Thursday, July 23, 2015

Are YOU Aware it's NFP Awareness Week?

It's NFP (Natural Family Planning) Awareness Week! I was somewhat surprised by that fact at Mass on Sunday when our new priest mentioned NFP. Now, this was his first Sunday with us, which just happened to coincide with NFP Awareness Week, but I think if he hadn't been celebrating Mass, I would have been kept in the dark about it. Unfortunately.

It's unfortunate that more priests don't talk about NFP, either this week or at all, because it's one of the most beautiful teachings of the Catholic Church. The Church teaching on sexuality is one of the things that sets it apart from all the protestant churches....and pretty much the whole world!

There was a time when we knew this week was coming and did something to prepare for it at our parish, but we've let that fall by the wayside since we reached a tipping point in our childbearing years that made teaching too difficult. And now we're past all that, anyway. Don't snort because we stopped teaching because we had "too many children" thanks to NFP! We had those children because we wanted them, not because NFP didn't work.

For us, NFP was (and is) a huge gift to our marriage. We've been very blessed to have little trouble conceiving, but even with my irregular cycles, we were able to avoid pregnancy when we needed to and able to conceive fairly quickly when we were ready for another child. It wasn't always easy to abstain and it made for some difficult, stressful times in our marriage, but, on the whole, it strengthened our marriage enormously AND brought me into full communion with the Catholic Church.

I didn't start out using NFP because I believed the Church teachings, but because we needed some way to space our children (Yes, I had a "contraceptive mentality"!) and, with my tendencies toward more natural living and fewer pharmaceuticals, I was happy to learn NFP. Win for both spouses! Nevertheless, my eyes were opened by the changes in our already-happy marriage, and if the Church was right about the reasons for married couples should not use contraception, maybe She was right about other things, too.

Feel free to share your experiences or thoughts! NFP is a huge hurdle for many couples in this age of sex anytime, anywhere, with anyone. The widespread belief that we shouldn't have more than 2 children these days is also a challenge for couples. Rest assured that you don't have to have a dozen (as I thought) or a half-dozen, but you do have to invite God into your sexual relationship (because He created it, and He's there whether you like it, or admit it, or not!). And there are no guarantees that you will be given all the babies you want, either, but you will find grace and joy in abundance even through the struggles and the sorrows.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Change is Hard

I don't like change, as a rule. I mean, I like it, but it can be challenging at the same time. I also get an idea in my head about something, whether it's bathroom fixtures or how an event should be run, and it can be hard to let it go.

That's pretty much how I've felt about these home renovations. I get an idea in my head and when the reality differs I have difficulty adjusting. Sometimes it's a long process and sometimes it's a longer process. LOL. Pity the poor husband who has to deal with me!

The Orange Bathroom was a pretty quick adjustment. I was initially shocked by the color, but you know how it darkens as it dries, and going away for a week gave me a good opportunity to mentally adjust. I love, love, love this bathroom. It still lacks a mirror, art, and a couple of drawer pulls, but it's fabulous!

More pics to come, soooon! However, I will admit that the Orange makes it a little hard to get accurate colors in photos. <grin>

The hardest adjustment, which almost brought me to tears was the granite in the powder room. Oh, how silly and shameful that I should fret over not having the perfect counter in my bathroom! There are far worse things happening in the world. So, I decided not to make an issue of it and make it work, or, at least, live with it gracefully. As it turns out, I think it works beautifully with the color and the same black frames that I had before!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Silent Saturday & Light Bulb Dilemmas

Most of the family is gone and I'm home with just Tom who, like most of my menfolk, is not very chatty. I have a whole, quiet Saturday with which to do as I please! What would you do with a Saturday to yourself?

---Have lunch with a friend
---Go to the movies
---Clean house
---do laundry
---Catch up on computer work (AHG....)
---Go shopping
---Visit your favorite LYS (Local Yarn Shop)
---Knit and a. watch TV or
                  b. listen to audio books
---Work on the never-ending home renovations

So far, I have spent the morning reading blogs and watching HGTV. Time to get up and do something a little different!

One thing I know I will do today is find some decent light bulbs for my powder room. The stone guys came yesterday---while I was out, naturally---and installed the countertops in the bathrooms. The one they put in the powder room is beautiful, but I had changed my mind about using it because I didn't think it would work with the colors I had in mind (and actually painted the bathroom the day before!). So now, it's there and I'm sure removing it would be a huge headache. Because it doesn't match the picture in my head and was a disappointment, I have to get used to this new idea and learn to like it. It's probably more beautiful than I can see because I'm not objective, but I am certain that the light bulbs are not helping the situation. The weird LED glow isn't working for me, so I think I'll go buy a couple of different kinds of bulbs to see which ones look best in there. Have you been playing with light bulbs lately? Have you found any of the new ones that you love?

I'll put in a sneak-peak photo of the bathroom. I think there is an LED cool light and an incandescent reveal light in there in this photo! Tell me what you think---about bulbs and the granite. I am actually starting to warm up to it this morning.


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