I cannot help it – the Duggars fascinate me. I feel like a voyeuristic intruder when I watch a Discovery Channel special about them, like I am somehow violating their 17 children by just looking at them agape, my jaw hanging low. But I guess they are OK with it. It probably helps pay some bills, so maybe it is OK for me to do my part.
Jim Bob and Michelle (he would have to be “Jim Bob,” wouldn’t he?) have 17 children and are expecting another in January 2009. Michelle’s womb is certainly fruitful and probably worn out, too, but they just keep populating the earth with Godly seed to beat the band.
My brother, Joe, via my Uncle Donald, recently sent an email forward with photos of the Duggar family and their home and lives. It caused me to go back and check out their website, a place I have been on several occasions and once again, speechless, I shake my head.
I really love their house, which I believe was 2 pre-fabs “glued” together in the middle, had professional designers put it together and possesses that which I covet the most – quote from their website: “Not your ordinary in-home central vac system, but an extensive Wet/Dry vacuum system that reaches carpet, tile, concrete, upholstery and most other surfaces. It boasts a full power commercial-style carpet & hard surface cleaning system, just like the pros use! We have the optional car detail kit which allows you to vacuum & shampoo vehicles in the garage. From quick spill cleanup to daily cleaning, the Aqua-Air Wet/Dry is truly a life-saver!”
Yes, hmmm. But in looking at pictures of their home again today, I realized I would need all 17 children to help me keep it that clean and sparkly.
They are very organized and seem like a very genuine, loving family – very open about their faith in Jesus Christ. The Today Show reported that when they made an appearance there, after the 19 of them left the green-room-waiting area, it was cleaner than when they got there. They dress alike a lot just to keep the laundry simpler and they have both a “pretty,” more public kitchen and a “utility” kitchen that looks like a school cafeteria – which is nice, I guess, since they home-school and wouldn’t otherwise get to experience that brand of “fun.”
See lots more pictures here – http://www.duggarfamily.com/photos.html
I came from a family of 5 children (in a forced “outward appearance of holiness” church background) and had 5 of my own (not subject to those “look peculiar” religious rules). I remember when I was pregnant with my 5th, a lady in the mall began chiding us for bringing another child into an over-taxed and dangerous world. We were young enough to stand there and take it, then. I wouldn’t now, but my blessed life speaks for itself. I am surrounded by a loving and ever-growing family (5 “original” kids, plus 3 married-ins, plus 5 grand kids and just getting started!) and I know they are my heritage and blessing from God! That lady in the mall? No way she is enjoying her life as much as me.
But having seen TV specials about, for instance, the Dionne Quints and how media coverage and people’s nosiness hurt them so much, I do worry about the Duggar kids and what it is like for them to be looked at like puppies in a store window, watched with curiosity, paraded about for entertainment’s sake. I hope they will somehow be protected from the negative press and that the Discovery Channel won’t be airing “Duggar Kids Gone Wild” someday, broken children striking back from being American oddities. I hope they’ll become all God has intended since He first began to fashion them secretly in the womb. I hope they each know they are more than part of a curiously large crowd. Unique, special, individuals – and part of the much larger family of God.
But still, for me, fascinating…Jeanie
NOTE TO SELF:Don’t judge. Don’t stare. Pray for them occasion-calling each child by name. Pray that if they should ever wander by this post, my public pondering would not be hurtful…
pictured: The whole family, currently; around the table during Bible time, note the drink station where another family might place a beautiful buffet; the main living area of the house; the “pretty” kitchen; boys dorm-style bedroom; girl’s bedroom; laundry room