I’ve been working on a little idea lately. Something that’s been percolating for a few years now, in the back of my mind where it mostly remained filed under “I wish this existed” but sometimes, in sharper moments, popped up under the tags of “why doesn’t somebody do something?” or “I should do something.”
But, you know, life moves quickly, time marches on, kids sleep longer stretches at night but make up for it by capturing more of your waking hours.
That nagging urge though? That prickling sense of “I should do something about this;” it just hasn’t abated. Even into this 6th pregnancy, I’ve still been nudged and prodded by the sense that there is something more I can do here, something I’m supposed to do.
As God often does, He kept nudging. Prodding. Waited until life was moving along at such a clip that I’d be out of my own way, so to speak, and then said: “Go.”
Last fall on the Blessed is She writer’s retreat we all received beautiful hand-lettered cards with different Scriptures; no two were the same.
The one I got was two words, plucked from the highly neglected (by me, anyway) Old Testament Book of Amos:
I was alarmed. I was exhilarated. I knew God was on the move.
And He is. He has been.
From this baby to this project and a hundred smaller things in between, the past 6 months have felt like drinking from a fire hydrant. But it has been a steady (overwhelming) stream of grace.
So here I am, opening myself up to maybe the craziest thing I’ve done lately (apart from that 6th baby), and inviting you guys along for the ride.
What is Off the Charts, exactly? It’s a membership community, a platform for interaction and continuing education and accompaniment for people who are living the NFP lifestyle according to the teachings of the Catholic Church, and trying to grow, stretch, and be stretched by His grace and mercy.
The vision for Off the Charts is beyond NFP instruction and catechesis: I want to help walk you from overwhelmed, under served, and isolated to supported, informed, and thriving along your NFP journey.
Over and over again, the most frequent thing I hear from my readers is this: a call for community, for support, and for practical resources to live the NFP lifestyle successfully.
This won’t be for everybody, just like NFP is not for everybody.
But if you are someone who is wrestling with NFP and how it fits into your marriage, someone who is struggling under the weight of it all, then Off the Charts for you.
For the woman who feels alone and misunderstood in her medical provider’s office, but practices NFP anyway.
For couples who stick out like a 12-passenger van in their family or their parish community, but persevere in NFP anyway.
For pastors and catechists and NFP instructors who are trying to equip their couples with the why of NFP, not just the how, who are laboring to create a culture of life and love in their communities against long odds and small budgets,
For new moms – and old moms – who feel overwhelmed and confused by the different seasons and stages of fertility, who can’t seem to find a method that works from season to season and baby to baby, but who press on with NFP anyway,
For newlyweds, the newly engaged, or anyone who is striving to learn and grow in NFP knowledge and best practices; the stuff that goes beyond methods and apps and biology, the stuff that nobody really talks about, and that nobody thought to give you a heads up about…
This community is for you. The accompaniment, the ongoing formation in the practical, spiritual, relational, financial, and emotional aspects of Natural Family Planning – not just the stuff of specific methods and charts and apps, but resources for the rest of your life, all of which is touched by NFP…this is for you.
I’ve got to warn you, you’re going to see a lot of vulnerability, a lot of transparency, a whole lot of honesty, and probably a good bit of construction dust because this thing is brand new. But here’s the thing: I want to make this for you. And I want your help bringing it to life.
What can you expect?
Digital and written content including live and streaming workshops covering topics like: communication between spouses, building trust + intimacy outside the bedroom, finding help, hiring the right provider, breaking up with a “bad” method, setting your NFP budget, helping your parish become NFP-friendly, studying the Church’s teachings on sex and marriage, seasons of fertility in marriage, discerning openness to life, and more.
Ongoing education in NFP in all its facets: biological, spiritual, emotional, relational, financial — NFP is about more than just a chart or an app.
Content that will be delivered digitally, including streaming in-person live events, so you’ll never need to find a sitter, book a flight, or carve time out of your workday or away from your family or parish.
All content will be in line with the teachings of the Catholic Church. The door is enthusiastically open to all NFP users and seekers of goodwill, but Off the Charts will be operating from a Catholic worldview and in continual reference to Catholic morality and beliefs.
If you’re ready for more than survival mode, if you’re searching for your community, if you’re wondering where to begin – or where to begin again – Off the Charts is for you.