Archive for November, 2012
Advent calendars are a time-honored way to help children–and parents–count down the days until Christmas. Check out the Family Resource Calendar, a new resource developed especially for the Year of Faith.
(Reader’s Tip) Pray together at meals, even if you’re in a restaurant. Don’t be afraid to show PDF’s (Public Displays of Faith).
Does the holiday season leave you over-tired and overwhelmed? Do you need a bit of hope? Several wise observers, including Pope Benedict XVI, encourage us to look for signs of Christ’s presence in the world.
There are 3 typical stages of love: Romance, Disillusionment, and True Love. True Love is usually the result of having felt the infatuation of romance, then being tested by daily life, and eventually a deeper love that says YES, despite trials and imperfections. Where are you?
(Reader’s Tip) Never spend more than $100 without consulting your spouse.
Josh says that his kids are captivated by stories about saints. He reflects, “Raising saints has to be about cultivating a life in which each child can blossom with the gifts and personalities that they were given by God.”
Sometimes words are not necessary or even get in the way of a loving connection. Eyes can speak louder than words. Try different forms of eye contact today, such as a gaze across the room or a humorous wink.
Thanksgiving gives Sara an opportunity to enjoy her new niece and for Gus to entertain the grandparents. Sara reflects: “We need to place value on family time, not just as the three of us, but also with our extended family.”
(Reader’s Tip) The marriage vow is forever. It’s non-negotiable, but most everything can be worked out. The vow between husband and wife is made before God, and God never gives up or loses hope.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega.” (Rev 1:8) Just as God is the Beginning and the End, so your marriage has a beginning (the marriage vows) and an end (death). What’s important is in the middle. Make the middle meaningful today.
Thanksgiving and Christmas are traditionally times when adult children return home and blended families regather in unique and complicated ways. This can be both joyous and stressful as family systems reshuffle. Be patient.
Do Santa and Jesus seem to get “equal billing” in your home at Christmas? Do you want this year to be different, to focus on Jesus’s birth and the joy of giving? The author explains how she accomplished this daunting task.
The simplicity movement promotes the day after Thanksgiving as Buy Nothing Day. Celebrate this day by playing games, telling stories, singing, etc. as a family. Even if you still buy stuff on other days, this is a way to honor the spirit of home-made entertainment.
(Thanksgiving) “Thanks be to God!” is a common expression not only of thanks but also of relief that a danger was averted. In this season of thanks, is there a bad fortune that you avoided? Thank God for invisible blessings – a cold not caught, a curt retort stifled…
(Reader’s Tips) Be kind and joyful. Each day pray for your spouse and, as often as possible, pray with them.
Do you have a hard time getting your beloved to share thoughts and feelings with you? Some spouses are the quiet type who will talk when ready. Others just need you to “shut up” to make space for speech. Do you talk too much?
Do the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience really apply to married people? Yes, says Stacey. She explains why these practices are not just for priests and religious.
Justin reflects, “This week our parish invited me to come speak to our RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) class about the Creed. It was a real blessing because it forced me to take a fresh look at our fundamental beliefs and renewed my sense of wonder about the mysteries of our faith.”
(Reader’s Tip) Use the phrase “Praised be Jesus Christ” as the first and last words of each day to your spouse and children.
“But of that day or hour, no one knows…” (Mk 13:32) Death is not something most people like to think about, but it is inevitable and indeed we don’t know “the day or hour.” Don’t avoid talking about your deaths – even if you’re young. Do you know each other’s final wishes?
When our children are successful it’s natural to be proud of them. If you take credit for their success, however, you may also have to take blame for their failures. Don’t let your children be your identity. They will eventually move out; your spouse will not.
A new study proposes that spending time together can serve as a sign to a husband and wife of their mutual commitment and interest in the marriage. The researchers found that the level of confidence spouses felt about their decision to marry influenced how much time was spent with each other later.
(Reader’s Tip) Keep Jesus’s teachings at the center of your marriage: Be the first to forgive and the last to blame, and never go to sleep angry with each other.
Sex Secret, #3: “The happiest couples have sex on a regular basis,” (Tina Tessina, Ph.D) It needn’t be every day, but it shouldn’t be just on your anniversary. Agree on a frequency that works for you.
Sex Secret, #2: “They believe in quickies (yay!)” (Lisa Lombardi) There are times for special, lingering sex and there are times when you or your spouse want to express your love but don’t have much time or are tired. Before saying, “No,” consider a quickie.