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. If you’ve ever wondered if a Catholic can marry an agnostic without compromising the Catholic’s faith, read on. Our story may help you discern whether a marriage of “mixed cult,” or between a baptized and unbaptized party, is a good idea.

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.

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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.

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Digging Our Vocations

When I was growing up, CBS Sunday Morning was just as much a part of, well, Sunday Morning, as was attending Sunday Mass at St. Mary’s. Our routine consisted of Daddy frying bacon and eggs, mama nursing the most recent baby sibling, and CBS Sunday Morning on in the background. I’ve always loved the program, with its focus on art and entertainment, but also for its features on quirky people, places, occupations, and cultural traditions. The producers and reporters tell the stories well, and most of them are as uplifting as they are fascinating.

As a grown up, my own family rarely has the TV on when Sunday morning rolls around. We typically go to an early Mass followed by CCE, so the program is long over by the time we make it home. I can count on one hand how many times I’ve watched it in the past five years. Sadly, it’s faded from my Sundays. This morning, though, we slept a little late and decided to go to a later Mass today. Since I’m out of the habit of watching, it was 8:45am by the time I remembered it was airing. For fun and nostalgia, I flipped on the tube to watch the last 15 minutes. I was not disappointed.

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