August 5th, 2008

Coffee Talk Tuesday

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So, what shall we talk about this week? What’s on your mind today?

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150 comments to Coffee Talk Tuesday

  • Kate's friend

    Good point “Finances”. I especially agree with being able to financially provide for a family before you marry. I also have never understood the $100k+ degrees in philosophy from some great Catholic school, but then being left unskilled to compete in today’s job force.

  • to NFP help:
    Maybe it would help if you explained the way his response makes you feel, or what you’d like his response to be would make you feel, does that make any sense? maybe saying something like: it means so much to me and it shows me how much you love me when, despite the physical need, you choose to abstain for *us*. It shows me the real kind of love, the I-love-you-even-when-things-are-difficult kind of love, it shows me that you’re willing to sacrifice for our own greater good, even if it means abstaining for a while.
    Maybe try to get him to talk about why it’s so important to him to have it when he wants it? what does waiting for a non-fertile period makes him feel? maybe he just feels rejected, but explain to him that while you might want him as bad as he wants you, once again, you’re trying to show him how much you love him by sacrificing a night (or a couple of nights) of intimacy for the greater good.
    I hope that helps and I’ll keep you in my prayers!

  • Most of the Catholic families that I personally know that struggle with poverty are the ones in which the husband works for the Church in some capacity, i.e. professor, teacher, youth minister, diocesean beauracrat. These individuals work hard to preach the Gospel everyday, but I guess they should abandon all that to bring home the bacon.

    I would be happy to pass along some of my lawyer-husband’s salary to these hardworking folks to do my part in preaching the Gospel. Sadly, as Finances says, the government sort of takes over with high taxes. That is why I have absolutely no problems with – and even would encourage Catholic families in need – to take advantage of government aid.

    Certainly, I see private charity as a much better way to tackle issues like poverty since it allows for true growth of virtue between actual persons. However, we live in the system we do, and until we can slowly change the culture, I see no reason why it is wrong for families to recieve help from whatever resources are available.

  • spider veins

    Yes, the one thing that does work on them is injections. They are simple, consist of saline (salt water!) so there are no side effects, save for some temporary bruising, and they are much easier to get rid of than varicose veins. Sometimes the spider veins grow back in other places, but then you just get them injected again.

    And my dr. is always going on about support hose; she tells me to wear them instead of stockings or tights and since they make lighter support hose that look better these days, I do. (She wears them, too, and she’s young and has great legs!)

  • Allie,

    We’re poor! I went for years without health insurance (and we owe my parents $100,000 because of it) and only have insurance now because, against my doctor’s reccomendation, I am working full time. And yes, even with me working full time, we’re still poor :) (I’ve blogged about this till the cows come home.)

    We have been married for four years. God has not blessed us with any children, which given my health issues, is probably a good thing. (It is also most likely partly a result of my health issues.) Should we have children they would be eligable for Medicaid.

    Government assistance exists to assist families in tight financial circumstances. There is nothing morally wrong with accepting it, and I actually think, if you need it, it would be silly not to use it.

    Think of it this way: Medicare is a form of government assistance. Would you think of turning it down when you reach 65? Probably not.

    Anyway, I just wanted to let you know you’re not alone :) We’re poor too, and most likely always will be, for many different reasons.

    ~Anna

  • Allie

    OK, I’m back again ! May I quote, “. . .to underwrite families that could perhaps being (sic) doing more to provide for their own” , and the comment about “personal responsibility” : I know that everyone has their own story ; here’s mine. My husband has an undergrad degree in Theology and a graduate degree in Pastoral Counseling. He was a Protestant pastor for five years when we got OUT of that life and began seriously studying the teachings of the Catholic Church ( We converted ! ). What exactly does one do with education like that but work in the mental health field, which does not pay well and is usually a nonprofit agency, which means ridiculous health coverage premiums ( $1000 / month for a family of 7 ). Now, I’m a little tacky ( So I hear ! ) so here’s the numbers : $3400 / month pay. My son with CF has medications that cost $5500 / month, not counting hospitalizations ( which are necessary about once a year ), which run about $40,000 if he doesn’t need surgery ~ see how his care runs, like, at least double what we even HAVE ? I was just looking for an understanding friendly comment or two ~ thank you for those who were, and I love the quote about contributing to society with happy, well adjusted children, not taxes ! Maybe it helps for others to know that we’re not all like the squanderers ( Is that a word ? ! ) ? Blessings to all

  • So glad you found the Church, Allie! God bless your family (especially your son).

  • To Simcha and now To Allie

    As I wrote in my post awhile ago, I think it does matter why one needs the assistance. And obviously, due to catastrophic medical costs your family needs the help.

  • Dear Finances,

    It would be great to discuss money before marraige but for many of us— we were kids who wouldn’t have listened. My DH and I were going to have 2 cars, 2 careers and 2 kids. Period.

    When we opened to the church and life we certainly could afford #3. But then our finances fell apart. We made a smart decision to refinance to a 20 year mortgage from 30. It would only mean 1 year with less equity. Suddenly our Flat Roof leaked, the transmission fell out of the car and Baby#4 surprised us. We worked very hard to make it all work.

    For baby #5 we sold our valuable house and bought a friend’s less expensive house. It should have helped. But we were suddenly facing layoffs in a business that once had lots of overtime.

    I guess I’m saying life happens. Prepare but know you will be challenged.

    I also wish college debts would be avoided by all my kids. My oldest is almost being paid to go (only Stafford loans) to a state school locally. My daughter will go to an ‘uber’ school.( I like that word for it) I wish we could avoid dept but I honestly believe her soul is on the line. She’s a free spirit in the wrong ways, disciplined in others. I’m praying it was right choice.

    I do think we have the choice to give still. When the first layoffs were looming those who stayed on started paying $200 more a month in Medical. We chose not to reduce what we gave to church. We saved in other places.

  • LisaG

    Thank you, Allie, for sharing your story with us. I was one of those who mentioned that we are also on Medicaid (my husband’s finishing grad school). I am so glad that you were willing to share personal details about your situation. It’s easy to make judgments about people’s situations, so it is always humbling to see someone else’s perspective.

  • jane

    Allie, just had to thank you for your honesty, and humility in posting so openly–I am sure that wasn’t easy. We too are poor—in the eyes world as far as money—much quite rich when it comes to our family and so many other things. I would much rather be open to life and trust that if God gives us children, He will also give us the means to provide for them. That being said, we too are in the position right now to go on medicaid–being a small business owner, we can’t afford the $1,200 dollar month insurance either–we are a family of 8.
    As long as we are trying to be responsible and try to make enough money to provide for the needs of our family, and not just sit around eating bon bons, then I think God works with us. I also commend the fact that your husband is doing wonderful work, so necessary, yet usually doesn’t pay the most. What is important is that we follow God’s plan for our family, and raise our children to know, love and serve Him however that may be in this world. All this is very personal for every family. A family spiritual director definitely helps.
    I will pray for you and all you have going on—
    Oh, and still hoping someone may have a suggestion for me as to a job that might work for us for me to do part time from home, so I may keep home-schooling and help relieve some of our financial burdens.

  • Deb

    Well, I already have to give away my money to pay for the public school system which my kids don’t attend. I don’t feel as bad paying into the Medicaid system to help some of you with your familes….I’ve been there before.

  • I’ve been inspired by this conversation about finances/government assistance/parenthood, and have written a post on the topic here:

    http://redcardigan.blogspot.com/2008/08/prudence-and-parenthood.html

    I think that, just like the NFP conversations, we tend to caricature those whose decisions aren’t what ours are. The extremes on either side are seldom the reality, though!

  • katy

    Angela,

    I, too, am noticing frown lines and wrinkles. It seems to have happened overnight. The ads for expensive creams don’t help us, either. So, I’m now into daily suncreen and may just have to accept the fact that I am getting a little older. I don’t feel old enough to have wrinkles, but alas, wrinkles happen. So, you are not alone…..

    Regarding government assistance, my friend and I have this discussion a lot. Her husband works for the church and mine works for an inner city school. While we have not yet needed assistance from the government, we both work to accept assistance from our parents. It is sometimes difficult to accept help, but it is a gift for our parents to allow them to be givers. Both sets of our parents are happy that our families have been open to life. So, my friend and I vow to each other that years down the road, we, too, will happily give back to our children if they remain open to life. Today is not the time for us, but we have hope that we can give and share in the future. I think accepting help is all about the reason behind the need and the motivation of the giver. It helps, too, to have a friend in a similar boat. Then you know you are not alone.

  • Regina

    Hey Jane! I’ve got a great job idea for you–it’s a bit tongue-in-cheek actually, but I think the moms on this blog need to get into this new booming business….baby planners! No, I don’t mean planning a conception. And yes, this is a real thing. I was just reading in the Chicago Tribune–and saw on 20/20 or GMA or something–this great new luxury in baby having. Women with money to blow hire another woman to blow their money for them on baby items. The baby planner throws a shower, researches the car seat, interviews pediatricians and day care providers, buys a layette, even helps with name choice. Get this, they even see to the “feng shui” of the nursery. I don’t think I can post links on this site…but google Chicago Tribune, or just google baby planner. And sit down…you experienced moms are going to die laughing. A smart mom like Jane can rake it in, while these high-powered career moms do whatever it is that they do!

  • To Kelly,
    have you tried salt dough? it’s easy and fun, I used to love it when I was a kid. You might want to “prepare” the dough buy yourself so the little ones don’t spill the salt all over. It’s very easy (just mix one cup of salt, one cup of flour and about half a cup of water) and you can add some coloring to make different shapes! there’s a webpage that might give you more ideas (and tips about handling the dough) http://www.multihobbies.com/saltdough/

  • katy

    One more job idea – if you have masters degree just sitting around collecting dust, you may want to look into teaching community college classes online. Even with a bachelors degree, you can sometimes work as an online tutor in your discipline.

  • jane

    Hillarious Regina—I coulds so help these moms to be—what a great apostolate ta boot—just be their friend and witness in how you live your life—and while your at it-bless the nursery—they won’t know what hit em!!!he he

  • Anon for now

    As my mother told me when my husband and I chose to use Medicaid as our secondary insurance with my second, third and now fourth child… “Honey, your daddy and I have paid into the system for years and never needed it – I am glad someone I know is now getting to use it”. We didn’t have the extra $3,000 not covered by our insurance with our first child and we certainly didn’t have it with our subsequent children. There are always going to be those who abuse the system, no doubt about that. But I don’t see any of my Catholic friends with large families who use it doing that. One father is a police officer and one is a teacher, and both moms stay home. I have family members who are waiting to have kids (not Catholic) until they are more financially “stable”. As some one told me long ago when my husband and I used that excuse – “You’ll never be able to afford it – but God will bless you for it!”. We need not forget the blessings that come with saying yes to God.

    Someone commented to me not long ago – upon hearing that we were pregnant with our 4th (she is a working mom with only 2) “They just cost so much”. Another friend of mine (who has 9 kids) piped up and said “Kids aren’t expensive – but lifestyles are”. That made me laugh.

    Oh – and welcome home Allie! My husband and I converted and were received into the Church Easter 2007!

    TO KELLY – stress can cause you to be late. I would have a glass of wine tonight and take “Very Anons” advice! :o )

    Peace.

  • no name today

    Wow, a lot of interesting subjects and comments going here today….

    DVDS/SHOWS FOR KIDS: count another vote (and 3 from my kids, aged 10 and below) for The Backyardigans. I’m a musician and the musical styles they cover are just fantastic! We even like to just listen to the music (downloaded from iTunes) and dance around the house!!

    NFP HELP: I too have a husband who is not a fan of NFP (and is not Catholic so isn’t trying to adhere for that reason) and even though it was discussed before marriage, it has caused a lot of discord for us–to the point of separation, although there were other issues contributing, too–so I feel your pain. As for the suggestions of affection and love and communication during the time when you must abstain….my husband sounds like yours–only the Real Thing is going to satisfy! Does that make my husband selfish? Some people may think so; sometimes I think so! But most of the time I think it’s just the way God made him. Do we all have room for improvement in areas of selfishness? Surely, and so I let the pain of abstinence take its course.

    It is not easy b/c living with a bear for a week or 2 (or 3 sometimes) is NO fun….but it is what it is. He knows I will not cave (and believe me, I did in the past b/c I felt I had no choice–but as I found out, it was something I could not live with–and he knows that unquestionably now)….

    I heartily second everything that Regina wrote–thank him for agreeing to this b/c it is so important to you; let God work in him in whatever way this is working. Believe that you are doing the right thing, even if it is no fun and difficult….And of course, pray, pray, pray….but stick to your convictions and your Church’s teachings. Hang in there–you are not alone!

    NFP/TAKING TEMP: We only take the temp. once the mucus has started after Phase I….once I have the rise/ovulation I stop taking it–so only about half a month instead of every single day. Unless I want to know if I’m pregnant (stays high) or when I’m going to get my period (drops again)…

    EXPLAINING PREGNANT NIECE TO YOUNGER SON:
    Definitely address it as simply and briefly as possible, that these things can and do happen as a result of certain actions that are not in God’s plan for us…but this could also be a lovely opportunity to highlight God’s mercy and forgiveness, and also the fact that she (I’m hoping) is choosing life and not abortion…without glamorizing unmarried pregnancies (like the tabloids).

    DROPPING POUNDS: as others have suggested, add strength-training if you haven’t tried it. It can make the hugest difference in your shape and your feel (mood and strength). Do not be afraid of “heavy” weights–you will not look like a female body-builder. Believe me–I’ve lifted weights since HS and now at 37 time and again I return to the strength-training to make the biggest difference in my health and energy. The funny thing is the scale may not change (I don’t even weigh myself) b/c muscle is denser and heavier than fat–but the clothes will fit differently!

    To ANGELA: yeah, at 37 it HAS definitely hit me that the face in the mirror is quite definitely changing….(although I’m still dealing with pimples, good grief!!) I say just keep doing what you’re doing, go against the flow and age gracefully and beautifully without the numerous interventions. I think sunscreen is usually suggested to prevent wrinkles and surely it isn’t vain to have a good skincare regimen, but….it’s inevitable.

    Your friend does sound exhausting so you can either choose to spend less and less time with her or…continue to see her and be a beautiful, smiling example of what True Beauty is about. Life is so fleeting and about so much more than looks….that is definitely counter-cultural and not always easy to believe ourselves….but it is True! and it really is the most attractive beauty.

    Offering prayers for everyone…

  • kelly

    Thanks for the advice, all of it, including “very anonymous”! I think I will try that tonight for sure……….and probably the glass of wine! Also, thanks for the salt dough idea…….definitely going to do that. Yes, my daughter just came in to ask if they could “wash my car”……………..”salt dough, here we come”!

  • To NFP Help

    Well, if Christopher West didn’t help (and not for a reason your husband will articulate), then it sounds like he’s just not open and it won’t matter too much what you say to him; it might just have to be a matter of quiet prayer and sacrifice on your part so God can change his heart… But in case another way of saying things might help, I highly recommend “Love and Responsibility” by JPII (before he became pope). He’s very practical and really doesn’t talk a lot about just contraception, but about the love relationship as a whole. So that might help. Also, I recently attended a class on that book and one or two couples recommended “Sex is Holy” and “Good News for Married Lovers” by Mary Rousseau (sp?) and Fr. Chuck Gallagher. I gather there are a lot of suggestions for improving intimacy so that the husband can get the physical intimacy that he needs to feel loved, but not necessarily with sex always as a part of that. I haven’t read them, but I trust the couples who said those books were good and helpful. A lot of men (well, a lot of people in our culture in general) equate sex and love and they don’t feel loved or desirable if they don’t get sex. Maybe he’d be open to checking out E-5 Men too, but you could ask him to make his sacrifice by putting up (gracefully, even?) with the times of abstension rather than fasting from food. :-) You’ll be in my prayers!

  • NFP Help

    Thanks to all of those who offered such kind and helpful responses. I have actually tried communicating my feelings in the past both when the issue had already come up and way before when it was not an issue at all (the first postpartum weeks). I usually get the response that my feelings are wrong, my own fault, or totally ridiculous! I think that Regina had a good point about him not getting the non-sexual love and affection that he needs from me and that is probably exacerbating the problem. It’s a vicious cycle!! I think I will try reading the “Five Love Languages” and just try to focus on loving him the way he needs to be loved, and pray alot that he will have a change of heart. We also have a lot of other marital issues that have never been worked out which I think also makes this issue 1000 times worse! Thanks for all of your prayers, too.

  • Mary L.

    SUMMER EASY PROJECTS: “Enchanted Learning.”….I found a multitude of fun, easy, inexpensive ideas for the kids on their website…We’ve been painting rocks, making sand starfish necklaces, whale mobiles and mini-books! I ended up joining ($20 for a year) but you don’t have to…

    FINANCES: We too, are poor. ..by the U.S. monetary standards. (We would have qualified for assistance, 26 out of 28 yrs.) My husband was in church work–youth ministry/teaching/catechetics etc. for 20+ yrs. (They don’t/can’t pay well, especially for families).

    We’ve never taken govt. support. [We had medical insurance off and on] BUT, we’ve eaten a lot of lentils and beans over the years, wear hand-me-downs, don’t go on vacations or out to eat much…etc.
    We do have 11 children [ 'finances' weren't 'grave and serious', in our case]. Also, our children have learned how to be thankful AND generous with time and money.
    It IS hard a lot of the time, but our family is such a joy to us that we somehow get by, month after month. I know not everyone is so blessed, but I wouldn’t change places with anyone I know!!! (And I mean change places with everything included–not just my friend’s home ,car, job, their WHOLE life…sometimes thinking in this way makes it easier to bear—we ALL have crosses to bear) God bless everyone.

  • Kelly:
    I am completely head-over-heels in love with Bobbi Conner’s book Unplugged Play. It has 100′s of ideas of fun things for kids to do.
    Last week my four year old son and five year old neice spent three hours outside drawing on the sidewalk with chalk and then wiping out their drawings with squirt bottles full of water. Yes, they got a little wet, but it was so much fun. At first they were drawing monsters, and then shooting at them. Then it was just any old thing. You can use squirt guns, spray bottles, and even water bottles with a hole tapped in the lid.
    One day my son spent more than an hour playing sock basketball. Rolled up socks and an empty laundry basket. Another day he sorted macaroni shapes into muffin tins while i made dinner.
    This book is pure genius. It covers all age ranges from babies to 10-year-olds. I love this book.

  • Does anyone have creative ideas on how to get a 4 year old to stop saying “shut up?”

  • E K Bell

    My children liked their Franklin the Turtle videos and books as preschoolers.

    I agree with the person who thought ‘high needs’ children were more likely to be ‘attached’ as I started ‘wearing’ my oldest because she would not sleep unless touching me (this lasted well into her second year). On the other hand she was sleeping fairly well by herself half-way through her third year.

  • Diane

    Kate, Simcha & others about government aid

    Simcha
    You are right we don’t know what you do or don’t do . But when you put your personal situations up on an open forum , like this, you have to be ready for someone to have an opposing view.

    That being said, In my opinion this is a Grave situation to not keep having children that you can’t provide for. My parents both grew up in poor families with many children. Back then there was no welfare system so they many times went without.It is funny that all of the children of these families now have zero to three children each. I think that this is why so many discriminate against large families. It does seem kind of unfair from their perspective when they limited their family so that they could support their kids and then they are forced to pay for those who keep having child after child.

    Sara L,
    I also understand what you are saying but see both sides. I am married to a man who once worked three jobs and I worked one to support our children.( we coordinated our schedules ( he worked midnights and afternoons and I worked early mornings so we also took care of our own children) The whole time paying to support families where the Mom stayed home and kept having children and the Dad worked one part time job. didn’t seem fair to me.

    Kelly,
    With age( I am 39) my body has started doing the same thing. Sometimes intercourse will cause uterine contractions which hurry things along but sometimes that is just how it goes. Sorry I am no help but I am there with you !

  • Joan

    RE: 4 year old saying “shut up”

    Time out every time he says it. For 4 minutes. If you are consistent, it will work in a day or two. I used to have my little ones sit on the bottom step. They knew when they got put there they were doing something really wrong.

  • Seems logical to me but my ignorance has me questioning

    I am not very knowledgeable about NFP and the such so please I am asking for answers.
    For all of those with the frustrated husbands who can’t have intercourse during fertile times; Does church law allow men to have release in a way other than intercourse ( You guys know what I mean I hope( not the M word but husband and wife kind of thing). This is a serious question that I would like to know and I am trying not to be deleted), or is this not allowed either? It seems to me that if this is Ok why can’t a man and woman have this kind of intimacy where he is satisfied ( at least somewhat ) and she is safe?

  • Twin Cities Mama

    Diane,
    I completely disagree with you. First of all, to complain that life is not fair is rather childish. Is it fair that some parents can not conceive children at all? Is it fair that some children are born with severe disabilities that require much sacrifice from their parents? Many children suffer child abuse. A widow friend of mine lost her husband to suicide. I teach my children from a young age that life is not fair.

    You write that some limit their family size in order to care for their children. So, are these all people practicing NFP so perfectly, with lovely regular cycles that they are just that good?! I’d like to remind those who roll their eyes at people who have child after child, that in the Catholic way of life, sometimes the children just come!!!! And believe me, it is not the EASY way!!!

    As someone stated above, life happens. We are not able to control everything. People are usually doing their best. Let’s give others the benefit of the doubt. When you can’t, might I suggest you turn your head away from judgement and pray. God bless you.

  • Chris

    Hello, I teach at a classical charter school. This year we will be using “Latin’s Not So Tough” I have never used this program before and I know that some homeschoolers do. Has any one here used this program? Is it easy?

  • To Sounds Logical:

    According to the catechism, what you are asking is NOT allowed.

    From Paragraph 2370 . . . “every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible is intrinsically evil.”

    What you are alluding to, along with contraception of any type, meets the criteria in this passage from the catechism and is therefore Church teaching.

    This would be similar to the Onan account from the Old Testament in which Onan “spilled his seed upon the ground” so that Tamar could not conceive.

    Hope this helps answer your question.

  • Seems Logical...

    It would be sinful for a man to have any sort of “release” outside of a complete marital act. Anything that does not take place within the marital embrace is not condoned and would be committing grave sin.

    Christopher West’s book, “The Good News About Sex & Marriage…”, tackles questions such as these and various others about Church teaching in an easy Q&A format.

    Hope that helps.

    On another note:

    I don’t think it is fair for us to judge anyone on government aid or their own personal struggle. We never know what another person is going through and struggling with. What if someone dutifully practices NFP and God just continues to bless them with life? Is that to be frowned upon? How do you know some people aren’t already practicing responsible parenthood? Maybe they just get different results than others. Perhaps God is calling them to a large family despite their financial situation. Remember, God is the one who is ultimately in charge of our lives and sometimes that includes family size, even with a couple making their best effort to control the size of their family.

    I also don’t think we have to all force our children to go into professions that will earn them 100k salaries or more just to provide. This is essentially telling them to work only for money, isn’t it? Why would you want to push so hard into a career that your child may not be suited for or may not enjoy? High earning careers come with other trade offs, believe me. It seems rather judgmental to come off as saying you don’t have the patience, as on person stated, for people who chose to send their children to the “uber” colleges for a liberal arts degree instead of pushing them toward a career in which you think suitable for a large family. That person may not have intended that remark to come off as uncharitable but when I read it I thought it sounded rather uncharitable and condescending.

    Not trying to ruffle feathers.

  • Diane

    Twin Cities Mama,

    I’m sorry but we can not control tornados, or hurricanes. but to say that some have many children who they can not control makes no sence to me. We are inteligent beings who know what causes pregnancy.

  • To Twin City Mama

    How can I give the benefit of the doubt to a family that is on welfare because the father is in grad school? Doesn’t that strike you as a bit crazy & irresponsible?

  • Twin Cities Mama

    Diane,
    I hope you are not asking me, “Don’t you know what keeps causing this?” So, are you suggesting that I refuse my husband for months on end? My cycles are very irregular (anywhere from 19 to 60 days). My temperature (which we take every morning) goes up and down like a yo-yo. I have mucus on and off throughout my cycle. What do you suggest I do? I would really like to know.

    My children (#6 on the way) are roughly 21 months apart on average. We chart and use NFP, and yet, we are blessed with more children. God is providing for us. We are very blessed, even though my husband is “only” a teacher at an orthodox Catholic school. God has given us everything we need and more.

    As for individual cases (To Twin Cities Mama), people are responsible to God for their actions. Maybe you could pray for this family in a particular way.

  • Felicia

    I am terribly sad to see the biting “back-and-forth” in today’s blog re: finances; whether or not a person and/or family “deserves” aid; who is right and who is wrong about all of the above.

    I happen to be poor. Right now. Very much so. I will take aid that I can get. Period. The circumstances of my current dire financial situation are not to be judged by any human being; I have a conciense (sp?) which I need to examine. And, I believe it is God who, in the end, does the other judging.

    In the meantime, I sure hope that the spirit of CHARITY overrides our judgment and mean-spirited feelings toward any person/family in need. Is it not a basic tenet of Christianity to be charitable, Christ-like, kind?

    Wow. I’m pretty sad to have read some of today’s posts. More sad than I am about being poor. :+()

  • Mary L.

    Diane: Only God, husband, and wife are part of the “Grave and Serious” reasons discussion. Each individual couple, working with the grace of their Sacrament of Matrimony, can make these decisions for themselves…. and it is nobody else’s business.
    What anyone, from the outside can see, is not what is happening on the inside of any marriage/family.
    We haven’t taken aid…(but others may need to). My husband has often worked two and sometimes three jobs, to continue in ministry. His work is not “measurable” from a monetary standpoint, but does that make it meaningless? Many people might think we had ‘no business’ getting pregnant the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, etc. times, but are they right?
    Who will decide for US, what the “right” income is? The “right” job/profession is? We certainly don’t want anyone to make those decisions for us, no matter how well-intentioned. Nor would you, I fear. Only God can judge a heart’s intention, let’s leave it to Him. God bless.

  • jane

    Amen Felicia!!!

  • China

    I hope someone is still around to see this…I have a question about fertility & NFP, a popular topic today. My husband and I have been trying to conceive for about 2 years. We use the NFP method and haven’t had any luck. I went to see a reproductive endocrinologist just to find out what the problem is. After having every known test to man done to me, they say my infertility is unexplained. I ovulate fine and have a very regular cycle. My tubes are not blocked and there is nothing wrong with hubby either. We of course are not open to fertility help, since I ovulate there is no sense in using fertility drugs and we are not open to any other procedures. Where do we go from here? We do not live close to the Pope Paul center and don’t really have the $$ to travel there. How do we get help??? I have discussed this with my OB and she basically thinks that if we are not open to today’s technology (IUI, IVF) then we are not really motivated to pregnant. I am so sad about this and just do not know where to go from here. I am not ready to look into adoption…I am not ready to give up on conceiving. Anyone have any advice?

  • Amanda

    It makes me so sad that anyone would pass judgement on anyone else who needs/accepts govt. aid.
    I’ll leave the judging bit to God.

  • Mary L.

    China: I know this seems funny, but have you tried a daily tsp. of cod liver oil? It tastes bad, but you can get used to it or try the flavored kind…Twinlab Norwegian Orange-flavored is great. I also took 1 Tbls. of pure coconut oil daily. (I experienced secondary/old age infertility and after 2 mo. of taking these oils, successful pregnancy/delivery). I think the increase of the ‘right’ oils helped in my case. Dr. Mercola/Dr Weston Price have articles regarding these oils, that you may find helpful. [ I found my mucous greatly increased in quality/quantity, so this may be why it is effective.] God bless, I’ll be praying for you.

  • poverty

    NFP is 99.5% effective when used correctly. That is what I hear over and over. I agree that a couple should seriously consider whether or not to conceive more children when they know they will need to be supported by the government. I think the witness of saying God will provide when you know it is through the government has me wondering about the theological basis of that. This is not a personal thought about anyone posting here. I don’t know you or your situation.

    This is a general thought of mine that perhaps it is not our right to have a large family and children do not just keep coming without us knowing how. Why should anyone feel that somehow it is their right to have many children? We have the skills and the science to know when we are ovulating. Unless the NFP effectiveness facts are made up or not reliable for all couples.

    I think there is difference between a couple who feels that they have a right to have large family and intentionally continue to conceive knowing they will be supported by the government versus one whose circumstances are beyond their control, such as a catastrophic illness.

    It also makes me realize the importance of giving my sons and daughter guidance about their career choices. The reality is they need to be able to make money to support a family. I undertand that not all men and women get that guidance and it leaves them in a difficult place with a degree that does not support a family. Unfortunately working for the Church is unlikely to put you in a position to support a large family. I have seen several families go through this struggle only to leave the ministry and have to enter a career path late and try to support a family in the mean time. The sacrifice to their families was enormous.

  • potty training

    To Krisit re: the potty training

    My boys were between 3 and 3 1/2 when I trained then during the day. I was never in a hurry and could not imagine myself do all the crazy potty training routines. I never understood what the big deal was with early potty training. They were so ready I didn;t have to do hardly anything.

    For night time dryness my oldest was 8. Their sleep patterns affect their ability to get up greatly. They do grow out of it but it is completely normal. We went through phases when we would try to wake him up but it was hilarious as he would still be sleeping standing in front of the toilet he was in such a deep sleep.

    I would let him sleep and not worry about the night time. Do some research on the internet about it and you will see. My peditrician was never concerned.

  • Carolyn A

    China -

    I don’t know where you are located, but there are fertility care centers outside of the Pope Paul Center that teach the same methods. Here is info on our local center in central PA below. Also, you may be able to make an initial appointment with such a center and then do charting follow-up by email. It’s worth a try!

    Fertility Awareness
    Creighton Model FertilityCare™ System
    Free Introductory Sessions of the Creighton Model FertilityCare™ System and NaProTECHNOLOGY®, a means of monitoring one’s reproductive and gynecologic health held monthly. Applicable to all reproductive categories including breastfeeding and pre-menopause. In addition to achieving or avoiding pregnancy, this system can help in evaluation and treatment of infertility, repetitive miscarriage, abnormal bleeding, ovarian cysts, pelvic pain, PMS, and perimenopausal symptoms. Registration required. Information for follow-up sessions and fee schedules available upon request.

    For more information, or to register for this class, contact:

    Dorice Millar, RN, Coordinator of FertilityCare™ Services, 717-763-9880 or dmillar@hsh.org.

  • judgment

    I have not felt that anyone is placing any personal judgment on anyone else. I am disappointed that people believe there is a lack of charity by basically asking the question, If we can not provide basic needs for the children we have should we continue to have more? Are we not suppose to challenge each other either way, whatever it is we believe the Holy Spirit as led us as we carefully and prayfully discerned this?

    The conception of a child is between a husband, wife and God. However, we are the Body of Christ and we can certainly get wisdom and input from others and the Church in forming our conscience.

  • anon.

    China: I’ve heard this suggestion from a very devout Catholic for those who are having trouble conceiving. Go on a pilgrimage to a Marian shrine and while there, the husband must make a prayer to Mary for a baby. I don’t want to offer this as something “magical.

    re Weight Watchers: I am very bitter against Weight Watchers so that might reflect in my answer, and I don’t begrudge people who were successful with them, but if you do any points counting, be very very careful not to undereat. I did Weight Watchers and lost 20 pounds but during the 6 or 8 months I did this developed symptoms of eating disorders (obsession about food, binge/purge behavior, compulsive eating) the likes of which I had not had before. I eventually went to a great counselor who told me that taking too few calories can lead you to develop an eating disorder even if you never had one before. I was pissed at Weight Watchers because I thought it was supposed to be a “safe” diet. Needless to say, I gained all the weight back. I’m a still struggling to lose that 20 pounds in a healthy way that does not require me to be obsessed about food. I’m on the verge of just giving up and deciding that my mental health is more important than being at a healthy weight.

  • Rosied

    For the woman who doesn’t understanding why we don’t all become doctors and lawyers (folks who always make high incomes), she needs to remember that we don’t all have the same calling in life. Some are called to teach philosophy and theology to the next generation–it’s not a ridiculous choice for those who have been called. In fact, some crazy Catholics think that pursuing truth is a grand calling. Does it mean those of us married to philosophy professors live with less ‘stuff’? Perhaps. But our needs are met–and I think we live richly.

  • Rosied

    sorry… make that ‘doesn’t understand’… ;0