Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Used To Be My Least Favorite Question

A few weeks ago, we discussed my second least favorite question, “Where do you live?” Today I will confess what used to be my least favorite question: “When are you due?”

Just before we left California, I met one of my neighbors at the mailboxes. She was shocked after asking “the question” to discover that, in fact, I am not pregnant. After all these years, I finally came up with a response to put people at ease. I told her that I really need another major surgery to repair this deformity, but I’m not willing to risk my life when it’s more fun to watch people squirm after blurting out the question.

Of all the strangers who have innocently inquired about my baby-that-isn’t, this woman had the nicest comeback. Without a blush or apology (the usual reaction), she said, “I just noticed how you are so happy and glowing, that I assumed you had been blessed with a late life surprise, and I wanted to rejoice with you.”

In case you ever make the mistake of asking a non-expectant woman this horrible question, please concoct a similarly gracious reply.

What gives me hope is that on a good day, people respond to the evident beauty of Christ reflected in my life, wrinkles and poochy stomach and all. Little by little, I am gaining victory over my sin and flesh, and learning to apply the power of the gospel even in the mundane struggles of life. The fact that I was not embarrassed helped the mailbox lady to be at ease after her “bloop.” She wasn’t even apologetic. I love that.

Rejoicing over this blow to my usual sin of vanity, it seemed a contradiction to then attend a formal social gathering where appropriate MOG* (see sidebar) attire required me to squeeze into that torture contraption known as “shapewear.” Ugh. Even then the dress did not fit properly.

My mom always says, “You can’t have looks and comfort.” In this case I achieved neither, and I have serious regrets. I enjoyed watching my husband and kids enjoy themselves and each other, but I was too physically miserable to enter into the fray at the reception. For that I am sorry.

There, I said it. Keeping it real. The dress will not be worn in Mexico or anywhere else. I’m dumping it at Goodwill this week. Next time I will wear a tent if necessary, just so I can breathe and be myself. By then, maybe I will obviously be old enough to avoid “the question.”

From my summer reading program, I recommend these for your Amazon wish list:

IRL* Learning the hard way that “Why aren’t you dancing?” is worse than “When are you due?”


  1. Thanks JJ. I am so sorry we never have gotten to meet in person. You are one awesome lady, and if it's possible to love a stranger, I love you! My MIL "fell in love" with a Honduran missionary she met when her church took a team to Honduras to serve at a M women's retreat. I teased her at the time, but now I think I understand. My MIL told me, "I've got a crush on [that lady]" and now I understand. Really. Because I have got a total starry eyed crush on you. LOL I'll work really hard not to fall into the sin of idolizing you. ;) You help a lot by being so REAL. And I learn SO Much from you. Thanks.

  2. Smiling from ear to ear back here in California. I know exactly what you mean. My goal is to be a more perfect reflection of Jesus. If people admire me, I know it's only the glow from His light. Thanks for your words. I'd love you, too, I'm sure! :)

  3. Thanks for being REAL. And making me smile. You are a blessing.

  4. LOL. Went to a homeschool graduation. There on the wall was your beautiful family's picture and prayer cards. I took one! My sis is now in the Philippines. Loved her latest comment. Missionary Life - You're sweeping and half your dirt pile starts to run away!

  5. I have this vision of Scarlett O'Hara holding on to the bedpost while the maid pulls on her corset strings, "Tighter! Tighter!" =)

  6. So sorry the MOG attire didn't work out...been there, done that. :( I no longer make mention of any possibility of pregnancy unless the woman herself says it!!!! So afraid I will make that mistake, lol. That was an awesome comeback for her, wouldn't have thought of it...thanks for keeping it real, love it! :) ¡Abrazos!

  7. Hahaha! Sadly all the maids were attending the bride.... Honestly what really stinks is that it was partly my vanity that caused the trouble. I had worked out daily with my daughter so HER dress would fit better. Hers actually needed to be pinned on the day of the wedding. It was too loose! Any form of abdominal exercise only makes my problem worse. I hadn't counted on being actually larger after weeks of effort. Oh well. What can you do?

    Last night I had a saleslady ask when I was due, and I burst out laughing! That was a first.

  8. Oh, this post was rec'd to me by Charlsie.

    I have a diastasis also and get asked if I am pregnant. I do NOT handle it well at.all. I have been rude twice.

    I will be thinking about your thoughts and praying God changes my heart on this topic. Though, you have raised the thought that if I walk in the Spirit more, I will get asked more. Egad, the Gospel has us die to self so often it's amazing.

  9. Diastasis. That's the official word for the non-existent tummy muscles - slash - massive abdominal hernia - slash - baby-that-isn't. Tough, isn't it? What I didn't mention is that I attempted surgery several years ago, but it was unsuccessful, and now I have a blob of mesh in the corner of my abdomen accomplishing nothing.

    Thanks, Charlsie, for sharing the link.

  10. Jamie Jo- I wanted to let you know (I don't know why, guess this post stuck with me) that God has really changed my heart and my mindset on this. I'm excited and feel free, most of the time. The American way of viewing it creeps in often, but I take that thought/lie/opinion captive.

    I blogged about it here:

    Thanks again!


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