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For Your Marriage

Meet Sara and Justin. They married in June 2011, they welcomed their first child in August 2012.

Mind Your Own Beeswax!

This weekend, two of our really good friends got married. The wedding was very beautiful, and truly showed the love between husband and wife.

This was the first wedding Justin and I were able to attend since our own wedding, and it was VERY different than our own. Our wedding was probably one of the most laidback weddings I’ve ever been to, while this couple’s wedding was much more formal. In addition, we had a very small bridal party, and their bridal party was the largest I have personally witnessed. In addition, I thought the couple was crazy for running a 5K race in the Kansas City marathon together the morning of their wedding!

At first, it was really hard for me whenever anyone complimented their wedding. If it wasn’t something we had done at our wedding, I felt people were saying we ought to have done that. Finally, I realized their wedding day very much expressed their personality; just as our wedding expressed our personality. Different wasn’t bad – both of us simply experience God’s love and mercy in different ways, so we don’t witness God’s mercy and love in the exact same ways, either.

I know many people look for unique wedding gifts. My favorite wedding gift is the Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers book published by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The book is really neat, as it has blessings for just about every occasion for a family – including prayers before the Advent wreath, prayers before opening presents on Christmas morning, prayers for feasts, and more. Justin and I have probably used ours every week since we’ve gotten it.

At our friends’ wedding and other times this past week, I’ve had several people ask if Justin and I are pregnant. Although I was more polite, I wanted to say, “Mind your own beeswax” from the beloved Beverly Cleary books of my childhood. Justin and I have been married for four months, and God hasn’t chosen to bless us with children yet.

It’s really hard, because there is a portion of me that really wants children and SOON. There’s another part of me that hopes it will be another year or so because it would be very helpful to be more financially secure before we become pregnant. Ultimately, Justin and I continue to discern what God is calling us to do.

I was particularly embarrassed several weeks ago as I was talking to the principal of the parish school where Justin and I attend. A priest teased me in front of a room full of people that I was working on getting discounted tuition for our children. I quipped back, “We’ve got to be pregnant first!” He teased me back, “How do you know you aren’t? Some of us are praying for that.” While I appreciate Father’s prayers (and Justin and I can use all the prayers we can get!), sometimes such comments make me feel like a “bad Catholic” for not being pregnant within a couple of months of our wedding like many of our friends. I don’t even necessarily think God is calling us to have children right now, but I feel like it’s expected we will soon get pregnant simply because our Catholic faith is a priority in our lives.

Justin: I don’t feel at all like a bad Catholic because we aren’t pregnant yet. After all, I know we are doing our part!

Sara: Unfortunately, several of my friends this past year have had very unfortunate circumstances. One friend who had been trying to get pregnant for awhile had a miscarriage. She hadn’t told a lot of people, but the pain is evident when babies are brought up. Another friend tried for over a year and a half before she became pregnant.

I hear many Catholics talk (sometimes judgmentally) about how many fewer kids Catholics are having these days. Each couple needs to discern how many children God wants to bless them with – and be open to that. Several of my friends with “only” two or three children have medical reasons which make it unlikely they will carry a baby to term again.

As I learned with our friends’ wedding, every couple is different, and having a child is part of that story. I continue to pray God will bless us with children when it’s time. Until then, any suggestions on what to say to well-meaning people who ask if we are pregnant?