Thursday, August 30, 2012

Finding Mr. Right

Finding Mr. Right

I mean forget dating, what about just finding Mr. Right? Pretty challenging huh? A woman wrote to Made in His Image, I live in an area where the majority of the population is incredibly spiritually ill, and its like if I am supposed to ever find someone to spend the rest of my life with I have to succumb to that as well.
I know a gentleman who was attracted to a Catholic woman’s beauty. He desperately wanted to date her, but every time he asked her out, she said no. After several rejections, he smartly figured out that he would have to change his lifestyle if he was to win her heart. He started going to Mass, praying, and living morally. He continued to develop his relationship with God, then asked her out again. She said yes, and today they are married.
A woman by her very nature is a mystery. And when she conducts herself in accordance with the way in which God created her, she reflects this beauty and appeal in a unique way. When a woman is authentic, she calls a man to a higher standard by her very nature. Men are naturally attracted to her authentic beauty and integrity.
Don’t ever conform to immorality to attract a man. You are worth more than that. In fact, your worth is beyond human comprehension. God created the universe, surely he didn’t forget about your future. Every woman yearns for a man who is going to protect and cherish her. My question for you is: are you conducting yourself in such a way to attract a virtuous man? Embrace the beauty of your femininity, and you will inspire a man to step up. 
So, instead of finding him, let him find you. Men have an inherent desire to pursue a woman, let them do that.
“When a man loves a woman, he has to become worthy of her. The higher her virtue, the more noble her character, the more devoted she is to truth, justice, goodness, the more a man has to aspire to be worthy of her. The history of civilization could actually be written in terms of the level of its women.” - Archbishop Fulton Sheen

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Catholic Single's Guide to Hope

This article was generously brought to my attention by a super awesome reader, and after reading it myself I would be remiss if I did not pass it along. :)

“Know your own happiness. Want for nothing but patience. Or give it a more fascinating name: Call it hope.”
― Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

My English-major self loves all things Jane Austen, as I’ve noted on this blog before.
I was just reminded of this quote recently, and I think its theme is key to faith as much as it is to dating.

You need to be happy with yourself and your life before you can be happy sharing your life with someone else. That’s what Jane Austen illustrates in her novels. The heroines discern the heroes’ characters so they know their marriages are based on love and virtue. That’s the point of a new interview (at National Review Online) with Elizabeth Kantor, the author of The Jane Austen Guide to Happily Ever After.

And being hope-filled is necessary in today’s dating landscape. We’ve all been there, myself included: Hearing about yet another wedding or going to another wedding can cause us to wonder when our time will come.

But we can’t lose hope in ourselves or in God.

I recently interviewed Emily Stimpson, the author of The Catholic Girl’s Survival Guide for the Single Years. Her advice is so practical and full of good reminders for us singles.
I especially like this point about how we need to represent good Catholic living “by being joyful, hopeful, uncompromising witnesses to the truth of the Church’s teachings about femininity, sexuality, vocation and holiness” in the midst of a culture that opposes those values.
Why? Because our hope is true and points to the One who loves us as we are, single and waiting. Austen’s heroines did that — and they found their Mr. Darcy, Mr. Knightley, Capt. Wentworth, etc., as a result.

As Emily adds, “For anyone, married or single, those teachings are the only path to peace, wholeness and joy. But if no one in the culture sees people walking that path, it’s going to be awfully hard for them to believe that or walk it themselves.”

That’s also the message of Catholic singer-songwriter Jackie Francois: “My hope for single people who are discerning is that they seek holiness before seeking a spouse, knowing that Jesus the Bridegroom gives a peace and joy that no person on this earth could ever give.”
Well said, Emily, Jackie and Jane. :)

By: Amy Smith
Read more:

Friday, August 17, 2012

Day 365

"It is not happy people who are thankful, 
it is thankful people who are happy"

Wow. I cannot believe it has already been one full year!

A little over one year ago, I decided some major changes needed to be made in my life so I could experience some major growth. This has been a huge year for me, full of joys and sorrows, laughter and tears, love and loss. It definitely didn't turn out how I had expected it, as the goals of increasing my growing pain tolerance and facing my fears I had set for myself no longer fit with my commitment of singleness, so the year with a single purpose took an unexpected turn. The singleness was intended for growth, and grow I have (I have no idea how to correctly finish that sentence, but you get my drift).

I have learned so much about myself, as cliche as it sounds. I dug in the closet and found some skeletons, some things I thought were skeletons but were actually just shadows being cast off of oddly placed sweaters, and some memorabilia from way back in the day that resulted in a little nostalgia (this is still an analogy... but spring cleaning is theraputic!). I talked with professionals, friends and family who want what's best for me and aren't afraid to tell it like it is (I'm looking at you, Francine), and I started making decisions on my own about my future... because I can!

Although this has been hard, if I could go back in time I'd do it again. That doesn't mean I'm committing to singleness for the rest of my life or even for another year (this is also not a modern-day classified ad advertising my unwed status), but I am definitely going to keep my habit of setting small goals, getting out of my comfort zone, asserting myself, making decisions and goals about my future, and overall moving forward.

Regardless of my relationship status, the blog will stay (I keep finding so many awesome things to share with you!) as long as I can manage to keep up with it, and yes, it was intended for single women rocking their young adult years, I'm hoping it stays full of good stuff for everyone and anyone is interested (or bored).

If you come across something that's at least semi-relevant and you'd like to share or write a guest post, I would LOVE to pass it along to this corner of the blogosphere.

Y'all are wonderful. :)

Monday, August 13, 2012

You, With Purpose

What you have to offer another person is YOU -- the best and worst versions. If you are simultaneously waiting to form that around another person, you are planting a garden of disappointment and delusion for you and your future spouse.

The best way to find the right person is for you to be following a purpose, a plan, a track you have set for your life; one that is challenging and exciting and fulfills you in the deepest sense. Then one day, you will look around and see that there is a fellow following his own track, and it is running parallel to yours. Take a good look at him: he's probably a keeper.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Wedding Season Singleness

One woman's experience with the dreaded bouquet toss, the awkward comments and the empty chair next to you.

Usually when someone asks you about your most embarrassing moment, you conveniently cannot remember. But I remember quite clearly.

As most embarrassing moments happen, this one occurred in public, with some of my closest friends as witnesses. My college roommate Elizabeth, her husband Dave, and his college roommate who I call “Dr. Dave” to keep them apart and also because he really is a doctor.

Approaching Dr. Dave’s recent wedding, I had to tell the whole story all over again. Sitting with Elizabeth and Dave at the rehearsal dinner, someone asked if we thought the bride was going to have a bouquet toss. I said, “Well, I hope not.” Another woman inquired why that was—a 6-foot-tall, 9-months-pregnant woman who is married to a 5-foot-tall gymnast who competed in the 2008 Olympics, to be exact. Those details have nothing to do with the story, but it would make for an interesting family portrait.
I want to pause and clarify that I don’t hate bouquet tosses because I’m bitter about being single. I really love the life I’m living. It’s filled to the brim with amazing experiences and people. I can change a tire, jumpstart a car, take out my own trash, and I’ve got this grippy thing that helps me open jars ... so, I’m good. I’ve got covered all the main reasons people get married—at least for now. But as long as we’re on the topic, I do find it a bit odd that we pause wedding celebrations to throw things at single people. It feels a little mean.
No matter how healthy your self-esteem is, I think there are always about two minutes of Bridget Jones-style panic where you think, “Is this it? Does the entire single female population of this banquet hall really consist of me and three 4th graders?” That’s when you start searching the crowd for friends you can take down with you. The object is to pack the floor so that your odds of catching the bouquet are as slim as possible, because catching the bouquet means a night of, “So, when’s the big day?” “Are you seeing anyone?” “Got anyone in mind?” And, really, I don’t need those questions. I’ve got enough to worry about trying to keep up my strapless bridesmaid’s dress.
Not wanting to go into all of that, I simply told the Olympian’s wife that I didn’t have a good track record. Dave smiled and nodded his head while his wife, Elizabeth, covered her reddened face and said, “Oh, I’m still so sorry about that, Lainsie!”
At her wedding, Elizabeth didn’t want to be the bride whose bouquet went straight up and then fell straight down behind her. So she decided to forsake the gentle over-the-head lob most brides do and went for an approach I think is used by Scottish men in The Highland Games when throwing telephone poles. They use their entire body to heft these objects straight back with as much force and power as they can muster. This approach worked well for Elizabeth.

As everyone watched, it came at me straight as an arrow. Stems first. Cut at an angle. Roses. Thorns still attached. Wrapped in prickly evergreen branches. On the upside, at least the florist managed to talk her out of adding safety pins to the arrangement.

And then, in the moment everyone was waiting for, I caught the bouquet! With my eye.
Now, Elizabeth is half woman and half Care Bear, and I had no desire to make her feel bad on her wedding day. So, I took one for the team and instantly covered my eye to hide my injury and willed myself to laugh instead of cry as I felt my face beginning to swell and the abrasions begin to bleed. Laughing when you’re in severe pain makes you sound slightly sadistic, and, I probably over-compensated when I exclaimed to the silent and stunned room, while wiping blood from my face, “So much fun!! Let’s do it again!”
I spent the rest of the night following Dr. Dave’s advice to ice my bruised eye while dealing with people’s comments, the popular of which was, “Well, at least you’re getting married!” I never knew how to respond to this. Catching a bunch of flowers does not mean that I’m about to meet my future husband ... it is far more likely to mean I’ll meet my future optometrist.
Dr. Dave, having taken the Hippocratic Oath, opted to not put me through another bouquet toss at his own wedding, for which I’m very grateful. Instead, my college friends and I spent the entire reception dancing like complete fools. There was break dancing, and headstands and I got into a dance battle doing the twist with an elderly Polish woman (I let her win). The evening was a display of crazy, beautiful community in the truest sense of the word.

It reminded me of something I frequently say, which is that I am a pack dog. I love being near others and being on a team as we care and watch out for each other. I come from a big family and always want to have a big family around me wherever I go. As a teen, I remember being encouraged to pray for my future husband, but now there’s a different prayer that lives in my heart. Aside from praying for mercy from floral attacks, I pray for my pack. The people who have run with me, the people that are running with me right now and the people that God will bring alongside me in the future to run together. I may be the single one at the table, but I know that I will never dance alone.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Thank you!

My dear readers,
Thanks for all the love! In the past couple months this blog has received many more visits and although I recognize that a good amount of the content is just articles and videos I have reposted for your ease (and because much of the time the other writers take the words right out of my mouth, and if they've already said it so well, why not give them the credit?), but I appreciate all of the action nonetheless.

I set out to keep up this blog for a year and see where it takes me... I began almost a year ago, and I've decided to keep this up. So if you like what you're reading/watching/seeing, stay tuned!

Y'all are great and sure make this a lot more fun. Keep showing your support and follow me!

From the bottom of my happy heart,


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Not Dating

Don’t be afraid of not dating--you have to have the courage not to date. When you date, you’re assumed into an exclusivity with another person, which fills the space you’d otherwise use for self-discovery.  The interdependency of a relationship makes changes difficult, because everything has to be filtered through another. In a relationship, you give yourself away, and this presupposes that there is a self to give, that you have yourself.