Friday, August 19, 2011

I can still eat during this type of fast, thankfully

I have been tormenting myself the past few weeks about the number of kids I want. This is why I am crazy. What a stupid, narcissistic, first-world problem to have, I know. I know! And still I can't let it go.

I have many, many friends and family members struggling with fertility.* It feels like the norm is to have problems conceiving a child rather than the opposite. If I were a superstitious woman, I would say that even writing this post is jinxing myself.

(But the point of this blog is to force me to reflect, to acknowledge, to grow. I want to see God working in my life, and for me that means I have to take the time to write.)

I was talking with my mom about this latest self-torment, and she mentioned that we need to make a decision based on what is best for our family (as opposed to comparing the size of our family to the sizes of our friends' families) and that we need to involve God in the decision-making process.

Whoops. I hadn't even prayed about this once. Not once! After realizing this, I knew I needed to put a stop to all thinking about how many kids I want. Now, if the thought pops in my head, I am going to pray. It's like fasting, I guess. When you give up food, all you think about is food. And when you are fasting, you are supposed to pray whenever you want to eat or think about eating. So, I've decided to replace "food" with "thinking about the number of kids I want" in this spiritual disciplines equation.

Anyway, so that's where I'm at on this issue. If you ask me how many kids I want or when I think we'll try to get pregnant again, I won't have an answer for you until God gives me one. I know he can and will if I will turn off the constant inner dialogue long enough to listen.

*Watching people I love battle to conceive a child absolutely breaks my heart. I would do anything to give them their heart's desire, but another crappy component of infertility is that there is often nothing anyone can do, even doctors. HOWEVER. I have learned so much from these couples. And I don't say that as a cliche-- I really mean I have learned a lot. I have seen people choose again and again and again to believe that God is good, and that's sometimes a difficult thing to believe. I have seen them somehow be able to love my (very much alive and healthy and wonderful) children without complaining that they should have children by now. Something else I have learned from them is that there are many, many wrong things to say, including that I can't decide how many kids I want for myself. So, please forgive me for seeming so callous to this hardship-- the premise of the post is not about the number of kids I want really; it's about spiritual discipline.

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