Category Archives: marriage

Things that I know

I may never have over 1000 twitter followers

I may never have over 1000 “likes” on my FaceBook page

I may never be invited to a big blogging conference

I may never be a popular “mommy blogger”

But I do know…

that for my husband, I am his Complement

that for two little girls, I am their first example of God’s love for mankind

that for my friends, I am as Christ to them and they are as Christ to me

that there is nothing wrong with having faith, in a world full of pain

that as a broken person, I am more than happy to lean on the crutch of Christ

And to steal from Aaron Neville and Linda Ronstadt, “…that may be all I need to know.”

(Image from Danyso.blogspot.com)

____________________________________________________________________


3 Comments

Filed under Catholic, children, husband, life, marriage, Thursday

Maybe that wasn’t the best tactic, after all?

Have you ever entered into a conversation with a loved one, only to have it turn into something very negative?

A while ago, DH and I were talking about Christmas traditions that each of our respective families celebrated when we were growing up. If I had to characterize the differences, it would be best to say that the celebrations in my family where more Christ-centered, while DH’s family was more family-centered. That’s not to say that my family ignored the family aspect of Christmas and it’s not to say that DH’s family ignored the Christ aspect of Christmas, but it is to say that the emphasis was placed differently and we both have pleasant memories of Christmas and want to bring both of our traditions to the plate and meld them seamlessly.

So that’s how the conversation started. It finished not so civilly.

It’s no secret that DH and I are in different places on our spiritual journey, couple that with our personalities and you get a hot mess. According Myers-Briggs typology, I am an ESTJ. If you know me personally, that should not be a surprise. For those of you not well acquainted with me here are some ESTJ characteristics:

ESTJs are practical, realistic, and matter-of-fact, with a natural head for business or mechanics. Though they are not interested in subjects they see no use for, they can apply themselves when necessary. They like to organize and run activities. ESTJs make good administrators, especially if they remember to consider others’ feelings and points of view, which they often miss. (Myers-Biggs description, emphasis mine.)

ESTJs are civic-minded individuals who dedicate themselves to maintaining the institutions behind a smooth-running society. They are defenders of the status quo and strong believers in rules and procedures. ESTJs are outgoing and do not hesitate to communicate their opinions and expectations to others. (Keirsey description, emphasis mine.)

ESTJs thrive on order and continuity. Being extraverted, their focus involves organization of people, which translates into supervision. While ENTJs enjoy organizing and mobilizing people according to their own theories and tactically based agendas, ESTJs are content to enforce “the rules,” often dictated by tradition or handed down from a higher authority.

ESTJs are joiners. They seek out like-minded companions in clubs, civic groups, churches and other service organizations. The need for belonging is woven into the fiber of SJs. The family likewise is a central focus for ESTJs, and attendance at such events as weddings, funerals and family reunions is obligatory.

Service, the tangible expression of responsibility, is another key focus for ESTJs. They love to provide and to receive good service. The ESTJ merchant who provides dependable service has done much to enhance her self image.

ESTJs have an acute sense for orthodoxy. Much of their evaluation of persons and activities reflects their strong sense of what is “normal” and what isn’t. ESTJ humor is frequently centered around something or someone being off center or behaving abnormally. (from typologic.com, emphasis mine)

Also, according to typelogic… Simon Peter was a type ESTJ.

So where does this lead us? Well, DH is not an ESTJ and in fact it would be great if he would find out his typology! But he won’t because he’s not a big fan of that “mumbo-jumbo.” 🙂

But what did I learn?

1. I am not the boss of others.

2. I cannot impose my will on others.

3. Jesus met people where they were. So should I.

4. God is sovereign and has an ultimate plan that I neither need to know nor am obliged to know the details of.

Now, I know all of this, but it does not make it any easier! I see husbands that are involved with their church and are Catholic/ Christian not just on Sunday and I can’t help but think how great that would be for our family if we were truly united in the faith… if only my husband was as on fire as I am for Christ and for His church. But he is not and no amount of talking, chiding, nagging, conversing, suggesting will change that.

Man does not have the ability to change the heart of another… only Christ can do that.

Do we attend Mass at least 98% of the time as a family? Yes.

Is my husband a good man? Yes.

Does my husband believe in the existence of Christ? I think so.

So, why isn’t that good enough?

I blame my personality.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________


9 Comments

Filed under Catholic, challenge, family, fathers, holidays, husband, marriage, monday

Whatever Wednesday: A Heart of Gratitude Challenge

A few days ago Hallie, over at Betty Beguiles presented us with a challenge: 14-days of treating our husbands with a heart of gratitude. Now, reading through the list of tasks did give me a bit of a visceral reaction (really it was only to one task that I had a REALLY?! moment) but I don’t like to back down from a challenge so I am all in! (And the one that gave me pause was about giving him some free time on a weekend to do what he wants to do. My reaction was one along the lines of “WHEN DO I GET MY FREETIME??? I can’t even go to the bathroom or take a shower alone! But then I stopped and thought… well, while that may be true, it’s not very charitable and kindness does begat kindness, right? But at the same time, I have to mentally prepare myself for his not even noticing the kind acts. And that’s going to be my challenge because I struggle with the need to have praise heaped upon me. It’s a pride thing. And it’s my cross.)

You can start the challenge today, which considering it’s 940a on the West Coast, the day is mostly over for the rest of you so you might want to consider starting the challenge tomorrow, or even doubling up one of the days (i.e do Days 1 and 2 together.)

You can read about The Heart of Gratitude over at Betty Beguiles. Have fun loved ones!!

______________________________________________________________________________________________________


Leave a comment

Filed under challenge, gratitutde, husband, marriage, wednesday

Until debt us do part

How many of you are aware of this little factoid: A man cannot enter into the priesthood if he has outstanding debts. A woman cannot become a religious sister or nun if she has outstanding debts. Reason being, how will a priest or nun pledge their entire life to loving and serving Christ is they have the burdon of debt on their shoulders?

Now, for those of us who were called to the married life, it’s a completely different story.

Chances are, you did not just marry your spouse, you married their debt as well. Now, we can wax poetic about it all and say, “Well, mine is student loan debt, so that’s good debt.” I’m sorry. Debt is debt, and you have to pay it back. The sad thing is, some of our debts are so high that it can keep us from living the life that we are to live.

Some scenarios to consider:

Case 1: Young couple, just married, both bringing debt to the marriage, decide to wait “until they can afford” to have children. Time passes, incomes increase, but the debt never decreases because with each increase in income came an increase in expenditures. Time goes, Debt grows and the couple decides that children just aren’t in their future because they just can’t afford them.

Case 2: Married, with children, and debt. Debt each brought to the marriage and debt that the married couple amassed together. The Spirit is on their hearts telling them that it’s time for another child, but looking at their bank account really kills the mood. Surrounded by their worldly possessions, they come to the reality that they have neither the space nor the money for an additional child.

Case 3: Mature couple, ready to start thinking about retirement, but still have personal debt to pay off, in addition to sending kids to college. Then, surprise! They’re expecting. Not sure what they are going to do, or how they’re going to afford this baby, they stand at a crossroads…

 

OK, I’ll admit. It’s melodramatic, and I know that some people choose to remain childless, but for those who want children, am I really that far off? I often think of my and DH’s situation and how much more breathing room we would be if we didn’t have my Graduate Student loans (I earned my undergraduate degree on scholarship,) and our personal credit card debt. We are slowly chipping away at our debt, but I can help but feel disheartened so often because it seems like Sisyphus pushing that boulder up the hill just to see it roll back down.

When I was younger, money was always tight and I remember telling myself that I couldn’t wait to be a grown up because then money woudn’t be an issue and I could buy and have whatever I wanted (Don’t ask me where I got that idea.) But looking back, what I should have learned is the difference between wants and needs and the beauty of delayed gratification (I’m still working on that one, paying cash for our splurges does help because you have to save for that purchase, rather than pulling out old Mr. Plastic.) But think about it… the important things in life are things that you have to wait for: the right guy/ girl, marriage, careers promotions, children, grandchildren, etc. Nothing meaningful happens right away.

So, that’s what we’re teaching our girls. The Bear may mention a toy or art set that she is interested in and instead of rushing out and getting it for her right away, it’s either a birthday or Christmas gift. When we have birthday parties for the girls, instead of guests bringing gifts, we have them bring donations (we didn’t do that with The Bear’s 4th because it was just one more thing I forgot.) I don’t know how long we will continue the birthday gift/ donation tradition, and I’ll have to admit, I kind of missed doing it this past weekend, but it’s an easy way to teach the girls about giving back and what the important things in life are.

 
_________________________________________________________________________
Sorry if this post sounded kind of random and disjointed. It is a good example of my “stream of consciousness” writing and I am avoiding going back to edit because I am sure these are the words I am supposed to write.

Pax Christi!

Leave a comment

Filed under family, frugal, marriage, wednesday

How we became engaged

Ah, Miss Hallie over at Betty Beguiles has issued another invitation, this time to share engagement stories. She is such the romantic and it’s great because I am kind of a cynic so she pulls the romance out of me. LOL! OK, so the story of how the Mister and I came to be:

Scandal Alert! I actually met the Mister when I was dating another guy. I was in my first year of Graduate school and I had joined a Karate School to get some exercise in, other than my daily run on the ‘deadmill’ and weights. The relationship I was in was nice but I guess he just wasn’t the right one for me. This guy was the second that I had EVER broken up with and it was the hardest thing to do in my life because he was the perfect man, just not perfect for me.

So, the Mister and I had been dating for about 2 years when I started getting antsy. OK, I’ll be honest. I was getting jealous because “everyone” else around me was getting engaged and married. For me the big crux was when HIS BFF proposed to his girlfriend after less than a year of dating (now the caveat is that THEY had been friends for about six years before they moved into the relationship rhelm, but I chose to ignore that fact. Yes, I was pouty-face.)

It was January 2005 and I was set to graduate from Grad School in May. In August 2004, the Mister had moved to Chicago to take a job and so we were doing the long-distance thing, me in Madison WI, him in Chicago. We would see each other on weekends, but that’s about it. I was interning at the State Crime Lab, but knew that after graduation I was most likely going to be moving to Chicago as well. The Mister was coming up that particular weekend as he had scored tickets to see “The Phantom of the Opera.” I had never seen the production and I really wanted to see the film with Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum and The Mister decided that I needed to see the actual show before seeing the film version.

Before the show, we had dinner on the Capital Square and then walked over to the Overture Center on State Street. It was January in Wisconsin, so it was cold and I opted not to wear a coat, but it was a short walk. We get inside and get to our second row seats and sit down and the show starts. I am absolutely enthralled! I know that it is so gauche to like Andrew Lloyd Webber Productions, but I do, so there. The Mister was a little annoyed, however, because there was a couple behind us that kept talking throughout the entire first act. He decided to talk to the usher at intermission to see if anything could be done but as the show was sold-out, there was nowhere for  us to go, but the usher did give the couple a stern talking to.

Once the show was over and we were all filtering out, I was on cloud nine. I really enjoyed the production and really felt for the Phantom. We walk out of the Overture center and the Mister decides that we should go for a cocktail. I agree and start powerwalking, again, because it’s cold and I don’t have a coat. Now, on this particular weekend, they were having a cross-country ski competition AROUND the Capitol Building, so we were relegated to one side of the square. As we were walking, the Mister kept telling me to “Slow down!” and I would call back “No, hurry up! I’m cold!” Once we came up next to this cute little Episcopal Church on the Square (Grace Episcopal if you know the area) he gave a slight tug to my arm to stop me.

He stepped in front of me and said:

“OK, I kind of lied about “Phantom” being a birthday present. I wanted to make tonight special because you are the most important person in my life and I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”

Then he gets down on one knee, in the snow, and says:

“Karianna, will you marry me?”

Of course I say yes, and I start to cry (which I never thought that I would do) and I start telling random passers-by that I just got engaged. We called friends and family (not to mention that it was close to midnight, but who’s counting?) We did get our cocktail (extra-dry gin martini for me, Johnny Walker Blue for him) and the rest as they say is history! (And let me tell you, it’s been a great history, present and looking forward to the future!)

What was kind of funny is that he had the engagement ring (as pictured below) in the glove-box of his car for a few months before the proposal! He drove up to Door County Wisconsin to pick it up when he dropped me off at my friend Jen’s wedding shower! A brave one he is.

__________________________________________________________________________________________
Head over to Betty Beguiles for more engagement stories or to share your own!

Pax Christi!

2 Comments

Filed under family, history, marriage, Tuesday

31 days to clean: Having a Martha House the Mary Way

Won’t you consider joining me on this May challenge?

I am not a natural when it comes to cleaning. In fact, sometimes I think my DNA is allergic to it! However, I know that if I am to care for my home, and more importantly my family, I need to persevere in creating a clean, peaceful home environment (not a perfect one!).

31 Days to Clean is about the “why” and the vision and the heart for taking care of our domains. Each day I encourage you with some thoughts and ideas, and then we put those ideas to action.

After each days reading, you will be given two challenges:

The Mary Challenge -Something you do that encourages/engages your heart
The Martha Challenge – Specific cleaning tasks

Friends, 31 Days to Clean is a faith journey towards ruling, subduing, and loving. We are forgoing perfection; we are choosing life.

You can read more about it and download the book for a nominal fee, here. It is even Kindle-friendly, but (sadly, for me, not Nook friendly. But you could get it to work on the Nook, you just have to manually transfer the files as it is a PDF.)

The challenge begins May 1! Ready, Set, Pray!


______________________________________________________________________

Pax Christi!

2 Comments

Filed under family, life, marriage, mothering, Thursday

I’m not keeping score

Last night might have been a new record for snark in the Caffeinated House. Now, granted, we had just arrived home from a trip to Northern Wisconsin and everyone was just fried. Traffic was good for an Easter Sunday, but we still had been on the road for 9 hours and the Siren call of home was unmistakable.

It took a bit longer to get the Dragonfly to sleep and while I was parenting her down, the Mister unpacked the Swagger Wagon and brought everything up. All of our luggage was piled neatly in the middle of the room. When I finished with our youngest, I started the unpacking processes. As I am beginning, he looks at me and says, “You are doing this now? The drive was so long, aren’t you tired?” My answer: “Yes and yes. When else is it going to get done?” Him: “Tomorrow?” Me: “Well… You are working tomorrow morning and to be honest, I’d rather take the time now and take care of this without the “help” of the girls.” Him: BIG SIGH.Fine.” And he starts, huffing and puffing and tossing stuff around.

I want to pause here and tell you one of my favorite bible verses, and it popped into my head at just this moment: 1 Corinthians 13:4-5

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,

I took a breath and said to him, “You are welcome to help me out here, but if you feel that you are unable to then it might be best for you to go to bed.” He went to bed. I followed about an hour later.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I can be very snarky and sarcastic. There were a million and one comebacks snaking their way through my head, itching to find their way out of my mouth:

“Yes, I know the drive was long, I was there too. I offered to drive on multiple occasions, but you declined.”

“What does it matter to you when or how the luggage is unpacked? It’s not like you were here to pack it.”

“I’ll just tell the nanny to take care of it when she wakes up, after all, without her help, I wouldn’t have been able to get us all packed and out of here all while recovering from Strep and you were out of town.”

“Wow. I didn’t realize that I had three children!”

I am not proud to say that I thought those things but I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t a little bit frustrated with him at that moment. We were both tired and patience was spent, but since we do not live in FairyTale land, no matter how tired a person is, the work will not be done unless someone does it. And I am sure that it was just a matter of perspective as well… he was thinking that I would have all day to get everything unpacked and put away while he had to be up early to leave for work. I was thinking that I would rather take care of all of this now because there is no way that I would be able to get everything that I would have to do on a “normal” day done, in addition to post-vacation unpacking. (For the record… I have about 6 loads of laundry to get through, bathrooms to clean, vacuuming to do, and floors to mop and that’s not counting just trying to keep up with the clutter and messes that the girls leave in their wake! Plus I have to make it to the market at some point because we really have nothing to eat in the house except for some Saltine Crackers (from my bout with Strep) and some tea.)

But the other half of this exercise is not keeping score… not bringing up the fact that he didn’t help with the post-vacation recovery when I felt the need to get a dig in. Being in a marriage is not about getting a one-up on the other person or getting the best dig in. Each partner in the marriage has a role to play and sometimes those roles are not equitable but they are what they are, you can either live with them and offer your perceived sufferings up, or you can work to change it. I am blessed that I am able to stay home with my children, but the other half to that is that my husband works long hours and travels and does not contribute as much to the running of the household as I would like him to, there just aren’t enough hours in the day. However, he counts on me to run this household smoothly. He cannot do his job effectively if I do not do my job effectively.

It is so much easier to be angry and irritable than it is to be light and effervescent, but remembering the words of St. Paul… Love is Patient and Kind. And doesn’t keep score. After all… what do you get when you win?
______________________________________________________________________

Pax Christi!

3 Comments

Filed under family, life, marriage, monday, vacation

10 Facts about me and the Mister

Another inspiration from Hallie over at Betty Beguiles!

10.

We met at a karate school while I was in graduate school. I outranked him but he looked awfully fetching in his starched shirts and suspenders that he wore to the office. (He would come to the karate school right from work.)

9.

I am an incredibly light sleeper. He is a snorer. As a sacrifice to his wife, he sleeps in the guest bedroom. Actually, it’s win-win all around. He doesn’t wake me with his snoring and I am not waking him with jabs to the side.

8.

This man makes a cheesecake TO. DIE. FOR. And my thighs can prove it.

7.

We are self-professed BBC fans: Doctor Who. Torchwood. MI-5. Top Gear. Chelsea Football. BBC News.

6.

We purposely picked September as the month to get married because we wanted “September” by Earth, Wind and Fire to be our Wedding Song.

5.

But then we eloped while we were in Key West on vacation… and told our Priest before telling our parents.

4.

Every Saturday morning he bakes cinnamon rolls (from scratch) and we eat them while listening to NPR and every Saturday night he paints the girls’ nails.

3.

He practically hunted down the lactation consultant in the hospital when I was having latch problems after The Bear was born and was my biggest cheerleader though one of my toughest moments as a new mother.

2.

I cook some pretty “unconventional” foods for this meat-and-potatoes guy (black bean patties, quinoa, falafel, ratatouille, etc.) Never have I heard him complain, although I am pretty sure he orders steak when out on client dinners!

1.

I really did marry my best friend. After all, only your best friend would know that an iPhone would be the best birthday gift ever. 😉

______________________________________________________________________
Feel free to share your own top ten list in the comments below and be sure to head over to Betty’s to read more love stories!

Pax Christi!

2 Comments

Filed under family, marriage, Thursday

Musings about Marriage

I have a friend getting married in a few months here. She has the luxury of being what some would classify an “older” bride, which I am sure has it’s pros and cons. I think about if I had gotten married right out of college, my wedding would have been so different than what it was when I was 25. The guest list would have been impossibly long, the bridal party would have had to have been strategic and the focus would have been on ME! (After all, pick up any Bridal magazine and that’s what you are told.)

It’s funny when you talk to people about weddings and marriage. Everyone tends to have their own two cents. I have an acquaintance who feels very strongly that any couple even contemplating an engagement should be in therapy, exploring the ills of their past and bringing it all out into the open. Another woman I know looks down on “short” courtships (i.e. fewer than 3 years) because how will you know how a person will act in a crisis when you are married if you are never in a crisis while dating? So in her view, it’s best to date until a crisis hits so you can see how the person you are with will react and upon that base your decision. Another woman I know, eschews the whole marriage ideal and would rather just have fun.

According to recent US Census Data, the median time for divorce in the US is about 8 years. Reasons given for the splits? In part less money and less sex. I’ve been married to the Mister for 5 years… that means we have about three years before we head down to the courthouse, right?

Nope.

Like it or not, believe it or not, marriage is a promise that you make. I promise that you make to your beloved and with God as the Witness.

An example from a typical Roman Catholic Wedding Ceremony:

I, ____, take you, ____, to be my (husband/wife). I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life. I, ____, take you, ____, for my lawful (husband/wife), to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.

And it’s not just Religious Ceremonies that have the cornerstone on marriage vows. From “Civil Ceremony Wedding Vows

[Groom]: do you take [bride] to be your wife? Will you love, honour, and cherish her, in good times and in bad, and do you promise to stay true to her as long as you both shall live?
(Groom): I do.
[Bride]: do you take [groom] to be your husband? Will you love, honour, and cherish him, in good times and in bad, and do you promise to stay true to him as long as you both shall live?
(Bride): I do.

Hindu Weddings involve the Saptapadi, or seven steps:

With each circuit, the couple makes a specific vow to establish some aspect of a happy relationship and household for each other.
To provide for food always.
To give you excellent health and energy.
To make you perform your vrithas (rituals) as ordained in Vedas, during your lifetime.
To give you happiness in life.
To make your cows and good animals grow in strength and in numbers.
To make all the seasons be beneficial to you.
To make the homams (sacrifices to be done in Holy Fire) to be performed by you in your life as ordained in Vedas, successful and free from hindrances.

Traditional Chinese Wedding Vows

, you are willing to marry as your , in sacred marriage together for life?
Whether has sickness or health, poverty or wealth, beauty or is plain, in good times and in bad, you are willing to love her, to comfort her, to respect her, and protect ?
And willing to be forever loyal to ?

Are we seeing a trend here?

Some Catholics like to think that they have the cornerstone on marriage. But in reality, every marriage is sacramental. The husband is a conduit of grace for his wife; The wife is a conduit of grace for her husband.

Don’t get me wrong. Marriage is hard, but the good days outnumber the bad. There are days that I don’t really like the Mister, but I love him dearly and because of that love that I have for him and the promise that I made to God, I will never give up on my marriage. In this land of no-fault divorce and celebrity 55-hour marriages, the focus is more on the day- the dress, the guests, the food, the party- than on the journey after. And what does that lead to? Marriages lasting less than 10 years and people who go when the going gets tough.

______________________________________________________________________
What are your thoughts on the state of marriage in our present society? Have we become lassez-faire about it all? Is marriage just another step in one’s life? Now, I do want to clarify, in the above post the marriage to which I was referring does not involve abusive spouses or other dangerous situations. Does that make sense?

Pax Christi!

3 Comments

Filed under family, marriage, sacraments, Thursday, tradition

Setting the Record Straight

I’ve been kind of fired up about things in the past few days. I don’t know if it’s the mess that is going on in Wisconsin or just the climate in general but before I continue, I want to make something very clear:

My history is closer to that of Mary Magdalene than that of the Blessed Mother.

Oftentimes, parents are afraid to talk to their children about drug use because of their own past drug use. They fear being seen as hypocritical or telling their kids “Do as I say, not as I do.” Well, I can tell you, the only illegal drug that I ever consumed was alcohol before I was 21 (I was and am far too paranoid for anything more,) but I did find myself making what I now consider to be poor moral choices when I was a young adult.

I had grand plans of saving myself for my husband and that pledge to self was easy enough to keep in high school. I was not part of the popular crowd and I didn’t really hang out with the partiers, I was more of a floater… but I was really into my studies and I was a band geek (in fact I was a drum major.) So, yeah… kind of nerdy. But my studies paid off as I received a scholarship to the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

I started Madison in the Fall of 1998 and I did a pretty good job to balancing the studies with the party lifestyle that I adopted. I managed to keep my resolve not to go “all the way,” but that didn’t stop me from engaging in some heavy petting. (Yes, this is kind of weird to write considering that I am pretty sure my mother and my mother-in-law both read my blog, but it is what it is.) Sophomore year, I really spent too much time partying and drinking and as a result, failed Organic Chemistry which effectively killed my dream of being a doctor. Now, keep in mind, I was on scholarship at this point and as it was an academic scholarship, failing classes is not really part of the deal. Basically I was told to straighten up and fly right or kiss my scholarship good-bye. Failing that class was a wake-up call for me and I never earned less than an B since then. Junior year started and I had been dating my boyfriend at the time for the entire summer. We were doing the distance thing, so we were only together on the weekends. Then a weird thing happened… September 11. For some reason, that horrible act lead to me to decide that we could all die tomorrow so it was time to “Carpe Diem!” I slept with my boyfriend not too long after then. I was 21.

He and I broke up later that fall and it was after that break-up that things got kind of crazy. I really bought into the notion of female empowerment by being able to pick up a guy in a bar. But I can tell you, with every “conquest” I felt crappier and crappier about myself. For a few hours, I was loved, I was admired, I was favored… and then I was discarded. I fell into depression and was under treatment by a Cognitive-Behavioral therapist for almost 3 years. While in therapy, I learned how to form healthier relationships and it helped lead me to where I am today. I really wish that I could write that the Church had more of an influence on me at that point in my life, but I really can’t. While I converted in 2002, I didn’t start learned about the Church’s teachings on sexuality and contraception until after the birth of the Bear, in 2007. (I used contraception, both chemical and physical, from 2001 until 2006. Since after the Bear’s birth, we’ve used the Sympto-Thermal Method of Natural Family Planning.)

The Soon-to-be-Blessed John Paul II wrote that the opposite of love is not hate; it is use. It seems, with sexuality, we tend to take two avenues: repression or free-for-all. Neither method is healthy nor works. Why am I putting all of this out there and writing about such sensitive and private topics? Because maybe one of you reading is where I was in 1998… in 2001… in 2007. Ignorance is bliss… but do we really want to live life blind, deaf and dumb? So, what am I planning on telling my daughters (and/or sons if we are blessed in the future?) I will teach them that sex is a beautiful and powerful act. It is simple but at the same time incredibly complex. It has the power to create and the power to destroy and the only difference is in how it is wielded. I will teach them that we all make mistakes and we all may have regrets, but in acknowledging those mistakes and desiring to change, to be better than yesterday, is the mark of maturity.

6 Comments

Filed under Catholic, family, feminism, history, life, marriage, mothering, political