Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Not Alone Series: Favourite Resources

"For this very reason, you must make every effort to support your faith with goodness, and goodness with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with endurance, and endurance with godliness" 2 Peter 5-6

This week we are sharing resources that have helped us during this time of our life. Books, songs, prayers, devotions and the like so here goes....

Music that really encourages me during this season of life are those that remind me that God is still there, even in the mess, despair, confusion and hopelessness that I may feel. That God is God and that never changes. Even If by Kutless is one that I love for this, Praise You In This Storm by Casting Crowns is also a great song for when life feels too much and NOTHING is going the right way.

Not For A Moment and Worth It All both by Meredith Andrews because in the present when you stand by your convictions and you feel like the one losing these two songs are like a gentle reminder than you aren't the loser.

Number one on my booklist is my bible. I have four in real book format and a few on my phone so I always have God's word with me. My top two are my Catholic Women's Devotional Bible (CWDB) and The New Jerusalem Bible. My CWDB is like a devotional and a bible in one, I love the layout and the various devotions inside. There are "Tradition" article that provide little shorts of Catholic Traditions and practices like The Eucharist, The Saints, Purgatory, The Mass and The Crucifix, there are 50 in all. There are 52 "stories" of various women in the bible the named ones like Elizabeth, Martha and Ruth as well as some unnamed ones like the widow with the two coins. We get to look at their character, sorrow and joy as well as pray with them, I haven't gone through all of them but I like what I have see so far.

Theology of His/Her Body by Jason Evert, this is actually geared primarily to a younger crowd but I've had it for a while and I loved it. It has made the rounds with my friends and a few of their friends as well.
Woman in Love by Mark and Katie Hartfiel, I am currently reading this one but I feel good about recommending it before I finish it and would probably have finished it already but I am taking my time through it.
Real Love: Answers to Your Questions on Dating, Marriage and the Real Meaning of Sex by Mary Beth Bonacci
Fill These Hearts: God, Sex, and the Universal Longing by Christopher West

I pray daily for myself and my future husband as well as our future life together. Whatever I pray for him I also try to pray for myself because as much as I want to receive, I also want to give. I pray for his relationship with the Lord, his relationship with others. I pray for his Faith, his character, his patience, his friends, his family. I pray for his day, for his prayer life, the time he spends with God. I pray about getting to know him and him getting to know me. I pray for temperance, that neither of us will run ahead of ourselves to start picking our china patterns before we know each other's favourite colour.

The Rosary - I pray the rosary daily, the intentions vary but I find great comfort in this time. Amanda over at worth of agape had a few devotions/thoughts on relating the rosary to life that I really liked. I have adjusted and tweaked to fit my own life and circumstances but they are great just as they are.

Novenas and prayers to the Saints - I have my favourites and not all of them are specific to the single life or praying for a future spouse but I still like them. St Therese de Lisieux, St Martha (there is a 9 Tuesdays novena that I really like), St Joseph, St Philomena, Bl Anna Marie Taigi, St Raphael, St Anne and St Teresa of Avila.

Other Resources
I have found some really great advice and encouragement by reading blogs. Single, Catholic bloggers who are going through the same things I am in some way. Married bloggers who have seen it, done it and lived to tell the tale. This series, the Not Alone Series has been a source of encouragement, support and a wealth of resources.

See what everyone else has to share, check out Morgan's blog for more from the Not Alone Series

Sunday, 28 July 2013

A Thought For Sunday

It's essential to really read the Scriptures, especially those stories you have heard so many times before. Love is in the details. 

This was thought for tsloday from one of my devotionals, I read it before going to Mass this morning. Lo and behold the Gospel reading is one that I know well. I have read and heard it before, I know it well. Then Father gave a great homily coupled with another devotional that I read I have a differing view on Luke 11:1-13.

Well really I'm going to focus more on the persistent neighbour. I have always looked at it as us being persistent with God until He gives us what we want however I have been given a new view. Maybe we need to be persistent with God until the sleeper within us is awake.

The way Fr described in long ago Jewish homes everyone slept close together on the floor or about so for the man to get up to help his neighbour he will likely wake up his whole household and he doesn't want to do so he tell him to go away. However the neighbour persists so the man can't get any sleep anyway so he gets up.

How about the sleeper within us,the persistence to our Faith life, our prayer life, our relationship with God that is lacking or asleep. Do we get discourage or distracted when God says no or wait? Will we keep wake up, get out of bed and open the door?

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Day Six

Captain's log.......

It's been a long week that I was really looking to see the end of, and then my weekend started with the washing machine going bonkers. My sister actually stepped up and called a guy to get it fixed so I'm happy for that. In the mean time I was still able to do a couple loads this morning although it was very in convenient and took longer and I needed to be more hands on. The machine works but not quite right hence bonkers instead of broken.

I bought some fabric to make a quilt for my friend's baby who is due in September. It's a boy and I saw this really cool pattern with cars, trucks and trains on it, then I saw it in another colour and then I saw something similar in yet another colour and then I got something close in a fourth colour. I have no pattern in mind but I just felt like I needed four colours so I am going with that. I'm going to cut it into squares and jellies then work from there. I'll still need to go back to get backing and binding but I'm hoping to get everything done before that shower that we are supposed to be planning but have not started yet.

I'm also on a committee planning a retreat for around the due date with one of my fellow baby shower co-conspirators. Working, planning a baby shower, planning a retreat, making a baby quilt, studying, blogging, somewhere in there I think I can slip sleeping, eating and having a life, plus I am also supposed to be doing the planning of my vacation in a couple months.

Is it strange to visit 5 or more churches in 10 days? I attend Daily Mass and had originally planned just visit one since I have no sense of direction but when I was doing my search I saw quite a few in reasonable distance and the bus directions for those not walkable don't seem that bad. I don't even take the bus here but I'm going somewhere else to do that but I don't really know if I'm up for remembering to drive on the other side of the road as well as trying to remember directions. The last time I was there I was driven around to bad that can't happen this time, oh to have unlimited funds.

I reduced my cable package so I am going through a little withdrawal (although I rarely if ever watch most of those channels) and since my plans for tonight have changed I get to see just how well I'll handle that change. Well I think I have ramble more than enough so I won't suffer any readers further.

One more day to go in the 7 posts in 7 days challenge

Friday, 26 July 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday #33

--- 1 ---
I am participating in Jen's 7 posts in 7 days, it's day 5 and this is only my 2nd link-up. I have been in kind of a rut lately feeling crushed by work and my other activities so this has really opened me up. I am also learning how I write best and what really works for me. This has been a really great challenge for me.

--- 2 ---
With this 7 posts in 7 days I am also discovering some blogs that I have never read before and caught up on some that I don't read regularly but have read before. There are some really funny and interesting and a host of other great adjective-y bloggers out there. There are a few that will join my regular rotation.

--- 3 ---
This weekend I attended a conference that was so great and so filled with the Holy Spirit and vibrant Catholics. SO many kids of all ages especially teenagers who were happy to be there. Closing Mass was celebrated by Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Nicola Girasoli, he is so friendly and he delivered a great and moving homily.

Yes he did change, it was his birthday and we got him a birthday present that he couldn't wait to try on

--- 4 ---
To attend the conference I had to stay over at a friend's home so I had a wonderful weekend sleepover with three other friends. I slept on an air mattress for the first time. It was surprising comfortable and I slept great all weekend.

--- 5 ---
For The Not Alone Series this week we looked at "Can guys and girls be just friends". There were differing opinions and reasoning so check it out.

--- 6 ---
I have been semi-incharge at work this week and I do not like it. I can barely sit back down at my desk before someone else needs something. I come home and all I want to do is sleep but I can't do that because of course there are things that I need to get done at home. Quick whine over.

--- 7 ---
A song to end the week.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, 25 July 2013


The definition of Awesome, an adjective according to the dictionary is
1."inspiring an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, or fear; causing or inducing awe: anawesome sight."
2."showing or characterized by reverence, admiration, or fear; exhibiting or marked by awe.
3. "Slang. very impressive"

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction." Prov 1:7

Fear of the Lord is a deep reverence for God, to be in awe of God. As we get to know God, to learn more and more about Him we get to see how Awesome He is. 

God has no beginning and no end. He created us purely out of love not because He needs anything from us. Even after we turn our back on Him again and again He keeps coming to save us. He keeps loving us even when we refuse to love Him, He does great and wonderful things for us even when we don't deserve it.

God breathe life into us - Gen 2:7-8
We all turned our backs on Him - Rom 3:23
He still gave us His Son to be be our mediator, our Saviour - John 3:16

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Testing Your Faith Produces Endurance

....That is James 1:3 and the topic of our 1st talk on Saturday morning (3rd of the weekend). It was the most powerfully delivered talk of the weekend and there were some really powerful talks over this weekend.

Fr Cornelius is a dynamic, powerful speaker, he speaks easily to all ages. He speaks easily to the youths without cheapening the message and the adults don't feel like they are being dumbed down.

The scripture verse calls for us to be strong in trust. If you want to build muscles then you go to the gym, put in the time and effort and sweat. If you want to be a great athlete then you train, you persevere through failures, if you fail then you get back up and try again. That's how we need to be about our Faith, we need to put in the time and effort to build our relationship with God. If we don't put in the effort or put in a half effort we can't expect to have a strong Faith or to stand strong in trust.

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His power. Put on the whole armour of God, so that you may be able stand against the wiles of the devil." Eph 6:10-11. How do you grow strong in the Lord? Get to know Him. Fr C said if you want to know about someone you can google them and you can find out all kinds of info but if you want to get to know them then you spend time with them, develop a real relationship. Therefore you need to develop a relationship with Him, pray, read your bible, attend Mass regularly, frequent the Sacraments, learn about your Catholic Faith.

God is bigger than everything - our troubles, worries, problems, persecution, trials and the devil. We just need to persevere and don't give up. We easily persevere with everything in our life but in our Faith we easily give up on our Faith with the slightest change in the wind.

"and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." Matt:22

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Not Alone Series: Friends with Guys

"Faithful friends are beyond price; no amount can balance their worth." Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 6:15. When I first saw the topic "Is it possible to be just friends with a guy" my answer was automatically yes, however as I thought about how I wanted to write this (I couldn't just write "yes the end") I really started to think about this question.

According to the dictionary a friend is a person whom one knows, likes, and trusts or person whom one knows; an acquaintance, a person with whom one is allied in a struggle or cause; a comrade. Another has the definition as a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations. (kind of disagree with that last part since my best friend as a child was my cousin, he got me into and of of trouble and we had a bond).

"Whoever fears the Lord makes true friends, for as a person is, so is his friend too." Sirach 6:17.

If a guy and a girl are or even just one is awkward around each in both group and one on one interactions because of a current or past crush they cannot be friends. If they are just awkward in the one on one but are fine in group interactions then they can be friends. I am friends with a few girsl that I only interact with in a group situations, they are no less my friends.

If a guy or a girl are only "friends" with the hope that it can maybe go further then they are not friends. One person will be acting as a friend while the other is using the relationship for a hopeful gain.

If a guy and a girl only meet up every once in a while when neither are in a relationship for "other" reasons they are not. Friends do not have those kinds of benefits.

A loyal friend is a powerful defence: whoever finds one has indeed found a treasure. Sir 6:14. I have that in a guy, he's a guy I can count on to pray for me and give me good advice.

A loyal friend is the elixir of life, and those who fear the Lord will find one. Sir 6:16. I also have this in a few guys, they have me laughing all the time. They bring out the competitive side in me and take me back to my childhood.

A friendship with a guy will probably not look or feel like a friendship with another girl but then again a friendship with one girl will not look like the friendship of another girl.

Check out Jen to see what everyone else had to say.

Monday, 22 July 2013

A Weekend Away

I had an amazing weekend at the Jesus Explosion XI conference this past weekend. This weekend was on fire with the Holy Spirit and vibrant Catholics of all ages and I do mean all ages, from practically newborn up to 97.

There is so much that I have to say that cannot be covered in just one post. I have wanted to go to this conference for a while but I always considered it too far and I didn't want to drive all that way all weekend long at some crazy hours. Then a friend who recently bought a house and move close the area offered us a place to stay the weekend, so it was a no-brainer so a couple friends and I took her up on the offer so I was able to attend for the first time.

The sleep over was great and the conference was powerful. When we got there on Friday night Praise and Worship was already in progress, we weren't even there a minute and I was already moved. There were three amazing music ministries covering the weekend, I was singing songs that I had never heard before and loving it. This morning I woke up with a few of them still playing in my head. We ended the weekend with Closing Mass celebrated by Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Nicola Girasoli, it was his birthday yesterday and he said he couldn't think of a better way to celebrate it.

This is just a synopsis of the begining and the end, I hope to have the meat of the weekend including the middle up over a few posts this week.

Friday, 19 July 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday #32

--- 1 ---
Headed to a conference this weekend, really looking forward to it since I have wanted to go for a few years but just couldn't see myself making that drive back and forth over the weekend. Now I have a friend who lives up that way and has offered to put up a few of her wayward friends for the weekend.

--- 2 ---
Speaking of sleepovers one of my cousins asked me if she could come spend a weekend next month, I said yes. I have been wanting to have her stay over since we moved in (it's been almost two years already) but she has always been busy with school or out of the country so I am looking forward to it. It's a built in excuse to bake, I am already checking out some new recipes.

--- 3 ---
Four months until my vacation. I have been researching the Catholic Churches in the area of my hotel. I had originally been planning to attend only one but now I am thinking I could visit a few more. I can take a bus or two (I need to keep telling myself this), I would rent a car but I'm not sure how I feel about driving on the other side of the road.

--- 4 ---
I bought a new laptop. I have been window shopping at the HP Store for a few months now, stopping in every time I walk by. They were having a sale so I bit the bullet and bought one. My desktop is not as young as it used to be and sometimes freezes so I need an alternative besides waiting or restarting repeatedly.

--- 5 ---
For The Not Alone Series this week we looked at who we are right now, topic submitted by Alex. As always there were many great reminders and some new perspectives to look at.

--- 6 ---
I will be spending some time in front of the Blessed Sacrament this morning after Mass. I will be offering up prayers for some sad events in addition to my own and others who have asked me to pray for them. I should also have some Adoration time at the conference this weekend so feel free to leave any intentions.

--- 7 ---
A song to end the week.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Not Alone Series: I am

"We are God's work of art, created in Christ Jesus for the good works which God has already designated to make up our way of life." Eph 2:10. This week in the Not Alone Series we are looking at the topic of Who we are right now as single young women. Not who we are as other's see us but who we are in God's eyes

This topic required a lot of prayer and procrastination, meeting yourself can be hard and awkward. You wonder do you really want to know you, will you like you, can you get along. Are you worth even getting to know, I'm sure you've heard the rumours and everything else everyone has already had to say. Do you really want to go down that road, are you special enough?

There is someone who thinks I am special and He tells me so. Isa 43:4 "Since I regard you as precious, since you are honoured and I love you," If God thinks that I'm special, precious then I must be worth getting to know.

I am full of grace. I am not Mary, not even close though I believe I strive to imitate her, to become more like her. However, God's Grace is all over my life, full and abundant. I may not always accept, recognize or cherish it all as I should but it is there and at work in me. God's grace keeps me from doing anything stupid in my impatience. It keeps me looking to Him, seeking Him and His Will for me.

I am a servant. I like doing things for people, it is one of my primary love languages. I look forward to the day that I can serve my husband and family but until then and to an extent after then I can serve others. This is was definitely something I did not know about myself until a couple years ago. I have always hated housework, and I still dislike it to a certain extent so I have never seen this in myself. Someone actually mentioned to me that I have a servant's heart after we had been involved in a number of different events together. I am an introvert and don't really like just standing around talking so put me to work and I love it.

I am content. I am for the most part over this season of my life and am really, really looking forward to marriage and kids but I am still content with where I am in my life. I have always gotten the impression that being content and wanting something else are mutual exclusive (inclusive??), do not go together. I would argue that just because I desire something different from what I have now does not make me malcontent to what I do have now. I can cherish the time I spend with the little cousins and the god-nephew while desiring these experiences with my own kids.

I am strong. Definitely not physically strong, my arms are like two match-sticks but I am strong in so many different ways. I am spiritually strong, God is the one doing all the heavy lifting but my strength is found in Him. He carries my and I am strong enough to know I need Him to carry me. I am emotionally strong, life has not always gone my way and I have had way more than my share of downs but I don't stay down. Getting up takes strength whether you jump right back up or struggle to find your footing.

I am me. My mother's father has eight siblings and her mother has even more, in such a large extended family even in a small gathering you will find out how much you look, walk or act like that relative you have never met. I may talk like Aunty M or have eyes like Uncle C but I am so uniquely me. Every quirk, creative expression and past experience is all me, not easily duplicated or replicated.

Head on over to Morgan's to linkup and to read everyone else.

Friday, 12 July 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday #31

--- 1 ---
Our president, Trinidad and Tobago, visited the Vatican last week and gifted a steelpan, our national instrument to Pope Francis, even taught the Holy Father a move or two.

--- 2 ---
This week has been constant rain. A tropical storm was headed to Barbados so we got extra rain, lots of it. I should be thankful that is all we usually get (and I am) because Trinidad is too easterly and our hills seem to discourage hurricanes and storms so we mostly only get extra rain. We occasionally get put under hurricane watch or warning but that is mainly pre-cautionary.

--- 3 ---
All this rain has been super good for the plants, some of them have practically quadrupled in size almost over night. I love looking at my plants, I am just so happy that I got anything to grow that I can't help it so I am noticing these not so subtle changes.

--- 4 ---
I have decided that I going to write in cursive again or should I say better cursive. My handwriting is a weird combination of cursive and print. We learn cursive in primary school (elementary), in fact we look forward to the day that we learn cursive so that we can write like grown-ups and then we (I) abandon it when we get to secondary school (high school). I have these letters to handwrite and I am thinking they would look better in full cursive.

--- 5 ---
I had the opportunity to evangelize to a "ex-catholic" this week. We have a temp and I was giving her a lift so we started talking, she asked what religion I was, then she told me that she used to be Catholic. She left because she felt something was missing although she had grown up active in church, so then I told her the story of my Faith, I didn't grow up in church but I also felt something missing (in my own way) and I came back fully to my Faith. She actually doesn't have anything against the Church so it was a pleasant conversation in fact she had more great things to say about the Church than I could have thought about in that short period of time. I can only pray that the conversation sparked something in her.

--- 6 ---
I have absolutely no weekend plans, that has not happened in a while. Some of my friends are out of the country for a conference that I should have gone to but I chose not to but now wish I had gone. I am just going to take this weekend to catch up stuff and work on not having a pity party for myself.

--- 7 ---
A song to end the week.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Not ALone Series: Despair and Vocations

My priest once said that we need to take our eyes off our problems and put our eyes on God. This week on the Not Alone Series we are looking at despair about our vocations and how we deal with that despair moving on into hope.

I wish I could say I have never despaired about getting married and starting a family, that someone else's news of their engagement or pregnancy didn't sometimes bring tears to my eye and pain to my heart. The jealousy and anxiety of when it is going to be my turn.

Prayer is definitely one thing that works for me, spending time in front of the Blessed Sacrament or at Adoration to help me get my eyes back on the Lord and off of other people's blessings. Some times are easier than others, I have been known to argue with God (because I obviously know better). When I do get to the actual prayer part and not just the "why am I not there yet" part I seek God's grace, His perfect grace. God's timing is perfect I just need to remember that so His word is often where I go next.

Scripture is very powerful for me at this time. I have God's promises to remind me that He has a plan for me (Jer 29:11), that I don't need to be anxious for anything I just need to go to Him (Phil 4:6). For anything I could possibly be feeling there is a Psalm for that, my bible is the only book I ever feel comfortable writing in, I am constantly underling passages and making notes.

Writing, I have always expressed myself better in the written word so my journal has seen the best and the worst of my despair. It is very cathartic to get it all out, to give what I am feeling a voice that is not destructive. Some of what I write I have never re-read and some I re-read all the time just to remind myself that it isn't so bad.

Counting my own blessings, someone told me that jealousy is counting someone else's blessings. Since jealousy is what often fuels my despair then I need to look at what I have instead of what I don't have. I live rent and mortgage free in my own place even if I have to share it with my sister, I have great friends some with great kids that I get to cuddle with.

Music, it is said that music soothes the savage beast but it also feeds it so I need to be careful in my choices. Listening to music can put me in a particular mood as well as take me out of one. There are two songs especially I like Casting Crowns "Praise You in This Storm" and Kutless "Even I", these two song speak to me where I am to remind me to keep looking at the Lord. Peter was great at walking on the water until he looked away.

Waiting is hard, waiting when it seems that everyone is getting the answer to your prayer is even harder but we need to remember that just as no two snowflake is alike, no two life is alike, no two journey though the destinations may be the same.

Head on over to Morgan's to linkup and to read everyone else.

Friday, 5 July 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday #30

--- 1 ---
On Saturday I attended a first anniversary event for my friends' NGO Volunteer Center of Trinidad and Tobago. It was a tree planting at the Fondes Amandes Reforestation Site. I got lost, although I am not very surprised since I have no sense of direction it would have been nice not to get lost for once. I got there late but I was able to help out with stuffing the snack boxes and organizing the water for the tree plantersSome of the beautiful flora instagram-shopped

never too young to volunteer


--- 2 ---
This NGO is pretty young only a year but they are associated with some great organizations like Habitat for Humanity and are already making some international moves. I am so proud of my two friends who started this and are doing all these great things with and as volunteers.

--- 3 ---
Today is the last day of school in Trinidad and Tobago so I am looking forward to that little change in traffic for my daily commute although with summer camps and the like it may not be much but I am still hoping. Yes schools were still in session here.

--- 4 ---
We said goodbye to google reader this week. I have been prepared for this for months and it was still a sad goodbye. GR you introduced me to the ease of reading awesome blogs all in one place without having to remember web addresses. On Monday read blogs on GR for the last time there a Moxie Wife post, a couple Ignium Today posts and a Fine Linen and Purple post.

--- 5 ---
I prayed for God's Grace this week and He has delivered a hundredfold, a few friends also praying for me I am sure greatly added to that. I was expecting a horrible week with all the changes happening at work and everything I had to do but besides being tiring it was an okay week. I was at peace throughout, the little things barely bothered me and I was able to rise above a few petty annoyances. God is so good and generous. Starting from now to pray for the next week, taking each week at a time until things are settled and a new normal is established.

--- 6 ---
This week on the Not Alone Series the topic was how to prepare for your future vocation now, I have said it before how much I love this series but I'll say it again, I love this series. There were a few similarities between the various blog posts but no two were exactly alike and I got so much to think about and add to my own list. The comments also were very helpful, encouraging and inspiring.

--- 7 ---
A song to end the week.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Not Alone Series: Preparing for my future vocation NOW

My priest loves to say that the future begins NOW when trying to motivate the young to become more involved in their Faith and parish. This week for the Not Alone Series we are looking at we can do to prepare for our future vocation NOW.

Most of what I do now and what I am about to suggest is targeted to a future vocation of marriage but many can be applied to any future vocation.

Most important and top of my list. I pray for and about my future vocation of marriage. I pray for my future husband, besides the millions of prayers that have been lifted up for meeting him I also pray for him. I pray for his health, his job, his character, his prayer life, his relationship with God and with others, his family, his Faith, etc. I also pray for myself.

Do It Now
All those things that you plan to do "when...", do them now where possible. If you are going to eat healthier when you have kids, read better books when you get married, ... You are not suddenly going to stop swearing in the delivery room, in fact it just may be harder to break the habit because didn't you just clean the "bleep bleep" living room, what have those kids been doing you have guests coming over in 10 minutes and it looks like "bleep bleep bleep".

There are great books out there not just for marriage preparation but you preparation. Books that empower, encourage, educate, inspire. There are many things that you cannot learn from a book but a book can turn your mind on and have you thinking what you never have thought of as well as expand on what you already did. "The Five Love Languages" "How To Find Your Soulmate Without Losing Your Soul" "Fill These Hearts" "The Life God Wants You To Have" "How To Find True Love"

Make Great Friends
A couple years ago someone told me that while I was waiting to me my groom and should work on meeting my bridesmaids. Those great friends who will pray with you and for you, laugh with you but never at you, cry with but won't make you cry. The friends who will risk your friendship to tell you a hard truth. The kind who are a bad influence on your kids in the best possible way. The ones who will never bad talk you husband even if you said it first, they will sit, listen, probably bring the wine and if need be utter a few words of encouragement and support. They are the friends who will send the world's biggest bear for your first child, say congratulations when you announce you are pregnant with the sixth (even while everyone is asking if you never heard of birth control) and remind you what a blessing #7 who is going to be born before #6 is 1 although you were trying to avoid is without even having to say the words.

Don't Date Jerks
If he spits, sniffs, scratches and swears, you know you could never marry him then do NOT date him. If you think you can change him, he is just misunderstood or no one understands him like you do... you probably can't, he most likely isn't and I'm pretty sure you don't, time to move on.

Become The Person You Want To Marry
If you want to marry a devout, Catholic man, then become a devout, Catholic woman. While considering what you want your future husband to bring to the altar you need to ensure your basket is just as attractive.

Pay Down, Get Out of Debt, Avoid Getting Into Debt
If you have a huge debt try your best to pay it down or eliminate it altogether. If you have no debt avoid getting into any unnecessary debt. The huge unexpected medical bills are unavoidable but that flat screen t.v probably could have waited.

Have an Idea of What You Want
If you want to be a stay-at-home-mom, a working mom, a home-schooler, have ten kids then have cultivates these ideas and why. Compromise will be the order of the day when you actually meet Mr Wonderful but these won't just be random ideas floating around in your mind, these will be solid opinions and it is so much easier to have a rational conversation when you know what you are talking about.

Spend Time With Your Married Friends
Seeing is believing. While trying to gawk as if you are watching wild animals in their natural habit or the zoo, gently observe your happily married friends. Marriage is not all bliss but when you listen to and watch those couples who work at their marriage you just may be able to take away something that you can use for yourself. Everyone is different, every marriage is different, every relationship is different so don't try to copy verbatim. Happily married friends are also great for vetting, encouragement and support.

Don't forget to check out the bloggers linking up this week, Jen is hosting the link up.