Sweeter by the Dozen


Marcia Hekman tells the story of how she and her husband ended up having twelve children.

How amazing it is that we ended up with twelve precious children! We didn’t always want to have a lot of kids.

Randy and I got married a few days after college graduation, and we started our life together at a small apartment in the Washington D.C area. I wanted to have a baby right away, but had to give that desire to God and teach school for a couple of years.

Then came precious Michelle Ann, who always has had a strong desire to do what is right and be a courageous example to her siblings. Renee was born seventeen months later and has cultivated her musical abilities to touch hearts both with her piano playing and songs that she writes. Alicia was our third child, an optimistic leader who inspires many. Gentle and sweet Marianne was born nineteen months later and continues to bless others with her kind and generous heart.

Four children, ages five and under, made for a very busy household. It seemed obvious to us that four children was plenty. One day I told God, “This is enough children,” but added, “If you want us to have another child, change Randy’s heart.” I knew that Randy—a private pilot—had a dream of some day owning a six-passenger airplane. More than four children and we just wouldn’t fit!

Soon after my prayer, Randy started noticing Bible verses, like Psalm 127:3-5, about how children are a blessing. He began to wonder why we gladly accept the blessings of health and money, but turn down children. He became convicted about running this area when we preach and teach that Jesus is to be Lord of every area of life. So we put our childbearing results in God’s hands, Randy fully expecting our wise and merciful God to see what we could see: that we couldn’t afford, nor did we have room in our house or car, for any more children.

A few months later, when I told Randy with a smile that I didn’t feel so good, he envisioned his six-passenger plane taking a graveyard spiral to the ground. But God soon gave him the grace to be happy about the expected new life.

And so sensitive, caring David Randall arrived, and we continued to pray and trust God regarding our family. Then came Suzanne, who is very gifted in serving others; John, an artist, sensitive to others’ needs; Scott, always ready to take action and get a job done; Laurie, with a major desire to mentor teens; Daniel, excited to be in medical school; Angela, honoring her husband in the Air Force; and Nathan, very perceptive and eager to follow God.

These children belong to God, not us. Because they are His, He has miraculously met our needs for food, clothing, shelter, fifteen-passenger vans, and even college tuition! We continue to pray for them and daily trust them to His care. How grateful we are that He changed our hearts and brought them into the world for His Glory. Psalm 138:8 is my prayer for each member of our family: “The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me.” His plans are bigger than ours, but if we are willing to be willing, He will guide our lives!  

This post was written by Marcia Hekman.

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