Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas dinner with the youth cell

Left: That´s me skewing the prawns again.
Yet another year with the youth cell has passed! This is the second Christmas that we´re celebrating with them. We did potluck just like last year and somehow this year seemed to be less stressful and more relaxed. Perhaps everybody is more accustomed to having a party at our place and I´m no longer stressed about preparing food. Last year I prepared way more food than this year and somehow the food still worked out. Everybody took some effort to get something done - that´s one thing I like in Germany. Youths know how to cook even when they are young. Hah. I guess Singaporeans are trained to eat and subsequently learn how to cook when they are driven to desperation, just like me.

Next year´s going to hold quite a bit of changes for our cell. There´s a couple who would go overseas, mainly on mission trips. Some might end up moving away from Stuttgart as they pursue their education in other cities. I´m excited to see what God has in store for the cell. Thing 2009 would be a year of changes I think. Note to myself: Spend time with God to reflect on 2008 and gain new perspective for 2009.

2008 has been a year of stabilizing changes. Other than Stephan´s superbly-difficult tax exam preparations, we haven´t had BIG changes. My new job as a teacher has also helped me to adjust more to Germany, now that I have smth to do with my time. It has been simply a time when we could enjoy married life together.

We had our company Christmas dinner yesterday and I talked to a colleague of mine who waited 6 yrs after marriage before she had her first kid. (She married young too). She added that it was such a precious 6 yrs when she and hubby could really build up the foundation of the marriage and establish familylife together before kids came.

It helped me so much, cos both of us have the following similarities:
- getting married after a long-distance relationship
- getting used to a different country, language, culture etc.....
- new job, new everything.....

A family is COMPLETE even without kids. The world makes people think that they are only complete with kids, but that´s such a lie! I read this in one of those Christian marriage books, so this is even biblical. Waiting to have children is wise too. I´d rather kids not be born, than to be born in a family where the parents are not even ready to be parents. The kid just grows up feeling unwanted and ends up going through all sorts of emotional, psychological and self-image problems etc. Sorry to say this, but there are enough people I know whom I think shouldn´t even have kids, simply cos the parents are still stuck in somekind of emotional rut and are simply incapable of being parents. NO doubt there´s no such thing as a "perfect" parent and I don´t endeavour to be one either, but still there´s a time and season for everything. (Ecc. written by Solomon in the Bible). I do believe in the right thing at the wrong time.

It comforted me so much to know that for my friend (who has mixed Asian and Western heritage and herself is married to an Asian), told me that people whom she didn´t even know all asked her if she had problems conceiving - automatically assuming that since she didn´t have children after 6 yrs of marriage, meant that she´s infertile. She just said she ignored them and didn´t think twice about it. I shall endeavour to do just that and I don´t have to justify why I decide to wait and not follow the trend about having children immediately after one gets married. NO where in the Bible stated that one has to have children IMMEDIATELY after one gets married. That´s complete crap! So no thanks for any well-meant "word of advice" about when to have children. I´ll ask if ever I need advice. Unsolicited advice is so not welcomed. Family planning only consists of the husband and wife. Thank you very much.
PS.# In case you´re wondering, this post is NOT directed at the Germans. As a matter of fact, I´ve had NO pressure from the people here, not even my parents-in-law who simply give me all the time and space to settle into marriage life. They have never once asked us when we want to have to children or put the slightest pressure on us. I´m so grateful for in-laws like them.

Some of the youths in our cell


Sabrina said...

Oh dear, someone is a bit pi**ed off... :) Don't let these things get to you. People will always wonder or ask (the Germans are a bit too direct at times as well) so you will always get this.

Things happen for a reason. Think it might make more sense for you two to travel through Europe a little bit so that you get to see something of our continent, clearly something that you would need to pass on to your kids at some point as well.

So.... Why no kids yet? I want to be an auntie soon!!!! ;)

Lots of love,

jie jie

Sabrina said...

Oh, and also wanted to say that you are still very young. My brother isn't getting any younger to be fair and if he was a woman I'd tell him to hurry, but as nature only really has a biological clock for the women, I'm sure you'll be ok.

Sorry, couldn't resist Stephan. Hihihihihi...

Priscilla Tews said...

Dear Sabrina! Yah, you bet I am pissed....tell you more when we meet. Anyways, trying to deal with this episode and compartmentalize. And you know smth? When you say you want to be an auntie soon, it sounds so sweet! And so much easier to deal with, cos I know that you´re not putting pressure on me, but just like joking with a hint of truth. I SO would want travel and see Europe more! Like to see some places where Belinda has been to, for example. Its like she´s only been here since May this year and has been to more places than I have been to in my almost 2.5 years in Germany. All because of various reasons, mainly financial that has prevented us from doing that. Having kids is just going to postpone that. A friend of mine who has 3 grown-up children is only starting to travel more now, cos she had kids too early and wasn´t able to travel before that! So its like the, either I travel now or wait 20 years before travelling and going to all places I want to go, instead of places that are like children-friendly, cheaper know what I mean???

Oh, men´s age doesn´t affect their fertility. In any case, most women are having their first kid at 30s and men in their 40s. So Stephan´s still young actually.

Busy-body said...

It is not true that men's fertility is not affected by their age although Charlie Chaplin was known to have fathered a child at 80. About 2 yrs back, a study concluded that after 40, a man's sperm count decreases and the quality of the sperm deteriorates (not quite sure what this means tho). Wonder if this meant having abnormalities in the child? I also don't agree that "its either you travel now or 20 yrs later". Being a avid traveller myself, I can tell you from my experience that you would feel miserable if you had to stop touring after you have kids. Of course its difficult to travel with an infant but when a child is about 4, you can bring him for short trips to nearby cities (not to expensive) and enjoy the experience together.

Thinking back, if I have had kids when I was younger (below 28yrs), I would have had more energy for them. Also, I understand that your in-laws are around. They are such a gem if they are willing and healthy enough to help you mind the children. Imagine if you had to look after the child on your own and look after your in-laws when they are older (particularly when they are sickly). It would be a nightmare.

Priscilla Tews said...

Dear Busy-body, I think I might know who you are, but its ok. Well, Stephan´s not close to 40 yet, he´d have a total of 8 more years to hit that age, so we still have time. :) I think it doesn´t really matter. I´m pretty sure there are young mothers who became moms at 20s, who say that they are tired and can´t run after their kids as much they would want to. And mothers in their 30s who are fit enough and able to keep up with their children. Its more of a health issue than an age issue. But I get your point.I asked my in-laws and they would be just as happy to have grandchildren 3 or 4 years later as much as they would be now. The most important factor would be whether we are ready to be parents. And that´s the thing I want. Family members taking us serious enough to realize that the issue of having children, is NOT even as issue to be discussed with other family members other than the husband and wife. Nowhere in the Bible says that you have to be "fruitful and multiply" IMMEDIATELY or like 1 year or 2 years after you get married. That´s just my Dad´s interpretation. In that case, people like Paul should be stoned for choosing to remain single and childless right?

Steph said...

It's good u dont feel pressured by anyone to start a family cos it's you and Stephan who will be raising the kids !
I had Luke one week before turning 31 and JC was 38, after 4 yrs of marriage. We only felt called to start a family after it was revealed to a few people during a Alpha retreat when they prayed over us. So enjoy your couplehood now and leave it to when God wills it for the family circle to be widened ;)

Priscilla Tews said...

Dear Steph! Thanks so much for your words of wisdom! Always so encouraged by you - a person who´s a few steps ahead of me, in terms of the whole integration thing, family life etc. Thanks! :) Merry Christmas to you too!

Blessed Parent said...

I think we had the most wonderful almost annual holiday trips to Genting Highlights when you were small about 4 years and above together with your elder sister 2 years your senior. We did not wait for 20 years or so in order to bring our family out together.

As long as we are comfortable, we spent within our means..that is short distance, cheaper accommodation and value for money family bonding.

How did we manage it with two young kids for holiday? Simple, they were so pretty obedient and lovely kids. Have been raised in the fear of God and it had been a constant admiration by other parents when they saw our cohesive kids together during tour.

Thank you Pris for such a wonderful photogenic model in th photo shots...hee..hee..

Priscilla Tews said...

Dear Dad. Point taken about being a young parent. Its always subjective about what age is considered young to be a parent. You would have been an old parent for grandparents' generation, since most started having children even before 20. For my generation, any age before 35 will still be a young age to be a parent, so I´m in no hurry and would prefer to establish a solid marriage foundation first before kids come into the picture. I'd rather be an older, more capable and mature parent than a younger one who hasn't come to grip with adulthood yet.


Related Posts with Thumbnails