Encouragement for Those Who Are Sick of “The Question”

We newlyweds get this question all the time, especially at holidays: “When are you going to have kids?” This question is particularly challenging because, I’ve noticed, there isn’t a lot of Christian material out there for just Christian wives. I’m reading a book now that talks about being a confident woman, but the author dedicates several chapters to how she feels about being a mom. Don’t get me wrong, I love free parenting advice, but it’s almost like someone sent me a text message that was meant for someone else.

As a disclaimer for some of the readers in my family who think that this is a direct attack on them, I did get asked this question a lot over the weekend, and your questions did inspire this post. I’m more comfortable with this conversation now than I was, you know, during my wedding reception. However, while talking with my family, I gleaned some encouragement that I wanted to share with the couples out there who are still rolling their eyes when people see a baby and ask when they’re going to have one. So, thanks to my family for asking the difficult questions.

Some people are selfish, but most people mean well. Most people are also genuinely interested about your plans for your life. The people in your family or at church are simply enjoying watching you grow and taking the next step of your life.

I first noticed people asking me about the next step of my life when I was trying to pick a college. During my senior year, I didn’t know where I was going to go yet, but I remember getting asked about it five times in only one day. But the questions didn’t stop there. When I decided on a college, I didn’t have a major. When I decided on a major, I didn’t have a car. When I got a car, I didn’t have a degree. When I got a degree, I didn’t have a job. When I got a job, I didn’t have a boyfriend. When I got a boyfriend, I didn’t have an engagement ring. When I got an engagement ring, I didn’t have a wedding ring. When I got a wedding ring, I didn’t have a baby. Or a house. Or another baby. And then my kids will get asked the questions.

Some of my family members are in high school now, and I ask them almost every time I see them where they’re going to college and what they want to do as a career. It may not be what they end up doing for college (they still have a couple of years), but it’s nice to see that them grown up and making big-kid decisions. So, when I get asked the question, “When are you having kids?” it’s really just the next step of life, and I’m sure the person asking me is just really happy to see me grown up and making big-kid decisions.

If you get asked this question a lot, think of it as a compliment. It means that you’re ready in the world’s eyes. It means that the person asking you sees you as a mature adult now, able to parent your own children and make big-kid decisions. Please, do not see it as an insult. You and your husband are complete without children. You and your husband are not lazy for choosing to wait. You and your husband have your priorities in order if your priorities include focusing on your marriage or saving money.

For those of you who are sensitive about this topic, try not to answer their prying questions with too much detail. My husband and I already have a rough draft idea for our children, from when we want to start trying to get pregnant, to actually raising our kids. Hormones and circumstances could change things, but no one knows that plan but us and God. Why? Because no one will be happy (I mean 100% happy) with our plans, because they’re not their plans.

Being vague with our plans also gives God space to work. God is ultimately the giver of life. I know people who were on birth control and got pregnant anyway. I know people who used every form of fertility method and still couldn’t get pregnant. Our answer, over all, should be that we’ll have children in God’s timing. Until then, we’re serving Him as best as we can as husband and wife by loving each other and growing where we are planted.

Photo by Andrew Itaga on Unsplash


Step into His Rest

I woke up Tuesday morning with a sense of urgency.  I had a lot on my plate: the apartment was a mess, I anticipated a crazy work day, and, of course, I wanted to write my book and my blog with very little time to do so!

Despite all the activities that stood on the path before me, I knew what I needed to do first.  I needed to put my day in God’s hands.  On Tuesday, I sacrificed the small amount of time before I had to leave and trusted God to show me what I needed to know.

And wow, did He show me!

You’ll never guess what I learned in my devotional.  It was about rest and trusting God to do the impossible!  They alluded to the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand.  We always focus on that incredible story, but what the disciples did before this great miracle happened is just as significant.  Before sending out His disciples to encounter these hungry people, Jesus asked them to spend some time alone in prayer.  Time alone with God is so important, because it allows us to center our attention on Him.  We need to rest in God in order for Him to strengthen us to overcome whatever obstacles we face in the day ahead.

One of the most powerful things I did on the retreat this past weekend was just let God control my day.  Obviously, He’s always in control, but sometimes I like to think I’m in control.  We had a schedule that we were suggested to follow, but nothing was mandatory.  I set my alarm so that I could follow the schedule.  When my head hit the pillow, I fell asleep peacefully.

Several hours later, I detected the sun shining through the curtain.  My alarm should be going off soon, I thought, snuggling deeper into the covers, allowing myself a few more minutes to sleep.  After dozing off again, I realized that my alarm hadn’t gone off.  Is the sun really up this early?  I looked at my phone.  If I’d wanted to follow the schedule, I should have been up 45 minutes earlier.

I guess I had needed my sleep.

I decided, since I’m constantly a slave to a schedule, to let myself relax instead of rushing to each and every activity that weekend.  I did not rush through my quiet time with the Lord.  I didn’t care that I was a little late to breakfast and that I couldn’t find a seat.  I made new friends, and I had some incredible conversations with people I wouldn’t have talked to if I was on time.  Whatever I chose to do during the weekend was more meaningful; instead of attending workshops and meetings because I had to, I attended them because I knew God wanted to show me something through them.

Trusting in God’s timing shows your confidence in him, which ultimately shows your confidence in what He says about you.

While it is tempting to rush through life, God calls us to trust Him with every step.  Someone told me this weekend that the way in the right direction always involves the first step.  We get so focused on the steps that follow that we feel too numb to take the first step.  All it takes to get us started is to rely on God for that one step, and then the next step, and then the next.  One step at a time.

And step by step, God will lead us.

You don’t have to have it all figured out.  You don’t have to choose right now.  You don’t have to be a slave to your schedule or to others’ expectations of you.

During these next few weeks, I’m going to through rush out the window.  I can’t ignore the tasks that God has allowed me to do, and the activities that God has provided for me to participate in, but I can develop an attitude of rest that reminds me who is really in control.  I’m not in control.  My activities are not in control.  My blog readers are not in control.  My potential literary agents/publishers are not in control.

Ultimately, God is in control, and I rest confidently in the fact that He will guide me in this next step, and every next step to follow.

Photo by Julia Caesar on Unsplash