“Wait…how many kids do you have now?”
That was … is… the question I get all the time. Maggie and I are expecting our 4th child in late July. I know, I’m late to the club. I figured we’d wait and see how the Yanteses and Rogerses handled it all before we got there. *kidding* But when you tell people, they are happy for you at first but then, like Jim Gaffigan says, after three kids people stop congratulating you and just begin to treat you like you’re Amish…
In late January we went to a wedding in Montana for one of Maggie’s best friends from high school. We had just began to make the news public around that time and Maggie and I figured we owed her friends some sort of an explanation why she’d be heading to bed early and waking up sick in the mornings..and high altitude probably wasn’t going to cut it. So we told her friends.
The reactions were interesting to watch and hear. We were never offended and often amused, but there was a pattern. The guys would all assert the child(ren) they had was enough (or too many)…and their wives would get silent, sip their drink, and maybe get enough (liquid) courage to muster, quietly, “one more wouldn’t be so bad…”
Reasons would be offered- kids cost too much, too busy at work, have other things to do before more (or any) kids – but yet neither my wife nor I ever asked anyone if they wanted more kids or why they didn’t want any more kids than they had. It was a built-in reaction to the news that we were expecting our fourth: “Congrats to you, but I could never have that many kids, and let me tell you why…” They could’ve stopped at “congrats” or even “I could never,” but continued anyway.
What struck my wife and I is that we never thought there was anything particularly impressive about our decision to have another child, yet the news of our pregnancy seemed to be something radical. A radical witness maybe.
Sometimes my wife and I feel like we don’t do enough to serve as witnesses to our faith. We’re not serving enough at church; not helping enough in the community or with that project… especially when we compare ourselves to those around us who are involved in everything. Yet what dawned on us in Montana was that maybe all we need to do is to just be authentic witnesses to the joy of life in living out our marriage vows. Maybe that is enough to shine the light of the Gospel wherever we may be.
So while you may be feeling like you’re not doing enough, you may be doing more than you realize!