Love.

15 August 2017


Over the weekend some atrocities occurred in Charlottesville that make me want to scream and cry and rant and rage while at the same time curl up into a ball and weep - along with a huge number of Americans. But also, the terrorist attack in Burkina Faso that probably never made the news in America; the mudslide in Sierra Leone, the devastating famine in East and Southern Africa (how can we let people starve to death today?), the racism and sexism and hatred spewing all over this country and world...  It is all tragic.  

And if I screamed and ranted and raged all over about everything I find awful and wrong about the world... that is all I would do. ever. 

But I don't see the point of that. Especially on social media.  I am not a public figure nor do I have a following of people that in any way would be influenced by my calling out of atrocities.  And going to marches or protests or whatever else? What is the point?  What does that actually accomplish?  

Read this New Yorker piece that is much better at asking that question than I am:  Is there any point to protesting? 

I'm not saying it's bad. Go march if it feels like it will fill something inside of you.  But it seems like an empty action to me. 

But I know the flip side. The flip side that says silence is supporting them, or our lives begin to end when we stay silent about things that matter (Martin Luther King Jr).  I don't want to be silent either...

But anyone who knows me or knows even a little bit about me, I certainly hope, would never question my intentions.  Anyone who knows me would know I stand for love and truth and hope and life and light and joy and peace and freedom.  Silence isn't just about words. Silence is about actions. And I am a woman of action.  Standing for what is right doesn't mean going to the local rally or demonstration, necessarily.  

It looks like volunteering your time or resources to serve and love others, especially those who are different than you.  That's what will change the world... not screaming your lungs out, but loving your life away.  Go feed the hungry, or clothe the naked, or love the unloved, the forgotten, the widows, the orphans, the lonely... If you want there to be more love in the world... go put more love in the world. Go love the world. 

At least, that's my take on it. And that's what I'm going to do. Join me. 

Until next time... 

All in.

15 August 2017


It’s been a whirlwind few weeks of adjusting and readjusting and resetting and lowering expectations until finally they’re just chucked out the window. Moving across the earth and starting a new life in a foreign place Is. Not. Easy. But it certainly is an adventure, and there are many, many fun moments intertwined in those that may, in the most generous terms, be categorized as tolerable.

In two weeks I’ve visited two different churches; I’ve ridden my bike throughout the city several times; I’ve tried a new running club and I’ve played several games of Ultimate Frisbee; I’ve gotten a bank account and a drivers license and registered to vote and got health insurance and found a primary care doctor and gotten a library card; I managed to get furniture and work clothes and run around the city a bit and even explored Lexington and Concord last weekend.

In it all, a phrase has been uttered by several different people, when hearing of my various adventures and escapades: Wow, you’re all in.

Yep, I am.

Because you know what? Why not?

That first visit to the ultimate Frisbee field?  A field full of strangers of whom you have no idea if there are any players of your ability or gender or friendliness level or age level or anything at all… that first visit is going to be miserable and you’re probably going to want to bail and may even want to throw up beforehand as all the nerves in your entire body rebel at the thought of showing up and being seen. Regardless of whether I do it in my first week or my hundredth week, it’s going to be miserable. So why put it off? Then you just get to feel that anxiety and the dreaded I should really go and the worry every week until you finally bite the bullet and go. Ridiculous.  Do it now and get that part over with.

Because if it’s awful?  You don’t ever have to go there ever again.

But if it’s wonderful? Think of what you would have missed out on, because you let fear be the boss of you. 

Replace that Frisbee field with the running club or the church meeting or riding my bike in the city for the first time and you have my first week of life in Boston in a nutshell: lots of scary things, and lots of deciding not to let fear make decisions for me.

I’m all in. And there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.

Until next time…
The Concord river - beautiful! I want to go canoeing down it! 

Bending my brain with algebra and statistics in real life.  I love feeling my brain turning on again! 
 
That's Louisa May Alcott's house - home of Little Women! I need to go back for a tour... 







The boss of me.

05 August 2017

Fear is not the boss of me. Love is the boss of me.

I’m not sure where I read or saw or heard someone say that the first time; if I did, I would give them a ton of credit. This mantra has been a life-giving truth I’ve repeated to myself at least a million times in the last few months.

I said it to myself on repeat the first time I got on my new bike and rode around the city. I’ve certainly ridden many bikes in my life but never in an urban environment, filled with cars and pedestrians and traffic signals and how DO you make a left hand turn when the bike lane is on the right? I had images of blood and flying through the air and bones breaking and road rash and a mangled bike… and I said, louder than the voices telling me to just walk instead, fear is not the boss of me. And I asked some experts the questions and rode sort of slowly and got off when I felt unsure… and it was awesome.
 
My new wheels.



I yelled it to the windshield of my rented Nissan on the way to return it to Logan airport. It was beautiful and sunny and warm in Cambridge when I drove out, as it had been since my arrival; somehow in the 6.2 miles between my home and Logan a hurricane formed (well, it seemed like it!) and dumped inches of rain, hail, and massive winds while I was trying to follow signs to rental car return.  It was legitimately nerve-wracking but instead of giving in to fear I methodically decided how to proceed in the most safe, comfortable manner I could. And arrived, relieved, and very happy to drop off the car.
 
Boston Public Garden - such beauty!
It’s my mantra right now as I think about going to play ultimate Frisbee tonight on a strange field full of people I’ve never met.  Love is the boss of me.  A successful night does not look like impressing all of them with my Frisbee abilities… it looks like showing up and being light and speaking life and running around and playing a game I love. If it’s absolutely terrible, I never have to go again.  But if it’s wonderful, well, that’s worth the anxiety ball in the pit of my stomach, it’s worth putting myself out there even if I’m not the greatest player, or… even if I drop the Frisbee (gasp…). 

A fine place to sit in the shade and eat an apple.
It’s written on a small post-it note on the corner of my mirror, where I can see it and remind myself that a good Sunday and first church visit will mean showing up and experiencing all that I can, and trusting the rest.  A good Monday will be showing up, filling in forms, being kind, open minded, open hearted, and relaxed as I start my new job. It’s about showing up and being seen and loving well and while fear gets to be in the room, too, it doesn’t get to call the shots. Fear is not the boss of me. Love is the boss of me.


Until next time… 

Urban life.

01 August 2017

One of the biggest adjustments of the season (that I wasn't really expecting)? Living in the city.

I’ve never lived in a truly urban environment.  Sure, I’ve lived on the ship in giant cities, but the ship was a calm, quiet, predictable retreat from the city…. I never lived on land in the chaos. I grew up in the woods and lived in the suburbs in the Seattle area… and out in the desert in the Peace Corps. 

So I live in Cambridge, just across the river from Boston proper, in a high-density neighborhood.  It’s a quiet pocket, to be sure, with trees and green space… but definitely urban.  There are people, everywhere. Walking their dogs, going shopping, walking to work.  There are cars everywhere.  The streets are narrow and packed with parked cars, and oh, what a nightmare!  My naïve suburban self thought it would be helpful to have a car for the first few days I’m here… well, it’s stressing me out more than it’s helping. It took me ten minutes to get to the furniture store yesterday, not too bad; but took me thirty minutes to find a parking space, a half mile from the store, that cost me twelve dollars for a few hours. I was so stressed out after driving around for thirty minutes that I ended up buying the first set of furniture I liked just so I wouldn’t have to go to any other stores.  (A bit more than I planned to spend but I think it’ll work out fine) I totally get why everyone says a car is not necessary here and I’ll be dropping it off sooner rather than later!

There’s also noise in the city I’m not accustomed to. It’s not terrible, but there is trucks and vehicles and planes overhead and workmen down the street that hopefully will all fade into the white noise of life in the coming days and weeks. I have to remind myself I’ve only been here two days and any big move like this takes time to adjust to!  And let me be clear – I’m not miserable.  I think I will really like this place once I can get my bedroom organized (furniture arrives today!) and my commute figured out and my schedule and rhythm put into place. Thankfully it’s been gorgeous weather – blue skies and mid-70s.  I can’t wait to get my stuff organized so I can go explore the city and the surrounding area.  I’ll be buying a bike in the coming days as well which will be fun!!

So glad I made sure to carve out this week of settling in – I would be pretty stressed out if I had to start work today or tomorrow! Thankfully I don’t start until next Monday, so between now and then I’ll be able to actually properly read the emails and information I’ve received from my team and feel ready to begin. 

Thanks for all the encouragement, friends.  I’ll take every bit right now.  Until next time…


p.s. most helpful friend comment yesterday – I was giving myself a bit of grief for slogging through a run that felt terrible, and she said “goodness girl, if I had gone through what you have done in the last month, I’d be curled up in the fetal position in the corner for at least a week”.  Thanks, friend. Erring on the side of compassion for self at the moment Jx

On Compassion.

31 July 2017


I woke up unusually slowly this morning – my body felt stiff, my mind foggy.  I squinted into the early morning sunlight (I really must get some curtains…), looking around my seemingly huge bedroom (anything is bigger than the closet-sized space I had on the ship) that more closely resembles a thrift store drop-off location than a place of rest and calm and peace.  Plastic bins of clothes, bags and bits strewn around, a gigantic pile of cardboard boxes and packing material piled up in one corner against blank beige walls. 

And I thought why is it still such a disaster? Get it together, Kristin!

Barely conscious and having moved in 36 hours ago, 16 of which were spent sleeping, and I’m already berating myself for not having my bedroom oasis/new life in Boston neatly organized and put together.

Somehow compassion seems to come incredibly naturally when directed at others, and is nonexistent towards myself. What is that about?  There's something in there about privilege and probably a little guilt thrown in for good measure; like if there are people starving or desperate for healthcare I deserve to be hard on myself for the privilege of a job and a place to live and food, blah blah blah. But even if it was a friend in this same situation, regardless of the state of the world, I wouldn't say that to them.  I wouldn't even think it. 

So as I cleared the cobwebs and stretched out the lingering kinks from cross-country driving and packing and unloading, I asked myself overly critical self what I would say to a friend in this situation.

It’s always chaos in the beginning – I think it’s incredible that you have been there not even two days and already have a bed set up and clothes hung! AND you managed to feed and water yourself?  AND find your way around to the grocery store and the other big-box chain store AND thrift store in a city you’ve never been to?  You’re amazing! It will come together, give it a few days. Give yourself some grace.

So today I will take one step at a time and show my own self a little compassion.  I’m going to run along the famed Charles River and then try to find some furniture to get my clothes and stuff off the floor and out of bins.  It’s a beautiful summer day which I think will be better spent enjoying the journey, rather than being upset with myself for not being super human and waving the wand and getting it all finished already.  It’s a new experience, all of this, and I’m grateful for the journey.


Until next time….


Until next time...

26 July 2017

It was summer of 2002.  I knew I wouldn’t stay in my hometown and indeed, even with the economic difficulties resulting from the 9/11 terrorist attacks I had gotten a job offer in a tiny little town north of Seattle. I had never been there, didn’t know anyone and really didn’t have a great idea of what I was getting in to… but it was right.  So just over fifteen years ago, I packed up my car in my mom’s driveway with everything I owned and headed west into the next right thing with a little faith and a little fear and a whole lot of hope and trust and excitement and anticipation. 

Fast forward fifteen years, and I find myself doing exactly the same thing. I’m packing up my [rental] car in my mom’s driveway with everything I own, this time heading east to a city I’ve never been to, where I don’t know but a couple people and I don’t have a great idea of what I’m getting in to… but this time I have a little more faith and a little less fear and a whole lot of hope and trust and excitement and anticipation.

How on earth did I get to be so incredibly blessed??   

The last few months have been absolutely everything I hoped and needed.  France was filled with hiking and exploring and resting and reading and writing my thesis and enjoying a pause in the chaos of transition.  The last week I’ve been with family in Minnesota, with lots of time at the lake, quite possibly my most favorite place in the world.  I’ve got about a dozen half-written blog posts, thoughts about transition, about living in America again, about saying goodbye and saying hello and adventures and wrestlings and wonderings and dreams...  I’ll get to them sometime soon.

But for now, I find myself saying once again until next time to my family and my hometown; this place I’ve never wanted to move back to but always love to visit.  It’s eerily reminiscent of my first move fifteen years ago; I’ve leaped into the great unknown many, many times since then and thankfully I can say it does get easier.  I’ll be driving to Chicago tomorrow and will visit a friend I haven’t seen in over eight years; after lunch with a friend in Cleveland and a stop in Niagara Falls I’ll get to the Boston area next weekend and will have a week to settle in, take care of business, find my way around and figure out how things work before starting my new job at Harvard Medical School.

Thank you, dear ones, for being a part of my journey. Until next time…

 
The iconic Aerial Lift Bridge in my hometown of Duluth - taken this afternoon!

Take a breath.

23 June 2017

It's been five days since I arrived in France, and it's been a glorious time of rest and renewal.

I've slept, I've eaten well, I've hiked and run and went for a bike ride and walked and shopped and explored and relaxed.

What a gift this is, the gift of time; time to take a breath, to drink in the beauty of mountains and green and songbirds and church bells in the distance.  It's different this time, for the first time in many years I have been able to truly relax, with no work to be concerned with, no programs to plan or problems to solve or conference calls to plan around.  I've only got my thesis to write, which is really and truly enjoyable, not stressful for me at all, and I'm way ahead of where most students are just ten weeks in.

But I'm also not one to waste my time; I want every moment to be intentional, on purpose.  Sometimes that purpose is to sleep just a little bit longer.  Sometimes that purpose is to bless others, like taking the time to mow the lawn.  Sometimes it's physical fitness, sometimes it's intentional stillness, listening, feeling, breathing, living.  Sometimes it's kicking back and reading a book that's not a school book. Sometimes it's working on my thesis. It's all important.  I don't want to get to the end of my time here and wonder where it went.  But I do want to bless and to be blessed, to breathe and embrace all the goodness I possibly can.  What a gift this is.





Le départ.

16 June 2017

It’s T-minus-one day until my departure from Benin.

My research has gone incredibly well, and thanks to a string of non-rainy days and hard working translators, I’ve changed my ticket to leave a week earlier than planned. I’m thrilled to be heading to the south of France for some time to breathe, to unwind, to process this transition and some residual baggage that I’d like to have sorted out before tackling the next adventure.  But I’m also sad to be leaving this place, where I’ve spent over three years of my life. 

It’s a different leaving this time; when I waved goodbye to my dear village friends nearly six years ago after two and a half years of life together, I thought it was forever. I remember the leaders of a previous service trip I had done telling everyone to please not tell the kids we were serving that you would see them again, that you’d be back. The last few days together are incredibly emotional, and you might feel with everything you are that you couldn’t possibly continue on in life without coming back here, and the kids are sad and you want to comfort them by saying you will come back, promising you will come back… but nearly always, without fail, you’ll get back to America, to your life there, and things that maybe seemed less important when you were hugging the necks of the needy across the globe feel more important when they are right in front of you, and you have to think of your family, and money, and time, and the zillions of other things that fill our American consciousness… and the promise is forgotten, and the kids are disappointed yet again, and stop believing the promises of the foreigners, and instead grasp on to foreigner visits as what they really turned out to be; not relationships or people who care deeply, but rather people who come to give them things, so they learn to take advantage while they can.  It’s problematic in so many ways, and not easily repaired; but as a start, please don’t promise them anything... especially your return.

It resonated with me deeply, those instructions, and still echo throughout, every time I come to the end of things; which, on this journey of mine, has been more times that I can keep track of.  When I left Benin those years ago, I knew it was possible I might return, in the same way anything is possible for an adventurous nomad like me. But when I said goodbye, in my mind, it was a permanent goodbye. But somehow, in my heart, it never was. I’ve always felt I’ve left a piece of myself here. It’s always been in my head that I need to come back, in a way that I’ve never felt for any other place I’ve visited.  But I held it loosely as I hold most things, and when the journey brought me full circle and I returned, I felt that little bit of myself slip back into place.

I carried a lot of invisible baggage from this place; baggage that doesn’t need to be shared but needed to be sorted out and forgiven and redeemed.  And this last eleven months, it has been everything I needed it to be.  I’ve encountered incredible, beautiful, loving people who have left me feeling nothing but hope and contentment in this place. I can look back on my time here with joy and not with regret. I can remember fondly this place, and not feel as though I have unfinished business here. 

And as I process through this, I realize, I won’t miss it here, the way I don’t really miss any one place.  I remember fondly every place I’ve been, and I would love to return to some of those places once again, but somehow the feeling of ‘missing’, of longing to be elsewhere… I don’t feel that, and I’m glad I don’t feel that.  Because I want to be present completely, in whatever place or whatever company I find myself in.  I don’t want to feel as though I’ve left a part of my heart elsewhere.  My heart is so full; so grateful for the journey, for the players in the story, whether in big roles or small, and I’m looking forward with anticipation that which is to come.

So as I walk through yet another departure, without any guarantee or promise of return, I will squeeze out every drop of glory I can.  Final visits with people I love, filling my face with peanuts and pineapples and other deliciousness that just isn’t the same anywhere else, last photos and smiles and gifts and kisses and treasured moments that last to eternity.  I love this place, I love these people, and I hope and pray I have the opportunity to return one day.


Why.

14 June 2017

I can’t sleep.  I can’t her face out of my mind.

She’s beautiful.  She’s 22 years old, her whole life ahead of her, full of possibility and hope and dreams.

Except she’s blind and lives in here. So she doesn’t have any of those things.

So I lay here in bed, inside I’m railing and kicking and screaming and yelling about the injustice of it all, in the way that I do; silently, the tears escaping the corners off my eyes and dampening the pillow. 

It’s not fair. It shouldn’t be like this.

If she was born in America, she probably wouldn’t be blind. And if she was, it wouldn’t stop her from living a full life of possibility and hope and dreams.  But she wasn’t born there, she was born here.  Doctors have passed her around from one clinic to another, taking her money and giving her eye drops or pills and promising they would help.  Empty promises.

This, this is why I do what I do.  This is my thing.  I can’t stand that it’s her reality.  I can’t stomach the injustice of it.  It’s why I’ll keep fighting for her, for them, for the five billion people who lack access to safe, affordable surgical care. It’s why I’m thrilled to be joining the Program in Global Surgery and Social Change at Harvard, it’s why I think I’ll probably be back with Mercy Ships someday, it’s why I can be so confident in my calling that doesn’t include children of my own or roots in the ground somewhere.  Because I’m fighting for her and for the billions like her, and I will not give up.



Upside down.

10 June 2017


Is my life truly meaningless and void of purpose if I don’t ever have children?  Because I haven’t had them, does that mean I’m incomplete, missing out on what is surely to be the most magical experience that will encapsulate all my hopes and dreams and longings forever?  It might seem as though my life is pretty awesome already, but clearly nothing will ever come close to the ecstasy and fulfillment I could feel with a child in my arms, and until that happens, well, I’m really just biding my time and taking up space until this real, true, divine purpose for those of us blessed with two x chromosomes has been achieved.

These phrases and questions probably seem like one of two things to you – either they are completely ridiculous, or you believe they are, to some extent or another, basically true.  I hear a lot of these types of things regularly.  Not always put in such a blunt manner, but it seems especially recently I’ve been around people who seem to adamantly believe I won’t ever be fulfilled, or my life is a waste, unless I’ve reared children.   I’ve written previously here and here about the fact that I’m single and totally okay with it, but it seems it’s time to address this child topic.

I don’t want children. 

Now, did I say I will never have children? Nope. Have I ever said that? Nope.  I’m not interested in putting God in a box.  Might I have children some day? Yep.  Absolutely I might and I’m totally open to that possibility. When will I know when it’s right? When I want them.  When I believe with all my being it’s the next right thing, not just for now but for the rest of my days on earth, to raise children. When that happens, bring it on.  But it isn’t now.

And when the topic comes up at the dinner table and I answer the question I was asked, that’s when the condescending, patronizing, and downright obnoxious comes out of a lot of people’s mouths. 

Oh, you’ll want them.  You’ll regret it someday.  Your work will never be as important as your children.  You don’t realize now what you are missing out on.  They’ll turn your life upside down. Five years from now you’ll be holding your own bundle of joy and wondering how you lived without them.

Sure, that’s a possibility.  Again, maybe someday I will want them, or regret not having them.  But I think it would be far worse to regret having them. Maybe I’m called to this nomadic life, of adventure and of travel and meetings with first ladies and prime ministers. I couldn’t have gotten on the plane to Guinea with three days’ notice if I had a family.  And it’s not actually the words that bother me, it’s the attitude, the condescending, patronizing way in which they are spoken over me, as if I don’t really know what’s really important.  As if I won’t really experience life to the full without being called mama, as if I am somehow incomplete in this life I lead.  

Side note: would anyone ever say that to a man? That’s a whole ‘nother can of worms. Anyway.

I would much rather live a life without children than ever, ever look my child in the eyes and feel regret at having them.  I want to know I was born to be a mother.  One of the big problems of the world today? There are far too many people out there who have no business being parents.  They had children because they were supposed to or because they wanted someone to love them or to try to hold on to a wayward spouse or any one of a million wrong reasons to have a child.  The one reason to have a child? You were born to do this, you have been called and created to raise up this person to be an upstanding citizen of the earth.  And there are millions and billions of amazing parents out there living out that calling on their lives.  You’re amazing, it’s an amazing calling, well done.  But it’s not mine. Not now.

And really, let’s be real.  I want to say sometimes to these type of people, who clearly feel they know much more about the realities of life than I do, that I could go get knocked up if you think I would experience this nirvana you seem to think childrearing is.  I could find someone to marry me, too, if that’s what the world is waiting for.  I could probably be married and pregnant in a matter of weeks – is that really what you want for me? Not at all. I think what people want is really what I want as well, and that is the best God has for me; but they can’t possibly open themselves up to the possibility of imagining God’s best might not include children.

I know there’s an argument that the reason women exist is to have children, to multiply and fill the earth.  I get it, though I completely disagree.  But let me suggest that the earth is already full.  The earth can barely sustain the people we have in it.  But that’s another discussion for another day, a rabbit trail I’m not going to continue down right now.  For now, let’s just maybe consider God’s best for me may not include a spouse or children, and I’m okay with that.  But the rest of the world seems not to be.   

~~~

Privilege

There’s been a lot of talk around the world in the last few years especially about privilege.  White privilege, American privilege, male privilege, upper class privilege, etc.  It’s the idea that one group of people is better off than another.  Some people say it doesn’t exist.  They’re either blind or closed-minded or both, and it seems most of those people are actually the most privileged of them all. 

It’s from a privileged place that I have a choice, and I know it.  I can choose not to have children.  In many, many countries across the globe, this would be a death sentence, to be alone as a woman with no one to care for me later in life.  And it grieves me that so many don’t have the choices and options and opportunities I have.  So they marry for necessity and have babies for security and sometimes there is love and respect but sometimes there isn’t, and there isn’t anything they can do about it.  It breaks my heart and makes me want to rail against the injustice of it all.  I had this conversation just the other day with the guys I’m working with. They asked why I don’t have children. I don’t mind the question, especially from these guys; they work in a place where your very survival is dependent on having children.

But for some reason beyond all human comprehension, I wasn’t born there. I was born in middle class educated America, where my value is not determined by my progeny, although it seems in some eyes it still is.  Where I can work and own land and vote and save for my future and decide where I want to live, things millions of women can’t do.  I recognize it and don’t take that privilege lightly, I’ve been gifted a tremendous amount of favor and desperately want to steward it well.   It’s one of the reasons I do what I do, living this life that is not about me but is about us, this collective race called humanity that is terribly unjust and needs people willing to stand up and speak up against the injustice of it.

~~~

It takes a village.

A few years ago I was thinking about this whole mothering thing, wondering if there was something broken in me that made me weird and different, asking God to speak to whatever that was. And it was stunning. 

What first came to my mind were the faces of some of the amazing women who have helped shape me into the person I am today.  My mom is awesome but it truly takes a village; one person cannot raise a child. I think about all the incredible other women who played that role at one time or another in my life; Shirley, Debbie, Cynthia, Kathy, Yvonne, Ruth, Kelly, Kim, Leslie, and many, many others ahead of me in this journey who have offered guidance, wisdom, truth, correction, safety, compassion, and the zillion other virtues who have shaped and guided me to the present.  I still need them and am eternally grateful for being a part of my story.

Then what came to mind were the beautiful faces of some of the young women I’ve had the privilege and honor of mentoring through one season or another.  Incredible girls and women I’ve offered guidance, wisdom, truth, correction, safety, compassion, and the zillion other virtues that shape and guide them into their future.  Some for a short season, some for a longer season, but all of them also a part of my story.  The children of my heart.  It takes a village, it takes incredible women pouring into incredible women, regardless of their genetic makeup and story and struggle. 

One author I love always says there is no such thing as other people’s children.  And I choose to live my life in agreement with that statement. 

~~~

Upside down.

Often after telling me in condescending tones that someday I will want children, they will also say something like they’ll turn your life upside down.  And yes, I know this to be true, and believe it wholeheartedly.  And what I’d like to say (and occasionally do) is EXACTLY, why on earth would I want to do that? Because my life is awesome, thanks.  And I’m not eighteen years old making brash statements about a life I can’t imagine. I’m thirty-six and have done pretty well for myself, (no) thanks for your concern.  In the same way God doesn’t call all of us to be married, or to work overseas, or to be mechanics or bankers or teachers or doctors, he doesn’t call all of us to have children, either.


So finally, a public service announcement and I will get off my soapbox: I know you mean well.  I know you just can’t imagine life without children and want me to be as happy as you are.  And I mean well too, when I say, I can imagine life without children and right now it is much more appealing to me than a life with. And that doesn’t diminish my value as a woman, as a sister and aunt and friend and member of the human race, striving to leave this earth a bit better for those who follow in my footsteps and stand on my shoulders and reach greater heights than I could ask or imagine. 
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