Sometimes, you just can't escape the influence of your family. My mom was a teacher. Her mom was a teacher. Her mom was... guess what? A teacher. I swore I'd never be a teacher. ... You can try to rename it in whatever clever way you want, but "NFP instructor," "cycle educator," "workshop presenter," and "public speaker" are all just really fancy ways of saying that I. AM. A. TEACHER. But how did I get here?
When I started college, I was really convinced that I wanted to be a Biology Pre-Med major. An awakening and deepening of my Catholic Faith led me instead to Philosophy + Theology, where I wrote a senior thesis on The Theology of the Body as a Call to Service. I finished school and took a job as an intern in Campus Ministry. Not long after, I met my future husband. We were married and set off to grad-school together in Boston, where I earned a Masters in Theological Studies and began my life’s work as a mother, picking up odd parish and campus ministry jobs as I went.
With promptings from my amazing husband, I recognized a call to deepen my vocation as a Lay Dominican. In this, I found a “name” for my love of study and preaching, and I saw how being a mother and wife were an integral part of my apostolate as a lay woman. I also saw how my illustrious high school achievement of State Speech Champion could be used in speaking for parishes and campus ministry groups.
The last piece of the puzzle came together after I was thrown out of a doctor's office when I asked about resources for navigating Natural Family Planning postpartum. I was more than a little miffed when the nurse said, "Don't come see me in three months when you're pregnant-- I won't take you as a patient." My parish didn't know of anyone and I didn't yet have friends who could help me, either. I felt so alone. Eventually, I found a very supportive instructor and vowed to learn how to teach NFP so that I could help offer these resources to women and couples like myself. Which I did, and have done since 2013.
I truly believe that Pearl and Thistle is the culmination and integration of many aspects of my life up to this point. It is my response to a culture which has little to offer in the way of upholding marriage, family, and the dignity of our bodies. I am excited to offer these resources as a way to support and encourage women, men, and families embrace and live out the teachings of our Church. Even if it means that I end up doing a lot of teaching along the way.