Monday, July 25, 2011

NFP Awareness Week- It's Not Just for Aliens!

I almost missed out on NFP Awareness week. Thank you to Leila @ Little Catholic Bubble, for spreading this good stuff.  Read her post for some very prophetic words from Pope Paul IV about what would happen to our culture if we embraced contraception.  It's all true and so sad what we have become in the name of "convenience".

One of my first posts was about Natural Family Planning that was heavily influenced by the wonderful Dr. Gregory Popcak.  It was entitled, "NFP, Say it Loudly, Say it Proudly."  What I said then, I still day today.  Even if people think you have come from another planet, they should still be aware of this "alternative" lifestyle they are missing out on. 

I won't lie-- practicing Natural Family Planning is really hard at times.  Especially when a women is breastfeeding, her cycle has not come back yet, and there is no way God is calling to them to have another baby at this time! Who cannot deny the convenience of contraception?    However, when it causes couples to take each other for granted, treat each other as objects for one's own gratification and disrupt God's plan in a marriage, how can we not step up try our hardest to make NFP work?  It's a lot of work, sure, but what's at stake, is not frivolous stuff.   It's a human life, a respectful spouse, and communion with God that cannot be found when one says NO to God's plan for their marriage.   How I wish there was a magic button to press when trying to figure out my ambiguous fertility at times, but maybe that's all part of God's plan too.   Dr. Popcak explains in his book, Holy Sex, how periods of abstinence can be fruitful to a marriage.  It agree whole heartily! It has made my husband and I closer than before.  Sometimes periods of abstinence can make a couple feel like their dating again or it can be a chance to grow in a particular virtue, as Dr. Popcak points out.

But just in case you go thinking that NFP will be really hard and allow little time for the marital embrace, this is not the case 90% of the time.  Ask couples who have been doing it all their life.  Sure,  you may end up with more than the average 2 or 3 kids, but you can be sure that it was God's plan all along.   I guess that's probably the biggest hang-up that I get from people when I share the awesomeness of NFP.  They don't want any more kids.  It's hard to get around that except that if they would try asking God what He wants, they might find out that this martian who just landed in front of them is speaking the truth after all.

Disclaimer: The number of kids is irrelevant. I do not cast judgement on how many kids people have and it's only between the husband, wife and God that can know what is best for their family. 


Leila @ Little Catholic Bubble said...

Beautiful post, and beatiful blog! Thank you for the wonderful work you are doing for the Kingdom!

Anonymous said...

Sarah: We never were able to have more than two children (well, I had two miscarriages also) and I really feel sad when I hear people say things like "We're so done." I overheard someone say recently, "We caught our limit with two kids" when she saw a friend of mine pg with her third.
When we were still hoping for a third,(I am nearly 50 now) ppl assumed it was because we wanted a girl. No, I just wanted more babies.


Jamie Jo said...

Beautiful post.
I've wanted to write a post about being open to life, since, I am pregnant with our 6th now (7th pregnancy) and have wanted so badly to lose weight. Having not reached my goal, it's ok, God's gifts and His plan is much better than what I might think is what is for me.

I have so many thoughts on this subject, I just haven't taken the time to put it all together. We have that period of abstinence coming up, after about 20 weeks til, months after having that baby. Seriously, months. It's hard, but it's the season we are in, and it's so fun growing close in that special way again after each child (again, months after for us)

I've probably said to much here, but again, yes, it can be hard, but in the end, it's actually easier.

A good friend told me once, that it's kind of like farming when it's wet, it's fertile, and when it's dry, it's not.

That's NFP in a nutshell.

Maria Therese said...

I am an infertile (due to endometriosis diagnosed when I was forty one) in a sea of fertiles! Only most of the fertiles I've encountered say things like "we only want two children", "we're done", "the factory is closed." Many of my co-workers have been blessed with two children, but then decided to have their tubes closed. I remember walking into a classroom when these co-workers were discussing their tubal surgeries. I just looked at them and commented: "Do you know how blessed you are to be able to have children?" They just stared at me not knowing what to say. I am heartbroken over not being able to have even one child. I still do not understand the why's. I am very much devoted to the Blessed Mother and her rosary - I pray to her all the time asking for the grace of motherhood. If I was able to have children, I would very much happily have as many as God wanted to send us! My dream has always been to be a Stay at home wife and mother to many children. Even though we are infertile (my guess is, that I'm probably the one who is infertile), we remain as always open to life. Also I've had many doctors and others questioning why don't we try IVF, two people have offered to be surrogates for me, and I had to tell them all "No, thank you!". I always wanted to do it God's way, which is why I waited until I was married at age almost forty one. I refuse to do anything that might offend God. Still though, my arms and heart ache so much to be a Mother and to be able to have one child - I'm going to turn 45 on 8/2 and I've had signs the past couple of years that what little fertility I might have is quickly diminishing.

You are so blessed to be able to have children and be Mothers! May God Bless you all and your families!

Maria In Mass

And Sarah? I LOVE your rosaries! I'm planning on ordering one in February! May God Bless you!

Lori said...

great post Sarah! I am a huge Popcak fan =)