Pictures don’t lie, but they don’t tell the whole truth either. They just capture a moment—no, a split-second—in time. Our family recently captured such moment when Zev and I—plus every child, child-in-law and grandchild—lived together in our house during Passover.

But the picture doesn’t show my mind saying “Thank you, G‑d” in a continuous loop as the photographer snapped away. You can’t see Pictures don’t tell the whole truth all that went into this journey that began almost 30 years ago, when our lives changed course from being self-directed to G‑d-directed.

But at least you can see the most profound reflection of this changed course: the children we were blessed to bring into the world. And the fact that our six married children have all chosen to continue to lead a G‑d-directed life and have been blessed to bring children into the world to live the same way shows that G‑d is truly in the picture. Even if you can’t see Him.

Nowhere did I ask for more of Him than with these children—begging Him for every one of them, especially for the ones that came later, the ones I wanted so much for reasons I didn’t even try to understand. Only G‑d could give me the temerity (OK, chutzpah) to step into my womanly role as the akeret habayit, the foundation of the Jewish home. Only for Him would I try to become a strong Jewish mother, somehow sure the Rebbe’s teachings could show me how. And, if by chance along the way, I had any doubts about whether or not this whole package was the Truth, I wouldn’t let them derail me. (You can’t see these doubts either, but I can tell you now that I had them, especially at times when my mother would challenge me: If it’s so wonderful, why don’t more people do it?)

Instead, I stayed focused on the Chabad families around us that had become dynasties—beautiful, large families focused on doing incredible G‑dly work. They also started with two people who stayed firm in their commitment. I could do that, doubt or no doubt. I wasn’t afraid to ask Him endlessly for what I wanted: a big family.

Part of my reason for wanting this was simple economics. We had the strollers; we had the high chairs. The carpets were already stained. The variable costs of having another child were minimal compared to the overt miracle G‑d would be providing. How could I not want more? Our kids wanted big families, too. Mordy, our oldest son, once questioned why people who have a million dollars want 2 million, but they don’t want more “priceless” children.

I remember walking through Yad Vashem when our youngest son, Sholom, was around 3, and all I could do was ask G‑d for another child. What better way to exact revenge on those who tried to exterminate us?

Trust me, there wereWhat better way to exact revenge? plenty of times when I wished I didn’t want children so badly, especially because there’s only so much you can control when it comes to having a baby. Maybe that’s what I relished about the whole process: that I so clearly depended on G‑d’s kindness.

I never wanted to be “done.” During the years when our family kept growing, people often asked how many kids we wanted. Zev used to answer jokingly, “We always thought 14 would be nice.” I always wanted to say, “As many as G‑d gives us. Plus one.”

Family size is a very personal issue—I know that. And I’m not trying to tell anyone else what to do. I’m just grateful to G‑d that He gave me the big family that I prayed for—that I still pray for. Continuously.

Even if you can’t see it in the picture.