December 15, 2010

I had to give myself an NFP pep talk

**Just to warn you, this post may contain too much information.  Especially if you're my grandparent, or cousin, or acquaintance from church, or one of my husband's students.  There is the potential for both of us to be very embarrassed if you read this.  However, if you're a good friend or stranger I really don't care - read on!**

When it comes to outsiders, it seems that AC's and granola-y people respect Travis and my decision to practice NFP best.  It shows a deep trust in God and a basic belief that children are blessings (which the Apostolic Christians appreciate) and it's totally green, especially since in my 4.5 years of charting I'm only on my second booklet of charts (which the earthy people like).

And then there's the others like me, a bunch of orthodox Catholics (perhaps you think of us as fanatics).  Get a group of ten of us together and five will be pregnant, three will have newborns, and the other two will be trying to conceive.  Basically that's a true statement.

We practice NFP because we know that God can be trusted, and children are blessings, and it builds our marriages.  But sometimes the only reason we're practicing it is because the Church tells us to do so.  I mean, when you're going on three months of questionable signs and no thermal shift, which are following months eight and nine of pregnancy number three in two and a half years, well the only reason you're practicing NFP is because the Church tells you to do so.

And to do something because the Church says so is not a bad reason.  Sometimes our emotions get the better of us, logic goes out the window, and we have to have some one or thing to tell us what's right and what's wrong.  It's especially nice if that something happens to have two thousand years of the best theologians, philosophers, scholars, saints, and Christ Himself.  (This was reaffirmed time and again in the NICU.)

Please understand, I am glad we use NFP, and even though it can be very, very hard at times, it does have its perks.  Like L, Ben, and JF.  And making out.  Because when you can't "go all the way" you can at least make out.  And making out is a lot of fun.  Kissing is fun.  And it's a lot less messy than "it", morning sickness, giving birth, poopy diapers, laundry, spit up, food thrown on the floor, toys scattered everywhere, crayons on the wall...

If you want to read some other thoughts on NFP, I encourage you to check out It's Time to Talk Honestly About Natural Family Planning by Simcha Fisher.


  1. probably one of my favorite posts ever. :-D and, when I think of my friends, I can't think of one that doesnt fit into your description. :) and, yeah, NFP sucks sometimes. like now.

  2. Ha, I love this.
    "Get a group of ten of us together and five will be pregnant, three will have newborns, and the other two will be trying to conceive."
    So true! But I never knew or imagined it could be true until I met all you wonderful ladies at Jenny's the night of the NFP talk! So blessed to have you all in my life. It's fun to be around other women that have babies (inside, outside, or on their minds all the time), but it's even better to have other women to share your faith with and who support each other. Glad you used the tag "good to be Catholic" - it is! : )

  3. I think you're totally right that sometimes we just have to do what the Church says because She says so. Sometimes we fall deeply in love with Her teachings and WANT to live them out...and other times we just have to rely on that love we had at one point and practice obedience.

    Great post!

  4. I love your blog! A friend sent it to me today. It was nice to read about another group of Catholic mom's like ours:
    "Get a group of ten of us together and five will be pregnant, three will have newborns, and the other two will be trying to conceive."
    That's so true of us!!! Cracked me up!
    I am an NFP instructor and promote HV and NFP. I am looking for NFP testimonies for my website. I'd like permission to post this one (with a link to your blog). My website is

  5. Wow. I'm so impressed with how the Holy Spirit works! My wife and I have been following James's story on your blog and we've been wrestling with a lot of pregnancy anxiety on her part including 'NFP reluctance'(a.k.a. abstinence). Thank you for your courage to post your thoughts. The link to the Simhca Fisher article was exactly what we knew was out there and we couldn't find it. Two days after we talked about it, the link was placed right on your blog.

    Thank you!

  6. This brought tears to my eyes. I cannot begin to tell you how much I needed to hear this today.