The official reason—meaning the answer that we gave to anyone who was nosy enough to ask—was that we were incredibly busy with our travel and speaking schedule, and we were waiting to start a family until our life settled down a bit.
But in all honesty, there was a deeper reason for our reluctance to say “yes” to the pitter-patter of little feet. After hearing countless comments that portrayed motherhood in a chaotic, miserable, negative light, I had become afraid of having children. In our many travels and interactions with Christian families around the country, I’d encountered one mom after the next who was frazzled, exhausted, and at her wit’s end. The concept of motherhood had become just plain scary to me.
Statements like, “You may have romance in your marriage now, but just wait ’til you have kids!” and “Motherhood will destroy your life!” echoed in my ears whenever the subject of starting a family came up between Eric and me. I’d been told that once I said “yes” to children, my home would become a chaotic disaster, my marriage would fall apart, my appearance would be in shambles, and my relationship with Christ would fall by the wayside. Though I knew that God’s Word said children were a gift from the Lord, I found myself wondering why anyone would ever want that kind of “blessing.”
Year after year of marriage went by and I continued to hedge on having children. Growing up, I’d always desired to be a mom someday. But after hearing one horror story after the next about motherhood, I had become convinced that motherhood would cause my life, home, marriage, and walk with God to become all but ruined.
I began to ask God to change my heart toward having children. After all, I reasoned, the concept was His idea. Who better to give me the correct perspective on starting a family than the One who invented family in the first place?
God gently began to open my eyes to His perspective on motherhood. As I looked at the pattern of Scripture, I awakened to the fact that in His design, motherhood is not meant to be miserable and chaotic. Rather, God’s intent for motherhood is just the opposite! Just look at these amazing promises from God’s Word:
- 1. Children are meant to bring strength into our lives: Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth (Ps. 127:4).
- 2. Children are a reward and gift from God: Behold, children are a gift of the Lord. The fruit of the womb is a reward (Ps. 127:3, NASB).
- 3. God gently and tenderly cares for mothers of young children: He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those who are with young (Is. 40:11).
- 4. Children are precious to Him: But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt. 19:14).
- 5. God intends to make us into happy mothers: He settles the childless woman in her home as a happy mother of children (Ps. 113:9, NIV).
- 6. A Christ-centered mother is dignified, confident and joyful: She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come (Pr. 31:25, NIV).
As I meditated upon these life-giving truths, I began to catch God’s vision for motherhood. Even though I hadn’t seen an abundance of joyful, radiant, or excellent motherhood, I began to realize that it truly was possible to rise above mediocrity and chaos, and experience victory instead of defeat. The secret was in leaning on God’s strength and not my own. From that time on, I became excited about the idea of starting a family. I asked God to shape me into a mother after His own heart; not accepting the world’s mentality of defeat or chaos, but rising up to a higher standard—His standard—by His grace.
When our son Hudson was born, he was an extremely high-maintenance baby, with acid reflux and extreme sleep issues. From the very beginning of our parenting journey we had to learn lessons about prayer, faith, dependence, and spiritual discipline that we’d never before known (For more about Hudson’s story, read the devotion Exchanging Chaos for Strength). Though it certainly was not easy, we found that God truly did use the challenges of parenting to make us stronger and more equipped for the battles we were called to fight.
Almost two years after Hudson came along, we experienced the heartbreak of a miscarriage. Though it was a devastating experience, God turned all that the enemy meant for evil to good, using the heartache we felt to give us a peek into His heart for orphans and vulnerable children. Through a series of supernatural events, we were blessed with a precious Korean baby daughter, Harper Grace, who arrived home around the very same time that the miscarried baby would have been due. Read more about Harper’s story.
A year and a half later, God beautifully orchestrated an adoption story with a young woman at our church who was praying about a family for her unborn child. Building a relationship with this precious young mom, and entering into an open adoption has been an amazing experience. Kipling Joel Anthony arrived into the Ludy family on November 1st, 2008. Read Kipling’s story.
While in the hospital walking through Kip’s arrival, I found out to my astonishment that I was pregnant with Ludy baby number 4! I had the unusual experience of tending to a newborn and morning sickness at the same time — with a lively toddler and rambunctious preschooler in tow. Life was getting more intense by the month, but we rejoiced at the amazing way that God was building our family. We were blessed and delighted by the arrival of Avonlea Rose Ludy in June of 2009, just seven months after Kip was born. Raising Avy and Kip together was very much like having twins — double cribs, double high chairs, double strollers, and double diaper duty!
At that point, we had four kids ages four and younger, three of them in diapers. Simultaneously, we were still traveling and speaking, leading a church, writing books, and launching our discipleship training program in Colorado. I will never forget that season of my life. Though it is not a season I would be eager to repeat, when I look back I remember the amazing, empowering, enabling grace of God, equipping me to do what I never could have done in my own strength!
About three years later, as things were finally beginning to get a bit more sane around our house, we were presented with the opportunity to adopt two infants from Haiti — a boy and a girl, born very close to the same time but not biologically related. After a lot of praying and wrestling with the decision, our entire family felt strongly that our answer was “yes”. It was not supposed to be a difficult adoption, but it turned into a nightmare twenty-nine month process, and many times it did not even seem possible that we would ever bring Rees and Lily home. But once again, God was amazingly faithful. We saw Him take a very challenging situation and show Himself mighty — both to us and to our children. In the fall of 2014, Rees and Lily (then two) officially joined the Ludy family. Learn more about Rees and Lily’s story.
Now we have six children ranging in age from three to eleven. What a difference from those ten years when it was just the two of us! Our home life these days is certainly never dull and is rarely quiet. There is plenty of noise, chaos, and enough pitter patter of little feet to make relaxation a rare luxury. But I wouldn’t trade it for the world. God is writing our family story in a most unusual, profound, and beautiful way. The lessons of prayer, faith, and dependence that I learn daily as a mother are truly invaluable, and impact every other aspect of my life and ministry.
Everyday, I thank Him for the blessing of the children that He has given me, and the privilege of being a mother. The lessons of prayer, faith, and dependence that I learn daily as a mother are truly invaluable, and impact every other aspect of my life and ministry.
Truly, God’s ways are perfect!
MEET OUR KIDDOS
CLICK ON A PHOTO TO READ ABOUT EACH ONE