A Fascinating Family

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

4 thoughts on “A Fascinating Family

  1. I am also fascinated by the Duggar family. To me, they represent everything that is *right* about this country. And they are proof of what’s *wrong* with this country.

    Look at how well that ginormous family unit functions. The kids are well behaved. Polite. Why? Because their parents raised them right. When people talk about how “kids today” have no responsibility or how they have no manners, my response is to always look at the parents. It’s not the kids’ fault they turn out the way they do.

    Thank goodness for parents like Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar!

  2. So much of our problems in America and the World stem from a “fatherless generation”. Because of the absence or abuse of fathers, our children are forced to grow up with no normal thought of what “father” is. Therefore when we tell them that God is a Loving Heavenly Father, they either scoff or look at us with “deer in the headlights” comprehension. The Duggar’s might be on display like retail manequins but at least they are letting us in on what family values can still be in America. And whether a child has a loving father and mother or just a loving father or just a loving mother, we can still rear our children to have integrity, character, morals and common decency; spiritually, physically, emotionally and every way…

  3. Oh, I too, find the Duggars facinating. I have great faith that every one of the children will grow up to be productive, God-fearing citizens (even if they eventually cut their hair and don a pair of jeans). But when that happens, I will give all credit to parents that paid attention, and held the bar high. Anyone interested in accomplishing the same feat(with a much smaller group) should read “Raising Unselfish Children in a Self-Absorbed World” by Jill Rigby. Life changing for some, validating for others.

  4. I think the coolest thing about that house is that every, single member of the family that was old enough helped build it in some way. Isn’t that amazing?

    We’ve gotten some comments, too, about our large family. Funny what people find the need to comment about.

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