By S. J. Duca. Originally published in Family Foundations.
You’re more likely to find Krista and Jake Lasko hiking, teaching, or mentoring than watching the newest Mission: Impossible movie this summer. The couple share a contagious enthusiasm for the real— being active and fully present to each other and their community.
In rural western Colorado, Krista and Jake raise two pre-teen sons, but their understanding of responsible parenthood extends beyond their biological children. After nearly twenty years of dating and marriage, their love story is a lesson to not think small.
Krista remembers back to meeting Jake in college and diving enthusiastically into learning Natural Family Planning (NFP) during marriage prep. “Unclear of all the details, I went for it and started charting on day one of my graph, even though I was in the middle of my cycle,” she said. “This was a source of humor at our first chart review.”
As the two gained experience in NFP after marriage, they also found themselves facing unexpected struggles with a miscarriage and further infertility.
“There were times my body was not physically ready to support another possible pregnancy,” described Krista. “We grew closer by filling each other’s buckets with the five love languages, not just the martial embrace.”
In navigating infertility, Krista and Jake faced the question of what responsible parenthood means head-on. To them, it’s applying the tools of NFP to the gift of life and creation in God’s plan.
“There were non-NFP professionals who mentioned ways we could become parents, including IVF, which is not a responsible way to live out God’s love for us as a couple or for the new life we wanted to bring into this world,” they shared. “We had to push those alternatives away and stay open to the journey He planned for us. We had to communicate and trust each other through every choice.”
For other couples facing similar issues, Jake and Krista encourage radical honesty: “Don’t be afraid to ask a tough question or make an honest statement to your spouse. The biggest gift a husband and wife can give each other is accountability to their faith when challenged by the material world, to push each other to get to heaven.”
In a beautiful way, the very challenges the Laskos faced in their fertility journey factor into how they serve their broader community today. For example, their own understanding of NFP equipped them with data to share with medical professionals — and made them aware of others who lacked that data.
“We realized there were minimal NFP resources in our area. This, along with our conviction to value life and the beautiful bodies God designed, led us to become an NFP teaching couple,” Krista said.
Now, Krista and Jake have been blessed with two sons of their own. Besides biological parenting, their desire to nurture life is being lived out in community leadership roles — from Krista teaching Spanish and helping her parish’s youth group to Jake serving on the parish council and running the local region of a financial literacy nonprofit. (And somehow, they’ve still found time to attend 12 Rascal Flatts concerts since they first met!)
“The family might not just be your intimate, at-home family,” said Krista, thinking of students in her class and youth group. “It might also be the family in the community you connect with. The love of God you can share with them, helping them value their Divine creation, is essential.”
“His plan is far greater than we can imagine,” she added. “While we had intentions of a larger family, God showed us we could bring new life into the world, but that we’d also use gifts He gave us to be generous in different ways.”
The Laskos find themselves incorporating some of NFP’s core values, like communication, into their everyday parenting and community leadership too.
“This same principle of open, honest communication is what we instill in our kids,” said Krista, “so they can feel real authentic relationships with us and their peers.”
If there’s one thing Jake and Krista want you to remember as you turn the page, it’s the breadth of what responsible parenting can look like. As Jake put it, “It’s not just the immediate kids you parent, it’s all the community you can bring under your wing to share the love of God with.”
S. J. Duca – Savanna is a writer and creative strategist with a special interest in art, film, and entrepreneurship. Her favorite authors currently include Evelyn Waugh, P. G. Woodhouse, and Marilynne Robinson.