Well that was a long break! Thanks for sticking with me as I’ve been mulling over some new ideas and projects. I hope to be able to share them with you all soon. I’ve also been procrastinating a bit on this post. It’s one I feel called to write (frankly, each time the past 3 weeks I’ve tried to sit down to blog this is all I can think about), but let’s face it – awkward topic! So, here it goes.
Last summer I put up a brief post sharing about NFP (Natural Family Planning) awareness. I was a newish blogger and took the easy road – I just put up a quick blurb and said I would be sure to write more later, because it’s kind of an awkward subject and I didn’t really know what I wanted to say anyway. And then I never did write more later.
Well, NFP seems to be coming up a lot in my life lately, so it’s something I’ve been thinking more about. My bible study/moms group just had a lengthy discussion about it. We were all over the board for where we stood when it comes to the Church’s teachings on contraception. Some expressed the belief that it was time for the Church to “catch up” with modernity. Others felt pills were not acceptable, but condoms were OK because let’s be honest now, abstinence isn’t usually the greatest of times. One mom said she and her husband were starting to discern, discuss and sometimes argue about what plan they were going to go with. They have four children already and he has started a new, more complicated Air Force job which frequently has him away for extended periods of time. Up to this point they have gone with God’s plan for their family and child spacing, relying on breastfeeding to delay the next pregnancy. But now they are starting to feel stretched and are considering whether NFP is the way they want to go.
With NFP, for those who are unfamiliar, the couple tracks the natural fertile and infertile periods of the woman’s cycle. Then, based on that information, they discern whether or not they are going to be intimate that night. If the couple is open to a new baby, then if they happen to be on a fertile day and they are feeling romantic, awesome. But, if the couple has prayerfully discerned that at this time a new baby would not be good for their family, then they would abstain from sexual intimacy during those fertile times.
There are a couple of key things I’d like to hone in on from that last paragraph.
- NFP can be used for both conception and avoiding conception.
- NFP is practiced by the couple, not the woman by herself
- NFP is based on the natural cycle of the woman as created by God
Note that NFP is not a lifestyle, it is a tool (more on this in Part 2).
I’m going to cut this off here before it gets too long. Part 2 is in-progress and will be posted in a few days. I’d love to hear from you all about your joys and trials of NFP, how you feel about it etc.
Also, I realized in a whole year of blogging I’m not sure if I’ve told you that I pray for all of you who read these blogs. I appreciate your time and would love to know how I can pray for you, how we as a community can pray for you.