Unequally Yoked: A Catholic Marries an Agnostic (Part II)

Read Part I here.

He called the next day and said “I have been thinking, and I am ok with getting married in the Church.  You were raised Catholic and you’re a good person, so it can’t be all that bad.”  I was overjoyed! I promised God I would thank Him for that grace the rest of my life.  Superman also agreed that we would use Natural Family Planning (NFP) in our marriage for the times we had serious reasons to avoid pregnancy.  Although he didn’t understand the moral consequences of artificial birth control, he knew that he didn’t want me pumping my body full of cancer-causing hormones.  That September, our precious daughter was born, and we were married in the Church three months later. I offered up the pain of my first childbirth for my husband’s conversion. Since I waited a *bit* too long to get my epidural, well…I’m pretty sure his soul made some decent progress because of that! Hah!

The first years of our married life were tough for me spiritually.  Though I had made much spiritual progress from the place I was when I resented the Lord, I was now resenting our disunity in faith.  Because I resented it, I didn’t go to Mass every Sunday.  I went once a month, maybe.  I reasoned that my infant didn’t know we were missing Mass, so did it really matter?  My prayers were sporadic at best.  My love for God was more like a wimpy tealight candle than a blazing inferno. Continue reading

Unequally Yoked: A Catholic Marries an Agnostic (Part I)

***This is the first of a three-part post chronicling the spiritual journey of our marriage. Born and raised a devout Catholic, I didn’t take my faith as seriously in college and began dating a pro-choice agnostic. This is the story of how we balanced the yoke.

I was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, the first of my parents’ six children.  My dad worked as an engineer, and my mom was a stay-at-home mom.  My parents were cradle Catholics, married in the Church, and all six of us were baptized as babies.  My dad had attended 12 years of Catholic school, and was well-formed in his faith.  Though Catholic, my Mom’s family stopped attending Mass when she was a teenager.  As she got older and without a supportive foundation at home, Mom fell away from the Church.  My Daddy always went to Mass, even when he was sick.  Momma chose to attend a Protestant church, and my brother and I always chose to go to church with her.  It was more fun, after all.  The preacher sent the kids to “children’s church,” where we got grape juice, goldfish crackers, and talked about God.  It was SOOOO much more fun than Daddy’s “boring” church!

When I was in third grade, my dad invited me to attend First Friday devotions with him at his parish.  I will never forget those special nights with him.  We attended Adoration and Benediction together, and I was mesmerized by the incense, the chanted prayers, the Latin, and the solemnness of this type of prayer. Even though Dad’s church was “boring,” those Friday nights really stirred my soul.  Looking at the Blessed Sacrament in the beautiful Monstrance, I was transfixed.  I didn’t know it yet, but I was falling in love with Jesus. Continue reading

One Word for 2017: Think {and a link-up!}

One Word for 2017: Think

For the past few years, I have selected a word for the new year instead of making countless resolutions that are impossible to keep. This year my word is short, sweet, and oh-so-necessary for an impulsive, extroverted sanguine like myself:

Think.

In 2017, I want to think before I respond. Think before I act. Think before I eat foods that hurt my health. Think before I drink too much. Think, in the silence of my heart. To process, to understand, to mull over. To reason. To examine. To ponder.

In the early years of our marriage, one of the things that drove me crazy about my husband was that in the course of a conversation, he would pause – a pregnant, drawn-out, i n t e r m i n a b l e pause. It drove me nuts, especially during arguments. I began to feel like I had to monologue just because it took him forever to answer. I didn’t have time for any of that nonsense. There was always more to discuss, to analyze, and to hash out. I didn’t understand why he wouldn’t engage in a more timely fashion. A friend of ours, upon meeting my husband, actually joked with his wife, “He’s like a stoner. You say something to him, and he just stares, like you don’t even know if he heard you. You just about decide to move on in the conversation, or change the subject, and he finally says something back.” Continue reading

Many Paths, One Destination: Holiness

This week, a dear friend posted a beautiful family selfie of herself, her husband, and their precious four kiddos. The sweet caption described a fun day in their family homeschool – they’d travelled on pilgrimage to the countryside, visiting the Painted Churches (if you’re ever in Central Texas, be sure to visit them – they’re gorgeous!) to close out this Year of Mercy. It was obvious to see that she had shared the photo in a moment of pure joy, relishing the role of homeschooling mom and mother of many. It was lovely, truly it was.

So why did I break down sobbing when I saw it? Continue reading

7 Quick Takes – Making the Transition to Work from Maternity Leave [vol. 18]

 

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I’ve officially been back at work now for 3 weeks after having a glorious nine week maternity leave. Since I’ve made this transition four times now (I wasn’t working hen I had my eldest), I’ve come to realize there are several key components that help make this change easier. They have worked for me, and I’m sharing them in hopes they might help you too!

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 Ask for help. Do you have a friend or family member that offered to bring you a meal when the baby was born? Or who said, “Let me know if you need anything?” Don’t deny them the opportunity to be Christ to you. Instead, call or text and ask them to bring you a meal or invite them over for some laundry fun that first week you’ll be back at work. Transition is never easy, and you can use the extra support. Truly, people who want to help will help, they just often don’t know what would be the most helpful for YOU. So, instead of smiling and nodding and insisting that your fine, ask them to step up. And DON’T feel guilty about it. You’d happily help them out if the roles were reversed, right? RIGHT.

Continue reading