Our interview this time is with board secretary, Kristin Putnam. Kristin is in the final months of her term as a board member. She lives in Shoreline, WA with her family. Kristin will be part of a team of women who will represent WOOMB at the United Nations for the Commission on the Status of Women in March.
What brought you to learn and then teach The Billings Method™?
My NFP journey started with Creighton. I had charted it for four years before pursuing becoming an NFP teacher. The cost and the time needed for initial training made becoming a Creighton instructor impossible. But the woman who taught me Creighton encouraged me to look into the Billings Method. At the time, I was not thrilled with the idea of switching methods, but after that Teacher Training weekend, I was convinced that Billings was the method I would use, promote, and teach.
What were the most appealing differences in Billings vs. the Creighton Model method you previously used?
There are so many reasons! First, the solidity of the scientific research that has developed the method over the years is amazing. But with all of that depth of understanding, the Billings Method is so simple, straight forward, and is tailored to each woman as an individual. It doesn’t matter if you are regular, irregular, breast-feeding, peri-menopausal or have POCS, the method works for you, day by day, season by season.
Did The Billings Method™ play any role in your decision to convert to Catholicism?
It was in going to a BOMA Teacher Training that I first was exposed to the Church’s teaching on sexuality, so in this way, yes.
My husband and I had used NFP for our whole marriage despite being protestant. But, as protestants, we used it very protestantly: with no understanding of the Catholic Church’s teaching on marriage and sexuality. It was at my BOMA Teacher Training that I first heard the words “sins against chastity.” As a Methodist, I knew those words were English, but had no idea what they meant when strung together in that order. I came home from that weekend with a copy of Christopher West’s book, “The Good News About Sex and Marriage.” My husband read it, which prompted him to study Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. We became convinced.
For us, the realization that the Catholic Church’s teaching on sexuality was true was the last straw. We had been inching toward the Church for about 9 years, and we saw the Church was good, but where we were in the Methodist church was fine too. At that point we realized that here was a truth that only the Catholic Church upheld. Then we started asking, “What else are we missing?” About one year later, my husband left his career in the Methodist church, and we both came into full communion with the Catholic Church.
What do you think fellow Billings teachers should emphasize about the Billings Ovulation Method® when promoting it?
Science and simplicity. The Billings Method is steeped in years of solid scientific research. This gives the method such strength in its accuracy and implementation. But you don’t have to be a scientist to use it! Women, all over the world, use this method effectively: rich, poor, literate, illiterate, urban, rural, etc.
You’ve done a great job as our board secretary. What have you enjoyed most about being part of the board?
Thanks! I have enjoyed being able to contribute and take part in the many changes that have come to BOMA over the last 6 years, and I look forward to seeing how the organization will grow and flourish in the years to come.
Tell us about your family.
My husband and I have been married for nearly 13 years, and we live in the Pacific Northwest with our 7 children (so far). We are often asked as NFP teachers, if all of our children were planned. We like to say, “Yes. They were all planned at least 10 minutes in advance.” Which, in a nutshell, is the beauty of NFP, no? Our amazing kids are ages 10, 9, 7, 5, 4, 2 and 1. They all have their unique interests from robotics, to Spider-Man, to sparkly things, to interests in religious life. My husband is the Director of Faith Formation and Evangelization at our local parish and hosts Outside the Walls, a weekly program on Catholic radio. I am director extraordinaire of our home. We founded NFPAware in 2010 and it is still going strong as a vehicle for talking to the skeptic about NFP and contraception.