And now for something completely different!

(With apologies to the Python crew)
Jeana over at Days to Come has been burning up keyboards all over the place with these four posts (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4)

I encourage you to read it, really. (Thank you, Shannon and BooMama)

It is pretty interesting how we hear things, isn't it? Especially with respect to very personal decisions. I love the grace exhibited by these ladies in their discussion. They are all very passionate about their feelings and opinions, but they are mindful that God's calling in their lives is just that-- in their lives.

I have no children, so I have not had to defend our choices for raising our family. I have, however, felt as though I had to defend our childless status. Two things strike me when it comes to this:

For one thing, it will never cease to amaze me how completely insensitive perfect strangers and casual acquaintances can be with their questions and comments. Yes, we have been married almost four years. No we do not have any children. No we do not have immediate plans for any. Yes, I realise that if we are waiting for the "right time" it will never happen. I also realise that, while there is no "right time," there is definitely a "wrong time." I realise that while I am still completing my education, it is not responsible to add an extra person to our family. Oh, yeah, that's another thing-- we are a family, albeit a small one. I realise that our marriage is still too young to have yet another stressor added.

I also realise that if I actually said any of these things, I would hurt someone terribly. They would simply create a downward spiral of defensiveness, harsh words, and hurt feelings. Basically, I choose to hear this: "I enjoy my children so much more than I ever expected to, and I wouldn't want any one to miss out on this much joy and blessing."

The second concerns friends, all very well-meaning. It is odd how I have had my feelings "read" and justified without ever asking. Example, someone once told me that he/she understood all about my not wanting children, and that I was actually the last person he/she expected to even get married, let alone have a family. Ouch. Double ouch! I am pretty sure that this person has absolutely no idea how much that stung, and if I have my way, he/she never will.

Maybe I should be better equipped to handle these comments, but I am pretty much at a loss. Right now, I have to settle for a (hopefully) serene smile and a shrug.

(BTW, my parents have always been very hands-off, mouth shut about this topic, and I think J's have too)


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