(Disclaimer: No one has insulted me or anything lately. For some reason, God has laid this on my heart today.)
Raise your hand if you have heard the beginning of this sentence more times than you can count. I could retire if I got paid $1 every time I have heard that just in the past few years. "I could never ---have a child in the NICU, have a baby with Down Syndrome, home school, run a business, etc." I have been guilty of starting sentences with such statements - "I could never---have 9 kids, remodel/sell/move every few years, have a child in the hospital for that long, etc." Somehow in my warped, human mind I think that this is some sort of compliment to the person. What's odd is that I perceive it as an insult -as in, "Lady, I really think you're crazy!" even though I know the speaker does not intend it to be that.
The truth is that apart from God and my great husband and family support, I couldn't have done any of these things and continue to do them. The same holds true for so many that I have actually said that phrase to - my friend, Amy M. who really does have 9 children (she's one of my all time fave people even though she still looks drop-dead gorgeous), Michelle Duggar with her 19 children but still maintaining a calming, glowing spirit, my fellow travelers on Raising Children with Down Syndrome Road, and on and on I could go.
From now on, I vow to replace the phrase "I could never..." with "What an amazing thing God has called you to!" Personally, I would feel encouraged when I heard such a phrase instead of feeling like maybe I am a little crazy. God calls us each to our own specific path to mold us into His image and to point others to Him. If we choose not to follow, well...then we are crazy because fighting God and His plan leads to nothing but frustration and heartache.
I'm going to try to embrace where I am in my life, embrace what God has called me to do, accept the fact that I will never have it "all together" and encourage others who are doing amazing things every day. We are surrounded by heroes - foster parents, single mothers with handicapped children, teachers, doctors, nurses, policemen, firefighters, moms who work, moms who stay at home, dads who coach, dads who go to work, volunteers at church and on and on I could go. Let's be the "cloud of witnesses" who cheer them on with encouraging phrases as opposed to semi-insults. And always, to GOD be the glory; not me.