Children are a gift, not an expectation.

Us ladies talked about alllll sorts of things while we were together in Savannah.  Girl talk is so fun, sometimes, right?!  Even better when we are all in the same place in life.  So, of course, talking about our vocations, most of us are pretty confident that the Lord is calling us to marriage, was a pretty common topic. Ranging from dating to weddings to what we think marriage will be like to having kids.  Within these conversations NFP was talked about quite a bit. Why we are learning it now. It's importance in our culture today. Being open to life.

All the things.

Since it was NFP Awareness Week this past week, I wanted to expand on some of my thoughts from our conversations. It's not solely NFP stuff, but it's woven in there. Plus, I have talked about my experience with NFP so far, and there isn't much else to report as of now.


We talked a lot about having kids... being open to life... wanting to be a mom... and all those things. Something that was interesting, was the notion that we were all so excited about having kids when we got married. Not years down the road. Not after we did x, y and z with our husbands. Not after we bought the perfect house. Or finished school. Or, or, or. But, when we got married. Plain and simple.

It was such breath of fresh air for me!  Often times I feel alone in my thoughts about having kids right away! Amongst my peers, amongst some blogs I read, amongst our culture at large. I have always held the belief that "if I was ready to get married, I was ready to be a mom!" That was even before I was really Catholic! :)  To me, marriage and babies just go hand in hand.

If I believe that God has called me to the vocation of marriage, then within that vocation is the role of Mother. If I am to be a mother, too, then why would I want to hold off on part of God's will for my life? Why would I want to say no to God?

And, then... what happens if I'm not even able to embrace that part of my vocation?  I am sure you were thinking, "jeez, Jen. It's not that simple for everyone to just have all the babies!"  Right.  I know.

I know many couples who struggle with the cross of infertility, secondary infertility, multiple miscarriages, death of a child, etc. They suffer real pain and heartache that I know nothing about. They yearn for the family that so many couples take for granted when they think they can have babies whenever they want.  There is no guarantee. The idea that one deserves a child because they are ready and are living a "good" and perfect" life is getting a leeeetle close to the playing God card, don't you think?  God doesn't promise children to everyone. We hope and pray and are open to them. But they are a gift. Gifts are unexpected delights that we don't take for granted. Children are a gift, not an expectation or privilege. 

Our culture worries too much "about exactly the wrong thing. We are worried about getting pregnant. We are told we should fear having children too soon. We are told we should fear having too many children. We are told it's the thing that will ruin our lives. That's what everyone says.

It's a lie. " {Kendra Tierney, via... go read that! It's amazing!}

I don't know if I will be able to have children right away. I don't know if I will ever be able to have children. As far as I know, my body ovulates. I have a regular period.  I have all the correct signs of fertility. But, when it comes time to have the babies... I have absolutely no guarantee that I will be able to.  So, for me, learning about and being aware of my fertility and eventually being open to life right from the get-go makes sense.

I want to embrace my vocation fully and completely as I am humanly able to, so that I can get my husband (and myself) and our future children to heaven. That is what I am called to do.

I know that my friends and I may be in the minority with this view compared to the rest of the world, but I am so glad there IS a group of us that can relate. That we can support and encourage one another when the time comes. :)

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  1. This is the fundamental difference between us and society. We says kids are a blessing and you can't separate them from marriage. And other people say they can can have all the fun and games without the consequence of kids. Not so! Like you, I've always thought "marriage and kids" and never really though you know, get married then years later have bebes. Of course, some people might have legitimate reasons for doing that, but in general it's never going to be a perfect time! It's so nice to hear about the NAS trip, and I so wish I could have been there! Can't wait to hear more :-)

  2. Love this post, Jen! Today at Mass the priest prayed for an increase awareness in NFP use as one of the petitions, and I got so excited because I feel like it's a topic that is even sometimes avoided at Mass (at least here in ND!). Babies are absolutely a gift, and it's so wonderful seeing NFP Awareness remind people of that!

  3. Loved this post, Jen! Today at Mass the priest prayed that more couples use NFP during the petitions, and it got me really excited because I feel like it's a topic that is sometimes even ignored at Mass! It's so wonderful sharing these same ideas - that life is truly a blessing! :)


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