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Instagram released a new feature in Stories and I had a little fun playing around with it last week. It’s called, “Ask me a question,” and it basically allows the people who are following you and watching your Stories to ask you a question and give you a chance to respond (anonymously, though; their name isn’t shown when you share the question they asked — though you do get to see it since they asked you the question). Some of the questions were really fun so I thought I’d share them here in case you’re not over there:

1) Any advice for those in serious Catholic relationships seeking marriage?

Yes! I recommend going to Confession together often (so much grace there!) and prayerfully discerning God’s will for you two. Pray about it on your own and pray about it together. Questions I’d ask myself: does my boyfriend help me to grow closer to God? I consider this the most important thing. Is he himself pursuing God and His will for himself? Do we agree on what we value most? How do we handle suffering — as individuals and as a couple? How do we handle conflict? How do we make decisions? Is he thoughtful? Kind? Considerate? Is he, and am I, willing to grow and change and work on ourselves to become better versions of ourselves? I’d also recommend talking about practical issues: how do you spend and save money, and donate it? What do you want your family life to look like? How do you live on a daily basis?

2) What’s the most challenging thing in your marriage?

The health challenges we’ve faced (I’ve written a little bit about them here, here and here), and learning how to suffer and still live and thrive through it without going into despair (which I’ve written about here and here).

3) Have you considered writing a book of forgotten or new novenas?

Yes! I’ve written one already about St. Anne, with a novena through her intercession, and I plan to write another soon. 🙂

4) When is your favorite time to pray?

It’s a tie between the early morning, the end of the day, and when I’m showering. Haha. 🙂 I also pray often throughout the day at any given moment when I think of our Lord and how I need Him. So… pretty much every minute.

5) What novena would you suggest for someone struggling with fertility issues?

I’d recommend the Novena to St. Anne; she waited twenty some years before she and her husband conceived their daughter, the Blessed Virgin Mary. I’d also recommend the Mary, Undoer of Knots Novena too. They’re both beautiful, they both bring you closer to Christ crucified and the risen Lord, and I think infertility is probably a very near & dear intention for St. Anne to pray for, and I fully believe our Mother wants us all to be healed and free of our sufferings.

6) How did you and your husband meet?

I love this story. ♥ I met John-Paul soon after I finished praying the St. Anne Novena. I was a radio reporter and I ended up interviewing him for a story I was covering on a local 40 Days for Life campaign. I wrote about how I met my husband in more detail here.

7) What does it mean to you to be a pro-life feminist?

That I love them both and I dignify all involved.

8) What brought you to the Faith?

I grew up in the Church, but really what has brought me closer to Him over and over again has been suffering… which I guess is the weird way that I can say I’m grateful for it. He’s used it in the way that would bring me closer to Him. Who knows how else I would have come running to Him?

9) Has a healthy diet completely controlled your endometriosis symptoms, or are you going to pursue surgery at some point?

Diet and supplements have helped a lot but not entirely. We’re open to pursuing surgery in the future, and I know a lot of women who have been healed or helped a lot by surgery (with a NaPro doc or a doc vetted by Nancy’s Nook).

10) Is the St. Anne Novena powerful?

It’s powerful if you are praying for God’s will in regards to your intention, and if you’re praying for the purpose of growing closer to Him; this is why prayer exists. And St. Anne is a great and loving intercessor who desires for us to be close to Him as well. So many prayers have been answered through her intercession! The novena is also really beautiful. So, yes, it’s powerful!