Contest on Catholic Mom

From the Catholic Mom website:

This month, in conjunction with our Catholic Moments Podcast interview with talented Catholic fiction author Ellen Gable, we are offering you an opportunity to win a great Catholic novel. Five winners will receive an e-book version of Ellen’s latest book In Name Only. Two additional winners will each receive one of Ellen’s novels, In Name Only and Emily’s Hope. Link below:


http://new.catholicmom.com/2010/04/22/ellen-gable-fiction-contest/

copyright 2010 Ellen Gable Hrkach

Second Online NFP Class

Last evening, James and I taught our second virtual (online) NFP class. We are part of a group of CCL teachers piloting the online program. Although we have been teaching NFP for more than 25 years, we don’t teach it as often as we’d like. The rural area in which we live usually necessitates a long drive either for us or for the student couples. Last year, we traveled to Kingston (two and a half hours away) and to Toronto (nearly five hours away) for NFP classes. That, hopefully, will change with this new approach.

It was awkward getting used to the webcam and we stumbled through playing the videos. However, each time we teach NFP online, we continually learn more about the process.

The only disadvantage to this approach is that there is no personal face-to-face interaction. And, because of feedback, we couldn’t allow the use of microphones for anyone but us. If the students had questions, they would use the chat function. If we asked the class questions, the students would answer using the chat function. This worked extremely well.

In the mid-1980’s, when we began teaching NFP, neither of us ever envisioned ourselves teaching it online. But now that this is available, we hope…and pray…that many more couples can learn Natural Family Planning: a safe, healthy and effective method of birth regulation.

For more information on NFP or learning NFP online, contact us at info@fullquiverpublishing.com or leave a comment below.

Copyright 2010 Ellen Gable Hrkach

I Prayed For This Child

“I prayed for this child, and the Lord granted my request.”
1 Samuel 27″

Nowadays children are often seen as either a commodity (in-vitro fertilization) or as a burden (contraception and abortion) to be avoided at all costs. Pregnancy is sometimes seen as an inconvenient sickness which can be fixed with abortion.

In 28 years of using NFP (Natural Family Planning), admittedly we have not consciously thought of having a baby every time we engaged in the marital embrace. But we have also never used contraception or contraceptive behaviors. We trust God. And we have discovered that He is always trustworthy.

Years ago, when our third son was a year old, I became pregnant with an ectopic pregnancy and because of complications, nearly hemorrhaged to death.

We were advised by the doctors and others not to have any more children because having more children “would be irresponsible.” However, after a year of prayerful discernment, we felt God calling us to be open and to seek another pregnancy. We discussed it with our spiritual director, consulted with a Catholic doctor, and eventually made the decision to actively seek another pregnancy.

Surprisingly, we did not become pregnant for a year and a half. Each day became a prayer stronger and deeper. When we finally realized that we were pregnant, we were happy, but it soon turned into an extremely difficult pregnancy. When I began to suffer debilitating migraine headaches, I was told by the well-meaning friends and relatives that “I had asked for it.”

Our fourth son, Adam, was born at nearly 10 pounds. Three years later, our fifth son, Paul, was born.

Although we could have used NFP to avoid pregnancy permanently and to limit our family size to three sons, we chose to listen to our hearts, to answer God’s calling, and to seek more children. When I consider that our two youngest sons might possibly not be here today, my heart becomes heavy. Both are unique, talented and irreplaceable human beings who have already given so much to our family and to society. I am grateful to God, because I can’t imagine our family without them.

God, help us to trust our lives to You, not only in the area of sexual relations, but in every facet of our lives. Help us to grow together in unity and help us to love each other unconditionally.”

Copyright 2010 Ellen Gable Hrkach

Breastfeeding Saves Lives and Money

Interesting article on the health and financial benefits of breastfeeding:

“The lives of nearly 900 babies would be saved each year, along with billions of dollars, if 90 percent of U.S. women fed their babies breast milk only for the first six months of life, a cost analysis says.”

To read the rest of the article:

http://health.yahoo.com/news/ap/us_med_breast_feeding_savings.html