Author Archives: kirstieleighton

Marriage Part 2: Dating

    What is dating? Generally in todays society dating is seen as having someone with fuzzy feelings. A date to prom, a nice Valentines day dinner and all those other lovey dovey things. People often talk about wanting to find love and find “the one,” which is precisely my point. What dating should be about is finding your future spouse. Not emotions.
Now I realize as a teen, you’re probably not ready to get married. Most of you are probably concerned about finding a prom date before marriage. Which is great! I’m not saying you have to be ready to get married before you date. I mean, when I was first interested in guys I certainly wasn’t ready to get married. When I met my husband, I was 17, and I wasn’t ready to get married. While it’s true that he’s my first and only relationship, sometimes God doesn’t let everyone find their future spouse on their first try. You have to let God be a part of you love life.
So how can you start trying to find you’re future spouse? Well I think that first it would be most important to decide if God is even calling you to the married life at all! Maybe this is something you haven’t thought about. Maybe you’re afraid of the answer, or maybe you simply haven’t given it much thought yet, but it’s so incredibly important to discern what God is calling you to do. It’s a process even I went through, even though I was in a relationship while I was in the process of becoming Catholic. I can’t tell you how to discern. Everyones process is a little bit different, but two really important components would be praying to God about it, and talking to a priest if you have any questions or you’re feeling called one way or the other. Not only is it important to talk to God and someone who can help you discern the call, but if you are dating someone, it’s important to be honest about your discernment process so no one is surprised in the end, and so no one gets hurt. Don’t lead anyone on!
So to get back to dating. How exactly do you go about this whole thing to begin with? The first thing I’d like to note is that you might not find your future spouse on your very first try. We’re all different people from different walks of life. While I did find my future husband on my first try, I know that it’s not the case for everyone. It’s important to let God in on this whole process. He loves you, and He has a plan for you. He knows what’s best for you, so I can definitely say that prayer is a great way to go. Let God in on your love life. Talk to Him about someone you’re interested in or someone you’re dating. Pray for your future spouse! God very much wants to be a part of it. Not only that, but having a strong relationship with God is a great way to meet your future spouse. It’s also a bit important to be open to who God may bring into your life. It’s okay to have an ideal of what you’re looking for, but in the case of my husband, I certainly wasn’t exactly what he was looking for. I was Agnostic and had a very different way of living than he did and he was looking for someone who would share his faith with him. He did find that someone, he just had to help bring me to it. And last but not least, remember what love really is. Love is not warm fuzzy emotions. Love is wanting the good of another even at ones own expense.

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Marriage Part 1: Love

Seeing as this is entire series about marriage, I think it makes sense to talk about love first. I think the first question to ask is what love is. Is it warm fuzzy feelings in your tummy when you see that someone special? Is it an emotion? Is it a feeling? All of these combined? You might be shocked to find that none of these are the answer.

What is love then? Well first of all, there are lots of different types of love in different contexts, but we are going to talk about married love, because my love for pizza is a lot different is a lot different than my love for my husband, or even my family and friends. Love is an action. Love is to will the good of another, even at ones own expense. “Love is the free self-giving of the heart. [2346] To have a heart full of love means to be so pleased with something that one emerges from oneself and devotes oneself to it. A musician can devote himself to a masterpiece. A kindergarten teacher can be there wholeheartedly for her charges. In every friendship there is love. The most beautiful form of love on earth, however, is the love between man and woman, in which two people give themselves to each other forever. All human love is an image of divine love, in which all love is at home. Love is the inmost being of the Triune God. In God there is continual exchange and perpetual self-giving. Through the overflowing of divine live, we participate in the eternal love of God. The more a person loves, the more he resembles God. Love should influence the whole life of a person, but it is realized with particular depth and symbolism when man and woman love one another and become ‘one flesh.’ (Gen 2:24)” (Youcat 402) That pretty much sums it up in a nutshell. It is to will the good of another. I’m really only repeating myself, but I feel that it must be stressed because secular society has a distorted view of what love really is. To secular society, it is selfish, and needy, and all about these feelings and emotions that may not even stick around forever. Think about it. How many times have you heard someone say, “I just don’t feel like I love him/her anymore,” or “I feel like I need/want this or that.” There is so much emphasis on feeling and emotions, which isn’t what love is all about! Love is not always convenient, or easy. Love isn’t always about you, or what makes you feel better. There have been plenty of situations where it would have been easier to just opt out of my relationship than trying to love my husband through out our entire 3 years of being together.

I know this post is already kind of short-ish, but if I were to continue, this post would never end, because I could honestly write books, and books about love. I strongly suggest reading up on love in the Catechism though, there is a lot of great information in there, and don’t forget to look under Charity as well! It is basically the same thing! All I don’t really consider myself to be a master of love myself, because I’m fairly new at it :) But I will leave you with another famous Bible quote to reflect on.

Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, it believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NAB) 

What’s Next?

Hey guys! My name is Kirstie, and I’m 20 years old.

I’ll have to be honest and say writing this little intro has been difficult, for me to write for several reasons. One of them happens to be one of the reasons I’m here.  My story is kind of long, but I hope to keep it as short as possible.  So basically to begin…I wasn’t raised Catholic. I wasn’t even really raised Christian all that much as well. It just wasn’t ever a topic that came up at home and we didn’t go to church. So my religious education was practically nonexistent. I knew nothing.  I’ve been fairly good my whole life though. I tried not to be mean or hateful. I didn’t pick fun at others. I was a virgin until marriage, didn’t drink, never did drugs. I didn’t get into trouble, and I’ve had friends describe me as excessively perky to the point of being annoying in some instances.

The excessively perkiness changed in about 10th grade. For an unknown reason I started falling into depression. It wasn’t a huge change, but it was noticeable to friends I’m sure. I don’t know why, it just did, and regular high school life obviously didn’t help things at all with all the drama that can come with it. 11th grade is when I really started falling fast. I was getting mixed up in a group of friends that were depressed and suicidal, in some cases sadistic, and a little bit controlling. I experienced 4 deaths, (3 people, one was a dog), and all the hurtful things people used to bully me with really started affecting me. I felt like I couldn’t connect with my old group of friends anymore…I was feeling pushed into things I didn’t want to do to fit in with these new people (whether they knew it or not I don’t know, but I’m so happy I never gave in!) and there’s just so much more I could say. It was a terrible year. This was the year when I became Angry with God, and then started doubting God’s existence all together. I couldn’t understand why God would let terrible things happen to me, other people, especially in the event of a natural disaster or a random drive by shooting or something. I couldn’t understand why God would let me hate myself so much. I didn’t know how I was supposed to know the bible wasn’t made up, or that Jesus even existed, and I felt that I didn’t have anywhere to turn or where I could get answers without being judged.

Right before my senior year of high school started I was invited to a party. It wasn’t a crazy party with alcohol or anything. It was good clean fun, we ate yummy food and talked to friends we hadn’t seen in a while, and it was great fun. There I met this guy named Justin. I liked him a lot, and we started talking and it turned out that he liked me a lot too so after about a month when we both figured this out, we started dating. Little did I know I was dating a Catholic. a couple of months or so after we started dating, I asked him a question about his faith. I can’t honestly remember what it was or what he said, but I must’ve like it because I remember so many times driving to and from dates where we would just talk endlessly about his faith. I started going to mass with his family. Everything just started making so much sense. I can’t even begin to explain it. It was amazing, and so after nine months going through the RCIA process, I was baptized, confirmed, and received my first Eucharist on April, 3rd, 2010, and Justin was my sponsor, and I can now proudly say that as of October, 8th, 2011, he is my Husband :)

I know this has already been the longest intro on the planet, but before I finish I have one last thing. So we already know I’ve had a couple sort of major life changes. I can’t believe the plan God has already set out for me. I often find myself asking “What’s next!?” because it has just been absolutely amazing. It hasn’t been easy though. Especially with what has been putting off my little intro. I’ve recently been looking into if God is calling me to go into Catechetics or music ministry or something similar. It’s a huge life change, but it’s been a little difficult to decipher if it’s something I want rather than a calling. That’s one of the reasons I’m here. I know I can’t tell anyone what God has planned for them, but I hope that I can help others by helping them, even if it just to pray for you or give any helpful advice that I can :) Okay…that’s enough from me! Thanks for reading my way too long story! God bless!

Other Blogs: kirstie-ann.tumblr.com