Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Blessings, Not Burdens

In the same vein of today's culture sanctifying busyness, we glorify our burden. If for a laugh, just to vent, or because misery loves company, so many of us play "my problem is bigger than yours" all day. We hear this a lot during our engagement:
"Just wait!"
"Welcome to the end of your life."
"You had fun while it lasted."
"Do you really know what you're getting yourself into?"

Over the months it graduated into begrudging bigger family life: complaints of crying babies, sleepless nights, jealously of free time, and other ways that good people wanted to commiserate about the burden of their family.

During our efforts to grow our family, we've encountered the gambit. Curiosity with pure intentions, desire for us to join them as Family People, warnings to delay it as long as we can, and general reactions about how uncomfortable a burden pregnancy and kids will be.

Stop. Please.

We'd gladly take your burden. I look forward to morning sickness. When my back aches at 8 months pregnant (God-willing), I will remember the emptiness of years with a pain-free back. During those sleepless nights, knowing we'll work hard to show patience to one another, Kevin and I will share countless grateful glances. This is what we want and what we know God is calling us to have.

Complaining about your blessings hurts our world and the kingdom. I wish I could share with you my perspective, not to unburden myself of the pain of infertility, but so that your might know the value of your sleepy eyes, full weekends, and occupied homes.
@StartlingtheDay Elizabeth's post signature

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Unintentional Pain

"Are you guys EVER going to have kids? I mean, like, ever?!"

Words of a family friend with the pro-life intentions of being excited about young people starting to grow their family. Unfortunately, he said it to the wrong couple.

When I hear couples talk about wanting to travel, establish their career, and "get to know each other better" for several more years, I've always been tempted to judge them. 

Alright, I'm a sinner. I judge them. But I'm working on it.

Now I judge them with jealous frustration because they take for granted the idea that having kids is automatic and occurs exactly when YOU plan on it. Unfortunately, many Catholic and Christian friends are making the same assumptions about the ease of pregnancy just by asking a few simple questions.

I'm sure this aforementioned family friend (aided by some wedding alcohol) was thinking we were among that number of millennials who have been avoiding kids like the plague, armed with condoms and birth control pills. We're not.

I've debated how to address this in a blog post that few, if any, will ever read. I know how unrealistic and childish it is to think announcing NUNYA will be effective. Additionally, while it is nunya, I want people to learn that your words may be misleading to their hearers. 

When someone asks me, "Do you have kids?", I answer, "God hasn't blessed us yet."  Rather than forbidding my readers from asking the many versions of "Where in the heck are the kids?!" that we've heard over the years, I want to request you express your curiosity differently. Try:

"Has God blessed you with kids yet?"

While I'll no better relish answering, "No," to that question, I'll appreciate that you recognize that life is a miracle, not a given.

I feel confident God will bless us, either biologically or through adoption. While I'm working on getting a handle on my patience with that, please help guard the hearts of other couples who wish they could answer your queries, "YES!! GOD IS SO GOOD! We expect our bundle of joy soon!"

@StartlingtheDay Elizabeth's post signature
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