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For Your Marriage

Meet Sara and Justin. They married in June 2011, they welcomed their first child in August 2012.

A Lesson From Pope Francis

Sara: Once I heard we were getting a new pope, I figured I’d first hear about his election via Facebook or the Pope Alarm I had signed up for via email. Instead, I found out via very low technology – Justin called me on the phone to tell me he had heard we had a new pope! I hurried downstairs to our television room with Gus so we could watch the action live.

Although I know Gus won’t remember Pope Francis being elected, it was so special to be able to share the time with Gus. Gus obviously didn’t understand what was going on, but he knew I was excited! Finally, I had to put Gus down for his nap and I continued to watch the coverage.

As I watched Pope Francis appear on the balcony, I was struck both by his humility and by his simplicity. Throughout the next couple of days, I realized that our family could learn about these very things from Pope Francis.

For instance, after I became a stay-at-home mom, I started couponing in order to save a bit of money. As time went on, I got really good at finding the best deals and saving money. However, not everything I was buying was something we needed or wanted. One week, I found myself coming home with fifty dollars worth of items that I got for free with coupons. I really only wanted two of these items, but I had to buy fifty dollars worth of items to make my complicated scenario work to get those two items for free. While I will give those items we won’t use to others who can use them, I also feel we should simplify and only buy items we need. In my two months of crazy couponing, I think I have stocked up on enough shampoo, toilet paper, and toothpaste to last us a year. With the exception of diapers, I’ve decided to limit my couponing to one store and scale back on my purchases until we use up our current surplus.

I’ve noticed how easy it is to concentrate so hard on how we can be saving money that I miss the reason I’m not working to start with – to enjoy Gus and spend time with him. I’m looking forward to being a bit simpler and more strategic in my efforts to cut back on the amount of time I spend on couponing and other money saving ventures.