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Offering Up My Labor

Catholics have this great thing about sacrifice and suffering.

We like it.

Perhaps that’s a little misleading.

I think I can rightly say we appreciate it.

You see, when Jesus chose to die on a Cross for us, to suffer, He gave meaning to suffering.

Your suffering, my suffering, the pain of the cancer patient, the grief of a widow, the terror of the warstruck…all of it plays a role in the salvation of the world.

God doesn’t send suffering. He doesn’t like it. He doesn’t plan it.

However, because suffering will happen in this fallen world, thanks to Satan and the original sin of Adam and Eve, God will use it for good.

I truly believe that if I choose to offer my suffering, joyfully (hopefully) uniting it with Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross, God can and will use that suffering as a prayer for my intentions and the good of the world.

Please don’t ask me where this is sourced; it’s good Catholic teaching that you can Google as easily as I can, only I’ve got my hands full right now… Thanks!

I’m not always good at remembering to offer up my sufferings, unfortunately, because it’s certainly easier to worry, complain, fret, get grumpy, and ask “Why me?” during one’s own private pity party.

Labor, however, is the perfect time to remember.

I plan it in.

For both of my previous labors, another friend was due about a month after me. She has terribly challenging pregnancies and, as it turned out, incredibly rough labors as well. I was so pleased to be able to offer the fruits of my labor for hers and connect via the Mystical Body of Christ in that way. And now it’s pretty cool that our kiddos are so close in age!

I also tend to offer up labor for other new moms who are experiencing sleepless nights, trouble latching, and the general craziness of newborns. This, by the way, is what I think of when I am awake in the night and do not want to be – I offer up my maternal sacrifice for the faith of my children and for other friends’ holy motherhood as well.

My List

For this impending labor, I’m offering up these intentions with each contraction:

  • The faith and well-being of my own children
  • A healthy baby boy
  • A smooth adjustment to being a family of five
  • My friend’s father-in-law who is in his last stages of earthly life
  • A reader with the challenge of a colicky baby
  • A blog colleague who is on bed rest – she expected to have the baby very early, so I thought I’d be praying for her newborn phase, but baby is still a’cookin’! Praise God!
  • A few more blog friends who are also expecting – Yay!
  • In thanksgiving for all my readers! Seriously, I’m not just sucking up here. Winking smile There are so many of you praying for me and this baby around the world, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude.
  • Some of my personal intentions
  • And some that I’ve already forgotten – but I love this about God – He’s not only outside of time so our prayers are never “too late,” but He knows our hearts and can cover my temporary amnesia with the prayer, “For everyone for whom I’ve promised to pray, Lord.”

Two Great Holy Men

We’ll talk about new baby’s two patron saints a little later…but for this labor, I’m thrilled to be wearing a medal of the pope of my youth, Blessed John Paul II, blessed by the current Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI.

I put it on immediately when it came in the mail from Lisa Hendey of, who was blessed to attend John Paul’s beatification.

John Paul, pray for us!

My Labor Projects

In our birthing classes, they always recommended you have a “labor project,” something to keep you busy during early labor. I never really had one – planned to check papers during my first but – surprise, surprise – didn’t feel like it, and just read a bit for the second.

This time, I have a plan. I’m making my homemade wipes (they get funky if they sit around too long) and some Laborade for the rest of the process. And I just picked a whole chicken and returned the bones to the slow cooker. I hope people can figure out what to do with it while I’m gone!

Here we Go…

All this is my way of saying…we’re heading out to have a baby! Thank you for any prayers you can offer for me as our whole life changes and we add a new little soul to our family. Yikes!

I’m writing some updates as we go through early labor on Facebook and Twitter (with #ksbaby hashtag), which you can see even if you’re not a member of those social networks.

I’m actually a little frustrated with how labor is (not) progressing. Contractions seem too short to be productive and are totally irregular, 3 minutes, 14 minutes, 6 minutes. I suppose that means it’s “not yet time” but I’m ready to get this show on the road! Hence, I publish this post to beg for “hurry up!” prayers! Thank you!

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Category: Faith Nuggets

22 thoughts on “Offering Up My Labor”

  1. Pingback: Weekend Recipe List: Labor & Newborn

  2. Congratulations! Thanks for these words. I hope that I can remember to offer up my labors when I finally get to have babies.

  3. Saw your update on facebook and twitter (I don’t have accounts, so I can’t comment there), but I wanted to say congratulations! It sounds like it was a little crazy there at the end 🙂 So glad your little boy is here!

  4. God bless you Katie! Praying for a speedy labor and delivery.

    I love the thought of offering up the suffering of labor! I’ll have to remember that in 6 1/2 months!
    One thing you said really struck me. …..but I love this about God – He’s not only outside of time so our prayers are never “too late,”…… I’ve been aware that He is outside of time, but I never put it together, wondering why I’m praying for something that likely has already happened, one way or another. Now I won’t feel silly praying fervently during these kinds of situations! Thanks!

  5. I am praying for you. May your labor be shortened and you sweet boy arrive healthy and happy. God bless you and thanks for sharing even as you are in labor. I”m passing this on to my daughter-in-law who is expecting our first grandchild, a boy, next month. Praise God for the gift of new life.

    In His arms…

    1. Phew, it was short in the long run all right! Glad you didn’t pray any harder… 😉 Thank you! 🙂 Katie

  6. Shirley @ gfe

    Sending you best wishes for a safe, uneventful delivery, Katie! Please tell your friend with the colicky baby to consider eating gluten free, at least for her baby’s sake. Another blogger put out a desperation plea a few months back in regard to her colicky baby. Several who replied suggested that she try eating gluten free and she did and has had hours of peaceful sleeping for her babe ever since. Amazing, but true!


  7. Holly Murphy

    loved your post. I am a cradle catholic and thought I had heard all, but never heard anyone offer up their labor! Love it! Praying for your little guy to “hurry up!” and healthy, happy night for all y’all!

  8. Katie and family,

    All my prayers are with you today. I always love to pray for safe deliveries. May our Mother Mary, hold you close to her Son, Jesus as you labor in love to bring new life to your family! I look forward to hearing the birth date and time! I absolutely love your blog and look for it daily for new insight and ideas! Much love sent to you from a Catholic mom of 7 (6 blessing me daily and one blessing me from heaven) from Kansas!

  9. As a fellow Catholic, I could not agree more with your words on suffering! It was so beautifully put and so important for us to be reminded about!

    I am praying for you, baby, and family!

  10. Kimarie @ The Cardamom's Pod

    Prayers for you, Katie! 🙂 May God give you and the baby stamina and health!

  11. Today is my hubby’s birthday! He is a great guy, so it must be a good day to have a baby boy! Prayers for speedy labor and recovery!

  12. Thoughts and prayers are with you 🙂

    “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions.”

    Col 1:24

  13. What a beautiful reminder to “offer it up” (a phrase I heard daily as a child). And how inspiring to me. Thank you so very much! Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  14. Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama

    It will come! Praying for soon. 🙂 Mine was like that this time for about 6 hours, but then I had a super-intense three hours and baby arrived! You never know!

    1. Kate! I didn’t even catch that Jacob had been born! So thrilled for you, and I’m devouring your birth story and “one week” update right now. I shouldn’t have read about the cervix…yikes…ugh…so sorry…I will add your good recovery to my labor list!!!

      I am also raising my first “real food” baby, although my nutrition hasn’t been as tight as yours with GAPS and such. So curious to see!
      Blessings! Katie

  15. How exciting! Sending prayers! Just remember that ALL labor is getting your body ready for birth and that it is actually a gift to get a “break” in the middle. 🙂 A friend had very strong labor for about six hours (early morning) and then an almost eight hour break (during the day). When things started going strong again in the evening, she headed to the hospital and baby was born 13 minutes after their arrival time! May God be with the awesome Kimball Fam of 5!

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