When we are out during the day I frequently hear, "Are they all yours?" (Sheesh folks, there are only 4!) I was really surprised one day to hear a cashier say, "Thanks for having the courage to have more than one. Babies are great."
I thought about this for a long time. Having the children is not a sacrifice. Well, not completely. I mean, loving anyone involves sacrifice. I get so many things from them. I would never be the person that I am today without the children. They have challenged me to grow in maturity, patience and self donative love. Without them my faith would not be as strong and I would never considered thinking critically about the culture that we live in and if I really want to live in it. I would be less organized and much more lazy. (Not that I excel in any of these skills.)
They are my desolation, my mortification, my sanctification and my consolation. They remind me that God has faith in ME.