Scary stories from a lovely place
My baby is due the same day as another lady called Kim who writes the blog www.inashoe.com. Besides this coincidence, and the fact that we both like cooking things from scratch, knitting, natural birth, cloth nappies and Jesus, we have nothing else in common. She, and her website, are proponents of all things American and homeschooly – long floral skirts, many children brought about through a fervent stance against contraception and conservative politics. Can you see the differences between us?
Even though the opinions she pushes on her website often frustrate me, I do still really like reading it, and also wish that I could be invited for dinner to her house in Texas. She, her husband and 9 or so children all sound like rather lovely people and even though we would have to avoid many topics of conversation I think we could have a pleasant friendship.
Unfortunately on occasion I’ve delved a little too deep into the homeschooly pot that is Kim’s blog, and not been quick enough to avert my eyes when reading her views on family planning. She is unashamedly anti-birth control and seeking to prosletyse all she can. When it comes to ethical decisions as a Christian birth control is near the bottom of my list. As long as it’s legal and doesn’t have an abortive function (which some of the Pills do) I’m happy to use any and for others to use any. I just don’t like it when decisions like birth control become more of the gospel than the true gospel of the kingship of Jesus.
I remember having a discussion with one of my friends when we were 17 about contraception. She decided she couldn’t marry her current boyfriend (who is now someone else’s husband) until she was ready to have kids because she didn’t think contraception was right (it was a phase). I say to Kim what I said to my friend back then, if God wants you to get pregnant, you will. God’s will isn’t stopped by chemicals or latex. The very notion that these things could stop his will is laughable and sadly diminishes one’s view of God’s power. I think it is possible to try and put too many controls on our lives and to dishonour God in that way, but his word and history and everyone’s life experience surely shows that God does what he wants because he can.
I don’t want to criticise my fantasy friend too much, and so let me finish by agreeing with something she wrote in her blog. I have been pretty torn about whether or not to find out the gender of the baby, but Stephen’s determination that we wouldn’t is what has kept me in the dark. The Kim from Texas also doesn’t know if her baby is a boy or a girl, though with 8 girls and 1 boy she has statistical facts to rely on. She wrote in a blog post, ever so wisely I think, that part of why she didn’t want to find out the gender was because she didn’t want to feel even a hint of disappointment if it was another girl. She went on to say that when she has just birthed the baby and she holds it for the first time, there is no chance she will be able to feel disappointment. And that has become my party-line for why I haven’t found out the gender.
I don’t have as much reason as her to want a boy, but I’m glad I don’t know because I wouldn’t ever want to feel any shred of disappointment about my new child. So ignorance is bliss.