Call Me Catholic

Yeah, You’re a Strict Catholic

I brought the baby into the doctor’s office yesterday.  She had an ear infection, and I had an interesting conversation.

As the doctor was entering his information into the computer, he said, “Wow, you have 7 kids!  You must be a strict Catholic.”

This seemed out of the blue.  Apparently my baby’s computer file must keep track of those things.  Then he said with a smile and a smirk, “I guess you had to have all those kids, huh?”

Now I’m used to snarky comments about the size of my family, but this ticked me off.  Why should I have to put up with his condescending, vitriolic pompousness?  I didn’t comment on the size of his family, implying that he’s a dope.  So I reached across the baby sitting on my lap, and slapped his smug face.

Ok, no, I didn’t do that.  But I did say, “Yes, we wanted all these children.”

He calmly said, “Oh yeah, I suppose you planned them all too?”

What the hell?*

“Natural Family Planning does work, when you actually monitor and chart your mucus.”  (Yeah, I said that.)

At this point, the look on his face completely changed.  He blushed, cleared his throat, and said, “Uh…I guess the other doctor here at this clinic wants to bring in a nurse trained in Natural Family Planning because she’s so busy with all her NFP patients that she can’t keep up.”

It’s true.  I knew that doctor was swamped with women wanting her assistance.  So I replied, “Yes, it’s fascinating–the woman’s body.  We studied the Creighton Model.  You might consider learning too?”

“Hmmm…”

“This isn’t your grandma’s version of the ridiculous Rhythm Method.  This stuff actually works.”

Then he said something awkward about my husband’s “swimmers” always seeming to find their way (weird), and I just sighed as he quickly slunk out of the room.

Why do I mention this incident?

Of course I couldn’t slap the guy.  That never wins people over, but of course I also couldn’t remain silent.  A wise priest once told me that if someone else is going to “go there,” then by all means, go there with him.

In other words, if someone is going to comment on my family size, then maybe I should go there too.  Just because you think 7 children is nuts and overwhelming, doesn’t mean that I do.  Or, just because you’d rather watch TV in your bedroom, doesn’t mean that we’d rather do that.  You wouldn’t believe what some people say.  “Get a TV!  Don’t you know what the pill is for?”  Or, “Don’t you know how that happens?”  Come on, people.  Be a little open-minded.

Or open-hearted?  As a matter of fact, we didn’t specifically plan each of our 7 children; God did.  My husband and I knew what we were doing, though.  Many of you may not be familiar with Natural Family Planning (NFP), but it’s not that complicated.  I simply chart when I’m fertile by monitoring my cervical mucus.  Yes, it sounds gross, but it works.

So while we may not have specifically “planned” to have, for example, this last baby, we did choose to have intercourse on a fertile day.  We knew the consequences.  But our hearts were open.  Open to God’s plan–His providence–with all it’s heartaches and joys.

And my heart has become bigger and softer with the birth of each child.  And I am so thankful.  So thankful.

 

 

*I just thought that.  I apologize for the foul language.  It’s a sin, and you should pray for me.
Life is Worth Living

5 Things I Hide From the Children

Now I have a few things that I prefer to hide from my children.  And I know you’ve got a few things that you hide from your children too.  So, I thought it might be interesting to share this short list with you.

5 Things I Hide From the Children

  1. Play Doh.  This might label me as a crank, but I don’t like this stuff.  I only save it for two reasons.  1.)  It’s twenty below outside, and the children are driving me crazy.  2.)  My floor needs to be swept and scrubbed anyway.  In the meantime, I hide this dangerous stuff in a locked cabinet.
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It must have been an awfully cold day.

2.  My Scissors.  You might think that I’m hiding these dangerous blades because I’m afraid the children will run round, with that sharp, pointy end directed towards their little eyeballs?  No.  No, that is not why I hide my scissors.  I hide my scissors because they’re always stealing it because they’ve lost theirs.  And they want to cut cardboard diaper boxes to make rockets and houses.  So, right now, my scissors is hiding on top of the refrigerator.  And they’ve resorted to knives.  (Just kidding, of course.)

3.  Tape.  Yes, the children are perpetually stealing this too.  For, how else are they to join the diaper box to the Amazon box to make something even bigger and better?  I now hide my tape in my bedroom dresser.  (As an aside, can you imagine how excited my twin boys were to receive a roll of duct tape for their birthday from their grandparents?  Excited.)

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Looks like they’ve stolen my scissors and tape again.  I need new hiding places.  Do you think they’ll return these items to their proper places?  Not. A. Chance.

4.  NFP Chart.*  Does this one need explaining?  Well, I certainly don’t want to explain it to my children either.

5.  Dots.  My favorite candy.  I guess maybe this is childish and unsophisticated?  Even so, I’m not ashamed to admit it.  There’s nothing better than opening a box of Dots and eating all the red and pink ones on Date Night.  (My husband gets the other colors; he’s very sacrificial and self-denying.)  So, I try to hide my candy in an upper cabinet in my kitchen.

Anyone have anything to add the list?  If so, I’d love to hear what it is.

 

*Don’t know what this is?  Click HERE.

 

Book Review, Call Me Catholic

My Conversion Story

Have I always been a Catholic?

Yes, and definitely No.  You see, I was baptized a Catholic, and thankfully received all the Sacraments, but alas, during my late teens and early twenties, I fell into a Pit of Sin.  And yet, I still identified myself as a “Catholic.”

That, however, is another story, for another time.

Today, I’d like to direct you to Patti Maguire Armstrong’s blog.  She is a Catholic journalist and author of a number of books.  In her book, Amazing Grace for Families, which was published a few years ago, she wrote about my reentry into the Church.

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This book is a collection of short stories of faith and inspiration.  It’s a great read.

At that time, I was about 22 years-old and traveling in Greece.  On our third day in Athens, I was hit by a taxi cab and unable to leave my hotel room for a few days.  It was then that I stumbled upon Pope Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae, among other things.

With the grace of God, my eyes were opened, and I chucked the birth control into the garbage can, literally.  My then fiancé, however, was not, and I mean not happy.  I had a difficult decision to make–stay with him and cease to be Catholic or give him up and finally start living.

I gave him up and chose to live.  I chose Jesus and His Church.  And it was the best decision I ever made.

If you’d like a shortened version of what happened that fateful day, click on her blog at pattimaguirearmstrong.com, and read away!  For the longer version, you’ll have to buy her book, which I recommend.  For an even more detailed version, you’ll just have to wait, as I’m still working on that one.

Patti also has other books that might be of some interest to you.  I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read of hers.

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Here are a few others I’ve read and enjoyed.  These books are all contain short stories about faith and life.