Thursday, November 29, 2007

Answers, pt. 2

1) Have you ever done anything illegal?
Do you want a list? Nothing major, but of course I have. Stolen signs, stolen rugs, random vandalization, wacky weed smoking, etc. Like I said, nothing too bad.

2) Describe your perfect meal.
Wow, now that's a big question. I could answer it simply and just describe the food, but a perfect meal is made by the company and atmosphere as much as the grub. OK... The evening begins with a couple bottles of wine and a pipe on the porch overlooking the woods. My best friends are with me and the season is early Spring. We're staying at a cabin in the region of Hocking Hills in southern Ohio. As the sun sets we head inside to make dinner as a group, but mostly letting Ell and my friend Mike do the cooking. After dinner we relax in front of the fireplace and just converse for hours. That's my perfect meal.

3) What is your favorite mode of transportation? Why? How many different ways have you traveled?
Last one first... I've never flown, so the list is train, car, bus, motorcycle, bike, and feet. My favorite is by far, feet. I once made it a point to walk home from school every day for the entire school year; all seasons. It was one of the most memorable times in my life. And I can't wait to pull on my pack and disappear for six months in the woods surrounding the Appalachian Mountains. Why? Walking is so natural and organic. Most people don't walk enough in their lives and I hold to my belief it's why we have so many mental issues in this crazy world. God made us to connect with our surroundings. When we don't, we miss out.

4) If a tree falls in the woods and there is no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?
The definition of sound involves waves of energy and how they are transferred and received to the bones inside the ear. (Of all animals, not just humans.) So if no one is there, including animals, the waves aren't received and thus sound can't be defined. So, no.

5) Do you find people to be supportive of your decision not to have kids? Has anyone ever tried to change your mind?
Support is a strange word. Generally, most people are just confused. The natural way of things in this country has grown into school-college-marriage-kids, so if someone rocks that boat, people don't know how to react. They've been so programed that the cycle can't be altered, they just stand there with their jaws open trying to figure out the error. Are they supportive? Not so much. We know very few people that we could say actually "support" the decision. Reaction words range from cool or brave or neat or whatever. But support would insinuate those same people would stand up for us and defend our decision. I'm not sure I'd ask that of too many people, or that too many people would be willing to do it.
And yes, we've had people try to change our minds. Ell's mom, a pastor's wife who tried to shove scripture down our throats, some ladies in our church who took Ell aside and told her she didn't have to be pushed around by her mean husband, and more I can't remember right now. But like I've said before, we knew when we made it that it was going to be an odd decision, so we're used to the responses we get.

Next edition will be Amy's questions.


Blogger Adrienne said...

This might be taking the 'kids' questions too far...But. Do you worry you'll wake up one day, when you're old, and regret this decision?

Does it ever bother you that you might be messing with God's plan by placing control elsewhere?

Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to change your mind. Particularly, the second question is just a question I try to manage in my own mind.

1:55 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Good questions Adrienne. I respect you for asking them the way you have and I'll try to answer as best I can. (I'm only half of the decision making team.)

Regrets? That question was a big part of our decision. We kind of did an out-of-body experience and tried to picture our lives in 50 years. When we did that we couldn't see any more regrets than any other person might have about other big life decisions. We knew to avoid regrets we needed to be firm in our decision and the benefits it gave us in our relationship. We've done that and are very content with our plans. We can't say where our brains will be at 70 years old or if there won't be regrets, but we will be able to say we are happy with our decision.

God's plan? Are we messing with it any more than people who have 2 or 3 kids and then get fixed? What if God wanted that couple to have 10 kids? As humans, God allows us to make our own decisions but has joy when we do it within His presence and under the cover of prayer. If after doing that a person has peace in their decision, God has blessed their path and will continue to do so if they stay in the right mindset.

2:21 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

That's absolutely a question for most of the world - I suppose being the oldest of nine I have strange thoughts in my head somewhere. I was actually asking the more simple and naturalistic side of you that - not that none, or 2 or 12 children side.

There are times that I wish I was confident enough in our own decisions that I could leave it up to God and trust that He'd be agreeable with what we've decided. But heck, you know I feel like I have to think for everyone. ;)

Seriously though, I like how you put it. I also take comfort in the fact that God is God and He'd intervene if He wanted to. Or, at least I like to think so.

4:01 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I love me some kids, just not my own! Also, I LOVE a day spent with my best friends totally relaxed and having an incredible day then to finalize it with being together making and eating some great food and freely flowing libations! Yea!

4:49 PM  
Blogger Sweet Peripety said...

My great friend, jen, works with kids (preschoolers every day) and is just AWESOME with them...but her and her husband are NOT going to have any. SHe is my age, and she got the surgery done so she won't have any. She had the option or that surgery to help with some other problems, so it wasn't a HAVE TO, but it worked out for HER to get that done. She has no regrets.

4:59 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

Laura, you pretty much said something I was thinking about during the few minutes that I decided to do some work today!

I don't think either of you should have to justify your decisions! They're your decisions! You shouldn't feel guilty owning those decisions either.

But..back to my point. I think think that not having children leaves you in a unique position to be able to really minister to the various people in your lives. It seems you have quite a circle of young-mid 20 friends and to have a more mature, responsible, but non-parental guidance, is such a blessing. I can assure you, that is not easy task when you have screaming little people with snotty noses and hungry tummies!

Sorry for stirring up a pot of chaos!

5:28 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

You guys have my support on the kid thing... not that it's any of my business.

7:19 PM  
Blogger Kimmy said...

Thanks for the good answers Sam!

I hope you didn't mind the "kid" question. I was really interested to know, and I figured now was the time to ask.

7:19 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

I didn't mind at the question at all. You won't know unless you ask.

8:21 PM  
Blogger Kyle said...

When I first heard about yours and Laura's decision not to have kids, I thought it was a crazy decision, probably because I had never heard of such an idea before. Honestly, I kinda figured that you guys would change your mind after a few years, but I'm glad you are staying firm. For me your decision was kind of liberating. When I look at you, I see a Christian guy who is doing something alternative to the traditional thought patterns both secular and religious. your life show me that I don't have to do things the way my parents or grandparents, or most people I know for that matter... and I can still be a good guy.

I'm not saying that I don't want to have kids... or that I do. I just think its nice that if/when I get married, we don't have to let that decision be made for us by the culture we live in. And that is a beautiful thing.

1:01 AM  
Blogger Sam said...

Kyle, thank you for the kind words. And thank you for allowing yourself to think outside the box. I've never worried about that with you when it came to spiritual issues, but it's nice to hear you are thinking the same way on things that most people think are cultural standards. I'm glad to have helped you in some way.

Adrienne, you're so right. I have so much more respect and honor for people that choose to be parents than I ever do for myself. But we truly do have a special influence that someone with kids can't duplicate. The first time you yell at your kids to not touch the stove, your internal attitude towards discipline changes. It becomes a desire born out of love to protect and secure a future. But when there is no parental attitude in regards to a person's future, i.e. a childless 30-something to a 20 something vs. a parental 30-something to the same, the reaction comes out as good advice and not overbearing. Seems to be a bit backwards if you ask me, but it's true. Thanks for your honesty.

8:33 AM  
Blogger kimw said...

I get sort of the same reaction from people who find out I'm 38, single and HAPPY. They get the "pity" look on their face, kind of cock their head to the side as they ask me "Well, are you at least dating anyone?" (with emphasis on the word "dating"). I get great pleasure from answering "No, I'm not!" with a big smile. Then, some will go as far as to say "I'll pray for you." As if there is something wrong with me for not minding singleness. When they say they'll pray for me, I usually say "Really? Thanks! You can pray for my church, The Gate. We're a new church that just launched in September and we need all the prayer we can get". I don't think people know quite how to react. It's fun :)

3:08 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

That's an awesome answer Kim.

But don't you know that God "WANTS" you to be married? Didn't you know that? It's in II Gibraltor chapter 47!


3:22 PM  

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