By LIBBO CROSSWHITE
Happy Anniversary! Since this month marks one whole year for me writing the Modern Motherhood column, I thought it might be a nice change of pace for you to hear from a real, live mother who knows what they are doing.
I officially met Candance Hendricks a few months ago on a mission trip to San Francisco but had heard of her often from her husband, Cedell, who is a coworker of mine. I’m going to be honest and say I thought there would be no way that real-life Candance could be as cool as Cedell made her out to be—and I was totally right. She was 100 times cooler than I ever imagined.
Candance and Cedell have five precious (and might I add beautifully well-mannered) little boys and are expecting their sixth boy in August. Yes, you read that correctly. Six boys. A basketball starting five with one to spare in case of injury or foul trouble. And she homeschools them, has the voice of an angel, has a contagious laugh, and also slept on the floor (yes, while pregnant) with 45 high school girls during our mission trip.
But the best part about Candance is that she is continually pointing others to the Cross in a way that is so natural and humble that it makes people want to learn more about who God is because He is certainly with and living through Candance. So, I asked Candance to share (in her nonexistent spare time) some of her wisdom with all of us. Enjoy!
How? (It’s what we are all wondering.)
Ha! I always get asked a version of this question. If not, I think it’s just assumed I am perfect at it and some type of otherworldly saint and I have to quickly correct those thoughts! Having five children with five different personalities and development stages can make a person grow weary in trying to keep up with it all. However, I have a wonderful husband who is a gift from God. He is a brother in Christ, who is not only in the trenches with me but who points me to Christ. I also have great sisters in Christ who I can be very candid and open with about motherhood and they also point me to Christ. Every day I wake up to the position the Lord has placed me in, I cannot deny the fact that I need Him to do it and I will always need Him.
What has been the best thing about being a mother to five (soon to be six) boys?
It’s the awe that comes over me when I think about how the Lord has blessed us. Psalms 127 says that children are a blessing from the Lord. This flies in the face of a society that looks down on children and the fact that if you have more than one, you must be insane! To be asked the question, “You do know what causes that don’t you?” or hear the phrase, “Bless your heart! No girls?” is a picture of the mentality that most have today—even in “Christian” circles. The Lord chose to give us these children, and though it can be very overwhelming, I think about He has done and the fact that HE has called them blessings.
We know you are a mom, but what else do you enjoy outside of being a mom?
Wow. I need to take more time thinking on these things so I am glad you asked this question! I enjoy good food and great pastries! I also love to dance, sing, and craft. Taking time to read when I can is something I like. A good fiction book and a ton of rain and thunder—yes!
What’s the hardest part about having a family of seven (almost eight)?
Things like going out to eat and not being able to get a table in a decent amount of time, traveling out of town together and not having accommodations available that don’t require two rooms. Oh, what about getting out of the house on time? Yeah, there’s that too.
How do you and Cedell make time for your marriage with both of your busy schedules?
We have to be extremely diligent and intentional about this. It takes consistency to make sure that we don’t allow our time to be looked over and unfortunately, yet truthfully, we don’t always get it right. There are many times where it seems to be on the back burner but we get things back on track and think about our time together and how important it is. We have a 3-person tent that we call our “unplug” tent. We set it up in the backyard and take covers and pillows and maybe an iPad to watch a movie together but no phones enter the tent. We enjoy each other and it makes our time that much more special that we do not allow outside distractions. So, it takes work but it is worth it.
What has God shown you in your years of motherhood?
God has shown me that motherhood is not about me. If anything, it is used, in part, for my sanctification along with marriage and other things. At our church, Grace Community Church, one of our pastors preached on marriage. The first thing he said before he began to preach is, “Marriage is not about you.” I believe it is the same thing with parenting. Being a mom, I had to lay aside so much of what I thought was for me as a mother. Ultimately, being a mom is about shepherding these children and telling them of Christ. He made them! (Colossians 1:16) We desire for them to know the Lord and I have a huge part in that daily while being at home with them. To share Christ with them and what He has done for those who would believe (Romans 1:16-17, 1 Corinthians 15:1-5). It is for His glory alone that I mother these children. Prayerfully, they will know Him as their Creator and their Lord.
Describe a typical day in the Hendricks household.
Right now, since I am pregnant with Hendricks boy #6, I am not an early riser. To be honest, I am not an early riser, period, and that is something I am working on. The kids can normally get their own breakfast together unless I feel like I can manage the special request for waffles or pancakes. Our two oldest sons can manage the typical cereal and milk collaboration. They like to do it and I am thankful. There are most mornings where it seems to take forever to get that bowl of cereal made but I’m hoping with time that will get better.
After breakfast, we normally go into school time. This consists of catechism throughout the week, math work, spelling, science, etc. A lot of this dwindles toward summer, though we never truly stop having school. This time around, we are planning super early for next year since we will have another little addition to that daily routine! After school, there’s playtime, nap time, quiet time, and time to clean and straighten the house before daddy comes home. At this point, if I have a meal planned, which I am still trying to get in the habit of doing, I cook when Cedell gets home or he will cook (or if neither of us is in the mood we get take out!). After dinner, we have some time as a family and will either read a book, have family worship time, watch a movie, or play a game and then it’s time for bed and mommy and daddy time! All to go to bed and do it all over again the next day!