I feel as if so much time has passed and yet there is so much time left to go! The timeline of our engagement has also been a timeline of the pandemic. Now, summer is in full-swing and we are beginning to see how much the virus is not going away and with the governor’s August order for a max cap on weddings at just thirty people, we are fully anticipating a very small wedding without a reception this coming January. While this is sad in some ways, in other ways, it is just another reminder that our life together is so much more than this one day of our lives that is our wedding. Our wedding is marking the beginning of our lives together and even if a lot of what we would have wanted for this day most likely won’t happen, we will still be able to get married in the church and have a mass to celebrate the sacrament we are entering into.
Each month of our engagement has been unique and interesting! This past month, we purchased our rings for one another and I found my wedding dress and shoes. We finalized our bridal party and started scheduling engagement photos and very tentatively began considering where we might live. Due to the pandemic, the wedding planning has been fairly minimalistic, which has actually alleviated a lot of stress for us.
This has been a blessing as Nathan and I continue to figure out our jobs and careers. Nathan is still employed as a measurer at Great Floors but due to the pandemic, has hardly been able to take on any work. He is about half-way through with his Residential Electrician Program and has already begun applying for jobs as an apprentice. Unfortunately, finding an apprentice job is proving a lot more difficult than we initially thought as nearly all jobs want prior experience in the field, but he still has another month or two before officially finishing up his program and taking his licensing exam. Meanwhile, I am still working full-time as the Benefits Assistant for the Seattle Archdiocese, while writing freelance articles for Ascension Blog AND embarking on a recent new position as a part-time online English and writing tutor through Princeton Review. We are juggling a lot right now with employment and quite a lot is still unknown, but I am thankful for my faith, the support of family and friends, and the presence of our lovely pets.
This month, we also made the decision to begin a 3-part online class to learn Natural Family Planning (NFP). Unfortunately, there is quite a stigma against and a misunderstanding in our society surrounding NFP as an effective and reputable form of birth control.
In short, NFP is a form of birth control that does not use any artificial means; it is 100% natural and depending on which method you choose, the NFP approach tracks daily basal body temperature readings, cervical mucus observations and sensations, and cervix-positioning, all in an effort to learn when the times of fertility and infertility are in a woman’s cycle to know if ovulation has or has not occurred.
NFP is NOT a guessing game of simply counting days on a calendar and hoping everything adds up; it is a scientifically-sound and 99% effective method of either achieving or postponing a pregnancy (by abstaining on fertile days in one’s cycle, typically a 5-7 day range), when properly understood and used by couples even if you do not have a regular cycle.
While I definitely understand that not everyone is comfortable with this approach, as a Catholic, I wanted to understand and learn about what my faith teaches regarding respect for sex, openness to life, and discipline/communication within a relationship. The method of NFP Nathan and I are learning is called the Sympto-Thermal method and already after one class, I am fascinated by how much I am learning about the natural processes of my body and am already learning how to track the fertile and non-fertile times of my cycle. Nathan and I are not planning to have children right away, and my hope is that NFP will be a way for us to live out that decision with the knowledge that we are respecting a view of sex as both unitive and procreative.
That is all the main updates for now! Know that I am so thankful for all of you who are taking the time to read my blog and I pray that everyone stays healthy and that regardless of where you are in life, you feel the joy and peace of Jesus’ love for you.