St. Theresa's Prayer

May today there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others. May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content with yourself just the way you are. Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

My Grace is Sufficient

I was printing some favorite artwork to hang in my hallway to brighten it up. Artwork by others I loved but knew I didn't have time to recreate myself. I pieced together a favorite image I found online with one of my favorite Bible verses that inspires this Blog - Growing in Grace. Thought you might like to see the final piece.

It's nice to have inspirational quotes around the house. I can just pause in the hallway, stare from my toilet, ponder from my sewing chair. What do you have around your house that you reflect on or are inspired by whenever you see it? I also love our family's saint and holy people statues scattered around the house to remind us that others have suffered through this Christian life and persevered knowing what was ahead - Heaven!

Katie Daisy is the artist responsible for this background. I just loved the bright colors to make this a bold piece in what became my hallway art. Examples of her gorgeous artwork found HERE. I hope someday to recreate this with my own artistry. She's certainly an inspiration!

May the grace of God surround you and overwhelm you today!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Conviction and Grace

No one is perfect. I do not strive for perfection, rather I am daily compelled to achieve sainthood. To me, this means that I do my best to know, love and serve God each day. I offer my days, my trials and my achievements - my life - to Him. In my youth, I was more of a spontaneous person, which got me ahead in ways and in trouble at other times. As I approach this middle part of my life, I'm getting better at having actions that are well thought out. Spontaneity is reserved for playing with my children and the adventures we have together. I am consumed with wanting to be a more mature, responsible adult that is respected in my community. I do surround myself with like-minded people, and we encourage each other as we go. It's when I put myself in the public eye that I am faced with ridicule and questioning. So why do I put myself out there? Because it is on my heart that God has called me to evangelize. Maybe not to become a missionary or activist, but a gentle example in word, deed and action. Starting with my family. He has called me to be ready to Lead when the Spirit moves me, and to teach my children to do the same. I think we are all meant for greatness, but with a humble heart that lets others see it is God working through me - and not of myself. That is what I think this sainthood is about.

CS Lewis - Let God Shine through you

"Don't shine so that others can see you.

Shine so that through you, others can see [God.]"  - C.S. Lewis


This little baby inside me is such another mystery. This is my 7th pregnancy to make it this far, now at 23 weeks. Our 6 children are very excited to welcome a baby boy next spring. We too are so delighted to think about what joy this child will bring to our family! Each child has astounded us with their beautiful personalities and talents that continue to blossom. My husband and I are curious to God's plan in all this that seems so crazy at first, but we trust Him - that He's made this possible and will give us the Grace we need to support our family. Support financially, spiritually, and physically. We have come to realize that our lives are not about us and our achievements. Our grand purpose in life is to help our children become amazing saints for God.


Many friends and family have helped us out this past month with prayer, encouragement and some donations. We're doing everything we can to be humble and worthy of their charity and kindness. We are making sure that from this moment forward we are examples of Christ's love in this world, true Catholics living by the teachings we know and studying to get better at it, as well as being responsible with ALL our actions. What miracles and graces that have come into our lives. We've also seen the spirit of true friendship in it all. Often times being physically poor can make you feel so rich in countless ways! Then when we are better off physically, we can be the miracle in someone else's life! What a gift!!!

God can use your life, broken or whole!

Miracles 1Peter 5:10

Currently we have been focusing on spending time with our children, family and friends. It's the holidays. But we are also focusing on self discipline, money management and physical health. The children are looking to us as an example. We've been a little relaxed in a way that has made parenting more challenging than it needs to be. So after years of trial and error, I think we finally found a method of reward and discipline that works for us. We've realized how we need to react to and teach each child to help them form their souls and personhood. We're more attentive, "slow to anger - rich in kindness." We're being more open with them about our finances, talking to them about responsible spending and what charity means in our life right now. We're looking for opportunities to share our talents and time in volunteering and donations.

Then, in respect for our bodies being a Temple of the Holy Spirit, we are focusing on eating healthier. This will improve our energy, moods and in part financial responsibility. We're starting off the New Year with doing a Whole 30 before resuming our Paleo nutrition plan. Then it's almost time to get the seedlings ready for our garden. We're trying for smarter not harder version of gardening!  We're already off to a good start after consulting our doctor on ways to cut back the pounds. Pinteresting many ideas. Reading up on NFP methods and ways to improve my imbalances. I can truly envision a healthier family in 2015!

Overall I feel confident that we are making the right choices. If we mess up, somehow God will redirect us back on our paths. Many times we've learned that what seems like a mistake or challenge can be turned into something beautiful and meaningful.



Ephesians 3:14-21 (NASB)

"For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,  from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,  so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen."



While we are very well supported in our life by family and friends, there will always be that anonymous commenter or acquaintance who thinks they know better for us. To them I say - hush yourselves! If you do not talk to us on at least a monthly basis… real, face-to-face (or phone), open conversations without censoring… you don't know enough to comment so negatively or judge so harshly. I appreciate you taking the time to comment, but many times your words are just fluttering opinions of the secular world that mean nothing to us. Those who really know us or live a similar way, understand our convictions and that our actions and thoughts are in most cases properly supported by spiritual advisors and church teaching, and well thought out from experience, prayer and study.

I do my best every day to learn more about God's will for me and all Catholics. I do my best every day to make sure that everything I do is an offering to God, because this life is His, not mine. This blog is my place to share that journey with others. To share my knowledge, my frustrations, my convictions with those who are in a similar place.

If you are frustrated by my life, because it's not where you're at - you are not obligated to comment or read my blogs. It's okay to just move on. If you actually know us, you are welcome to open the discussion in person and not hide behind your computer anonymity. But if for some reason you are compelled by my statements to learn more about the "whys" of my comments/decisions… ask away! I'd be happy to share resources and thoughts.




Thursday, December 11, 2014

Having More Babies

Just a quick note for my little crowd of readers, I'm Pregnant!

Yup, this will be pregnancy #9 (lost 2), my 7th cesearean, and the 7th one to tear apart our house someday. Lets just say that despite our best efforts to avoid pregnancy, I didn't account for my breast milk supplements running out for the reason I had dry signs. I thought I was clearly in phase 3. NOPE, it was peak day.

Oh well, we've had plenty of time to process our worries, fears, concerns, excitement, and the fact I was only 5 1/2 months post partum when it happened. Our youngest will be 14 months old when the baby is born. But it turns out the kids had been praying for another. So sweet.

This is our recent ultrasound and all is well with baby and mama.

What do I make of this? God has a plan.

Do I like his plan? Not all the time, but I trust it.

Do I like being pregnant? Usually.

Do I like trying to avoid using NFP? Nope. Most don't.

What do I think about having 7 kids? We live in a zoo, what's one more monkey?

Will I consider other means of contraception after this baby is born? No way, Jose.

Why not? Because God has taught us through the Church, that it is sinful, selfish, against our marriage vows... and because it is poisonous for your body and your marriage.

Saturday, June 21, 2014


Children are a gift from God. Motherhood is a vocation.

God never gives you more than you can handle. His grace is enough.

God knows better. He knows what he's doing. He doesn't make mistakes.


If this is so, than what God has gifted me with is just as He intended and He will give me the grace to fulfill His will.


Breastfeeding Molly


Can I have such confidence in this, when every day I wake up tired and dreading the work to be done? Or is it me, that in dreading it, that has not accepted the gifts He's given? Can I work myself into a state of dragging myself to bed late each night after a day of cleaning and caring for my family, and still be grateful? Yes.


I've grown bitter towards the life I asked for. How dare I scoff at God for what He must consider to be the greatest of blessings…


I see a messy house… He sees a lovely home.

I see piles upon piles of laundry… He sees that my children are clothed and playful.

I see lawn mowing, weeding, staining, repairs… He sees land to roam on, flowers blooming, and handiwork.

I hear children whining… He hears children begging for time with their parents.

I hear about our debts… He hears that we are providing the best we can.

I hear silence between me and my spouse… He hears our prayers of thanks for each other.

I feel tired and worn… He feels that I've been busy living and need to let go of unnecessary worry.

I feel lonely… He feels sad that I've forgotten He's always there and gave me a family and friends to lean on.

I feel unappreciated… He feels the same.


So when I look back on my day of sorrows and woe, stresses and chaos, debts and chores… I must consider what the Lord sees, hears and feels about my day and PRAISE HIM for it. Why? Because He gave me another day.


Another day to see, hear, feel and act differently.

Another day to be grateful that we are fed, clothed and sheltered.

Another day to be grateful for a yard to relax and play in.

Another day to be grateful for a home that memories are made in.

Another day to be grateful for my children and spouse who keep me company, love me and need my talents and love to make this day special for them too.

Another day to offer up my hardships and sufferings to save lost souls.

Another day to know, love and serve God better in all that I have, all that I am and all that I do.


I am so blessed, if I'd only notice.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Family Centered SIXTH Cesarean

It was out of our humanity that we conceived a child,

but it was from our faith in God and cherishing all life

that she was born.

Growing In Grace: 23w2d


An eighth pregnancy was definitely a surprise. But as before, we knew it would be a good one.


I knew I'd get bigger, when I was already big.

Growing In Grace: in my tummy wk38


I knew my youngest wouldn't be my baby anymore.

Growing in Grace: Little HandsGrowing in Grace: Last night as my baby


I knew we'd be maxing out our suburban.

Growing in Grace: Fully Loaded Suburban


And I knew it would mean more diapers, more food, and more self help books.

Modest Mommies: Cloth Diapering SetupMichalek Kitchen: Making freezer meals

Growing in Grace: Nighstand reading


But when I packed up our children for Grandma

Growing in Grace: Going to Grandmas

Packed my bags

Growing in Grace: Hospital Bags

And hitched a ride to the Hospital

Growing in Grace: Hospital Prep

We knew that everything was going to go wonderfully.

Growing in Grace: 6 Cesarean Delivery

As she was placed upon my chest and began to nurse.

Growing in Grace: Family Centered Cesarean

And my baby and my husband got to be there - the whole time.

Growing in Grace: Happiest Moment


She's beautifully perfect.

Growing in Grace: M 2 days old hatGrowing in Grace: M 2 days old

Just like the others.

Growing in Grace: Family Visits

Things went so well, we couldn't wait to bring her home, so we left earlier than ever before.

Modest Mommies: Infant Carseat going home


It's been challenging at home, but everyone has had their chance to hold and love her.

Homegrown Catholics: Saint Patricks Day

Growing in Grace: Big Sister

Growing in Grace: New big brother

Growing in Grace: The Girls 2014

Growing in Grace: Biggest BrotherGrowing in Grace: Big Brothers


It is NOT easy to be a mother of many children. But I love them, and I am glad that God called me to be a mother to such delightful young souls. It's not about me and what I want for my life. Most likely, it's about them and who they will become and the lives they'll touch. God has a plan for each and every one, even if I didn't plan any of them. Who am I to mess with God's plan!?

Growing in Grace: Mommy Selfie

God is good!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Family Centered Cesarean Planning

Edward is Born
We are so excited!
  A Family Centered Cesarean is the result of my search for the best, most natural c-section delivery I can possibly have. Thus far my doctor is on board and we're very excited for these little but marvelous changes. The main difference with this repeat cesarean is that I will be allowed to see the birth, hold my baby to my chest immediately and keep her with me during recovery. Minimal separation.

Here is the ICAN post about it:

And this is the inspiring video featuring the God-send of a midwife who made it possible.

This is a sample of the birth plan I handed over to my doctor. Most things already happen, but it's all laid out and my bolded sentences are my top priorities. Feel free to copy it!
During Surgery
  • No antacid prior to surgery. I will take 2 Prilosec the night before.
  • Put IV in my non-dominant arm, Not hand.
  • Get my husband in the surgery room asap.
  • I’d like a non-drowsy, anti-nausea med if possible (Zofran)
  • No sedatives after birth. I want to remember my baby’s first day of life.
  • Monitors on me to be placed on my back instead of chest to make room for baby.
  • I'm keeping my placenta (for encapsulation)
  • Please lower the screen just before delivery so I may see the birth of our baby.
  • Slow delivery allowing physiological autoresuscitation, similar to vaginal birth for clearing lungs.
  • If possible, allow the cord to continue pulsing after the birth so Baby may start breathing on her own while still attached to the placenta. About a 2 min delay.
  • Please allow for skin-to-skin contact immediately after delivery and evaluate Baby on my chest.
  • Keep cord long for daddy to cut while baby is in my arms.
  • No Eye Gel, No Hep. B vaccine. No circumcision. I will sign the waiver ahead of time.
  • Once back in our room to recover and been checked as stable, we would like to be alone with Baby to nurse.
  • We would like to keep Baby with us at all times. If Baby must go to the NICU due to medical reasons, my husband will follow. My husband or I will accompany the baby for any out of room checkups.
  • I am willing to be up and walking as soon as possible
  • I would like my Catheter out early the morning after surgery
  • I would like to eat and have the IV removed as soon as possible after surgery
  • I will be nursing on demand and whenever Baby is fussy to help stimulate my milk to come in and to soothe Baby. No pacifiers or supplementing without my permission.

A PACKING LIST for a Cesarean Delivery
Sabrinas Here
Robe, Nursing PJs, Slippers, Nursing Bra
Nursing Cover, Nursing Bracelet
Pillow with fun, identifiable pillowcase
Personal Hygiene and Makeup (teeth, hair, face, body)
Opt nursing pillow
Going home clothes (think comfy, stretchy)
Eye glasses & case/wipes

Great Dad - Tom
PJs & pillow
Snacks/Drinks, cash for food
Camera, Phone, Contact List

Edward is Born
(In same suitcase or diaper bag)
First photo and/or going home outfit
Blanket, hat, etc
Car Seat (cover)

Edward is Born
Ipod, CDs, DVDs, Books/Reader, Camera
Tape to hang cards/drawings
Opt Hobby - crochet/knit
Visitor Gifts, sibling gifts
Edward is Born

Thursday, October 24, 2013

My Natural Family Plan Worked

Well, not really. I've been doing NFP for years now, but we're still refining it. Apparently I'm more fertile than I thought I'd be early on in the cycle, and not always good at reading the signs. But we're always happy when it comes to adding another family member. Each one is such a delight, and we wouldn't change a thing.

What really "worked" is Our Openness to Life!

Large Family Baby Gender Reveal - Homegrown Catholics

Click on picture to enlarge and read our thoughts!


We are thrilled to announce that our "Brady Bunch" days have arrived [Except for Alice]. We are expecting a GIRL in February and she'll tie us up having 3 girls and 3 boys! We'd be excited either way, as such news is always joyful - after a short adjustment period. I must admit, I was a bit nervous at first - but I'm so giddy. In fact, I told Tom God's will is simply too funny not to smile. This was definitely His plan and not ours, but we're very okay with it!


(Tom is really happy too, the picture is just a joke!)


It should be an interesting year, as we sold ALL our girl clothes sz0-5T just last year. We also sold our bassinet, maya wrap, Breastfriend nursing pillow, playpen, and other baby items. Fortunately, I love to shop, sew and find bargains on Craigslist! I happened to keep the car seat and bottles, though I plan to give breastfeeding a good try again. (Doesn't work out for more than 3-7 months for me.) Our local Just Between Friends (second hand/consignment) Sale is on the calendar. And I'm already to sew up a Ring Sling, Car Seat Cover, Nursing Cover, cloth diapers and Dresses courtesy of my large stock of fabrics for my Modest Mommies home business.


Pray for us, as we are in the midst of deciding whether or not to stay and shift things around, add on, move or build. After buying a new nine-passenger Suburban, we don't have much wiggle room in our budget.


Blessings to all our family friends, be they small or large.

Tom & Melissa


Its A Girl reveal

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Done Having Children

Open to Life copy

How can I be "Open to Life" when "I'm Done?"

Many couples, whether it be after their first, third or sixth child come to a point where they decide their family is complete. We are ready to do new things we couldn't do with little ones, or perhaps we've maxed our finances and stress levels. Therefore, we've decided to not have any more children. BUT we're a couple who follows God's desire for us to be open to life and not use contraception or sterilization. Our only choices are abstinence and Natural Family Planning. (And we all know the abstinence thing ain't happening.) How can we be "open to life" when "we don't want to have any more children?" In this situation we ask ourselves "Why is it so hard, when we've done the right thing all along? Am I now being closed to God's will by not wanting any more? Why can't I have surgery when we're so certain? NFP was great for conceiving children, but how effective is it at avoiding pregnancy?"

These are great questions, all which I myself have pondered before and after each pregnancy. All eight pregnancies, including two miscarriages and five cesareans thus far. There is much that the church and its teachers have to say about this. But sometimes hearing from someone who's experienced this battle can provide the support you need to be confident about your choice to let God take charge of your family and be at peace with whatever may come.

3rd Pregnancy
Many have read My Pro-Life Story and know that in the beginning, becoming pregnant the first time was not as much of a joy as it could have been. My first pregnancy was while we were engaged, so the joy was dampened at first with shame felt amongst my family and friends for having had premarital sex. To some I simply stated that the difference between us and them was that "we got caught" because we chose not to use contraception. To others we simply asked for their prayers. Fortunately we were already in love and planning to have a family. After our wedding at five months pregnant, there came acceptance and we could move into baby bliss. We knew it wasn't the right order of things. After asking God for forgiveness for our poor choices in the Sacrament of Confession, He took that moment and made it beautiful. Years later, we can't imagine how our life would be without our first or any of our children.

In the beginning, many are not charting. They're not necessarily trying to get pregnant or not to get pregnant. For many, it just happens when it does. Obviously there are many who struggle with fertility, and others who postpone pregnancy until after certain goals are met. Then there are those like us who forget that we can have control over our passions when the time isn't right. The main point is, in most early marriages, the couple wants to have a baby. It's not a complicated decision at this point.

It was just months after she was born I yearned to have a child that was born of our married love. To be able to share the good news with others. Using the basics of NFP we had learned at our engagement retreat (which is not enough by the way) we followed my cycle to try to conceive.  My cycles kept getting further apart, as far as 70 days and no pregnancies. But finally God knew it was time for us to have a son. At the ultrasound, I found out that I was a whole month further along than I had thought. Before I knew it I had two children, a girl and a boy. Many commented on their beauty and what a complete family we were. Complete? Really, with just two children? I grew up as an only child until age 9, we adopted a newborn sister, and then when I was 15 my mom had my brother. My husband just had a brother 16 months younger than himself. I wanted our children to experience near aged siblings that would become playmates and lifelong friends. I did not feel our family was complete. After two cesarean deliveries, my doctor thought it wasn't wise to consider more births. At that young ages of 22 and 24 I didn't take the time to ask and research about VBACs and I didn't take more classes on NFP to space out my children as needed to heal.  I simply felt ignorant and powerless about what I should or shouldn't do.

Young couples need proper guidance by faith abiding couples in their parish and family. It's good to have that mentorship early on so a couple has a place to confidently go when they are not sure what to do. They need to hear that no person can advise them how many children is enough and learn how to respond to people who dismiss their calling to parenthood.

Some time went by, and I did become pregnant again only to loose him in the 6th week. No one had ever taught or talked about miscarriages, and the lack of support and information threw me into my deepest depression. After beginning therapy and anti-depressants we decided that it was best to give up on the idea of more children, at least for now. Armed only with our basic knowledge of NFP, we just tried to avoid fertile times. That joy of anticipating a child turned into a deep sorrow and it became harder to be intimate because of constant worry. It was very hard on our marriage and our faith. I was in a state where I didn't want to confide in God, and to me, His will stunk.

Couples, before you get married - go to a Natural Family Planning class offered by your clinic or church community. It will tell you so much about your body's natural cycle of fertile and infertile days. Know that there are support groups for infertility and miscarriages. You're never alone in this.

Now just a few months later, during one of those emotional, make-up sex moments… we got pregnant again. I was on anti-depressants and felt unconnected to my body and emotions. It was only days after I realized I was pregnant that I miscarried again. With me in a dazed state, it seemed clear to my husband that we had to become better at this Natural Family Planning or give into the world's methods of contraception.  Something had to change. I'll just say we didn't get to the research fast enough, because just a month later we were pregnant again.

So here we are, pregnant with our third child, fifth pregnancy. Fortunately the hormones helped balance out my disorderly thoughts and we were joyful once again. Therapy was a huge help. When our daughter was born, we went right off to NFP training for breastfeeding mothers and follow-up classes together to avoid pregnancy. It seemed the right thing to do because we were now at three cesarean deliveries, increasing the risk of rupture, and I was on medication. Three children, we felt complete, and life was fun. We were finally pulling our marriage together. Yet, all the while, the doctor kept discussing tubal ligation and other contraceptives. I wasn't prepared and he advised me to seek my priest's advice "in this situation" thinking there was some loophole to our faith for "someone like me." The following posts came after speaking to friends, priests, and researching.

Wicks Fathers Day (4)
What I still can't figure out is why it took me 7 years into my marriage and five pregnancies to find out what my faith required and what being "open to life" meant. Why aren't couples taught this during marriage prep? Why aren't these things discussed during life classes in school? Why aren't mothers talking openly about these things when we get together? The days of being hush-hush about our sexuality is long over. It's time for open discussion and adults feeling confident to research faith and science before making hasty decisions about their fertility. It is time for a generation that teaches teenagers and adults in appropriate ways, so that no woman or couple is left wondering or alluded way before they become sexually active.
As you'll read in those linked posts, it took a lot of research, discussion and encouragement from the right people for us to realize that we weren't being open to life as God intended. We were making assumptions because we had been so embarrassed to talk about it. But with our new resources, we were armed and ready for discussions with medical professionals and friends. We were ready to use NFP to avoid pregnancy the best we knew how, but we were open to the possibility that God had more gifts of children waiting for us. We were never again going to say "We're done" incase God wasn't done. The more we talked about it together and with others, we became more confident in our choice.

It was after this new streak of confidence that despite our best efforts, God made a way for us to conceive a fourth child, a son. This was a most joyful pregnancy because we put all our trust in God. We put aside fear, anxiety and past notions. Putting all our trust in God's plan for us, and the miracle of God bringing us this child, we couldn't be happier. He was conceived because we were intimate just before signs of ovulation had occurred. We followed all the rules, but God made a way.

Would you believe it happened again!? When he was two, God blessed us again! Sometimes in marriage, when you are truly open to life, and you're truly "excitable," you just say to your spouse in the moment - "If we're meant to get pregnant again, tonight's the night!"  And you're at peace with whatever comes. At this point it didn't seem so impossible to have a large family as all our friends were in the same boat and doing fine. At four we simply had a starter family, and now with five we were experienced parents. Some told me it gets easier after five. (I'm still trying to figure out why they say that?)

Branson MO or Bust

Now I must say, after five children, we realized we were maxed out for energy and parenting. Being open to life had a new meaning. It wasn't easier, it was harder. It wasn't about the multiple cesareans. It wasn't about the lack of space or craziness in our household. It became financially stressful to consider more children, and as a mother I felt at my limit. Last year I took a real grasp on my health issues and made some big changes. We started looking forward to having children growing up and not having to worry about a baby's needs. Homeschooling took up a lot of time, and dividing time amongst 5 children was often a challenge. We sold and gave away a lot of baby clothes, toys and maternity items. It was just this spring I was confident that God smiled at our family and understood we were okay with moving to the next phase of our family. I was okay that I had had my last baby.
Florida Vacation 2013

Couples reach this point at some time. As we get closer to 40 years old, we realize that we'd like to retire with children out of the house. We create new goals including vacations, education, careers, social and more. It is not selfish to move into this phase. It's a natural part of maturing and spending your time doing things you love to do as a person and as a family. At this point, being open to life doesn't mean getting pregnant. It means not changing your body by any artificial means that could prevent God from inspiring new life. Again, you need the confidence that God is in control of our lives and His way is infinitely better than our own.

Because of the changes in my diet and thyroid supplements, my cycle was getting a little harder to chart. It wasn't predictable as before. But I had confidence in the rules of NFP for avoiding pregnancy. After years of charting, I got a really good idea how it works.  I look back today and saw I did take a risk during a logically fertile time (thick mucous one day, followed by 4 days dry, intimacy, then a return to fertile signs with a peak day). So while NFP is 99.9% effective when followed correctly, God takes that .1% chance and can make it happen. God's mysterious ways have lead to my current and eighth pregnancy with our sixth child.

"We were done!" I cried. "God, give me the peace I need to accept this pregnancy as your will, as it is certainly not mine." I've cried in the arms of my husband, trying to add humor to let go and be happy. "Good thing we just bought a nine passenger Suburban!" This was not the plan we had. "Where's the baby going to sleep? We've sold so much!" I've prayed for reminders of joy this will bring to our family. "The kids are thrilled! They're already discussing names, like Yoda and Leia."

Anyone who makes plans that go awry are certain to be disappointed for awhile. Being pregnant when you do not want to be can bring horrible thoughts and feelings, but do not despair! Seek God! Because when his GRACE takes you beyond those ill thoughts, YOU CAN FIND JOY! You can make a new plan!

Writing this at six weeks pregnant, while there is much newfound joy, there have been moments of uncertainty. In those moments, I cry out to God for guidance, peace, grace, wisdom, and patience. All I can do is trust in God. He hears and answers me with one word.

Ludys 94th Bday
What does it take to be a good parent?
What does it take to accept unwanted pregnancies?
What does it take to move past infertility and miscarriages?
What does it take to manage a large family?
Where does this love come from?
He inspires it, we feel it, we share it.

"Love one another, because I have loved you." - John 13:34-35

"Do not be afraid, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, surely I will help you; Surely I will uphold you with my righteous hand."  - Isaiah 41:10

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you…"   - Jeremiah 1:5

"Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward."  - Psalms 127:3

"Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy that a child has been born into the world."  - John 16:21

"But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint."  - 1 Timothy 2:15

All my love,
  "Fertile Myrtle"